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The Emergence of the African-American Artist 9780826208804

The Emergence of the African-American Artist

Robert S. Duncanson, 1821-1872

ISBN-10: 0826208800
ISBN-13: 9780826208804
AUTHOR:
PUBLISHER: University of Missouri Press
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Note: Not guaranteed to come with supplemental materials (access codes, CDs, DVDs)
Product Description: "Known in the mid-nineteenth century as the best landscape painter in the West, Robert S. Duncanson fell into obscurity for nearly a century after his death. In this first full-length biography, Joseph Ketner restores the artist to his place in the history of American art. He explores Duncanson's role as an African-American artist in American society and reveals his lasting contribution to American landscape painting." "Duncanson came of age in a time of turmoil. Living and working in Cincinnati, he felt the white backlash against increasing abolitionist sentiment that prompted riots and murders in the city's black district. Even as a "freeman of color," Duncanson faced the specter of slavery daily in the markets, at the docks, and across the Ohio River from his home." "Duncanson persevered. With no professional training, he taught himself to paint by copying prints and portraits and sketching from nature. He began his career as a house-painter and decorator, eventually graduating to the work that would make him famous in his time, landscape painting." "As his skill with a paintbrush grew, Duncanson developed into a sensitive painter of the picturesque and pastoral qualities that he found in the land. These works established him as the primary painter in the Ohio River valley during the 1850s and 1860s and contributed to the foundation of the Cincinnati landscape tradition. While employing the mainstream aesthetics of American landscape painting that would propel him to international recognition, he also imbued his landscapes with a veiled significance that was understood by the African-American community. His dream of an America free of racial oppression found expression in romantic landscapes of an exotic paradise. Even as he made his way in the previously all-white art world, he claimed the American landscape as part of the African-American experience." "Duncanson's success in the mainstream art world marked the emergence of the African-American artist from a people predominantly relegated to laborers and artisans, many of whom are discussed here. Like Phyllis Wheatley and Frederick Douglass, Robert Duncanson overcame racial oppression to give expression to African-American cultural identity. With more than 130 samples of the work of Duncanson and other African-American artists, including 20 color plates, The Emergence of the AfricanAmerican Artist is a major contribution to the history of art in America."--BOOK JACKET.Title Summary field provided by Blackwell North America, Inc. All Rights Reserved

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PUBLICATION DATE:
248
CATEGORY: Art
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