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A History of American Tonalism,1880-1920 Hardcover – December 16, 2010


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 640 pages
  • Publisher: Hudson Hills (December 16, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1555953026
  • ISBN-13: 978-1555953027
  • Product Dimensions: 2 x 9.2 x 12.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.8 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #933,751 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

 The first scholarly survey of the Tonalists.  
This volume, a landmark of scholarship, has uncovered some treasures and is likely to change our understanding of the development of American art.
--The Art Newspaper, No. 222, March 2011

Silver Medal Winner in Art History: Book of the Year Awards, 2010, ForeWord Reviews. --ForeWord Magazine

Cleveland, whose writing is both elegant and accessible, gives the Tonalist discussion a shot of energy...This wonderfully written book will delight general audiences and scholars alike.  Summing Up: Highly recommended.  CHOICE: Current Reviews for Academic Libraries.

WinnerOutstanding Academic Title 2011
-- American Library Association


Combining beautifully reproduced images of their works with eloquent stylistic analyses, he positions Tonalism as America's most original, dominant, and progressive art style.  This view radically challenges traditional American art history...a turning point of scholarship on the art and range of the Tonalist movement.  - ARTnews

About the Author

David A. Cleveland is an art historian, independent curator, critic, and novelist. John Wilmerding is professor of American Art, Emeritus, Princeton University.

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Customer Reviews

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This book seemingly covers the entire historical subject rather thoroughly.
Anwar
"A History of American Tonalism, 1880-1920" is an excellent cultural history of one of the oft-forgotten, but integral, movements of American art.
Louis M. Salerno
Anybody interested in getting a full view of the history of American art should include this book in their required reading.
S. Meyer

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

15 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Mark D. Foley on May 10, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I agree that Charles Warren Eaton is a Magnificent American Painter and that A History of American Tonalism is THE seminal work on the subject. Several years ago I attended a conference on American Tonalism produced by Lisa Koenigsberg through her Initiatives in Art and Culture enterprise. Ira Spainerman was in attendance and hosted a lovely reception at his gallery. It was at this function that Charles Warren Eaton became real to me as a singular talent with a unique vision which placed him in the front row of American tonalists. I read Mr. Cleveland's earlier work on that artist and immediately regarded him as THE best writer on historical American Art I had ever read. His style has great pathos, is completely engaging and provides insight and scholarship in a very uplifting fashion. I waited month after month for this book to arrive and the day it came through the door was like Christmas! I am so grateful to Mr. Cleveland for improving my connoisseurship and understanding of the subject. I am especially grateful that he brought into focus a galaxy of Artistic Stars whom I have long admired but not known much about. This is an encyclopedic volume which stands as a landmark and is arguably the most significant volume on historic American Art that will be published in quite some time. The gentleman who is criticizing the book misses the point. We don't need the 47th book devoted to the Career of George Inness or the 83rd book recounting the career of Whistler. That work has been done. This work needed to be done and it to Mr. Cleveland's credit that he devoted years of original research to bring it to us. Someone should give Mr. Cleveland a Gold Medal!
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28 of 32 people found the following review helpful By Greg Reeder on December 10, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
An important reappraisal of American landscape painting. Stunning reproductions of the best of the almost forgotten Tonalist movement in American art. Hundreds of color plates, dozens of historical black and white photos of the major artists. Whistler, Eaton, Inness, La Farge, Blakelock, Ryder, Dewey, Dow, Ranger, Twachtman and many additional painters are included with detailed analysis and full color examples of their works. The most significant art history publication in a generation.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Jennifer Krieger on January 20, 2011
Format: Hardcover
David Cleveland has put together an energetic and insightful survey of American Tonalism that fully outlines the movement, its origins, influences and legacy. As a dealer of American Art who has come across magnificent examples painted by some of the quieter names of the period, I find it incredibly satisfying to read the academic context Cleveland has built for such talents as Birge Harrison, William Bliss Baker, Charles Melville Dewey, Herman Dudley Murphy, Augustus Vincent Tack, William Sartain, and Alexander Harrison. I also appreciate the unique angles through which Cleveland explores more familiar subjects such as his discussions of Whistler and Memory and his tying the Ashcan Eight with the Tonalist movement. He interweaves art and literature in a thoughtful way and gives due attention to the formation of specific art clubs and pivotal public exhibitions which help chart the progress and development of the Tonalist movement. Cleveland should be commended for his comprehensive and perceptive analysis of the rich material at hand.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Dan Spahn on April 14, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
After years of pictorialist photography, I returned to painting. There weren't many books that were comprehensive on the Tonalist Movement. Many were exhibition catalogs and out of print. We all know what happens to the price of out of print publications. I borrowed around university collections and had even fallen to the overpriced spread. When I had seen that this book was to be published, I remained vigilant. The publication date moved and moved. I was beginning to think this was the vaporware of books. It finally published and I ordered. This a huge book; on the scale of a university art history book. A fair warning to the "read every word" individuals. This is going to take awhile. I would take issue to the reviewer that thinks that it has too much Eaton. I found the book a fair survey of the movement and its practitioners. I bought it to have reference material of styles to use in my own work and by the way, read it on a table. I would also recommend, "Like Breath on Glass" for the people interested in the roots of Tonalism. It shows the influence of Turner to Whistler and Monet and the professional rivalry the the latter two.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Patricia H. Stevenson on March 1, 2012
Format: Hardcover
This is an enormous book, with many descriptions and much discussion, but too few images of the artwork, itself. The images that are included are mostly small. Since the book is about visual media, having few images severely reduces the value of the book. I'd recommend finding a library copy to peruse before buying this book.
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful By J B Zirker on January 8, 2011
Format: Hardcover
I ran across David Cleveland's history of tonalism at a friend's house and peered into it purely out of curiosity. The art history course I had taken at college never mentioned this movement except for a brief reference to James Whistler and his "nocturnes". My own preference has been for impressionist and abstract art. So I was pleasantly surprised and pleased by what I found in this massive scholarly work on tonalism.
The reproductions in the book are superb and the contrast to impressionist paintings could not be greater. The colors are subdued, the light is flat, the atmosphere is misty. The time of day is either dusk or early dawn. There are no people in these landscapes. So it is the mood of the landscapes (calm, reflective; sometimes brooding) that draws one to them. What, I asked myself, were the artists trying to convey? Was the landscape merely a pattern of subtle colors to the painter? Or did the artist detect an alien quality in an ordinary pastoral scene? It was just that quality of hidden possibilities, underlying a conventional landscape, that appealed to me.
Cleveland writes well. His description of the evolution of the movement, and the individual artists (many of whom are still relatively unknown to the general public) is clear, accessible and informative. His book will introduce a general audience to an unfamiliar corner of American art.
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