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Landscape of Slavery: The Plantation in American Art Paperback – January 31, 2008


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 166 pages
  • Publisher: Univ of South Carolina Pr (January 31, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1570037205
  • ISBN-13: 978-1570037207
  • Product Dimensions: 0.5 x 9.5 x 10.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #860,137 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From the Inside Flap

"Landscape of Slavery is a landmark study that shows how the plantation has endured in the American consciousness as a nostalgic memory for whites and as an open wound for blacks. For more than three centuries, artists have captured the plantation in works that are both profoundly moving and deeply disturbing. Through their art, this Janus-faced memory of the American South and its black and white people touches our heart, as if three centuries were only a moment past. The images in this collection and the eloquent essays that accompany them remind us that our memory of the plantation is contested along racial lines that continue to divide our nation."--William R. Ferris, senior associate director, Center for the Study of the American South, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

--This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

About the Author

Angela D. Mack is chief curator at the Gibbes Museum of Art. She has served as curator for numerous exhibitions and written or edited accompanying catalogs. Among her recent exhibitions are In Pursuit of Refinement: Charlestonians Abroad: 1740-1860; Henry Benbridge (1743-1812): Charleston Painter; and Edward Hopper in Charleston.

Steven G. Hoffius is a freelance writer and editor in Charleston. A graduate of Duke University, he has served as publications director for the South Carolina Historical Society.

--This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By AfroAmericanHeritage on March 22, 2008
Format: Paperback
As is my habit with art books, I leafed through to view the images before reading the text. The bucolic scenes transported me back to a genteel time, when American was young and rich and full of promise.

Which is precisely the dilemma of plantation art. Typically hung in the landscape section of galleries, it reinforces the seductive myth of the Antebellum South as paradise lost. But in reality plantations were slave labor camps, and mostly absent from the paintings are the slaves upon whose labor the plantation rested and who, when depicted at all, are merely quaint accents or contented pets of benevolent masters.

LANDSCAPE OF SLAVERY serves as a companion to a traveling exhibit of the same name organized by the Gibbes Museum of Art and the Carolina Art Association. It explores the complex and incompatible experiences of plantation life represented in works by diverse artists, from picturesque painters such as Thomas Coram through Winslow Homer (who, as Michael D. Harris writes, appears to have been "more sensitive to different notions evoked by the word `plantation'") to Hale Woodruff whose work is full of rage.

All of the essays provide thought-provoking commentary on this complex dynamic. "Picturing the Plantation" provides an overview of the landscape tradition and its idealizing vocabulary, while "Identifying Spaces of Blackness" explores the African aesthetic found in rituals, ceremonies, dance, music and art created by slaves as a means of resistance and survival.
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0 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Karl Boltz on August 8, 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I guess it was not what I expected.
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