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Classical Taste in America 1800-1840

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During the first four decades of the last century, America was mesmerized by the classical world. And never before has a book so thoroughly examined the period's diversity of thought and material production to demonstrate the variety of ways that nineteenth-century Americans used, misused, and even abused the lessons of antiquity in the arts and decorative arts. To an extraordinary extent, Americans embraced classicism at the beginning of the nineteenth century both as a fashionable new international style, which...
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1993 Hardcover New 1558593853. Flawless copy, brand new, pristine, never opened--308 pp. With 238 ills. (131 col. ). 30 x 24 cm. Description: "An extensive examination of the ... pervasive influence of classical aesthetic, social and intellectual ideals on early 19th-century American art and culture, this scholarly catalogue showcases a representative array of more than 200 objects that includes furniture, metalwork, ceramics, textiles and other decorative pieces as well as a selection of paintings and sculptures. Fine illustrations of the featured works accompany a five-part text that discusses the impact of British and French styles on the development of classicism in the United States, the distinctive adaptation of Greek and Roman motifs by American artisans, the mass production of classically inspired furnishings for the country's emerging middle class, and the appropriation of classical models as symbols of public and domestic virtue."; 1.47 x 11.79 x 9.6 Inches. Read more Show Less

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Overview

During the first four decades of the last century, America was mesmerized by the classical world. And never before has a book so thoroughly examined the period's diversity of thought and material production to demonstrate the variety of ways that nineteenth-century Americans used, misused, and even abused the lessons of antiquity in the arts and decorative arts. To an extraordinary extent, Americans embraced classicism at the beginning of the nineteenth century both as a fashionable new international style, which had its European beginnings in the eighteenth-century excavations at Pompeii and Herculaneum, and as a distinctive expression of America's own emulation of classical precedents in government, ideal beauty, education, and the decorative arts. This book investigates the multifaceted impact of classical political, intellectual, and aesthetic values on early nineteenth-century American culture through a close examination of approximately 225 representative objects from this aesthetically brilliant period, including paintings, sculpture, furniture, silver, glass, ceramics, textiles, and printed materials. This book examines not only the superbly designed and fashioned products made for the well-to-do, but also those objects that were mass-produced and more widely sought by a burgeoning middle class. From elegant Grecian couches with Roman paw feet, to diminutive pressed glass salts ornamented with classical chariots and cornucopia, few aspects of American material life escaped the classical craze.
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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
Early American tastemakers believed that the morality and virtue inherent in the Classical style was suitable for emulation by the citizens of the young United States, which led to one of the most flamboyant and exciting periods in American decorative arts history. Cooper draws on a wide range of period visual and written sources to develop five artful and fully footnoted essays in this catalog accompanying the traveling exhibition. Each essay explores such themes as European influence, public and private collecting of classically inspired fine art, and high-style and middle-class furnishings reflecting the New Republic's fascination with ancient Greece, Rome, and Egypt. The lavish color photographs are an appealing mixture, ranging from decorative details to sympathetic period interiors. Rarely are scholarly books so handsome. This valuable American decorative arts study is highly recommended for art history collections.-- Kathleen Eagen Johnson, Historic Hudson Valley, Tarrytown, N.Y.
Booknews
Based on a major exhibition organized by the (copublisher) Baltimore Museum of Art, this heavily illustrated (216 reproductions, many in color) volume investigates the multifaceted impact of classical political, intellectual, and aesthetic values on early 19th-century American culture through a close examination of some 225 representative objects from the period, including paintings, sculpture, furniture, silver, base metals, glass, ceramics, textiles, and printed materials. The text of the volume delves into the symbolic and material significance of classicism in American life, the adaptation of antique forms and motifs by American craftsmen and consumers, and the vernacularization of classicism. 9.5x12" Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781558593855
  • Publisher: Abbeville Press, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 7/1/1993
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 282
  • Product dimensions: 9.60 (w) x 11.79 (h) x 1.47 (d)

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