Using the collections of the Metropolitan Museum, this class will explore the painting, sculpture, decorative arts, photography and the visual culture of the United States from 1750 to 1914, and will consider how American artists responded to and operated within the wider world. Addressing themes shared in common across national boundaries, the class will consider how American art participated in the revolutions and reforms of the “long” nineteenth century, ranging from Romanticism to Modernism. The period witnessed the emergence of new technologies for creating, using, and circulating images and objects, the expansion and transformation of exhibition and viewing practices, and the rise of new artistic institutions, as well as the metamorphosis of the United States from its colonial origins to that of a world power, including the profound changes that occurred during the Civil War. The class will investigate how American art engaged with international movements while constructing national identity during a period of radical transformation both at home and abroad.
This lecture will focus on American Impressionists in the American Wing.