By Karen L. Georgi
American Civil War–era paintings critics James Jackson Jarves, Clarence cook dinner, and William J. Stillman labeled kinds and outlined paintings in phrases that experience develop into basic to our glossy periodization of the artwork of the 19th century. In Critical Shift, Karen Georgi rereads lots of their recognized texts, discovering definite key discrepancies among their phrases and our historiography, pointing to unrecognized narrative wishes. The ebook additionally experiences ruptures and progressive breaks among “old” and “new” paintings, in addition to the problem of the morality of “true” artwork. Georgi asserts that those strategies and their occasionally loaded expression have been a part of better rhetorical constructions that gainsay the makes use of to which the most important phrases were installed glossy historiography.
It has been greater than fifty years due to the fact a e-book has been dedicated to interpreting the careers of those 3 critics, and not sooner than has their function within the historiography and periodization of yankee artwork been analyzed. The conclusions drawn from this shut rereading of famous texts problem the elemental nature of “historical context” in American paintings heritage.
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Additional info for Critical Shift: Rereading Jarves, Cook, Stillman, and the Narratives of Nineteenth-Century American Art
In particular, we should wonder whether his oppositions between generalized religious and political structures, so rigidly reduced and systematized, were employed foremost as value-laden types meant to classify aesthetic form. This question might alternately be posed as which of these came ﬁrst: Did his aesthetic opinions follow from the conclusions of his theory of cultural inﬂuence, or did this theory rationalize his preformed artistic judgments? I suggest that the latter might be the more accurate reading.
Finally, this reading of Jarves proposes a revision of his role among modern historians of American art. As noted at the outset, his current reputation deﬁnes him as an agent of change, a critic whose ostensible internationalism, exempliﬁed by the ﬁnal quotation above, has been thought to mark a shift between antebellum nativist art and post–Civil War interests in transatlantic cosmopolitanism with modernist aesthetic tendencies. His art theory and critical interests, however, do not readily ﬁt this model.
16 Part of what Jarves’s texts express is a desire to counteract this reception. The methodological principles that structure Jarves’s arguments, primarily in The Art-Idea of 1864 but also in his Art-Hints of 1855, have a direct relationship to the aesthetic preferences he hoped to foster among Americans—about European as well as American art. These principles take shape in the two fundamental structural forms noted already. indd 25 6/10/13 4:35 PM 26 critical shift social milieu, inside its context of cultural factors.
Critical Shift: Rereading Jarves, Cook, Stillman, and the Narratives of Nineteenth-Century American Art by Karen L. Georgi