Looking Askance: Skepticism and American Art from Eakins to Duchamp / Edition 1

Looking Askance: Skepticism and American Art from Eakins to Duchamp / Edition 1

by Michael Leja
     
 

ISBN-10: 0520249968

ISBN-13: 9780520249967

Pub. Date: 03/28/2007

Publisher: University of California Press

It seeing ever really was a reason for believing, it surely was not in New York around 1900. The rift between appearances and truth was widening: deceptive images flourished in advertising and mass media; science contradicted unaided vision; the spirit world gained credibility; and hucksters, frauds, and hoaxes proliferated. In Looking Askance, Michael Leja conducts a…  See more details below

Overview

It seeing ever really was a reason for believing, it surely was not in New York around 1900. The rift between appearances and truth was widening: deceptive images flourished in advertising and mass media; science contradicted unaided vision; the spirit world gained credibility; and hucksters, frauds, and hoaxes proliferated. In Looking Askance, Michael Leja conducts a dazzling tour from fine art to mass culture and back again to chart the emergence of a new skepticism about seeing and to assess the roles played by the visual arts, both fine and commercial, in this cultural transformation. A lively exploration of the relationship between modern art, truth, and deception, Looking Askance offers a new paradigm for understanding American visual culture, from the art of Thomas Eakins, William Harnett, and Marcel Duchamp to such fascinating historical episodes as the trial of spirit photographer William Mumler, scientist Helen Abbott's interpretation of Monet's Impressionism, the myriad illusions featured at the Buffalo World's Fair of 1901, and William James's analysis of automatic drawing. Leja traces the roots of skeptical seeing in the culture of modernity and in national values of entrepreneurship, invention, competition, and unregulated marketing. This original and provocative book shows how "looking askance" has shaped American visual culture from the mid-nineteenth century to our own time.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780520249967
Publisher:
University of California Press
Publication date:
03/28/2007
Edition description:
1ST
Pages:
333
Product dimensions:
7.00(w) x 10.00(h) x 0.88(d)

Table of Contents

Introduction : looking askance1
Ch. 1Mumler's fraudulent photographs21
Ch. 2Eakins's reality effects59
Ch. 3Impressionism and nature's deceptions93
Ch. 4Touching pictures by William Harnett125
Ch. 5Buffalo's illusions153
Ch. 6The self's deceptions185
Ch. 7Humbugs for highbrows : Duchamp's readymades in New York221

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