American Impressionism and Realism: The Painting of Modern Life, 1885-1915

Overview

American Impressionism and Realism: The Painting of Modern Life, 1885–1915 brings together the appealing works of two generations of American painters and presents them from a fresh point of view. The American Impressionists and Realists have been categorized as separate or even opposing groups, but, in fact, they shared significant experiences and goals—notably Parisian training, an enthusiasm for modern French painting, and a desire to translate these sources into a peculiarly American idiom. The continuities ...

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Overview

American Impressionism and Realism: The Painting of Modern Life, 1885–1915 brings together the appealing works of two generations of American painters and presents them from a fresh point of view. The American Impressionists and Realists have been categorized as separate or even opposing groups, but, in fact, they shared significant experiences and goals—notably Parisian training, an enthusiasm for modern French painting, and a desire to translate these sources into a peculiarly American idiom. The continuities between these two groups are more impressive and the constrasts more subtle, a complexity that is highlighted by arranging the works not by artist or chronology, but by broad subject categories: the country, the city, and the home.

The turn of the last century was a time of unprecedented political, economic, and social change due to industrialization, rise of the middle class, redefinition of family and gender roles, and a new scientific understanding of the world. People were acutely aware that they were living in a new age, and modernity became a key concept in their definition of themselves and their times. Charles Baudelaire's issued a mandate in his essay "The Painting of Modern Life" in 1863, that modernity must accompany true beauty in painting. In their dazzling sunlit landscapes, bustling city views, and glimpses of the domestic scene, the American Impressionists and Realists became Baudelairean painters of modern life yet also expressed the nationalism, optimism, euphemism, and nostalgia that typified the American response to the exciting and daunting developments of their new era. [This book was originally published in 1994 and has gone out of print. This edition is a print-on-demand version of the original book.]

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
These painting styles have received oodles of attention from art historians of late, and one might wonder what more there is to be said on the subject. Happily, this volume offers novel approaches and outstandingly handsome illustrations, nearly half in color. Insightful commentary is arranged thematically and begins with the American twist given to Impressionism, a style essentially born and developed in France. Through essays on country, city, and home, the authors examine how the subject matter reflected the nature of American life and culture during that era. The catalog is to accompany a nationwide traveling exhibition. Appendixes include lists of works contained in and lenders to the exhibition, as well as biographies of the painters. Highly recommended for general as well as scholarly readers.-Kathleen Eagen Johnson, Historic Hudson Valley, Tarrytown, N.Y.
Booknews
Published in conjunction with an exhibition that originated at The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York and is scheduled to travel to several locations during 1994 and 1995. Serving as both a catalog and an exposition, this abundantly illustrated volume explores the continuities and differences between American Impressionism and Realism, two movements that are traditionally viewed as merely opposed. The thrust of the exhibition (and this volume) is to forge a new approach to an area of American art history that has heretofore tended more towards description than interpretation, offering historical and social contexts for the works and movements under consideration as well as stylistic analyses, and a biography of each of the 26 artists in the exhibition. Distributed by Abrams. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780300199505
  • Publisher: Metropolitan Museum of Art
  • Publication date: 6/25/2013
  • Pages: 384
  • Product dimensions: 10.00 (w) x 11.50 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Table of Contents

Directors' Foreword
Sponsor's Statement
Acknowledgments
1 Catalogue 1
Introduction
Passionate Spectators 2
The Studio 34
The Country
Modern Painters in Landscape 50
The Country Retreat and the Suburban Resort 88
The City
The Urban Scene 134
Urban Leisure 200
The Home 246
Notes 310
The Painters: Biographies 346
Selected Bibliography 359
Works in the Exhibition 365
Lenders to the Exhibition 368
Index 369
Photograph Credits 384
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