Finding the Muse explores the lives of a group of aspiring fine artists from the mid-1960s, when they completed art school, to the mid-1980s. It focuses on problems of artistic creativity as they relate to such issues as the mystique of the artist, the challenge of establishing community among artists, the place of the art market in the construction of artistic identity, and the limits and possibilities of modern and postmodern art itself. By identifying the salient problems of artistic creativity, the author provides a realistic portrayal of the contemporary artist and some useful suggestions for addressing the problems that curb creativity. Focusing on problems of creativity that have arisen in recent years, the book articulates the more optimal conditions within which the process of artistic creation might occur. Part psychology of creativity, part sociology of art, and part cultural criticism, the book will be of interest to psychologists, sociologists, philosophers, art historians, art educators, and especially aspiring artists.
"An outstanding work...Engaging, critically, a variety of 'individualist' views focusing on the encapsulation of the artist, the author makes a strong case for the socio-historical-cultural constitution both of artists and works of art. An exceptionally well written book, accessible both to professional scholars and to intelligent general readers. A 'find.'" Choice "Finding the Muse can be read as a work on the sociopsychology of creativity and artistic work. It should be read simultaneously as a statement of viewpoint about directions for psychology as a field. In both readings, it is a significant contribution that deserves serious intention." Margery B. Franklin, Contemporary Psychology "Finding the Muse will be welcomed in social psychological circles..." Caterina Pizanias, Theory of Psychology