Cover image for On the beaten track : tourism, art and place.
On the beaten track : tourism, art and place.
Lippard, Lucy R.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
New York : New Press ; London : I. B. Tauris, 1999.
Physical Description:
182 pages : illustrations ; 25 cm
Introduction : on rubbernecking -- The tourist at home -- Trespassing on common ground : a case study -- Surprise packages -- Seduction and hyperbole -- Santa Fe's tricultural trip -- Crossroads everywhere : cultural tourism -- Exhibitionism -- Curiouser and curiouser -- Tragic tourism -- Parking places -- Taken aback, or, the nostalgia trap.
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
NA7100 .L6 1999 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

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In this "excellent" ( The Baltimore Sun ) book, Lucy R. Lippard weaves together cultural criticism, anthropology, and community activism for an in-depth look at how tourism sites are conceived and represented, and how they affect the places they transform. Critic Andrew Ross calls Lippard "the most surefooted tour guide you could hope for" in her exploration of being a tourist in one's own home, of how advertising and photography define place, of how antique shops function as populist museums, and of the commodification of indigenous cultures. With her characteristic breadth and critical eye, Lippard discusses the political economies of leisure spaces, the tourist's fascination with tragic destinations (such as the sites of massacres and nuclear weapons tests, or Holocaust memorials), and our willingness to let national parks and heritage sites define nature and history.

Author Notes

Lucy R. Lippard's books include Mixed Blessings and, from The New Press, The Lure of the Local, Overlay, Partial Recall, and The Pink Glass Swan. She has been a columnist for the Village Voice, In These Times, and Z magazine. She lives in Galisteo, New Mexico, and summers in Georgetown, Maine.

Reviews 2

Publisher's Weekly Review

Believing that the unexamined experience is not worth having, Lippard (The Lure of the Local) is a tourist with a problem: she can't relax. In this blend of cultural criticism and on-the-road dispatch, Lippard examines the links between tourism and exploitation. A chapter on "Tragic Tourism" investigates the attraction of "celebrity murder sites, concentration camps, massacre sites." Her conclusions are appropriately nuanced: on the one hand, monuments "inspire secondary memories that can color or even interfere with responses to the primary event"; on the other, "remembrance is the only way to compensate the dead." Lippard's critical lingo is sometimes clunky, but her willingness to implicate herself in her critique makes the book accessibly personal ("I am resigned to looking like a tourist wherever I go, even at home, because I'm always rubbernecking"). This tendency lends a depth and power to her interrogation of the ways that Anglo tourism has made Santa Fe into "Santa Fake," through the trivialization and commodification of native and hispano cultures. As Lippard admits, it was after repeated tourist visits that she decided to move to the area. But Lippard is always on guard against the placid acceptance of tourism, always aware of the ways it can be an egregious indulgence of the affluent who are transforming the world in their own image. (Apr.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Library Journal Review

Art critic Lippard (The Lure of the Local, New Pr., 1997) presents intriguing philosophical, historical, and sociological perspectives on tourists and tourism, from the conventional to the absurd. These thoughtful essays analyze the culture and motives of tourism from New Mexico to New York and from Texas to Maine and examine the attraction of certain destinations, sites, subjects, tours, museums (and other art), and modes of travel. What are visitors seekingÄeducation, thrills, history (or its re-creation), status, nostalgia, multicultural exposure, identity? Are the sites real or mythologized? One of the most intriguing essays focuses on the popularity of places pertaining to tragedy or disaster, like Gianni Versace's mansion or the site of the Sand Creek Cheyenne-Arapaho massacre. Another highlight is a witty piece on trips to scenic overlooks, state parks, and the like. Most powerful, however, is the final essay on nostalgia, into which Lippard weaves her own personal history. Recommended for circulating libraries.ÄCarol J. Binkowski, Bloomfield, NJ (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgementsp. x
Introduction: On Rubberneckingp. 2
The Tourist at Homep. 12
Trespassing on Common Ground: A Case Studyp. 4
Surprise Packagesp. 33
Seduction and Hyperbolep. 50
Santa Fe's Tricultural Tripp. 59
Crossroads Everywhere: Cultural Tourismp. 72
Exhibitionismp. 88
Curiouser and Curiouserp. 103
Tragic Tourismp. 118
Parking Placesp. 135
Taken Aback, or, The Nostalgia Trapp. 153
Notesp. 165
Bibliographyp. 175
Indexp. 178