John White Alexander and the construction of national identity : cosmopolitan American art, 1880-1915 /
Sarah J. Moore.
Newark, DE : University of Delaware Press ; London : Associated University Presses, c2003.
133 p. : ill. (some col.).
0874137969 (alk. paper)
More Details
Newark, DE : University of Delaware Press ; London : Associated University Presses, c2003.
0874137969 (alk. paper)
catalogue key
Includes bibliographical references and index.
A Look Inside
Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Choice on 2003-11-01:
Moore (art history, Univ. of Arizona) offers a thought-provoking work that uses a summary study of Alexander's career to demonstrate the rise and fall of cosmopolitan US art between 1880 and 1915. In the last quarter of the 19th century, the most widely acclaimed US artists aligned themselves with international and cosmopolitan ideals of art, as seen in the decorative elegance and aesthetic refinement of Alexander's 1895 female image "Repose." Though the definition of US art was "surprisingly vague," there was a notable shift toward a search for a mature and distinctive US art. This shift is explored through an illuminating review of critical literature on the opposing Parisian exhibits in the 1890s, where many Americans exhibited in the newer Societe Nationale des Beaux Arts, and of international expositions--Paris of 1889 and 1900, Omaha's Trans-Mississippi International of 1898, and Buffalo's Pan-American of 1901. The latter exemplified America's material progress and imperial expansion, though not concomitant problems, such as labor unrest among immigrant workers. Alexander's return to the US in 1905, and his elaborate mural The Crowning of Labor, a masculine paean to industry, also suggests this shift. ^BSumming Up: Recommended. Upper-division undergraduates through faculty. J. J. Poesch emerita, Tulane University
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Choice, November 2003
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Unpaid Annotation
John White Alexander and the Construction of National Identity: Cosmopolitan American Art, 1880-1915 positions the work of American artist John White Alexander at the intersection of the shifting discourse of nationalism in American art at the turn of the twentieth century. The book addresses the dynamic search for and definition of national identity through a careful examination of the institutional complexes in which Alexander worked and exhibited. The extensive primary critical literature that forms a fundamental armature of the book, provides a contemporary narrative about the evolving topography of American art's national profile between 1880 and 1915, and reveals the impact of national assumptions on cultural production. Moreover, it forms the basis of a broad and comprehensive picture of the historical, political, cultural, and aesthetic context in which Alexander's works in particular, and those of his cosmopolitan colleagues in general, were produced and discussed.
Table of Contents
Illustrationsp. 9
Acknowledgmentsp. 11
Introductionp. 15
Reluctant Cosmopolitan: New York in the 1880sp. 21
L'invasion etrangere: Paris in the 1890sp. 31
Tracing the Trajectory of Americanness: Paris to Buffalo, 1900-1901p. 53
Pausing in Pittsburgh: Constructing Social Cohesion at the Carnegie Institute, 1905-1908p. 73
A "Salon of America"?: Defining Nationalism at the National Academy of Design, 1909-1915p. 93
Conclusionp. 105
Notesp. 107
Selected Bibliographyp. 121
Indexp. 131
List of Illustrations
Black and White
Picture of John White Alexander in his Paris Studio, ca. 1890'sp. 17
James McNeill Whistler, Arrangement in Gray and Black No. 1: Portrait of the Artist's Mother, 1871p. 22
Mrs. Samuel Tilton (Helen Reed), 1884p. 26
Mrs. Draper, 1888p. 28
Alexandre Cabanel, Birth of Venus, 1863p. 39
Fancy Dress, 1895p. 40
Gil Baer, Les Salons Comiques: Salon du Champ-de-Mars (No. 1), La Lanterne, 28 April 1894p. 42
Gil Baer, Loie Fuller au repos, detail of Les Salons Comiques: Salon du Champ-de-Mars (No. 1), La Lanterne, 28 April 1894p. 43
Installation Photograph, First Annual International Exhibition, Carnegie Institute, 1896p. 45
Le bol bleu (The Blue Bowl), 1898p. 48
Le noeud vert (The Green Bow), 1898p. 50
Panel for Music Room, 1894p. 52
M. L. de Fourcaud, "Les Peintres Americains a l'Exposition," Le Gaulois du Dimanche, 15-16 September 1900p. 57
Arch of the States, Trans-Mississippi International Exposition, 1898p. 60
Dewey Soap Advertisement, 1890sp. 62
Greater America Exposition: First Colonial Exhibit, poster, 1899p. 64
Electric Tower at Night, Pan-American Exposition, 1901p. 66
No Room on This Ship, Harper's Weekly, 5 October 1901p. 68
Overview of Carnegie Institute Murals, 2nd-floor detail, 1905-8p. 75
Fire/Toil, Carnegie Institute Murals, 1st-floor detail, 1905-8p. 76
"Women Developing Mannish Figure While Man is Becoming Effeminate," New York Evening World, 23 November 1910p. 78
Carnegie Institute Murals, 2nd-floor detail, 1905-8p. 80
Carnegie Institute Murals, 2nd-floor detail, 1905-8p. 82
March of Progress, Carnegie Institute Murals, 3rd-floor detail, 1905-8p. 83
"The Great Strike--Pittsburgh in the Hands of the Mob," Harper's Weekly, 11 August 1877p. 84
Frank E. Wing, "Thirty-Five Years of Typhoid," Charities and the Commons, 1909p. 86
Edwin Blashfield, America, detail of Evolution of Civilization, Library of Congress, 1896p. 89
The Printing Press, detail of The Evolution of the Book, Library of Congress, 1896p. 90
"The Need of a National Academy, and Its Value to the Growth of Art in America," The Craftsman, March 1910p. 94
"Even Richmond, Ind., Has a Better Art Exhibition Than New York," New York Times Sunday Magazine, 25 September 1910p. 95
A Woman in Rose, 1900-1p. 101
Mrs. John White Alexander, 1902p. 103
Color Plates
Azelea/Portrait of Charlotte Colgate Abbe, 1885
Portrait gris, 1893
Repos (Repose), 1895
Isabella et le pot de basilic (Isabella and the Pot of Basil), 1897
Le rayon du soleil (Ray of Sunlight), 1899
Apotheosis of Pittsburgh, Carnegie Institute Murals, 2nd-floor detail, 1905-8
Memories, 1903
Sunlight, 1909
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

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