American Painting

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MFA Publications, Museum of Fine Arts, 2003 - Architecture - 232 pages
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New Series MFA Highlights presents the best of the collections of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, in a new series of accessible, uniform paperback volumes. The aim of the series is threefold: to highlight the main holdings of the MFA's permanent collections in handsome, affordable editions; to provide an informed, readable overview of various segments of art, for use by students, visitors and scholars; and, over time, to create a library that will act as a general tour of world art. The first two titles in the series are American Paintingand Arts of Egypt, to be followed by volumes on Musical Instruments, Photography, European Painting and Sculpture, European Decorative Arts, Contemporary Art, Textiles, Prints and Drawings, Modern Design, and the arts of China, Japan, Africa, India and the Islamic world. The look of these books is modern, but the content is timeless. Each book is approximately 250 pages, fully illustrated in color, bound in a uniform paperback format, and priced below $20.00. American Paintingsfeatures over 100 masterworks dating from 1670 to 1960 from the collection of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. The aritsts featured range from Copley, Whistler, Cassatt, and Sargent to Hopper, Marin, Gorky and Pollock. Divided according to chronology and genre, each of the book's 15 sections begins with a thematic introduction, followed by short discussions of individual paintings. Certain introductions narrate a history of American painting--from the earliest years of the British colonies to the mid-twentieth century, touching on such focal points as the American Revolution, westward expansion, the Civil War, and the two World Wars--while others more specifically discuss genres such as history painting, folk painting, portraiture, and still life. The narrative touches on broader themes as well, such as the American artists' relationship with European art, the establishment of indigenous painting styles, the role of patronage in American art, and the question of provincial vs. "high" art. Rich in both visual and textual content, American Paintingsis a valuable and enjoyable resource for both the museum visitor and the general reader.

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The Rise of the New Nation
Forging a National Style

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About the author (2003)

Elliot B. Davis is the chair of the Art of the Americas department at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.

She is John Moors Cabot curator of American painting at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. She is the author of Dennis Miller Bunker & a contributor to The Bostonians.

Carol Troyen is co-author of Awash in Color, American Folk, Sargent's Murals, Charles Sheeler, and other titles.

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