Art of the United States is a landmark volume that presents three centuries of US art through a broad array of historical texts, including writings by artists, critics, patrons, literary figures, and other commentators. Combining a wide-ranging selection of texts with high-quality reproductions of artworks, it offers a resource for the study and understanding of the visual arts of the United States. With contextual essays, explanatory headnotes, a chronology of US historical landmarks, maps, and full-color illustrations of key artworks, the volume will appeal to national and international audiences ranging from undergraduates and museum visitors to art historians and other scholars. Texts by a range of artists and cultural figures—including John Adams, Thomas Cole, Frederick Douglass, Mary Cassatt, Edward Hopper, Clement Greenberg, and Cindy Sherman—are grouped according to historical era alongside additional featured artists.
A sourcebook of unprecedented breadth and depth, Art of the United States brings together multiple voices throughout the ages to provide a framework for learning and critical thinking on US art.
About the Author
John Davis is the provost and under secretary for museums, education, and research at the Smithsonian Institution and the author or coauthor of numerous catalogs and books, including, with Sarah Burns, the comprehensive volume American Art to 1900.
Michael Leja is the James and Nan Wagner Farquhar Professor of History of Art at the University of Pennsylvania and the author of numerous catalogs and books, including Reframing Abstract Expressionism: Subjectivity and Painting in the 1940s and Looking Askance: Skepticism and American Art from Eakins to Duchamp.
"Art of the United States, 1750-2000: Primary Sources is an affordable and well-organized anthology that can serve as an introduction to primary sources for undergraduate students studying art history as well as casual readers interested in American art. It is well-suited for general academic collections as well as fine art libraries that support undergraduate study and could easily serve as a supplementary course-assigned text for an introductory American art course." — Art Libraries Society of North America
"Created with non–English speakers in mind, Art of the United States, 1750–2000 is an inspiring and unique source book. The primary texts—which include letters, artists’ writings, interviews, diaries, and critical texts—provide unique, and sometimes personal, insights about the art and culture of the US during the particular time frame. Together these sources create across-cultural framework for learning about US art in a way that will appeal to anyone interested in US history and art. Recommended." — Choice