• Fast Shipping! Free at $99+

    US contiguous, non-oversize only – restrictions apply

  • Shop Small & Local

    We are your locally owned and independent retailer since 1976

  • We can help!

    Our all-artist staff is available! Call, email or stop by.

  • You're awesome!

    Thanks for shopping with us!

The Cult of Creativity

(0) Write a Review
Gift wrapping:
Options available

Product Description

A history of how, in the mid-twentieth century, we came to believe in the concept of creativity. Creativity is one of American societys signature values. Schools claim to foster it, businesses say they thrive on it, and countless cities say its what makes them unique. But the idea that there is such a thing as creativity and that it can be cultivated is surprisingly recent, entering our everyday speech in the 1950s.

As Samuel Weil Franklin reveals, postwar Americans created creativity, through campaigns to define and harness the power of the individual to meet the demands of American capitalism and life under the Cold War. Creativity was championed by a cluster of professionalspsychologists, engineers, and advertising peopleas a cure for the conformity and alienation they feared was stifling American ingenuity. It was touted as a force of individualism and the human spirit, a new middle-class aspiration that suited the needs of corporate America and the spirit of anticommunism.

Amid increasingly rigid systems, creativity took on an air of romance; it was a more democratic quality than genius, but more rarified than mere intelligence. The term eluded clear definition, allowing all sorts of people and institutions to claim it as a solution to their problems, from corporate dullness to urban decline. Today, when creativity is constantly sought after, quantified, and maximized, Franklins eye-opening history of the concept helps us to see what it really is, and whom it really serves.