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American Icons: Transatlantic Perspectives on Eighteenth- and Nineteenth-Century American Art

  • Edited by Thomas W. Gaehtgens and Heinz Ickstadt

    American painters and graphic artists of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries sought inspiration for their work in the uniquely American experience of history and nature. The result was a transformation of the conventional Old World visual language into an indigenous and populist New World syntax. The twelve essays in this volume explore the development of a frontier mythology, a democratic style depicting common people and objects, and an American artistic consciousness and identity. Conceived and written from the perspectives of both cultural and art historians, American Icons initiates an interdisciplinary discussion on the complex relationships between American and European art.

    Contributors are Herbert Beck, Werner Busch, Martin Christadler, Nicolai Cikovsky, Jr., Françoise Forster-Hahn, Ursula Frohne, Barbara Gaehtgens, Thomas W. Gaehtgens, Barbara Groseclose, Olaf Hansen, William Hauptman, Heinz Ickstadt, Barbara Novak, and Kathleen Pyne.

    Thomas W. Gaehtgens is the director emeritus of the Getty Research Institute and former professor of art history at the Institute for Art History of the Free University, Berlin. Heinz Ickstadt is professor of American literature at the John F. Kennedy Institute for North American Studies of the Free University, Berlin.

    "Excellent endnotes accompany each essay: 142 black-and-white images, a good index, and a useful section of biographical notes on the authors add to the book's high quality."


    372 pages
    142 b/w illustrations
    ISBN 978-0-89236-246-2

    Getty Publications
    Imprint:Getty Research Institute