American Iconology: New Approaches to Nineteenth-century Art and Literature

Front Cover
David C. Miller
Yale University Press, Jan 1, 1993 - Art - 344 pages
This overview of the "sister arts" of the nineteenth century by younger scholars in art history, literature, and American studies presents a startling array of perspectives on the fundamental role played by images in culture and society. Drawing on the latest thinking about vision and visuality as well as on recent developments in literary theory and cultural studies, the contributors situate paintings, sculpture, monument art, and literary images within a variety of cultural contexts.

The volume offers fresh and sometimes extended discussions of single works as well as reevaluations of artistic and literary conventions and analyses of the economic, social, and technological forces that gave them shape and were influenced by them in turn. A wide range of figures are significantly reassessed, including the painters Charles Willson Peale, Washington Allston, Thomas Cole, George Caleb Bingham, Fitz Hugh Lane, and Mary Cassatt, and such writers as James Fenimore Cooper, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Henry David Thoreau, and William Dean Howells. One overarching theme to emerge is the development of an American national subjectivity as it interacted with the transformation of a culture dominated by religious values to one increasingly influenced by commercial imperatives. The essays probe the ways in which artists and writers responded to the changing conditions of the cultural milieu as it was mediated by such factors as class and gender, modes of perception and representation, and conflicting ideals and realities.
 

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Contents

Peales Mammoth
18
The Boston Elites Resistance to Washington Allstons
39
On the Cultural Construction of Landscape
58
The Mechanisms of the Market and the Invention
112
Lilly Martin Spencers Domestic Genre Painting
135
The Visual Arts
163
The Iconology of Wrecked or Stranded Boats in Mid
186
Art Commerce and the Late
209
Mary Cassatt and the Maternal Body
239
James Howells
259
Afterword
276
Notes
287
Making a Picture of the View from Mount Holyoke
310
Copyright

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About the author (1993)

David C. Miller is assistant professor of English at Allegheny College.

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