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Charles Sheeler in Doylestown: American Modernism and the Pennsylvania Tradition Paperback – June, 1997
Top Customer Reviews
The book is divided into three sections. The first centers on an eighteenth-century stone farmhouse near Doylestown. Known as the Worthington house, Sheeler rented it and used it as a studio and a residence or retreat off and on between 1917 and 1926. In 1917 Sheeler produced a series of striking black-and-white photographs (gelatin silver prints) of the interior of the farmhouse, of which the pictures of a spiral wood staircase, the broad-planked door to the stairwell, and an iron stove are the most noteworthy. On various occasions later in his career, Sheeler re-worked these farmhouse interiors in oil paintings or in conté crayon works.
The second section of the book deals with photographs, paintings, and drawings of large barns in Bucks County that Sheeler executed while he lived and worked in the Doylestown area. The barns usually were constructed of fieldstone and clapboard or board-and-batten siding, and typically they centered a complex of ells and other side buildings.Read more ›
In Kucic’s second chapter, The Doylestown House, we come to understand how the stone house he and Morton Schamberg shared during summers and weekends outside of Philadelphia provided him with direct, daily access to abstract elements he was able to find in nature. These elements –arrangement of stone, wood and shadow - Sheeler prized highly. They permitted him to start to bridge the gap between pure representation and pure abstraction. Somewhere near the middle of that bridge we find Sheeler’s best work. Doylestown is where it began, with the 1768 house and with Pennsylvainia Dutch barns in the surrounding countryside.
Sheeler moved to New York after Schamberg’s untimely death in 1918, and became famous as the premier Precisionist painter of the New York skyscrapers and of industrial shapes and scenes. This is when his Upper Deck and his response to Ford’s River Rouge automobile plant – American Landscape and American Classic were completed.Read more ›
--- excerpt from book's Preface