Framing America: A Social History of American Art

Framing America: A Social History of American Art

by Frances K. Pohl
     
 

ISBN-10: 0500237921

ISBN-13: 9780500237922

Pub. Date: 10/28/2002

Publisher: Thames & Hudson

For more than a generation, critics and scholars have been revising and expanding the customary definition of American art. A tradition once assumed to be mainly European and oriented toward painting and sculpture has been enriched by the inclusion of other media such as ceramics, needlework, and illustration, and the work of previously marginalized groups such as…  See more details below

Overview

For more than a generation, critics and scholars have been revising and expanding the customary definition of American art. A tradition once assumed to be mainly European and oriented toward painting and sculpture has been enriched by the inclusion of other media such as ceramics, needlework, and illustration, and the work of previously marginalized groups such as Native Americans, African Americans, Latinos, and Asian Americans. Now, in a brilliant combination of original scholarship and synthesis, Frances Pohl's Framing America provides the first comprehensive survey of this new, enlarged vision of American art.

Here are the many strands of North America's history and visual culture: the first contacts of the Spanish with the Aztecs and other Native Americans; the post-Revolutionary definition of nationhood; the visionary feeling for landscape and nature; the images of social and military conflict of the nineteenth century; and the tempering of the twentieth century's heady plunge into modernism by the Depression, World War II, the Cold War, and the culture wars.

Pohl's account is an adroitly inclusive fusion of many themes. Her discussion of the early definition of nationhood includes the traditional painters of the grand manner: West, Copley, Trumbull, and Stuart. But Stuart's portraits of George Washington, for instance, are also discussed in relation to portrayals of Washington in wood, marble, and embroidery, and the vogue for "mourning pictures" after Washington's death, which create a domestic counterpoint to the more institutional portrayals. Pohl's description of the great landscape tradition of Cole, Durand, and Church shows how the optimistic assertion of a sublime sense of the American nation was accompanied by a sense of loss as the nation expanded westward.

As our appreciation of the rich cultural diversity of American life has grown, our sense of American art—its sources, its motives, its possibilities—has also become more varied. Fresh and contemporary, Framing America embraces what our history can tell us about our art and what our art can tell us about our past and present. 665 illustrations, 337 in color.

Author Biography: Frances K. Pohl is Professor of Art History at Pomona College.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780500237922
Publisher:
Thames & Hudson
Publication date:
10/28/2002
Pages:
560
Product dimensions:
8.92(w) x 11.20(h) x 1.83(d)

Table of Contents

Preface9
1Art and Conquest13
The Spanish and the Aztecs16
The Northern Territories of New Spain22
France Bringing the Faith: the Northeast41
The Exploration of the Mississippi and Mississippian Culture49
A Protestant Presence in America54
The Art and Architecture of the Northern British and Dutch Colonies58
Products of the Needle and the Chisel66
Foreign Wars and Domestic Unrest69
2Defining America73
Representing the Revolution and Its Aftermath74
Presidential Poses: Images of George Washington83
Architectural Symbols of a New Nation93
An Architecture of Discipline98
Nationhood and Native Americans104
The Schooling of the Nation's Artists: Samuel F. B. Morse and the National Academy of Design112
The Entrepreneurial Spirit and the Production of American Culture118
3Nature and Nation129
Nature and the Sacred in Native American Art131
God, Nature, and the Rise of Landscape Painting134
Thomas Cole, Federalism, and The Course of Empire139
Edward Hicks and The Peaceable Kingdom144
Landscape Painting at Mid-Century: Frederic Edwin Church and the Luminists146
Native Americans as Nature152
Depicting the "Looks and Modes" of Native American Life155
Nature Transformed: Settling the Landscape163
Woman as Nature: The Nude, the Mother, and the Cook171
Nature Morte: Still Life and the Art of Deception175
4A Nation at War185
The War between the United States and Mexico186
Mexican Culture as American Culture191
Prelude to the Civil War: Representing African Americans and Slavery197
Race and the Civil War204
Images of Reconstruction211
Monuments to Freedom217
Native Americans in the Popular Press: Harper's Weekly and the Washita River Massacre224
Encyclopedias of Experience: Native American Ledger Art226
The End of the Ghost Dance232
The Hampton Institute and Lessons in American History236
5Work and Art Redefined239
One Hundred Years of Independence: Taking Stock of America at the 1876 Philadelphia Centennial Exhibition242
Images of Workers245
Celebrating the New Male Professionals: Portraits by Thomas Eakins252
The Female Body and the Rights of Women: the "Declaration of Sentiments" and Hiram Powers's The Greek Slave258
Domestic Culture and Cultural Production260
The Feminine Ideal and the Rise of Aestheticism269
Images of the Particular: Portraiture and "Trompe l'Oeil" Painting275
The Battle over Public Space282
The End of a Century: Art and Architecture and the World's Columbian Exposition288
6The Machine, the Primitive, and the Modern301
Realism and the Ashcan School304
Modernism and the Avant-Garde317
World War I and the Art of Reproduction322
Modernism, Gender, and Sexuality327
Escape to Mexico337
Mexico in America: Imaging the American Southwest343
The Harlem Renaissance350
7Art for the People, Art Against Fascism363
A New Deal for Art365
Modernist Architecture, Domestic Design, and Planned Communities378
Alternative Visions: Urban Life and the Industrial Worker381
Alternative Visions: The Corporate View of Industrial America391
Alternative Visions: Women at Work in the City399
Alternative Visions: Rural America404
Art Against Fascism: The Popular Front and the American Artists' Congress413
The War at Home: Japanese American Internment and American Patriotism416
Social Surrealism, Abstraction, and Democracy419
8From Cold War to Culture Wars429
Gestures of Liberation: Abstract Art as the New American Art432
Pastiche and Parody: Another Take on the Real445
Minimal Forms456
Popular Art, Pop Art, and Consumer Culture464
An Art of Protest: The Civil Rights Movement and the Vietnam War473
The Personal is Political: Feminist Art of the 1970s483
Public Art and Public Interest491
Is Less More? Re-evaluating Modernism in Architecture496
Postmodernism and Art502
The Culture Wars512
Timeline521
Bibliography526
Websites541
Acknowledgments for Illustrations542
Index546

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