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Sabato Rodia's Towers in WattsArt, Migrations, Development$
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Luisa Del Giudice

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780823257966

Published to Fordham Scholarship Online: September 2015

DOI: 10.5422/fordham/9780823257966.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM FORDHAM SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.fordham.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Fordham University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in FSO for personal use.date: 26 September 2021

Sabato Rodia’s Towers in Watts and the Search for Common Ground

Sabato Rodia’s Towers in Watts and the Search for Common Ground

(p.xvi) (p.1) Introduction: Sabato Rodia’s Towers in Watts and the Search for Common Ground
Sabato Rodia's Towers in Watts

Luisa Del Giudice

Fordham University Press

This introductory chapter begins with a brief biographical sketch of Sabata Rodia, artist and creator of the Watts Towers in Los Angeles. It then sets out the book's purpose, namely to bring together documentary evidence and hence sharpen our focus on the man, his life, and his art, while offering broader interpretive meanings of the artwork on three fronts. First, it places the artist and his artwork within various interpretative contexts of artistic and literary movements while elaborating the historic and cultural contexts of this Italian immigrant artist within local and global migrations and within the Italian diaspora. Second, it considers the issues of art and conservation, the struggle to save the Towers, as well as the contested cultural and political axes occupied by the Towers (and kindred heritage sites) today. Third, it turns to the Watts Towers' legacy in predominantly African American communities of creativity and the issue of “development” in Watts itself. An overview of the subsequent chapters is also presented.

Keywords:   Sabata Rodia, Watts Towers, Italian immigrant artist, migration, Italian diaspora, Los Angeles, conservation

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