American Paintings in the Detroit Institute of Arts, Volume I: Works by Artists Born Before 1816

Nancy Rivard Shaw, Author, Richard Saunders, Author, Mary Black, Author Hudson Hills Press $75 (368p) ISBN 978-1-55595-044-6
An early Gilbert Stuart portrait, George Caleb Bingham's folksy checker players, John Trumbull's dashing reenactments of the American Revolutionary War, Benjamin West's stagey historical scenes and numerous portraits of widely varying quality are among the pictures one might expect to find in a documentary album of this sort. The Detroit Institute of Arts' holdings are also full of exciting surprises. Robert Weir's ominous The Hudson River from Hoboken (1878) is remarkable in the way it suggests the encroachment of modern urban industry. Rembrandt Peale's nakedly honest, jarringly subjective self-analysis of 1828 ranks among the best American self-portraits. Iconoclast John Quidor (1801-1881) spiced his version of 17th-century European genre art with a neomannerist flavor, turning Dutch colonial American history into a wild mythological phantasmagoria. Black, a curator at the Detroit museum, and eight other scholars provide illuminating biographical and critical notes to each plate. Two more volumes will follow in this series. (Dec.)
Reviewed on: 11/04/1991
Release date: 11/01/1991
Hardcover - 320 pages - 978-1-55595-142-9
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