Edited by Karl Kusserow and Alan C. Braddock
Public awareness of environmental issues has never been greater, nor has the need for imagining more sustainable and ethical habits of human action and thought, including environmentally informed ways of understanding art history. This multidisciplinary book offers the first broad ecocritical review of American art and examines the environmental contexts of artistic practice from the colonial period to the present day. Tracing how visions of the environment have changed from the Native-European encounter to the emergence of modern ecological activism, more than a dozen scholars and practitioners discuss how artists have both responded to and actively instigated changes in ecological understanding. Far-reaching in its interpretive approach, Nature’s Nation looks at artworks across genres and media—including painting, sculpture, prints, photography, decorative arts, and video—revealing important new discoveries about creative encounters with environmental history and politics through materials, techniques, subjects, and ideas. The book features work by more than one hundred artists, from Charles Willson Peale, Thomas Cole, and Winslow Homer to Georgia O’Keeffe, Jacob Lawrence, and Jaune Quick-to-See Smith.
The publication accompanies the exhibition Nature’s Nation: American Art and Environment on view at the Princeton University Art Museum from October 13, 2018, to January 6, 2019, the Peabody Essex Museum from February 2 to May 5, 2019, and the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art from May 25 to September 9, 2019.
Karl Kusserow is John Wilmerding Curator of American Art at the Princeton University Art Museum. Alan C. Braddock is Ralph H. Wark Associate Professor of Art History and American Studies, College of William and Mary.DETAILS