ARTH 260 * Introduction to Art History * Professor Sarah Benson * Spring 2005

schedule | requirements | PDF

Unit 1: week 1 | week 2 | week 3


    section: week 2 | week 3 | week 4
   paper 1 | paper 2 | paper3 | journal

online resources
Cornell Library | Grove Dictionary of Art | Encyclopaedia Britannica | Oxford Dictionary of Art | Oxford Companion to Western Art | Oxford Dictionary of Architecture | History of Art Dept. | Cornell Homepage

On week 3 images

Discussion topic:
Empire, individuality, and the representation of the American West

Complete the readings and prepare answers for the following questions in your journal.

1) Look for passages in POHL's "Old World, New World" that define the American frontier or the American West. Some have claimed that the frontier experience left a permanent mark on the American national character; how so?
2) What are the various forms of spectacle in which Native Americans were represented and displayed for Euro-Americans?
3) What were the functions and messages of the works below? How do they represent the status of individuals and the "course of empire"?
America from The Four Continents
34.6 x 24.6 cm.
John VANDERLYN (1775-1852)
The Death of Jane McCrea
Oil on canvas
82.5 x 67.3 cm
Hartford, CT: Wadsworth Atheneum
George CATLIN (1796-1872)
The Last Race, Part of Okipa Ceremony (Mandan)
Oil on canvas
58.8 x 71.3 cm.
Washington, D.C.: Smithsonian American Art Museum
Fort Marion Prisoners Dancing for Tourists
Graphite and colored pencil on paper
Private collection
Emmanuel LEUTZE (1816-68)
study for Westward the Course of Empire Takes its Way (Westward Ho!)
84.5 x 110.2 cm.
Washington, D.C.: Smithsonian American Art Museum
George Caleb BINGHAM (1811-79)
Fur Traders Descending the Missouri
c. 1845
Oil on canvas. 73.7 x 92.7 cm.
New York: Metropolitan Museum
George CATLIN (1796-1872)
The Author Painting a Chief at the Base of the Rocky Mountains , frontispiece from Letters and Notes...
24 x 15 cm
George CATLIN (1796-1872)
Buffalo Bull's Back Fat, Head Chief, Blood Tribe
Oil on canvas
73.7 x 60.9 cm.
Washington, D.C.: Smithsonian American Art Museum

* STOKSTAD, AH , "Naturalistic, Romantic, and Neoclassical American Art," "Landscape and Genre Painting," pp. 958-962
* POHL, "Old World, New World: The Encounter of Cultures on the American Frontier"
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