America in Class from the National Humanities Center
Ralph H. Wark Professor of Art and Art History, Emeritus, The College of William & Mary
About the Seminar
What cultural forces transformed “wilderness” into “landscape” in early nineteenth century America? In what ways did nineteenth century landscape painters define American identity? How did their work reflect and critique the life of the nation as it became more democratic and industrial, but also as it suffered the divisions that led to the Civil War? This seminar will explore these and related questions by tracing the trajectory of American landscape painting from the 1820s through the 1870s. It will consider the beginnings of the Hudson River School in the work of Thomas Cole, explore its zenith in the works of Asher B. Durand, Frederic Church, Albert Bierstadt, and the artists today known as “Luminists,” and examine the reasons for the school’s decline in the 1870s.
K-12 educators register for free. Use promotional codeMRNA.
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