In the 1940's and 1950's, formalism and self-expression theories about abstract expressionism were incorporated into art education. However, as these products of the art community became a part of curriculum, the social and political foundations of the art and the theories were ignored. A school art style was emphasized that contained only selected elements of Greenberg's formalist analysis of abstract expressionism. Curriculum also contained a reduction of Rosenberg's theory of expressive process to some pseudo-expressive technical characteristics. While the argument is not made that there was a studied and analytical reinterpretation of these critics' theories in school, the theories represented and became part of a general climate of opinion, which helped to shape people's (including teachers') understanding of modern art. The transformation of abstract expressionism in art education was not arbitrary. It supported and legitimated post-World War II institutional priorities of socialization and professional training.


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