USA's Most Wanted:
(dishwasher size)

USA's Least Wanted:
(paperback size)

Survey Notes

The survey was conducted by Marttila & Kiley, Inc. of Boston, between December 10 and December 21, 1993. 1001 adult Americas residing in the 48 contiguous states were interviewed by telephone by trained professionals. The typical interview took 24 minutes to complete. Respondents were selected from all American households using a random probability sampling prcedure which included unlisted phone numbers. The sample was stratified according to state. Gender quotas were observed, so the final sample is 53 percent female and 47 percent male.

To a surprising extent, the public tends to agree on what it like to see in a work of art. Americans generally tend to prefer, for instance, traditional styles over more modern designs; they also express a strong preference for paintings that depict landscapes or similar outdoor scenes. In addition, most Americans tend to favor artists known for a realistic style over those whose artworks are more abstract or modernistic.

Americans who take a more active interest in the visual arts tend to be less definitive in matters of taste, and to welcome a greater diversity of artistic styles. As a general rule, Americans who might be expected to have a more detailed knowledge of art - those who visit an art museum with some regularity, as well as those with a higher level of academic attainment and those who are more affluent - appear to be less set in their views about what consitutes "good art." These Americans are, for instance, noticeably less likely to express a firm preference for a particular type of painting or school of art, and more likely to say that their opinion of a given artwork depends on more than one given factor.

The United States survey was sponsored by the Nation Institute.

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