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Antebellum America: Literature and Art

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Hannah Gravitt

on 23 October 2012

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Transcript of Antebellum America: Literature and Art

Literature and Art Antebellum America Transcendentalism It took a while for Americans to develop a truely american style of literature.
Short stories became a genre developed by american authors.
Washington Irving become popular with his, "Legend of Sleepy Hollow" and his creation of the character, "Rip Van Winkle".
Edgar Allen Poe's, "The Tell-Tale Heart" and "The Murders on the Rue Morgue" were also popular in this time.
American poems were well liked probably for their ability to voice patriotism, honor, love etc.
Lydia H. Sigourney was, in the Antebellum Period, noticed as one of the top poets.
Edgar Allen Poe was also noted in poetry, along with Oliver Windell Holmes who was popular for his humorous poetry.
American writers wrote about American subjects and topics.
Biographies and memoirs of Revolutionary War heroes were popular, such as George Washington. Histories and diaries were also published.
Novels and Fiction were also written in this time period. Literature Antebellum american art was a distinguishing landscape form of art.
The transcendentalist artist of this period saw art as a advocate of moral and spiritual transformation.
Art became a way for the "universal mind" to grasp the mind of mankind.
Some characteristics are: grand, scenic vistas; humans insignificant; experiment with light, on water or in sky; symbol of Hudson River School -- broken tree stump.
The artist of this period addressed: westward expansion; racism and Native Americans; concern for political extremism; American nationalism- national mythology created; the price paid for progress and expansion of civilization Art "American Scholar", was a speech given to Harvard's Phi Beta Kappa society in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
In his introduction he talks about wanting to investigate the scholar as one function of a entire human being. "Man Thinking"
He then speaks about the influence that nature, past and books can have. Also about the influence of education of the "thinking man".
He discusses the responsibilities of a scholar. Then speaks about his views and opinions about the America in his time.
He then talks about the true scholar whose duties it is to preserve the past, and communicate concepts to the public.
"who raises himself from private considerations, and breathes and lives on public illustrious thoughts."
A true scholar must remain independent in thinking, then he can communicate to the public the way he need to.
"He is the world's eyes. He is the world's heart." "American Scholar" by Ralph Waldo Emerson The Hudson River School was regarded as America's first art movement. It became the first coherent art style.
The painter's of this movement illustrated a view of the United States through American landscapes
This movement is credited for the United States understanding of its natural environment.
The artist focused on preserving these natural wonders, but ironically because the paintings became famous the sites became tourist spots. Towns began forming, buildings were built. The sites natural beauty faded.
This movement contributed to the idea of manifest destiny, and peoples desire to move west and expand. The citizens naturally wanted to explore the countries stunning wonders. Hudson River School Once America had won Independence they wanted literary and art forms completely American, without influence from Europe.
This is when transcendentalism is born.
Transcendentalism is when one can transcend (rise above) the physical world. It is when one can acknowledge nature and the intuition of people.
Some of the great transcendentalists are :
Ralph Waldo Emerson
Henry David Thoreau
Margrett Fuller ( First Feminist) These people were all abolitionist, and all very influential. These transcendentalist also all shared the same political views. Notable Authors Ralph Waldo Emerson- "American Scholar" (1837)
Henry David Thoreau- "Civil Disobedience" (1849)
Walt Whitman- "Leaves of Grass" (1855-1892)
Herman Melville- "Moby Dick" (1851)
Edgar Allen Poe - " Fall of the House of Usher" (1839)
Nathaniel Hawthorne- "Scarlet Letter" (1850)
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, William H. Prescott, Emily Dickinson, Washington Irving Herman Melville (1819-1891) Melville wrote, "Moby Dick" (1851) which will later be thought of as as a literary masterpiece.
When he was alive, his first couple of books received attention, but when he died he was almost completely forgotten.
He was the first author to have his works collected and published by the Library of America.
"Typee" (1846) became a bestseller.
He also wrote, "Omoo" (1847), "White Jacket" (1850), and "Mardi" (1849), plus many more. Notable Artist Frederic Church- "Niagara"(1857)
Asher Durand- "Kindred Spirits" (1849)
Thomas Cole- " The Oxbow " (1836)
Emmanuel Gottlieb Leutze- "Washington Crossing the Delaware" (1851)
Thomas Doughty- " In Nature's Wonderland" (1835) Thomas Cole (1801-1848) Thomas Cole was considered, "Father of the Hudson River School".
He and his family moved to America from England in 1818.
By 1829 he became a founding father of the National Academy of Design. He was also considered one of America's leading landscape painters.
His works: Naturalistic America
Gothic Fantasies ( The Departure, The Return)
Religious Allegories ( The Voyage of Life)
Classical Pastorals ( The Dream of Arcadia)
Thomas Cole wrote many poems, essays, and journals that were very influential on American scenery.
Asher Durand and Frederic E. Church, who studied with Cole, continued painting in his tradition after he suddenly died in 1848 at age 47. Examples of Art In Nature's Wonderland (1835) - Thomas Doughty Niagara (1857) - Frederic Church View of the Catskills, Early Autumn (1837) - Thomas Cole The Oxbow (1836) - Thomas Cole The Course of the Empire: The Savage State (1834) - Thomas Cole The Course of the Empire: The Arcadian or The Pastoral State (1836) - Thomas Cole The Course of the Empire: Desolation (1836) - Thomas Cole The Luminists Luminists landscapes emphasize tranquility. These paintings often show calm, reflective waters and a hazy sky. Boston Harbor from Constitution Wharf (1833) - Robert Salmon Fur Traders Descending the Missouri (1845) - George Caleb Bingham America (1834-1894) - Norton Bush Classical Styles (Greece and Rome) Classical forms of architecture were being modeled after Greece and Roman architecture in this this time period. U.S. Customs House ( 1836) Jeffersons Rotunda (1819-1826) The Capital Rotunda Patriotic Art Patriotic art often shows the American flag and men embodied as God-like figures. The Landing of the Pilgrims (1830s) - Unknown Artist Our Banner in the Sky (1861) - Frederic Church Washington Crossing the Delaware (1851) - Emanuel Gottlieb Leutze Frontier Art Frontier artist depicted Indians in many different forms. From the "good" indians to the "bad." Young Omahaw, War Eagle, Little Missouri, and Pawnees (1821) - Charles Bird King Buffalo Bull's Back Fat, Head Chief, Blood Tribe (1821) - George Catlin Mato-Tope (1830s) - Karl Bodmer Last of the Race (1847) - Tompkins Matteson Dying Indian Chief Contemplating the Progress of Civilization (1857) - Thomas Crawford "Noble Savage" Enduring Indian Possessed Indian Condemned Indians Future for Indians
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