Pen to Paper
Artists' Handwritten Letters from the Smithsonian's Archives of American Art
Hardcover ISBN: 1616894628
Even in this age of emails, texts, and tweets, there is an ongoing fascination with the simple act of putting pen to paper. Associations such as the International Association of Master Penmen and the Society for Italic Handwriting keep the traditions of calligraphy and penmanship alive, hand-writing typefaces continue to sell, and hand-drawn display type and packaging of all sorts enjoy a renaissance. Pen to Paper, a collection of letters by artists from the Smithsonian's Archives of American Art, reveals how letter writing can be an artistic act, just as an artist puts pen to paper to craft a line in a drawing. Brief essays explore what can be learned from the handwriting of celebrated artists such as Mary Cassatt, Frederic Church, Howard Finster, Winslow Homer, Ray Johnson, Rockwell Kent, Georgia O'Keeffe, Claes Oldenburg, Maxfield Parrish, Eero Saarinen, Saul Steinberg, and many others. Each letter is accompanied by an archival image of the artist or a related artwork, with a full transcription.Pen to Paper provides a fresh way to think about artists and their creative work and is sure to inspire your next handwritten note or letter.
Collected Writings, Lectures, and Interviews
Paperback ISBN: 0520291883
This comprehensive sourcebook is destined to become a lasting and definitive reference on the art and aesthetic philosophy of the American artist David Smith (1906–1965). A pioneer of twentieth-century modernism, Smith was renowned for the expansive formal and conceptual ambitions of his broadly diverse and inventive welded-steel abstractions. His groundbreaking achievements drew freely on cubism, surrealism, and constructivism, profoundly influencing later movements such as minimalism and environmental art. By radically challenging older conventions of monolithic figuration and refuting arbitrary distinctions between painters and sculptors, Smith asserted sculpture’s equal role in advancing modern art. This compilation of Smith’s poems, sketchbook notes, essays, lectures, letters to the editor, reviews, and interviews underscores the ways his writing articulated his private identity and promoted the social ideals that made him a key participant in contemporary discourses surrounding modernism, art and politics, and sculptural aesthetics. Each text is annotated by Susan J. Cooke with historical and contextual information that reflects Smith’s process of continually reviewing and revising his writings in response to his evolving aspirations as a visual artist.
An American Vision
Paperback ISBN: 0714874191
The peerless and comprehensive survey of this important American artist, now available in paperback for the first time This thoroughly researched, immensely readable study on Winslow Homer, one of America's most significant and prolific painters, presents a full account of his life and work and offers a fresh and provocative reassessment of his place in the history of late nineteenth-century art. Homer's work is popular and accessible, and Griffin's text, with its solid documentation, original research and fresh interpretations, has become an essential survey of Homer and his creative output.
Currier & Ives' America
From a Young Nation to a Great Power
2nd Edition Hardcover ISBN: 0789212587
The definitive book of Currier & Ives prints, now available in a new format and price point! In the 1800s, long before the days of photojournalism and television, colorful up-to-date pictures of news events, portraits of important political and social figures, and scenic views of American natural wonders were circulating widely all through the country. From early in the exciting century that saw a small nation expand into a mighty world power, the famous lithographic firm of Nathaniel Currier and James Merritt Ives produced over 7,000 lithographs picturing scenes of American life, portraits of American leaders, and dramatic re-creations of the events that make the news of the day. Each Currier & Ives prints was individually colored by hand, and the skilled craftsmanship as well as keenness of observation make Currier & Ives prints among the most collectible of Americana. This book features the largest number of Currier & Ives prints ever reproduced in a single volume, as well as many that have never been published. It contains more than three hundred illustrations in full color.
Chicago Makes Modern
How Creative Minds Changed Society
Paperback ISBN: 0226389561
Chicago is a city dedicated to the modern—from the skyscrapers that punctuate its skyline to the spirited style that inflects many of its dwellings and institutions, from the New Bauhaus to Hull-House. Despite this, the city has long been overlooked as a locus for modernism in the arts, its rich tradition of architecture, design, and education disregarded. Still the modern in Chicago continues to thrive, as new generations of artists incorporate its legacy into fresh visions for the future. Chicago Makes Modern boldly remaps twentieth-century modernism from our new-century perspective by asking an imperative question: How did the modern mind—deeply reflective, yet simultaneously directed—help to dramatically alter our perspectives on the world and make it new? Returning the city to its rightful position at the heart of a multidimensional movement that changed the face of the twentieth century, Chicago Makes Modern applies the missions of a brilliant group of innovators to our own time. From the radical social and artistic perspectives implemented by Jane Addams, John Dewey, and Buckminster Fuller to the avant-garde designs of László Moholy-Nagy and Mies van der Rohe, the prodigious offerings of Chicago's modern minds left an indelible legacy for future generations. Staging the city as a laboratory for some of our most heralded cultural experiments, Chicago Makes Modern reimagines the modern as a space of self-realization and social progress—where individual visions triggered profound change. Featuring contributions from an acclaimed roster of contemporary artists, critics, and scholars, this book demonstrates how and why the Windy City continues to drive the modern world.
Hardcover ISBN: 1555953581
New York-based painter WilliamSteiger's focus is on fundamental representation of the American landscape. His subjects are industrial and recognizable--grain towers, cable cars, trains, and amusement park attractions. His graphic, distinctly schematized work is grounded in the traditions of classic American landscape painting and the machine-age Precisionism of figures like Charles Sheeler and Charles Demuth.
Painting Religion in Public
John Singer Sargent's Triumph of Religion at the Boston Public Library
Hardcover ISBN: 0691015651
A brilliant painter of society portraits, John Singer Sargent also devoted many years at the height of his career to a project of an entirely different order: an ambitious, multi-media decoration titled Triumph of Religion (1890-1919) for the Boston Public Library. The library cycle Sargent imagined as his most important work, however, would ultimately remain unfinished, quietly abandoned in the face of religious opposition, one critical painting short of completion. Truncation dramatically altered possible readings of Triumph, redirecting its narrative energies and generating new meanings in tension with the idea Sargent had proposed. In Painting Religion in Public, Sally Promey tells the story of an artist of international stature and the complex and consuming pictorial program he pursued in Boston. Highly celebrated in its day, with individual panels retaining immense popularity even in the years of discord, this artistic project and its constituent images tell us much about broad cultural and political exchanges concerning the public representation of religious content in the United States. Sargent's library decoration attracted the attention of multiple audiences and engaged concurrent debates about class, race, art, and religion. Representatives of various religious and cultural backgrounds hailed portions of the cycle as indicative of the strength of their own positions, and reproductions of the images appeared in everything from books and encyclopedias to stained glass and public pageantry. Promey analyzes the conception and production of the cycle, persuasively demonstrating that Triumph of Religion, far from promoting a narrowly sectarian version of religious practice, represented instead Sargent's public recommendation of the privacy of modern belief. The artist recast contemporary religion as spirituality, she argues, linking it not with institutions and dogma but with personal subjectivity. For Sargent, this ideal was a sign of Western, especially American, progress. Carefully reconstructing patterns of reception in an increasingly diverse religious climate, and exploring the extent and character of Sargent's personal and artistic investment, Promey boldly illuminates the work Sargent hoped to make his masterpiece. At the same time, she enriches understanding of religious images in public places and popular imagination.