Like the ancient Roman Pantheon, the U.S. Capitol was designed by its political and aesthetic arbiters to memorialize the virtues, events, and persons most representative of the nation's ideals—an attempt to raise a particular version of the nation's founding to the level of myth.
American Pantheon examines the influences upon not only those virtues and persons selected for inclusion in the American pantheon, but also those excluded. Two chapters address the exclusion of slavery and African Americans from the art in the Capitol, a silence made all the more deafening by the major contributions of slaves and free black workers to the construction of the building. Two other authors consider the subject of women emerging as artists, subjects, patrons, and proponents of art in the Capitol, a development that began to emerge only in the second half of the nineteenth century.
The Rotunda, the Capitol's principal ceremonial space, was designed in part as an art museum of American history—at least the authorized version of it. It is explored in several of the essays, including discussions of the influence of the early-nineteenth-century Italian sculptors who provided the first sculptural reliefs for the room and the contributions of the mid-nineteenth-century Italian American artist Constantino Brumidi, to the mix of allegory, mythology, and history that permeates the space and indeed the Capitol itself.
The New York City subway, considered an engineering feat and a work of art, has kindled the imagination of millions. Art and the Subway explores artistic production surrounding the world's most famous public transportation system, from just before its opening in 1904 to the present day. Using a stunning array of images, Tracy Fitzpatrick offers perspectives on ways in which the subway has been used as a subject about which to make art, as a site within which to make art, and as a canvas upon which to make art.
Fitzpatrick captures the emotions of artists and riders alike, as she explores paintings, photographs, performance art, graffiti, and public art by artists such as Walker Evans, Bruce Davidson, DONDI, Keith Haring, Yayoi Kusama, Jacob Lawrence, Reginald Marsh, Elizabeth Murray, and many others. She also considers representations of the subway in film, on song sheet covers, and in illustration. By examining the cultural, technological, and social contexts for these creative interpretations, Fitzpatrick illuminates in fresh ways the contradictions and harmonies between public and private space.
Featuring 17 color plates and 80 black-and-white images, Art and the Subway takes readers on a fascinating ride through the visual history of one of the twentieth century's greatest urban planning endeavors as it grew, changed form, and reinvented itself with passion and vitality.
Once the manufacturing powerhouse of the nation, Detroit has become emblematic of failing cities everywhere—the paradigmatic city of ruins—and the epicenter of an explosive growth in images of urban decay. In Beautiful Terrible Ruins, art historian Dora Apel explores a wide array of these images, ranging from photography, advertising, and television, to documentaries, video games, and zombie and disaster films.
Apel shows how Detroit has become pivotal to an expanding network of ruin imagery, imagery ultimately driven by a pervasive and growing cultural pessimism, a loss of faith in progress, and a deepening fear that worse times are coming. The images of Detroit’s decay speak to the overarching anxieties of our era: increasing poverty, declining wages and social services, inadequate health care, unemployment, homelessness, and ecological disaster—in short, the failure of capitalism. Apel reveals how, through the aesthetic distancing of representation, the haunted beauty and fascination of ruin imagery, embodied by Detroit’s abandoned downtown skyscrapers, empty urban spaces, decaying factories, and derelict neighborhoods help us to cope with our fears. But Apel warns that these images, while pleasurable, have little explanatory power, lulling us into seeing Detroit’s deterioration as either inevitable or the city’s own fault, and absolving the real agents of decline—corporate disinvestment and globalization. Beautiful Terrible Ruins helps us understand the ways that the pleasure and the horror of urban decay hold us in thrall.
City of the Soul critically examines how an international cast of visitors fashioned Rome’s image, visual and literary, in the century between 1770 and 1870—from the era of the Grand Tour to the onset of mass tourism. The Eternal City emerges not only as an intensely physical place but also as a romantic idea onto which artists and writers projected their own imaginations and longings. The book will appeal to a wide audience of readers interested in the history of art, architecture, and photography, the Romantic poets, and other writers from Byron to Henry James. It will also attract the interest of historians of urbanism, landscape, and Italy. Nonspecialists and armchair travelers will enjoy the diverse literary and artistic responses to Rome.
In the 1970s, Manhattan’s west side waterfront was a forgotten zone of abandoned warehouses and piers. Though many saw only blight, the derelict neighborhood was alive with queer people forging new intimacies through cruising. Alongside the piers’ sexual and social worlds, artists produced work attesting to the radical transformations taking place in New York. Artist and writer David Wojnarowicz was right in the heart of it, documenting his experiences in journal entries, poems, photographs, films, and large-scale, site-specific projects. In Cruising the Dead River, Fiona Anderson draws on Wojnarowicz’s work to explore the key role the abandoned landscape played in this explosion of queer culture. Anderson examines how the riverfront’s ruined buildings assumed a powerful erotic role and gave the area a distinct identity. By telling the story of the piers as gentrification swept New York and before the AIDS crisis, Anderson unearths the buried histories of violence, regeneration, and LGBTQ activism that developed in and around the cruising scene.
Where did humanity get the idea that outer space is a frontier waiting to be explored? Destined for the Stars unravels the popularization of the science of space exploration in America between 1944 and 1955, arguing that the success of the US space program was due not to technological or economic superiority, but was sustained by a culture that had long believed it was called by God to settle new frontiers and prepare for the inevitable end of time and God’s final judgment. Religious forces, Newell finds, were in no small way responsible for the crescendo of support for and interest in space exploration in the early 1950s, well before Project Mercury—the United States’ first human spaceflight program—began in 1959.
In this remarkable history, Newell explores the connection between the art of Chesley Bonestell—the father of modern space art whose paintings drew inspiration from depictions of the American West—and the popularity of that art in Cold War America; Bonestell’s working partnership with science writer and rocket expert Willy Ley; and Ley and Bonestell’s relationship with Wernher von Braun, father of both the V-2 missile and the Saturn V rocket, whose millennial conviction that God wanted humankind to leave Earth and explore other planets animated his life’s work. Together, they inspired a technological and scientific faith that awoke a deep-seated belief in a sense of divine destiny to reach the heavens. The origins of their quest, Newell concludes, had less to do with the Cold War strife commonly associated with the space race and everything to do with the religious culture that contributed to the invention of space as the final frontier.
Herndon Davis, an artist and journalist, dedicated his life to depicting the major landmarks and personalities of Colorado in watercolor, oil, and pen and pencil. Best known for the Face on the Barroom Floor, the portrait of an alluring woman on the floor of the Teller House Hotel barroom in Central City, Colorado, Davis was a prolific artist whose murals, sketches, and portraits can be found all over the state, from the Sage Room of the Oxford Hotel on Seventeenth Street to the Denver Press Club poker room. Despite his numerous contributions, his work was never showcased or exhibited in the traditional manner.
In this biography and first-ever collection featuring most of his life’s work, authors Craig Leavitt and Thomas J. Noel provide a detailed look into Davis’s life and career and include a catalog of almost 200 photographs of his work from Colorado and around the country. They also put his work into the broader context of the time through comparison with such contemporary Colorado artists as Muriel Sibell Wolle, Allen Tupper True, Charles Waldo Love, and Juan Menchaca.
Published to coincide with the Denver Public Library’s 2016 exhibition—the only public display of Davis’s work to date—and bringing deserved attention to this overlooked figure, Herndon Davis: Painting Colorado History, 1901-1962 is an important contribution to Colorado’s cultural history.
This book and the accompanying exhibit are sponsored by the Western History/Genealogy Department at the Denver Public Library. Publication originated and supported in part by Diane B. Wunnike.
Icon and Devotion offers the first extensive presentation in English of the making and meaning of Russian icons. The craft of icon-making is set into the context of forms of worship that emerged in the Russian Orthodox Church in the mid-seventeenth century. Oleg Tarasov shows how icons have held a special place in Russian consciousness because they represented idealized images of Holy Russia. He also looks closely at how and why icons were made. Wonder-working saints and the leaders of such religious schisms as the Old Believers appear in these pages, which are illustrated with miniature paintings, lithographs and engravings never before published in the English-speaking world.
By tracing the artistic vocabulary, techniques and working methods of icon painters, Tarasov shows how icons have been integral to the history of Russian art, influenced by folk and mainstream currents alike. As well as articulating the specifically Russian piety they invoke, he analyzes the significance of icons in the cultural life of modern Russia in the context of popular prints and poster design.
The Iron Curtain did not exist—at least not as we usually imagine it. Rather than a stark, unbroken line dividing East and West in Cold War Europe, the Iron Curtain was instead made up of distinct landscapes, many in the grip of divergent historical and cultural forces for decades, if not centuries. This book traces a genealogy of one such landscape—the woods between Czechoslovakia and West Germany—to debunk our misconceptions about the iconic partition.
Yuliya Komska transports readers to the western edge of the Bohemian Forest, one of Europe’s oldest borderlands, where in the 1950s civilians set out to shape the so-called prayer wall. A chain of new and repurposed pilgrimage sites, lookout towers, and monuments, the prayer wall placed two long-standing German obsessions, forest and border, at the heart of the century’s most protracted conflict. Komska illustrates how civilians used the prayer wall to engage with and contribute to the new political and religious landscape. In the process, she relates West Germany’s quiet sylvan periphery to the tragic pitch prevalent along the Iron Curtain’s better-known segments.
Steeped in archival research and rooted in nuanced interpretations of wide-ranging cultural artifacts, from vandalized religious images and tourist snapshots to poems and travelogues, The Icon Curtain pushes disciplinary boundaries and opens new perspectives on the study of borders and the Cold War alike.
The City of Light. For many, these four words instantly conjure late nineteenth-century Paris and the garish colors of Toulouse-Lautrec’s iconic posters. More recently, the Eiffel Tower’s nightly show of sparkling electric lights has come to exemplify our fantasies of Parisian nightlife. Though we reflect longingly on such scenes, in Illuminated Paris, Hollis Clayson shows that there’s more to these clichés than meets the eye. In this richly illustrated book, she traces the dramatic evolution of lighting in Paris and how artists responded to the shifting visual and cultural scenes that resulted from these technologies. While older gas lighting produced a haze of orange, new electric lighting was hardly an improvement: the glare of experimental arc lights—themselves dangerous—left figures looking pale and ghoulish. As Clayson shows, artists’ representations of these new colors and shapes reveal turn-of-the-century concerns about modernization as electric lighting came to represent the harsh glare of rapidly accelerating social change. At the same time, in part thanks to American artists visiting the city, these works of art also produced our enduring romantic view of Parisian glamour and its Belle Époque.
Before he joined the staff of Punch and designed its iconic front cover, illustrator Richard “Dicky” Doyle was a young man whose father (political caricaturist John Doyle) charged him with sending a weekly letter, even though they lived under the same roof. This volume collects the fifty-three illustrated missives in their entirety for the first time and provides an uncommon peek into the intimate but expansive observations of a precocious social commentator and artist.
In a series of vivid manuscript canvases, Doyle observes Victorian customs and society. He visits operas, plays, and parades. He watches the queen visiting the House of Commons and witnesses the state funeral of the Duke of Sussex. He is caught up in the Chartist riots of August 1842 and is robbed during one of the melees. And he provides countless illustrations of ordinary people strolling in the streets and swarming the parks and picture galleries of the metropolis. The sketches offer a fresh perspective on major social and cultural events of London during the early 1840s by a keen observer not yet twenty years old.
Doyle’s epistles anticipate the modern comic strip and the graphic novel, especially in their experimentation with sequential narrative and their ingenious use of space. The letters are accompanied by a full biographical and critical introduction with new material about Doyle’s life.
The mighty Hoover Dam, starting as a dream of land developers and farmers, became the most ambitious civil engineering project of the Great Depression. This landmark in the middle of the Mojave Desert, holding back the largest man-made lake in America, also became, like Mount Rushmore or the Empire State Building, a visual and cultural icon. The power and meanings of this icon came not through a single image but via myriad visual representations, in government propaganda, advertising, journalism, and art. Even before it was built, these images were used to shape the public’s perception of the project and frame the dam as the linchpin to an expanding American economic empire in the desert Southwest.
Anthony F. Arrigo has researched a wide array of primary sources and archival materials to trace the project from its earliest representations in illustrations to the documentary photography of its construction and later depictions of the structure in commercial promotions, fine art photography, and paintings. Analyzing Hoover Dam through the trajectory of imagery across several decades, rather than the narrative of its construction, illuminates the underlying cultural and ecological imperatives in the drive to build it, including the influence of religious doctrine and the American agrarian movement. Arrigo also discusses various portrayals of laborers, women, minority groups, nature, and technology in this imagery. In time, the visual icon of power and domination was commercialized to sell cars, vacations, and more.
Imaging Hoover Dam is an important work in both visual rhetoric and cultural studies. It will also intrigue readers interested in such varied topics as the history of the American Southwest, the Great Depression and the New Deal, social and environmental issues, and American popular culture.
In Insurgent Aesthetics Ronak K. Kapadia theorizes the world-making power of contemporary art responses to US militarism in the Greater Middle East. He traces how new forms of remote killing, torture, confinement, and surveillance have created a distinctive post-9/11 infrastructure of racialized state violence. Linking these new forms of violence to the history of American imperialism and conquest, Kapadia shows how Arab, Muslim, and South Asian diasporic multimedia artists force a reckoning with the US war on terror's violent destruction and its impacts on immigrant and refugee communities. Drawing on an eclectic range of visual, installation, and performance works, Kapadia reveals queer feminist decolonial critiques of the US security state that visualize subjugated histories of US militarism and make palpable what he terms “the sensorial life of empire.” In this way, these artists forge new aesthetic and social alliances that sustain critical opposition to the global war machine and create alternative ways of knowing and feeling beyond the forever war.
A personal and cultural mediation, Philip D. Beidler’s The Island Called Paradise explores the fascinating ways Cuban history and culture have permeated North American consciousness, and vice versa.
In The Island Called Paradise, Philip D. Beidler shares his personal discovery of the vast, rich, and astonishing history of the island of Cuba and the interrelatedness of Cuba and the US.
Cuba first entered Beidler’s consciousness in the early 1960s when he watched with mesmerized anxiety the televised reports of the Cuban missile crisis, a conflict that reduced a multifaceted, centuries-old history between North America and Cuba to the stark duotones of Cold War politics. Fifty years later, when Beidler traveled to the US’s island neighbor, he found a Cuba unlike the nation portrayed in truculent political rhetoric or in the easy preconceptions of US popular culture. Instead he found an entrancing people and landscape with deep historical connections to the US and a dazzling culture that overwhelmed his creative spirit.
In twelve original essays, Beidler reintroduces to English-speaking readers many of the central figures, both real and literary, of Cuban and Cuban-American history. Meet Cecilia Valdés, the young mixed-race heroine of a 1839 novel that takes readers to the poor streets and sumptuous salons of Spanish colonial Cuba, and Narciso López, a real-life Venezuelan adventurer and filibustero who attempted to foment a Cuban uprising against Spain. Both would have been familiar figures to nineteenth-century Americans. Beidler also visits the twentieth-century lives of “the two Ernestos” (Ernest Hemingway and Che Guevara), and the pop-culture Cuban icon Ricky Ricardo.
A country not with one history but multiple layers of history, Cuba becomes a fertile island for Beidler’s exploration. Art, he argues, perpetually crosses walls erected by politics, history, and nationality. At its core, The Island Called Paradise renews and refreshes our knowledge of an older Atlantic world even as we begin to envision a future in which the old bonds between our nations may be restored.
During the nineteenth century, Americans celebrated their towns and cities through printed landscapes. In Maine, lithographs were commissioned from such leading artists as Fitz Henry Lane and talented, lesser known local artists, such as Esteria Butler. This book reproduces many of these works and provides insights into how these growing centers of commerce and industry viewed themselves and wished to be viewed by others.
It’s the perfect book for those who love Maine, both full-time residents and those who make it a beloved summer destination.
Published in association with the Bowdoin College Museum of Art on the occasion of the bicentennial of Maine statehood.
Unique among mission churches of the northern borderlands of colonial Mexico for its ornate architecture and rich iconography, San Xavier del Bac south of Tucson is a pilgrimage destination for countless devotees and tourists. Passing through the façade entry to stand in the nave, one is dazzled by the transept and sanctuary altarpieces of sculpture niches and baroque pilasters, as well as the expanse of the frescoed ceiling.
This book is the first study of the iconography at San Xavier since its restoration in the 1990s by an international team of professional conservators. It expands our understanding of the numerous Catholic images and emblems of San Xavier through a close analysis of the newly revealed iconographic elements and an interpretation of the significance of their placement. It also proposes that the selection of specific religious themes and their locations was determined by an unfamiliar convention based on a tree-like design, in which the founder of a religious Order appears as the root and followers above in later branchings—an inversion of the more familiar top-to-bottom hierarchy.
Historians Lange and Ahlborn identify all the saintly images and religious elements that adorn San Xavier and suggest how and why they are so arranged. They examine the sculptures and paintings of the church from the façade throughout the cruciform interior in order to determine the organizational concepts that underlie their placement. They note that the selection of images in this Franciscan mission follows traditional Roman Catholic practice for decorating churches in order to instruct novices and reinforce the teaching of conversion in a pictographic catechism of Church doctrine. In short, the book is a dictionary of religious personages and symbols that will help the visitor identify the biblical stories and people portrayed, as well as associated signs and symbols. Entries include a description of the subject, its location, appropriate cross-references, and a bibliography. Recent illustrations by photographer Helga Teiwes and a floor plan facilitate the location of images by visitors.
A handsome, large-format book featuring more than one hundred photographs and supporting line illustrations, Lange and Ahlborn’s work confirms the significance of San Xavier’s iconography for art historians, students of religion, and visitors alike. It is both an incomparable guide and valuable reference source for the famed mission’s magnificent artistic heritage.
The Moon is at once a face with a thousand expressions and the archetypal planet. Throughout history it has been gazed upon by people of every culture in every walk of life. From early perceptions of the Moon as an abode of divine forces, humanity has in turn accepted the mathematized Moon of the Greeks, the naturalistic lunar portrait of Jan van Eyck, and the telescopic view of Galileo. Scott Montgomery has produced a richly detailed analysis of how the Moon has been visualized in Western culture through the ages, revealing the faces it has presented to philosophers, writers, artists, and scientists for nearly three millennia. To do this, he has drawn on a wide array of sources that illustrate mankind's changing concept of the nature and significance of heavenly bodies from classical antiquity to the dawn of modern science. Montgomery especially focuses on the seventeenth century, when the Moon was first mapped and its features named. From literary explorations such as Francis Godwin's Man in the Moone and Cyrano de Bergerac's L'autre monde to Michael Van Langren's textual lunar map and Giambattista Riccioli's Almagestum novum, he shows how Renaissance man was moved by the lunar orb, how he battled to claim its surface, and how he in turn elevated the Moon to a new level in human awareness. The effect on human imagination has been cumulative: our idea of the Moon, and therefore the planets, is multilayered and complex, having been enriched by associations played out in increasingly complicated harmonies over time. We have shifted the way we think about the lunar face from a "perfect" body to an earthlike one, with corresponding changes in verbal and visual expression. Ultimately, Montgomery suggests, our concept of the Moon has never wandered too far from the world we know best—the Earth itself. And when we finally establish lunar bases and take up some form of residence on the Moon's surface, we will not be conquering a New World, fresh and mostly unknown, but a much older one, ripe with history.
“Nobody who has not taken one can imagine the beauty of a walk through Rome by full moon,” wrote Goethe in 1787. Sadly, the imagination is all we have today: in Rome, as in every other modern city, moonlight has been banished, replaced by the twenty-four-hour glow of streetlights in a world that never sleeps. Moonlight, for most of us, is no more.
So James Attlee set out to find it. Nocturne is the record of that journey, a traveler’s tale that takes readers on a dazzling nighttime trek that ranges across continents, from prehistory to the present, and through both the physical world and the realms of art and literature. Attlee attends a Buddhist full-moon ceremony in Japan, meets a moon jellyfish on a beach in Northern France, takes a moonlit hike in the Arizona desert, and experiences a lunar eclipse on New Year’s Eve atop the snowbound Welsh hills. Each locale is illuminated not just by the moonlight he seeks, but by the culture and history that define it. We learn about Mussolini’s pathological fear of moonlight; trace the connections between Caspar David Friedrich, Rudolf Hess, and the Apollo space mission; and meet the inventors of the Moonlight Collector in the American desert, who aim to cure all kinds of ailments with concentrated lunar rays. Svevo and Blake, Whistler and Hokusai, Li Po and Marinetti are all enlisted, as foils, friends, or fellow travelers, on Attlee’s journey.
Pulled by the moon like the tide, Attlee is firmly in a tradition of wandering pilgrims that stretches from Basho to Sebald; like them, he presents our familiar world anew.
This reflection on colonial culture argues for an examination of “Indochina” as a fictive and mythic construct, a phantasmatic legacy of French colonialism in Southeast Asia. Panivong Norindr uses postcolonial theory to demonstrate how French imperialism manifests itself not only through physical domination of geographic entities, but also through the colonization of the imaginary. In this careful reading of architecture, film, and literature, Norindr lays bare the processes of fantasy, desire, and nostalgia constituent of French territorial aggression against Indochina. Analyzing the first Exposition Coloniale Internationale, held in Paris in 1931, Norindr shows how the exhibition’s display of architecture gave a vision to the colonies that justified France’s cultural prejudices, while stimulating the desire for further expansionism. He critiques the Surrealist counter-exposition mounted to oppose the imperialist aims of the Exposition Coloniale, and the Surrealist incorporation and appropriation of native artifacts in avant-garde works. According to Norindr, all serious attempts at interrogating French colonial involvement in Southeast Asia are threatened by discourse, images, representations, and myths that perpetuate the luminous aura of Indochina as a place of erotic fantasies and exotic adventures. Exploring the resilience of French nostalgia for Indochina in books and movies, the author examines work by Malraux, Duras, and Claudel, and the films Indochine, The Lover, and Dien Bien Phu. Certain to impact across a range of disciplines, PhantasmaticIndochina will be of interest to those engaged in the study of the culture and history of Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand, and Laos, as well as specialists in the fields of French modernism, postcolonial studies, cultural studies, and comparative literature.
This study of colonialism and art examines the intersection of visual culture and political power in late-eighteenth-century British painting. Focusing on paintings from British America, the West Indies, and India, Beth Fowkes Tobin investigates the role of art in creating and maintaining imperial ideologies and practices—as well as in resisting and complicating them. Informed by the varied perspectives of postcolonial theory, Tobin explores through close readings of colonial artwork the dynamic middle ground in which cultures meet. Linking specific colonial sites with larger patterns of imperial practice and policy, she examines paintings by William Hogarth, Benjamin West, Gilbert Stuart, Arthur William Devis, and Agostino Brunias, among others. These works include portraits of colonial officials, conversation pieces of British families and their servants, portraits of Native Americans and Anglo-Indians, and botanical illustrations produced by Calcutta artists for officials of the British Botanic Gardens. In addition to examining the strategies that colonizers employed to dominate and define their subjects, Tobin uncovers the tactics of negotiation, accommodation, and resistance that make up the colonized’s response to imperial authority. By focusing on the paintings’ cultural and political engagement with imperialism, she accounts for their ideological power and visual effect while arguing for their significance as agents in the colonial project. Pointing to the complexity, variety, and contradiction within colonial art, Picturing Imperial Power contributes to an understanding of colonialism as a collection of social, economic, political, and epistemological practices that were not monolithic and inevitable, but contradictory and contingent on various historical forces. It will interest students and scholars of colonialism, imperial history, postcolonial history, art history and theory, and cultural studies.
In eight brilliant essays, Fox explores many of the major playas of the American West , examining locations as diverse as Nellis Air Force Base and Frenchman Flat, where the federal government has tested experimental aircraft and atomic weaponry; the Great Salt Lake Desert, where land-speed records have been broken; and the Black Rock Desert of Northern Nevada, site of the colorful Burning Man arts festival. He analyzes the geological and climatological conditions that created the playas and the historical role that playas played in the exploration and settlement of the West. And he offers lucid and keenly perceptive discussions of the ways that artists have responded to the playas, from the ancient makers of geoglyphs to the work of contemporary artists who have found inspiration in these enigmatic spaces, including earthworks builder Michael Heizer, photographer Richard Misrach, and painter Michael Moore. The ensemble is a compelling combination of natural history, philosophy, and art criticism, a thoughtful meditation on humankind's aversion to and fascination with the void.
In Punctuations Michael J. Shapiro examines how punctuation—conceived not as a series of marks but as a metaphor for the ways in which artists engage with intelligibility—opens pathways for thinking through the possibilities for oppositional politics. Drawing on Theodor Adorno, Alain Robbe-Grillet, and Roland Barthes, Shapiro demonstrates how punctuation's capacity to create unexpected rhythmic pacing makes it an ideal tool for writers, musicians, filmmakers, and artists to challenge structures of power. In works ranging from film scores and jazz compositions to literature, architecture, and photography, Shapiro shows how the use of punctuation reveals the contestability of dominant narratives in ways that prompt readers, viewers, and listeners to reflect on their acceptance of those narratives. Such uses of punctuation, he theorizes, offer models for disrupting structures of authority, thereby fostering the creation of alternative communities of sense from which to base political mobilization.
From the Mississippi west to the Pacific, from border to border north and south, here is the first thorough overview of novelists, historians, and artists of the modern American West. Examining a full century of cultural-intellectual forces at work, a leading authority on the twentieth-century West brings his formidable talents to bear in this pioneering study. Richard W. Etulain divides his book into three major sections. He begins with the period from the 1890s to the 1920s, when artists and authors were inventing an idealized frontier--especially one depicting initial contacts and conflicts with new landscapes and new peoples. The second section covers the regionalists, who focused on regional (mostly geographical) characteristics that shaped distinctively "western" traits of character and institutions. The book concludes with a discussion of the postregional West from World War II to the ’90s, a period when novelists, historians, and artists stressed ethnicity, gender, and a new environmentalism as powerful forces in the formation of modern western society and culture. Etulain casts a wide net in his new study.
He discusses novelists from Jack London to John Steinbeck and on to Joan Didion. He covers historians from Frederick Jackson Turner to Earl Pomeroy and Patricia Nelson Limerick, and artists from Frederic Remington and Charles Russell to Georgia O’Keeffe and R. C. Gorman. The author places emphasis on women painters and authors such as Mary Hallock Foote, Mary Austin, Willa Cather, and Judith Baca. He also stresses important works of ethnic writers including Leslie Marmon Silko, Rudolfo Anaya, and Amy Tan. An intriguing survey of tendencies and trends and a well-defined profile of influences and outgrowths, this book will be valuable to students and scholars of western culture and history, American studies, and related disciplines. General readers will appreciate the book’s balanced structure and spirited writing style. All readers, whatever their level of interest, will discover the major cultural inventions of the American West over the past one hundred years.
How did Europeans three centuries apart respond to two mysterious beasts—a living rhinoceros previously known only from ancient texts and a nameless monster’s massive bones? Juan Pimentel shows that their reactions reflect deep cultural changes but also the enduring power of image and imagination to shape our understanding of the natural world.
Featuring essays by twelve prominent American literature scholars, Roman Holidaysexplores the tradition of American travel to Italy and makes a significant contribution to the understanding of nineteenth-century American encounters with Italian culture and, more specifically, with Rome.
The increase in American travel to Italy during the nineteenth century was partly a product of improved conditions of travel. As suggested in the title, Italy served nineteenth-century writers and artists as a kind of laboratory site for encountering Others and “other” kinds of experience. No doubt Italy offered a place of holiday—a momentary escape from the familiar—but the journey to Rome, a place urging upon the visitor a new and more complex sense of history, also forced a reexamination of oneself and one's identity. Writers and artists found their religious, political, and sexual assumptions challenged.
Nathaniel Hawthorne's The Marble Faun has a prominent place in this collection: as Henry James commented in his study of Hawthorne, the book was “part of the intellectual equipment of the Anglo-Saxon visitor to Rome.” The essayists also examine works by James, Fuller, Melville, Douglass, Howells, and other writers as well as such sculptors as Hiram Powers, William Wetmore Story, and Harriet Hosmer.
Bringing contemporary concerns about gender, race, and class to bear upon nineteenth-century texts, Roman Holidays is an especially timely contribution to nineteenth-century American studies.
The raised-arm salute was the most popular symbol of Fascism, Nazism, and related political ideologies in the twentieth century and is said to have derived from an ancient Roman custom. Although modern historians and others employ it as a matter of course, the term “Roman salute” is a misnomer. The true origins of this salute can be traced back to the popular culture of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries that dealt with ancient Rome: historical plays and films. The visual culture of stage and screen from the 1890s to the 1920s was chiefly responsible for the wide familiarity of Europeans and Americans with forms of the raised-arm salute and made it readily available for political purposes.
The Roman Salute: Cinema, History, Ideology by Martin M. Winkler presents extensive evidence for the modern origin of the raised-arm salute from well before the birth of Fascism and traces its varieties and its dissemination. The continuing presence of certain aspects of Fascism makes an examination of all its facets desirable, especially when the true origins of a symbol as potent as the salute and the history of its dissemination are barely known to classicists and historians of ancient Rome on the one hand, and to scholars of modern European history, on the other. Thus this book will appeal to classicists and historians, including film historians, and will be of interest to readers beyond the academy.
Rome: A City out of Print
Rose Marie San Juan University of Minnesota Press, 2001 Library of Congress DG807.6.S26 2001 | Dewey Decimal 937
An intriguing look at what printed materials tell us about daily life and public space in seventeenth-century Rome.
Focusing on images and descriptions of movement and spectacle-everyday street activities, congregations in market piazzas, life in the Jewish ghetto and the plague hospital, papal and other ceremonial processions, public punishment, and pilgrimage routes-Rose Marie San Juan uncovers the social tensions and conflicts within seventeenth century Roman society that are both concealed within and prompted by mass-produced representations of the city. These depictions of Rome-guidebooks, street posters, broadsheets and brochures, topographic and thematic maps, city views, and collectible images of landmarks and other famous sights-redefined the ways in which public space was experienced, controlled, and utilized, encouraging tourists, pilgrims, and penitents while constraining the activities and movements of women, merchants, dissidents, and Jews.
San Juan contends that the representations of urban space afforded by new print technologies were appropriated by a wide variety of people in the city for purposes that ranged from regulation to opposition. A sophisticated analysis of the contested relations between people, print culture, and urban modernity, Rome: A City Out of Print also offers a rich portrait of the life of the street and the city.
Rose Marie San Juan is associate professor in the Department of Art History, Visual Art, and Theory at the University of British Columbia.
Perhaps the most spectacular of all Greek vases, the Sarpedon krater depicts the body of Sarpedon, a hero of the Trojan War, being carried away to his homeland for burial. It was decorated some 2,500 years ago by Athenian artist Euphronios, and its subsequent history involves tomb raiding, intrigue, duplicity, litigation, international outrage, and possibly even homicide. How this came about is told by Nigel Spivey in a concise, stylish book that braids together the creation and adventures of this extraordinary object with an exploration of its abiding influence.
Spivey takes the reader on a dramatic journey, beginning with the krater’s looting from an Etruscan tomb in 1971 and its acquisition by the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, followed by a high-profile lawsuit over its status and its eventual return to Italy. He explains where, how, and why the vase was produced, retrieving what we know about the life and legend of Sarpedon. Spivey also pursues the figural motif of the slain Sarpedon portrayed on the vase and traces how this motif became a standard way of representing the dead and dying in Western art, especially during the Renaissance.
Fascinating and informative, The Sarpedon Krater is a multifaceted introduction to the enduring influence of Greek art on the world.
Louise M. Pryke Reaktion Books, 2016 Library of Congress QL458.7.P79 2016 | Dewey Decimal 595.46
No creature has quite the sting in our mythology and folklore as the scorpion. From the dawn of human civilization they have been a dangerous figure in our imaginations—poisonous, precise, and deadly quiet—but as Louise M. Pryke shows in this book, their bad reputation has overshadowed many exceptional qualities. Scurrying across hundreds of millions of years and across every continent except Antarctica, this book gives the scorpion its due as one of nature’s longest lasting survivors.
Indeed scorpions are older than dinosaurs. An ancient arthropod, their form—notable for its pair of pincers and an elegant tail that holds a menacing stinger high in the air in a permanent striking position—hasn’t changed since prehistoric times, though today there are some 1700 different species. Throughout our existence scorpions have served as a powerful cultural and religious symbol—sometimes dangerous, sometimes protecting—from the Egyptian goddess Serket to Zodiac astrology to folk medicine. A fascinating tour that takes us from the art of North Africa to the American Civil War to the markets of Beijing, Scorpion is an homage to one of earth’s oldest residents.
Is there a way to appreciate the desert without destroying it, a way to enjoy it without consuming it and to love it without killing it? Moreover, how can literature about the southwestern landscape affect ways in which it is either exploited or preserved? When and how did the desert change dramatically in the eyes of Anglo Americans from barren wilderness to national treasure?
By focusing on cultures that lived in the Southwest and by analyzing ways in which they described the land, David Teague persuasively argues against the destructive approach that Americans currently take to the region. Included are Native American legends and Spanish and Hispanic literature. However, the bulk of the study concentrates on Anglo American views of the Southwest, which have been generally at odds with the ecology of the deserts.
Ranging from oral traditions of the Navajo, Zuñi, and Hopi Indians to travel journals, fiction, and visual art, Teague examines the work of nearly thirty writers, artists, and explorers, including Alvar Núñez Cabeza de Vaca, Mary Austin, John Wesley Powell, and Frederic Remington. As he traces ideas about the desert over time, the author shows how American literature and art have come to represent the Southwest as a landscape to be sustained rather than transformed.
Bound to gain a prominent place in ecological criticism and in literature of the Southwest, this book offers important insights for scholars and students of literature, environmental studies, history, anthropology, and Native American studies. Its originality and vigor will also appeal to general readers with an interest in the landscape—and the future—of the American Southwest.
A beautifully illustrated tribute to a remarkable, self-taught artist of the Canadian West. The 81 oil paintings by Brestler featured in this volume depict perennial and endearing aspects of the West – ‘A Cowboy’s Life’, ‘Wildlife’, and ‘Home on the Range’.
Americans’ cultural love affair with their country’s landscape started in the nineteenth century, when expansionism was often promoted as divine mission, the West was still the frontier, and scenery became the backdrop of nationalist mythology. With a promise of resources ripe for development, Manifest Destiny–era aesthetics often reinforced a system of environmental degradation while preserving the wide and wild view. Although the aesthetics have evolved, contemporary media are filled with American landscape images inspired by the nineteenth century. Terre Ryan examines this phenomenon by exploring the overlapping trails of national mythology, landscape aesthetics, patriotic discourse, and public policy. Tracing her journeys around bombing grounds in Nevada, logging sites in Oregon, and energy fields in Wyoming, she argues that business and government agencies often frame commercial projects and national myths according to nineteenth-century beliefs about landscape and bounty. Advertisements and political promotional materials following this aesthetic framework perpetuate frontier-era ideas about the environment as commodity, scenery, and cultural trashlands. Transmitted through all types of media, nineteenth-century perspectives on landscape continue to inform mainstream perceptions of the environment, environmental policies, and representations of American patriotism. Combining personal narrative with factual reportage, political and cultural critique, and historical analysis, Ryan reframes the images we see every day and places them into a larger national narrative.
In Tropical Aesthetics of Black Modernism, Samantha A. Noël investigates how Black Caribbean and American artists of the early twentieth century responded to and challenged colonial and other white-dominant regimes through tropicalist representation. With depictions of tropical scenery and landscapes situated throughout the African diaspora, performances staged in tropical settings, and bodily expressions of tropicality during Carnival, artists such as Aaron Douglas, Wifredo Lam, Josephine Baker, and Maya Angelou developed what Noël calls “tropical aesthetics”—using art to name and reclaim spaces of Black sovereignty. As a unifying element in the Caribbean modern art movement and the Harlem Renaissance, tropical aesthetics became a way for visual artists and performers to express their sense of belonging to and rootedness in a place. Tropical aesthetics, Noël contends, became central to these artists’ identities and creative processes while enabling them to craft alternative Black diasporic histories. In outlining the centrality of tropical aesthetics in the artistic and cultural practices of Black modernist art, Noël recasts understandings of African diasporic art.
The contrast between the temperate and the tropical is one of the most enduring themes in the history of the Western geographical imagination. Caught between the demands of experience and representation, documentation and fantasy, travelers in the tropics have often treated tropical nature as a foil to the temperate, to all that is civilized, modest, and enlightened. Tropical Visions in an Age of Empire explores images of the tropical world—maps, paintings, botanical drawings, photographs, diagrams, and texts—produced by European and American travelers over the past three centuries.
Bringing together a group of distinguished contributors from disciplines across the arts and humanities, this volume contains eleven beautifully illustrated essays—arranged in three sections devoted to voyages, mappings, and sites—that consider the ways that tropical places were encountered, experienced, and represented in visual form. Covering a wide range of tropical sites in the Pacific, South Asia, West Africa, the Caribbean, and Latin America, the book will appeal to a broad readership: scholars of postcolonial studies, art history, literature, imperial history, history of science, geography, and anthropology.
A cultural history of the South Bronx that reaches beyond familiar narratives of urban ruin and renaissance, beyond the “inner city” symbol, to reveal the place and people obscured by its myths.
For decades, the South Bronx was America’s “inner city.” Synonymous with civic neglect, crime, and metropolitan decay, the Bronx became the preeminent symbol used to proclaim the failings of urban places and the communities of color who lived in them. Images of its ruins—none more infamous than the one broadcast live during the 1977 World Series: a building burning near Yankee Stadium—proclaimed the failures of urbanism.
Yet this same South Bronx produced hip hop, arguably the most powerful artistic and cultural innovation of the past fifty years. Two narratives—urban crisis and cultural renaissance—have dominated understandings of the Bronx and other urban environments. Today, as gentrification transforms American cities economically and demographically, the twin narratives structure our thinking about urban life.
A Bronx native, Peter L’Official draws on literature and the visual arts to recapture the history, people, and place beyond its myths and legends. Both fact and symbol, the Bronx was not a decades-long funeral pyre, nor was hip hop its lone cultural contribution. L’Official juxtaposes the artist Gordon Matta-Clark’s carvings of abandoned buildings with the city’s trompe l’oeil decals program; examines the centrality of the Bronx’s infamous Charlotte Street to two Hollywood films; offers original readings of novels by Don DeLillo and Tom Wolfe; and charts the emergence of a “global Bronx” as graffiti was brought into galleries and exhibited internationally, promoting a symbolic Bronx abroad.
Urban Legends presents a new cultural history of what it meant to live, work, and create in the Bronx.
As sites of continual change and transformation, cities are fundamentally forgetful places. Yet at the same time, urban areas are also homes to museums and archives that collect and exhibit the past-a key cultural, political, and economic activity. This book looks at that paradox through the example of Berlin to see how the city has responded to challenges to memory created by rapid changes in politics, economics, society, and the built environment, ultimately arguing that the recovery of the experience of time is central to the practices of an emergent memory culture in the contemporary city.
In this ambitious and imaginative study, Margaretta M. Lovell analyzes the large body of accomplished, sometimes startling, often brilliant work of American artists drawn to Venice's ragged splendor in the last century. Including major works by such diverse and talented painters as James McNeill Whistler, John Singer Sargent, and Maurice Prendergast, these richly varied paintings portray sleepy canals, architectural monuments, and scenes of picturesque everyday life while they also reveal surprising aspects of American culture.
Ah, the Wild West! Wide open plains, beautiful sunsets, and thundering herds. Days when the cowboy was king, and good guys always wore white. The love affair with the American West has stood the test of time and survived competition from sports, electronic gadgets, and reality.
Wanted Dead or Alive presents the first-ever comprehensive look at how the American West has been depicted in popular culture. Following Richard Aquila's introduction, which examines the birth and growth of the pop culture West in the context of American history, noted experts explore developments in popular Western fiction, major forms of live Western entertainment, trends in Western movies and television shows, images of the West in popular music, and visual images of the West in popular art and advertising. For the reader on the trail of even more information, each section of the book concludes with suggestions for further reading.
South Africa is recognized as a site of both political turmoil and natural beauty, and yet little work has been done in connecting these defining national characteristics. Washed with Sun achieves this conjunction in its multidisciplinary study of South Africa as a space at once natural and constructed. Weaving together practical, aesthetic, and ideological analyses, Jeremy Foster examines the role of landscape in forming the cultural iconographies and spatialities that shaped the imaginary geography of emerging nationhood. Looking in particular at the years following the British victory in the second Boer War, from 1902 to 1930, Foster discusses the influence of painting, writing, architecture, and photography on the construction of a shared, romanticized landscape subjectivity that was perceived as inseparable from “being South African,” and thus helped forge the imagined community of white South Africa.
In its innovative approach to South Africa's history, Washed with Sun breaks important new ground, combining the persuasive theory of cultural geography with the material specificity of landscape history.
In 1867, German immigrant Paul Seifert settled in the Driftless Area of southwestern Wisconsin and began capturing the distinctive farms and landscapes of his new home in vivid, detailed watercolors. Today, these paintings are coveted by American folk art collectors across the country, but Seifert’s life remains shrouded in mystery.
In this first book written about Paul Seifert, author Joe Kapler examines the life of this enigmatic artist and provides context for his extraordinary art. The book features high-quality reproductions of twenty-two Seifert watercolors (more than half of which have never been published) and many close-ups of his characteristic details, from horses and hay wagons to dogs and dinner bells. Part art history treatment, part coffee table book, part research memoir, and part love letter to the Driftless Area, Wisconsin in Watercolor shines a long-awaited light on Seifert and the land he so carefully rendered over a hundred years ago.