Rhetoric, Social Value and the Arts

But How Does it Work?

  • Charlotte Bonham-Carter
  • Nicola Mann

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-ix
  2. Nicola Mann
    Pages 1-14
  3. Policy

  4. Theory

  5. Practice and Artistic Responses

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 83-83
    2. Andrés David Montenegro Rosero
      Pages 85-106
  6. Museums and Institutional Responses

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 123-123
    2. Lawrence Bradby, Judith Stewart
      Pages 125-142
    3. Joey Orr
      Pages 143-154
    4. Charlotte Bonham-Carter
      Pages 155-163
  7. Back Matter
    Pages 165-172

About this book


The book reveals how the ‘social value of art’ may have one meaning for a policy maker, another for a museum and still yet another for an artist – and it is therefore in the interaction between these agents that we learn the most about the importance of rhetoric and interpretation. As a trajectory in art history, socially engaged art has a long and established history. However, in recent years—or since ‘the social turn’ that occurred in the 1990s—the rhetoric surrounding the social value of art has been assimilated by cultural policy makers and museums.  Interdisciplinary in its approach, and bringing together contributions from artists, curators and academics, the volume explores rhetoric, social value and the arts within different social, political and cultural contexts. 


social value socially engaged art instrumental cultural policy neoliberalism social practice political art museums galleries contemporary art

Editors and affiliations

  • Charlotte Bonham-Carter
    • 1
  • Nicola Mann
    • 2
  1. 1.Central Saint MartinsUniversity of the Arts LondonLondonUnited Kingdom
  2. 2.Richmond, The American International University in LondonLondonUnited Kingdom

Bibliographic information