While this publication stems from the Heartland exhibitions at the Van Abbemuseum and the Smart Museum of Art, this book is much more than an art catalogue.

Contributors—including novelist Dave Eggers, scholar Hasan Kwame Jeffries, and journalist Rebecca Solnit—explore the region through topics ranging from art to music to urban farming to political history. An illustrated section introduces all of the artists involved in both iterations of Heartland, including established figures like Kerry James Marshall and exuberant newcomers like Whoop Dee Doo.

An appendix surveys the lively state of independent and artist-run cultural initiatives from New Orleans to Detroit.


Edited by Charles Esche, Kerstin Niemann, and Stephanie Smith with essays by John Corbett and Frank Veenstra; Joshua Decter; Dave Eggers; Charles Esche; Hasan Kwame Jeffries; Andria Lisle; Hesse McGraw; Kerstin Niemann; Stephanie Smith; Rebecca Solnit; Matthew Strauss; Dan S. Wang; and Matt Weiland. 

Publication date

November 2009


Paper, 192 pages, full color throughout, 8 x 10.5"



Purchase this catalogue

Available for $30 online from the University of Chicago Press or in person at the Smart Museum Shop.