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Picturing Old New England: Image and Memory Hardcover – March 11, 1999

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Editorial Reviews

From Library Journal

This volume is the catalog of an exhibition at the National Museum of American Art that will run through August. The images gathered hereAphotographs and paintings created between 1865 and 1945Aare emblematic of the region, confirming a New England of icy winters, stoic folk, a rocky coast, and soft hills as a backdrop to clapboard houses and a white church with its lofty steeple as a community compass point. Exuding easy comfort, these images confirm our sense of New England as a place of enduring waysAand a place where endurance is held in the highest regard. The works are presented in chronological order and end with a chapter, "Yankee Modernism," that proves the sturdy notion of "Yankee"Aas in "hard work, thrift, and self-reliance"Adoes not feel at ease with modernism's abandon, skewed images, and confident disregard for the past. Essential for regional collections and recommended for larger collections elsewhere.ADavid Bryant, New Canaan Lib., CT
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 255 pages
  • Publisher: Yale University Press/Smithsonian (March 11, 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0300079389
  • ISBN-13: 978-0300079388
  • Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 9.2 x 12.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.8 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #693,215 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Mary E. Sibley VINE VOICE on January 2, 2005
Format: Hardcover
This is a remarkable book. It could not exist but for cultural studies and postmodernism. The time frame is 1865 to 1945. By 1865 New England was the most highly urbanized area in the U.S. By 1875 more than half of the Massachusetts residents lived in cities.

Maine's greatest period of industrialization occurred between 1880 and 1910. In the last quarter of the century New England seemed to be thriving, but it was no longer in the economic vanguard. Also, growth for the cities meant crisis for the countryside. Rural isolated areas became vacation sites and artistic destinations. In the 1920's Massachusetts lost jobs in textiles and shoes.

From the 1870's and on vast numbers of scenic-rural paintings were produced. In the early 1870's APPLETON'S JOURNAL ran a series entitled picturesque America. Chapters included the coast of Maine, Providence, the White Mountains. A wealth of images were created by artists and writers. New England became a national memory bank.

The pilgrims and the Revolutionary War were historicized. After the Civil War antiquarianism was evident at all levels of society. The chapter on yankee modernism encompassing John Marin, Stuart Davis, Marsden Hartley, Edward Hopper, Charles Demuth is delightful. Artist biographies appear at the back of the book. The pictures are splendid.
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0 of 2 people found the following review helpful By John S. Macneal Jr. on October 28, 2014
Format: Hardcover
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