The Artificial Kingdom: A Treasury of the Kitsch Experience

Pantheon Books (1998)

The Artificial Kingdom is the first book to provide a cultural history of kitsch, an immensely popular aesthetic phenomenon that has always been disdained as "bad taste," or a cheap imitation of art. Proposing instead that kitsch is the product of a larger sensibility of loss, Celeste Olalquiaga shows how it enables the momentary re-creation of experiences that exist only as memories or fantasies. Simultaneously exposing and celebrating this process, Olalquiaga gives us a bold, trenchant analysis of what and how we see when we look at kitsch. Tracing its beginnings to the nineteenth century--when industrialization transformed nature into an artificial kingdom of miniature scale--Olalquiaga describes the at once exhilarated and melancholic atmosphere where kitsch came to life. In an arresting mix of theory and anecdote, she examines objects from both the past and the present, probing the fluid boundaries between reality and fantasy, and finding in kitsch a phenomenon as relevant to our own time as it was to the era that made it a massive experience.
Keywords Kitsch
Categories (categorize this paper)
Buy the book $11.92 used   $29.97 new    Amazon page
Call number BH301.K5.O43 1998
ISBN(s) 0747545359   0679433937
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 51,447
External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

No references found.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Contemporary Kitsch: The Death of Pseudo-Art and the Birth of Everyday Cheesiness (A Postcolonial Inquiry).Max Ryynänen - 2018 - Terra Aestheticae: Journal of Russian Society for Aesthetics 1 (1):70-86.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles


Added to PP index

Total views
6 ( #1,028,935 of 2,330,353 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
1 ( #584,494 of 2,330,353 )

How can I increase my downloads?


My notes