Stars and Stripes: Patriotic Themes in American Folk Art

Stars and Stripes: Patriotic Themes in American Folk Art

by Deborah Harding, Paul S. D'Ambrosio
     
 

As a burgeoning nation that had fought hard for its independence, late eighteenth-century America was quick to develop visual symbols to represent the newfound freedom and unity of its citizens - the flag representing the thirteen colonies, the American eagle, Lady Liberty. In Stars and Stripes: Patriotic Motifs in American Folk Art, author Deborah Harding finds these…  See more details below

Overview

As a burgeoning nation that had fought hard for its independence, late eighteenth-century America was quick to develop visual symbols to represent the newfound freedom and unity of its citizens - the flag representing the thirteen colonies, the American eagle, Lady Liberty. In Stars and Stripes: Patriotic Motifs in American Folk Art, author Deborah Harding finds these and other patriotic images decorating quilts and coverlets, whirligigs and weather vanes, game boards and fire buckets - almost no object that could be painted, stitched, or carved was spared embellishment with our country's colors or symbols. Harding examines these objects, from the minute to the monumental, the whimsical to the more sober, with an eye to both the artistic and historical significance of each piece. Among the items that her extensive research and archival work have unearthed include the flag, hand painted with the figure of Liberty, which was in Lincoln's booth the night he was assassinated and the coverlet crocheted by Grace Coolidge who wished to begin a tradition of First Ladies leaving a memento in the White House. This groundbreaking volume, the first to examine such a wide range of these early patriotic images, makes visual to the twenty-first-century reader our nation's earliest displays of pride and patriotism.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
American crafts and textiles expert Harding (Home Sweet Home) combed through museums, auction house, libraries and private collections to compile this impressive catalogue of folk art and objects featuring the signs and symbols of a nascent democracy. The images the artisans chose-the bald eagle, the white pine, Lady Liberty and, over and over again, the flag in all its incarnations-appear on decorations and household objects from quilts to storage boxes to weather vanes. They are "personalized expressions of a collective consciousness," proof that the values of a new nation were shared by its widely scattered citizens. For Americana buffs, Harding's volume is a treasure trove of information: for each of the 200 color photographs, she offers a historian's description of the subject. Wooden liberty caps, for instance, were often mounted on poles and carried in parades, just as they had been in the French Revolution. Harding also gives thumbnail biographies of famous carvers and brief histories of, for example, the U.S. seal and the folk art of firehouses. When confronted with all these examples of allegorical needlework, Hawaiian flag quilts, boldly stenciled stoneware and banner-emblazoned fire buckets, even readers who lack real patriotic enthusiasm will be moved to admit that we don't make 'em like we used to. (Nov.) Copyright 2003 Cahners Business Information.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780847824854
Publisher:
Rizzoli
Publication date:
12/28/2002
Pages:
256
Product dimensions:
10.60(w) x 10.90(h) x 1.08(d)

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