Date of Completion


Thesis Type

College of Arts and Science Honors


Art and Art History

First Advisor

Anthony Grudin


drugs, pharmaceuticals, postmodern art, consumerism, contemporary


This undergraduate thesis assesses the overlapping trajectories of drug consumption and postmodern art in Western culture since World War Two. The relationship between these two histories reveals the complex ways in which class operates under a capitalist society dominated by evolving consumerism. Using specific artworks as case studies for roughly each decade since 1960, this paper builds upon previous scholarship conducted in the field of contemporary art, extending its purview to the territory of drug consumption. From pop art’s appropriation of commodity goods to recent protest demonstrations at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, this thesis will be the first scholastic articulation of a subculture of illicit drug consumption under the structure of capitalism through the study of postmodern art.

Available for download on Sunday, May 05, 2024