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

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

by H. Barbara Weinberg, Doreen Bolger, David P. Curry
     
 

View All Available Formats & Editions

"A true historical painter ... is one who paints the life he sees about him, and so makes a record of his own epoch." This principle, voiced by the Impressionist Childe Hassam, was heeded by the artists whose contributions are the focus of this volume: the American Impressionists and the Realists of the generation that succeeded them. The authors of the book, which…  See more details below

Overview

"A true historical painter ... is one who paints the life he sees about him, and so makes a record of his own epoch." This principle, voiced by the Impressionist Childe Hassam, was heeded by the artists whose contributions are the focus of this volume: the American Impressionists and the Realists of the generation that succeeded them. The authors of the book, which accompanies a major exhibition, illuminate the continuities and differences between American Impressionism and Realism, two movements that are traditionally viewed as merely opposed.

They explore the roots of American Impressionism in European art, especially in the French Impressionists' engagement with the contemporary scene. Also elucidated are the evolving responses of both the American Impressionists and Realists to the changing realities of life in the United States at the turn of the century, as the nation shifted rapidly from an agrarian to an increasingly industrialized urban society. In an examination of paintings that represent the country, the city, and the home -- the triad of subjects that engaged the artists -- these responses are shown to reflect a tension between enthusiasm for the new and a sense of loss of the rural past. Studying a wide range of painters, including John Singer Sargent, William Merritt Chase, Childe Hassam, John Sloan, William Glackens, and George Bellows, the authors offer new insights into the threads of nationalism, optimism, euphemism, and nostalgia that link the two movements. They demonstrate that these painters of modern life endowed their European-rooted art with a distinctly American inflection and produced a selective register of an energetic nation, revealing a complex commitment to Robert Henri's assertion that "painting is the giving of evidence."

The volume brings a new approach to this area of American art history, which has tended to be more descriptive than interpretive: it offers detailed historical and social contexts for the works and movements under consideration as well as penetrating stylistic analyses. Lavish illustrations of the paintings in the exhibition, comparative works and period photographs, a biography of each of the twenty-six artists in the exhibition, a selected bibliography, and an index are included.

Read More

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)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780810964372
Publisher:
Abrams, Harry N., Inc.
Publication date:
04/01/1994
Pages:
384
Product dimensions:
9.97(w) x 11.88(h) x 1.63(d)

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >