Transatlantic Romanticism: British and American Art and Literature, 1790-1860

Transatlantic Romanticism: British and American Art and Literature, 1790-1860


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That the Romantic movement was an international phenomenon is a commonplace, yet to date, historical study of the movement has tended to focus primarily on its national manifestations. This volume offers a new perspective. In thirteen chapters devoted to artists and writers of the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries, leading scholars of the period examine the international exchanges that were crucial for the rise of Romanticism in England and the United States.

In the book's introduction, Andrew Hemingway—building on the theoretical work of Michael Lowy and Robert Sayre—proposes that we need to remobilize the concept of Weltanschauung, or comprehensive worldview, in order to develop the kind of synthetic history of arts and ideas the phenomenon of Romanticism demands. The essays that follow focus on the London and New York art worlds and such key figures as Benjamin West, Thomas Bewick, John Vanderlyn, Washington Allston, John Martin, J. M. W. Turner, Thomas Cole, James Fenimore Cooper, George Catlin, Edgar Allan Poe, Harriet Beecher Stowe, and Herman Melville. Taken together, these essays plot the rise of a romantic anti-capitalist Weltanschauung as well as the dialectic between Romanticism's national and international manifestations.

In addition to the volume editors, contributors include Matthew Beaumont, David Bindman, Leo Costello, Nicholas Grindle, Wayne Franklin, Janet Koenig, William Pressly, Robert Sayre, William Truettner, Dell Upton, and William Vaughan.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781625341143
Publisher: University of Massachusetts Press
Publication date: 01/31/2015
Pages: 336
Product dimensions: 6.90(w) x 10.10(h) x 1.20(d)
Age Range: 18 Years

About the Author

Andrew Hemingway is professor emeritus of art history, University College London, and author of The Mysticism of Money: Precisionist Painting and Machine Age America.

Alan Wallach is professor emeritus of art and art history, The College of William and Mary, and author of Exhibiting Contradiction: Essays on the Art Museum in the United States (University of Massachusetts Press, 1998).

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments vii

Introduction: Capitalism, Nationalism, and the Romantic Weltanschauung Andrew Hemingway 1

I The City

1 "The pit of modern art": Practice and Ambition in the London Art World William Vaughan 29

2 The Urban Ecology of Art in Antebellum New York Dell Upton 49

3 Urban Convalescence in Lamb, Poe, and Baudelaire Matthew Beaumont 67

II History

4 Sublime and Fall: Benjamin West and the Politics of the Sublime in Early Nineteenth-Century Marylebone Nicholas Grindle 83

5 Benjamin West's Royal Chapel at Windsor: Who's in Charge, the Patron or the Painter? William Pressly 102

6 The Politics of Style: Allston's and Martins Belshazzars Compared Andrew Hemingway 122

7 James Fenimore Cooper and American Artists in Europe: Art, Religion, Politics Wayne Franklin 144

III Landscape

8 John Martin, Thomas Cole, and Deep Time David Bitidman 171

9 "Gorgeous, but altogether false": Turner, Cole, and Transatlantic Ideas of Decline Leo Costello 183

10 Thomas Cole and Transatlantic Romanticis Alan Wallach 206

IV Race

11 Picturing the Murder of Jane McCrea: A Critical Moment in Transatlantic Romanticism William H. Truettner 229

12 The Romantic Indian Commodined: Text and Image in George Catlin's Letters and Notes (1841) Robert Woods Sayre 259

13 Romantic Racialism and the Antislavery Novels of Stowe, Hildreth, and Melville Janet Koenig 285

Notes on Contributors 311

Index 315

Color plates follow page 182

What People are Saying About This

Brian Lukacher

A cogent and stimulating series of reflections on Anglo-American art and literature associated with the broad cultural category of Romanticism.

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