American Views: Essays on American Art

John Wilmerding, Author Princeton University Press $80 (357p) ISBN 978-0-691-04090-5
George Bellows's assertive boxing pictures, John F. Peto's obsessive imagery of Abraham Lincoln, George Caleb Bingham's folksy scenes of mid-19th-century America and Winslow Homer's elemental seascapes all seem to hint that American art has a national character, the stated theme of these erudite essays. Yet Princeton art professor Wilmerding only fitfully pursues that connective thread. Twelve of these 19 essays are from exhibition catalogues, others appeared in scholarly or popular magazines. Completely at home with his material, Wilmerding underscores the poignant magic of Thomas Eakins's late portrait, finds parallels between luminism and the imagery of Hawthorne, Thoreau and Emerson, and looks at ship painter Fitz Hugh Lane, sculptor Augustus Saint-Gaudens and such artists as Albert P. Ryder, Thomas Cole and Frederic Edwin Church. With 224 halftones and 29 color plates, this handsome volume will interest connoisseurs and general art lovers. (Dec.)
Reviewed on: 11/04/1991
Release date: 11/01/1991
Paperback - 382 pages - 978-0-691-02491-2
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