This beautiful volume explores American paintings of people engaged in the tasks and pleasures of everyday life between the colonial era and World War I. These works reflect key historical and cultural developments, including the growth of industrialization, urbanization, and immigration; changing gender roles; and the shifting location and meaning of the frontier.
Focusing on leading artists, from John Singleton Copley to John Sloan, the authors address narrative content in colonial and early national portraits; genre scenes of the Jacksonian period; images from the Civil War era; and works by American Impressionists and realists in the decades before and after 1900. Like the exhibition it accompanies, the book reflects transformations in artists’ aspirations and viewers’ expectations as America evolved from isolated British outpost to leading independent participant in international affairs.
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