Edited with text by Lowery Stokes Sims. Text by Dennis Carr, Janet L. Comey, Elliot Bostwick Davis, Aiden Faust, Nonie Gadsden, Edmund Barry Gaither, Karen Haas, Erica E. Hirshler, Kelly Hays L'Ecuyer, Taylor L. Poulin, Karen Quinn.
Clth, 9.5 x 11 in. / 256 pgs / 145 color. | 1/27/2015 | In stock ISBN 9780878468157 | $50.00
Published by MFA Publications. By Elliot Bostwick Davis.
On the night of December 25, 1776, George Washington led his ragged Continental Army through a snowstorm across the Delaware River, on the way to a surprise attack in New Jersey that would turn the tide of the American Revolution. More than 40 years later, the ambitious young painter Thomas Sully chose this dramatic moment as the subject of a portrait of the founding father commissioned for the North Carolina State House. He combined careful research into contemporary visual and written sources, compositional models drawn from heroic portrayals of the kings and emperors of Europe and American history paintings, and his own flair for theatricality to create a monumental panorama in a new mode that he called a “historical portrait.” In it, a dramatically lighted Washington urges on the troops from the back of a magnificent white steed, surrounded by fellow generals and aides, while his troops contend with the wintry river crossing below, as dawn breaks on the horizon.
"The Passage of the Delaware," the first large-scale painting of this iconic moment, was created in the early years of the burgeoning cult of George Washington, when artists, writers and politicians evoked the heroic deeds of the founding fathers, and particularly their wartime exploits, to foster a sense of national purpose and unity. This compact introduction to the painting reveals how Sully’s imagination, technique and ambition came together to embody the drama of the Revolution and the character of its leaders in a manner that inspired viewers of its time and is still stirring today.
Art by African Americans in the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston
Published by MFA Publications. Edited with text by Lowery Stokes Sims. Text by Dennis Carr, Janet L. Comey, Elliot Bostwick Davis, Aiden Faust, Nonie Gadsden, Edmund Barry Gaither, Karen Haas, Erica E. Hirshler, Kelly Hays L'Ecuyer, Taylor L. Poulin, Karen Quinn.
The story of African Americans in the visual arts has closely paralleled their social, political and economic aspirations over the last 400 years. From enslaved craftspersons to contemporary painters, printmakers and sculptors, African American artists have created a wealth of artistic expression that addresses common experiences, such as exclusion from dominant cultural institutions, and confronts questions of identity and community. This generously illustrated volume gathers more than 100 works of art in a variety of media by leading figures from the nineteenth century to the present—among them, Henry Ossawa Tanner, Jacob Lawrence, Romare Bearden, Lois Mailou Jones, Gordon Parks, Wifredo Lam, Kara Walker, Glenn Ligon and Kerry James Marshall—alongside many others who deserve to be better known, including artists from the African diaspora in South America and the Caribbean. Arranged thematically and featuring authoritative texts that provide historical and interpretive context, Common Wealth invites readers to share in a rich outpouring of art that meets shared challenges with individual creative responses.
Published by MFA Publications. Text by Elliot Bostwick Davis, David Houston.
As famous, and sometimes famously controversial, as the three generations of Wyeth artists have been, the artistic vision of Jamie Wyeth (born 1946), considered separate from the context of his family, remains surprisingly little known. This retrospective, the first in more than 30 years, presents a full range of work from his earliest virtuoso portraits to his most current mysteriously symbolic seascapes. Jamie Wyeth’s early exposure to painting in his father Andrew Wyeth’s studio, his youthful immersion in Andy Warhol’s Factory and the New York art scene of the 1970s, and his continuing dialogue with artists past and present combine with his artistic imagination to create an elusive, hybrid form of realism that ranges from sharply observed portraits of historical and cultural figures, to personified animals and animated landscapes, to a vision of an inferno set on Maine’s Monhegan Island. By exploring the themes and subjects central to Jamie Wyeth’s vision, the authors place him in the context of his own distinguished artistic heritage as well as the long tradition of American realist painting and its contemporary revival. The more than 100 paintings, works on paper and multimedia assemblages lavishly reproduced in this book invite us to explore the world of a prodigiously gifted, adamantly individualistic American artist.
Published by MFA Publications. Text by Elliot Bostwick Davis, Dennis Carr, Nonie Gadsden, Cody Hartley, Erica E. Hirshler, Heather Hole, Kelly H. L'Ecuyer, Karen E. Quinn, Dorie Reents-Budet, Gerald W.R. Ward.
A New World Imagined proposes a bold new look at the art of the Americas by viewing it through its intersections and relationships with the world at large. Taking the vast geography and staggering cultural diversity of the North and South American continents as its starting point, the book introduces the ways in which American art, broadly defined, has been shaped both by its encounters with cultures around the globe and by its own past--from the ancient and native populations that first inhabited these territories to the European, Asian, Scandinavian and Latino émigrés who settled here. But beyond actual immigration, foreign cultures--especially the strikingly different cultures of Asia and the Islamic world--have also impacted our own in purely imaginary ways, as American artists projected their fantasies and preconceptions on these far-off lands and "imported" their motifs, infusing their work with a rich, wholly invented and thoroughly American vision of the "other." Discussing over 200 artworks, from incense burners and painted drinking vessels to some of this country's most celebrated paintings and sculptures, and coinciding with the opening of MFA Boston's new Art of the Americas wing, A New World Imagined offers an alternate history of the Americas through the diverse inspirations and interactions through which its art has been fashioned.
Published by MFA Publications. Text by Carol Troyen, Judith Barter, Elliot Davis.
One of the most enduringly popular painters of the twentieth century, Edward Hopper produced many works now considered icons of Modern art. Canvases such as Drugstore, New York Movie, and the universally recognized (and often parodied) Nighthawks not only reshaped what painting looked like in America, but created a visual language for middle-class life and its discontents. This extensive new assessment of Hopper, which accompanies a major traveling exhibition, examines the dynamics of the artist's creative process and discusses his work within the cultural currents of his day--examining the influence not only of other painters, but also of such media as literature and film. And while most studies have tended to see Hopper as the great painter of alienation, this one takes a much broader, more nuanced, and ultimately more representative view. Spanning the entirety of Hopper's career, but with particular emphasis on his heyday in the 30s and 40s, Edward Hopper highlights the artist's greatest achievements while discussing such topics as his absorption of European influences, critical reactions to his work, the relation of Realism to Modernism, the artist's fascination with architecture, his depiction of women, and the struggle in his last years to produce original works. Illustrated with over 150 oils, watercolors and prints, and including essays by several noted scholars in the field and an extensive chronology and bibliography, this is the most comprehensive volume on Hopper produced in the last decade.
Published by MFA Publications. Text by Janet Comey, Elliot Davis, Karen Quinn, Ellen Roberts, Carol Troyen, Erica Hirshler.
New Series MFA Highlights presents the best of the collections of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, in a new series of accessible, uniform paperback volumes. The aim of the series is threefold: to highlight the main holdings of the MFA's permanent collections in handsome, affordable editions; to provide an informed, readable overview of various segments of art, for use by students, visitors and scholars; and, over time, to create a library that will act as a general tour of world art. The first two titles in the series are American Painting and Arts of Egypt, to be followed by volumes on Musical Instruments, Photography, European Painting and Sculpture, European Decorative Arts, Contemporary Art, Textiles, Prints and Drawings, Modern Design, and the arts of China, Japan, Africa, India and the Islamic world. The look of these books is modern, but the content is timeless. Each book is approximately 250 pages, fully illustrated in color, bound in a uniform paperback format, and priced below $20.00. American Paintings features over 100 masterworks dating from 1670 to 1960 from the collection of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. The aritsts featured range from Copley, Whistler, Cassatt, and Sargent to Hopper, Marin, Gorky and Pollock. Divided according to chronology and genre, each of the book's 15 sections begins with a thematic introduction, followed by short discussions of individual paintings. Certain introductions narrate a history of American painting--from the earliest years of the British colonies to the mid-twentieth century, touching on such focal points as the American Revolution, westward expansion, the Civil War, and the two World Wars--while others more specifically discuss genres such as history painting, folk painting, portraiture, and still life. The narrative touches on broader themes as well, such as the American artists' relationship with European art, the establishment of indigenous painting styles, the role of patronage in American art, and the question of provincial vs. “high” art. Rich in both visual and textual content, American Paintings is a valuable and enjoyable resource for both the museum visitor and the general reader.