Who did use the word "public art" first? And when?

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I am a japanese art student and investigating about public art for my thesis. I want to know the information about:

1. Who did use the word public art first and when?(with the information of the document which has the contents) 2. Then what did the word exactly mean?

Also I would like to ask the same question aboutthe word "site specufic".

Please excuse my terrible English! Thank you.

-- TOMOE TAKAGI (tomoe@mba.sphere.ne.jp), October 10, 1999


Dear Tomoe,

I do not have an answer to contribute, but I do have some reccomendations of art historians who may be of assistance. MIWON KWON has written about transformations of the nature of site- specific works, and may be able to give you clues towards the origin of the term. She has been published in OCTOBER magazine, but you might want to just find a way to email her your question.

Public Art on the other hand is a more complex term, with definitions that have transformed over the 20th century. I do not think you will find a "first use" of the term, and might be better off tracing some of the transformations of the term. Some higher level staff person at the NEA might be able to make an interesting statement on past and current definitions of the term. Also, Vito Acconci has written at length on the definition of public art, and perhaps has some reference to the origins and history of the term.

Hope this is helpful, and by the way, your English is very good.

-- Lex Bhagat (icebreaker_NY@hotmail.com), January 20, 2000.

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