Landscape in American Guides and View Books: Visual History of Touring and Travel

Overview

Landscape in American Guides and View Books: Visual History of Touring and Travel is vested in the American relationship to landscape and the role guidebooks and view books played in touring and travel experiences, including immigration. Early in the history of the republic, the relationship to landscape turns visual, that is, landscapes inspire artistic responses in the form of written descriptions and visual representations. The predominant element is the scene. From the 1820s on scenic thinking, within an ...

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Landscape in American Guides and View Books: Visual History of Touring and Travel

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Overview

Landscape in American Guides and View Books: Visual History of Touring and Travel is vested in the American relationship to landscape and the role guidebooks and view books played in touring and travel experiences, including immigration. Early in the history of the republic, the relationship to landscape turns visual, that is, landscapes inspire artistic responses in the form of written descriptions and visual representations. The predominant element is the scene. From the 1820s on scenic thinking, within an emerging industrial economy, characterizes a major cultural and social development. As immigration increases, within the country and from abroad, publishers and trade groups create souvenir guidebooks and view books to facilitate the movement of people, and to encourage economic expansion and tourism.

Guide and view book analysis centers on pictures of landscape transformations and includes the cultural basis of scenes changing from pastoral and picturesque expressions to the documentation of managed views. The general acceptance of managed views as replacements for romantic ones illustrates a commitment to landscapes that denote utility and the influence of commercial and industrial urban centers on American life. Guidebook and view book imagery, composed of durable schemas, promotes visual thinking across social classes and time. The primary medium for souvenirs is the photograph, which printing methods, like photolithography, transform into printed products.
The visual history of touring and travel is part of America’s first visual culture, as well as the social formation of landscape, the emergence of a collective vision among souvenir producers and consumers, and the role visual information plays in landscape commentary, which is the literary context for printed souvenirs.

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Editorial Reviews

Richard Gassan
In an unique collection, Herbert Gottfried has brought together a remarkable range of mid- and late-nineteenth century American tourist guidebooks. Told with an incisive gaze, Gottfried's work is a groundbreaking study of a little-known but important aspect of American publishing that brings important insights to American cultural history
D. Fairchild Ruggles
In this fascinating and meticulously researched study—a guide to the guidebook—Gottfried shows that tourism in the U.S. matured in a period when an interconnected apparatus of railways, hotels, travel-oriented entrepreneurialism, souvenirs and guidebooks developed to facilitate travel. With books in particular to prepare the travelers prior to departure, the landscape was not seen innocently but through eyes that had already been rhetorically and pictorially influenced. Landscape and the American Guidebook provides insight into the touristic experience, into the guidebooks and viewbooks that actively sought to produce the tourist’s attitudes toward the world encountered, and ultimately into American visual culture. A nuanced and thoughtful study of landscape as form, text, and image.
CHOICE
This well-written narrative examines historical images in tourism, particularly guidebooks, view books, and postcards. Gottfried (emer., landscape architecture, Cornell) describes historical tourism-related visual images and offers a semiotic assessment of their meanings and messages. He covers a wide range of topics of considerable interest to historians, geographers, and other scholars interested in the evolutions and meanings of places, tourism's role in these changes, and how these transformations play out in photographic or drawn representations. The work is cloaked in a US-centric exploration of the heritage of tourism's material culture without regard for its larger global context, but this is made clear in the title. With photographic and drawn images as the data source, the author illuminates several very important areas of debate in the current tourism literature, including the evolution of US cultural landscapes, regional identity as portrayed in tourism images, and travelers' search for authentic places and experiences. Gottfried's treatment of three elements of tourism material culture that are decreasing in relevance today with advances in technology and virtual communications—view books, postcards, and guidebooks—is needed to help preserve the history of this element of the visual material culture of tourism. Summing Up: Recommended.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781498500159
  • Publisher: Lexington Books
  • Publication date: 7/25/2014
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 158
  • Product dimensions: 6.08 (w) x 8.97 (h) x 0.51 (d)

Meet the Author

Herbert Gottfried is professor emeritus in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at Cornell University.

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Table of Contents

Introduction
Chapter 1. The Guidebook and the View Book
Chapter 2. The Origin and Consequences of Pictorial and Scenic Thinking
Chapter 3. The Rise of Collective Thinking and Landscape Formation
Chapter 4. Landscape Commentary
Notes
Bibliography

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