Art and the Empire City: New York, 1825-1861

Overview

In 1825 the Erie Canal, connecting the Atlantic with the American heartland via the Great Lakes, was completed, and in 1861 the Civil War, disrupting American unity, began. This volume examines the exhilarating period between these two far-reaching events. The Erie Canal turned the port of New York into the gateway to the United States, ushering in a time of enormous growth and change for the city of New York. Still very much a work in progress, New York became both an international economic and cultural center: ...

See more details below
This Paperback is Not Available through BN.com
Sending request ...

Overview

In 1825 the Erie Canal, connecting the Atlantic with the American heartland via the Great Lakes, was completed, and in 1861 the Civil War, disrupting American unity, began. This volume examines the exhilarating period between these two far-reaching events. The Erie Canal turned the port of New York into the gateway to the United States, ushering in a time of enormous growth and change for the city of New York. Still very much a work in progress, New York became both an international economic and cultural center: it was transformed into what contemporary observers variously termed the Empire City, the Great Emporium, and the Empress City of the West.

The cultural component of this transformation was as significant as its economic aspect. Highly skilled artists and craftsmen working in New York, both native born and immigrant, grew in number, and institutions devoted to the arts emerged and flourished. With Broadway at its heart, the Great Emporium developed into the nation's major manufacturing and retailing center, the depot for luxury goods made in and around the city and imported from Europe.

The complex story of the proliferation of the arts in New York and the evolution of an increasingly discerning audience for those arts during the antebellum period is the focus of this book, which accompanies a major exhibition at The Metropolitan Museum of Art. In essays that will interest scholars as well as a more general audience, specialists from the Metropolitan Museum, the Museum of the City of New York, and the University of California at Berkeley bring new research and insights to bear on a broad range of subjects. Their texts offer both historical and cultural contexts and explore the city's development as a nexus for the marketing and display of art, as well as private collecting; landscape painting viewed against the background of tourism; new departures in sculpture, architecture, and printmaking; the birth of photography; New York as a fashion center; shopping for home decorations; changing styles in furniture; and the evolution of the ceramics, glass, and silver industries. This volume is lavishly illustrated in color and black and white, providing reproductions of the more than three hundred works in the exhibition as well as comparative material. A checklist of works in the exhibition, a bibliography, and an index are included. [This book was originally published in 2000 and has gone out of print. This edition is a print-on-demand version of the original book.]

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

ForeWord Magazine
In 1827, an author of "Letters Descriptive of New York, Written to a Literary Gentleman in Dublin" published in the New-York Mirror and Ladies' Literary Gazette posed the question, "What did it mean to be the Empire City, 'the greatest commercial emporium of the world?'" This magnificent and lavishly illustrated volume answers that question in terms of urbanity and the arts in rich historic detail.

In his fascinating opening essay, "Inventing the Metropolis: Civilization and Urbanity in Antebellum New York," Dell Upton explains that the opening of the Erie Canal in 1825 guaranteed New York City's future as the preeminent, "geographical and financial center of a web of national and international commerce." The reader learns how the interwoven forces of urban planning and development, and an economic boom led to the marketing of culturally exclusive "high" art, as well as the huckstering of art as bourgeois entertainment for the masses during this pre-Civil War period.

Subsequent essays by an array of distinguished scholars, all beautifully illustrated and documented with extensive notes and appendices, explore how private collections and public exhibitions blossomed during this period, while exciting new developments in New York landscape painting, sculpture, architecture, photography, fashion, home decor, furniture, ceramics, glass and metal ware burst into the expanding marketplace. Such revelations about this historic period help to explain the contemporary perception of New York as the arts capital of the world.

This exquisite catalogue appears concurrently with a massive exhibition this fall by the same title at the Metropolitan Museum of Art on Fifth Avenue in Manhattan.Should one be so moved to attend the exhibit, this book will provide a brilliant record of the experience. For those who don't reach New York this fall, the cultural wealth of the exhibit and then some can be held in hand.

Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780300199543
  • Publisher: Metropolitan Museum of Art
  • Publication date: 6/25/2013
  • Pages: 652

Meet the Author

Thayer Tolles is curator, The American Wing, The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(0)

4 Star

(0)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(0)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

    If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
    Why is this product inappropriate?
    Comments (optional)