This book examines the impact of states and their policies on visual art. States shape the role of art and artists in society, influence the development of audiences, support artistic work, and even affect the very nature of artistic production. The book contrasts developments in the United States with art policies in Britain and in the social democratic states of Norway and Sweden. In addition, it analyzes revealing transitions - the changes brought about in East Germany after unification and the experiences of artists who left the Soviet Union for the west. The result is a significant contribution to the sociology and the political economy of art.