The Civil War and American Art

Thumbnail
Authorship Description
Eleanor Jones Harvey
Co-Publisher
Copublished with Yale University Press
Year Published
2012
Number of Pages
317 pp.: Ill (103 color, 110 black-and-white)
ISBN Hardcover
978-0-300-18733-5
ISBN Softcover
978-0-937311-98-1
Dimensions
10 1/4 x 12 1/2 in.
Description

The Civil War redefined America and forever changed American art. The war’s grim reality, captured through the new medium of photography, was laid bare. American artists could not glamorize the hero on the battlefield. Instead, many found ways to weave the war into works of art that considered the human narrative—the daily experiences of soldiers, slaves, and families left behind. Artists and writers also used landscape imagery to give voice to their misgivings as well as their hopes for themselves and the nation.

The Civil War and American Art looks at the range of artwork created in the years between 1852 and 1877. Author Eleanor Jones Harvey surveys paintings made by some of America’s finest artists, including Frederic Edwin Church, Sanford Gifford, Winslow Homer, and Eastman Johnson, and photographs taken by George Barnard, Alexander Gardner, and Timothy O’Sullivan.

Buy Online or write to PubOrd@si.edu Hardcover, $65.00

Buy Online or write to PubOrd@si.edu Softcover, $45.00 $22.50

Reviews in Brief

“The author’s genius is to realize that American artists dealt with the war metaphorically—in landscape and in genre paintings—and not in history paintings. Once she threw off the bonds of literalism…she could write a very good book indeed. And, more importantly, she could deal with America’s greaters painters of the period.”
— Mark E. Neely Jr in The Pennsylvania Magazine of History and Biography

 

More Books

Edward Hopper: The Watercolors

In the 1920s, inspired perhaps by the particular light and quality of Gloucester, Massachusetts, Edward Hopper began painting watercolors. He has been celebrated since then as one of the most eloquent of America’s realists. Text by Virginia Mecklenburg and Margaret Ausfeld accompanies over a hundred brilliant color images as well as seventy additional illustrations and a chronology of Hopper’s life and works.

George Catlin’s American Buffalo

Artist George Catlin journeyed west five times in the 1830s, traversing the Great Plains and visiting more than 140 American Indian tribes. In hundreds of canvases, Catlin recorded the lifeways of Plains Indians, including illustrating massive herds of buffalo and their importance in daily life. In George Catlin’s American Buffalo, Adam Duncan Harris considers forty of Catlin’s paintings and the artist’s role as an early proponent of wilderness conservation and the national park idea, and how that advocacy remains relevant today—to the Great Plains, the buffalo, and land use.