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Washington Crossing the Delaware: Restoring an American Masterpieceby Carrie Rebora Barratt
Synopses & Reviews
Emanuel Leutze's life-size Washington Crossing the Delaware commemorates the critical moment in the American Revolution when George Washington led a surprise attack against troops supporting the British forces in Trenton. When Leutze created the painting in 1850, after he had returned from America to his native Germany, he was hoping to rally support for the revolutionary movements then sweeping Europe. He sent the work to New York in 1851, and within four months 50,000 people had paid to see it. Today the painting is an icon of American visual culture and one of the most beloved objects in The Metropolitan Museum of Art.
In 2007, Leutze's masterpiece became the focus of the most ambitious conservation and reframing project in the museum's history. This book is a behind-the-scenes report on that project, prefaced by an account of the history of the painting's acquisition and display at the museum.
This volume catalogues the worlds most comprehensive collection of American portrait miniatures, ranging in date from the early 18th to the 20th century and representing 155 artists. Jewel-like and intimate, the pieces portray spouses, children, and other loved ones and were usually created for personal use. The Museums collection is also significant for its self-portraits by artists and for portraits of notable public figures. Each of the nearly six hundred works is illustrated and described in detail, and a biography and bibliography are provided for each artist. Two essays chart the history of the collection and the stylistic development of casework and lockets.
About the Author
Carrie Rebora Barratt is Curator of American Paintings and Sculpture and Manager of the Henry R. Luce Center for the Study of American Art at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; Ellen G. Miles is Curator of Painting and Sculpture at the National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C.
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Arts and Entertainment » Art » Conservation and Preservation