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Other titles in the Published for the Omohundro Institute of Early American Hist series:

Citizen Spectator: Art, Illusion, and Visual Perception in Early National America

by

Citizen Spectator: Art, Illusion, and Visual Perception in Early National America Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

"Citizen Spectator is a wonderful book--clever, learned, insightful, and surprising. Bellion writes brilliantly about art, illusion, optics, and perception, leading readers through the rich visual worlds of early national Philadelphia and into the tumultuous politics of the new American nation."--Ann Fabian, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey

"Eye-opening, original, and provocative, Citizen Spectator recasts early national citizenship as a politicization of the senses. A fascination for optical illusions in art and science tested Americans' ability to discern authenticity from deception. Bellion proves just how important that test was in the early republic. She reminds us of its importance still."--Joseph Roach, Yale University

"Bellion shows that deceptive illusions were not mere diversions for the citizens of Philadelphia circa 1800 but were embedded in the Enlightenment pursuit of rationality and anxieties about republican politics. These insights bring a fascinating array of artifacts into focus."--Michael Leja, University of Pennsylvania

"Citizen Spectator lifts a curtain to expose the aesthetic, economic, and political spaces--from museums to markets, the street to the statehouse--where Americans practiced a politics of visual discernment. Absorbing and arresting as an illusionistic painting, Bellion's book brilliantly reveals how new media challenged inherited ideologies and provides novel horizons and vanishing points for the history of American art, culture, and politics."--Eric Slauter, University of Chicago

Synopsis:

In the first book-length exploration of illusionistic art in the early United States, Bellion investigates Americans' experiences with material forms of visual deception and argues that encounters with illusory art shaped citizens' understanding of knowledge, representation, and subjectivity between 1790 and 1825.

Synopsis:

In this richly illustrated study, the first book-length exploration of illusionistic art in the early United States, Wendy Bellion investigates Americans' experiences with material forms of visual deception and argues that encounters with illusory art shaped their understanding of knowledge, representation, and subjectivity between 1790 and 1825. Focusing on the work of the well-known Peale family and their Philadelphia Museum, as well as other Philadelphians, Bellion explores the range of illusions encountered in public spaces, from trompe l'oeil paintings and drawings at art exhibitions to ephemeral displays of phantasmagoria, "Invisible Ladies," and other spectacles of deception.

Bellion reconstructs the elite and vernacular sites where such art and objects appeared and argues that early national exhibitions doubled as spaces of citizen formation. Within a post-Revolutionary culture troubled by the social and political consequences of deception, keen perception signified able citizenship. Setting illusions into dialogue with Enlightenment cultures of science, print, politics, and the senses, Citizen Spectator demonstrates that pictorial and optical illusions functioned to cultivate but also to confound discernment. Bellion reveals the equivocal nature of illusion during the early republic, mapping its changing forms and functions, and uncovers surprising links between early American art, culture, and citizenship.

About the Author

Wendy Bellion is associate professor of art history at the University of Delaware.

Product Details

ISBN:
9780807833889
Author:
Bellion, Wendy
Publisher:
University of North Carolina Press
Subject:
American
Subject:
American Art
Subject:
American art history
Subject:
Early American art
Subject:
Trompe l'oeil
Subject:
Illusion
Subject:
illusionism
Subject:
Imitation
Subject:
Painting
Subject:
spectacle
Subject:
Optics
Subject:
optical instrument
Subject:
Deception
Subject:
Perspective
Subject:
Perception
Subject:
Senses
Subject:
invisible
Subject:
BR
Subject:
visual culture
Subject:
Material culture
Subject:
Common sense
Subject:
Atlantic world
Subject:
post-revolutionary
Subject:
citizen
Subject:
early national
Subject:
early republic
Subject:
1790s
Subject:
Philadelphia
Subject:
Independence Hall
Subject:
Charles Willson Peale
Subject:
Rembrandt Peale
Subject:
Raphaelle Peale
Subject:
Columbianum
Subject:
Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts
Subject:
Philadelphia Museum
Subject:
Peale Museum
Subject:
William Birch
Subject:
Thomas Birch
Subject:
Samuel Lewis
Subject:
Invisible Lady
Subject:
Francois-Marius Granet
Subject:
John Neal
Subject:
Charles Bird King
Subject:
John Neagle /John Archibald Woodside, Sr.
Subject:
George Washington
Subject:
Thomas Jefferson
Subject:
Art-History and Criticism
Subject:
ism
Publication Date:
20110231
Binding:
HARDCOVER
Language:
English
Pages:
388
Dimensions:
9.25 x 6.125 in

Related Subjects

Arts and Entertainment » Art » History and Criticism
History and Social Science » US History » 19th Century

Citizen Spectator: Art, Illusion, and Visual Perception in Early National America New Hardcover
0 stars - 0 reviews
$58.75 Backorder
Product details 388 pages University of North Carolina Press - English 9780807833889 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by , In the first book-length exploration of illusionistic art in the early United States, Bellion investigates Americans' experiences with material forms of visual deception and argues that encounters with illusory art shaped citizens' understanding of knowledge, representation, and subjectivity between 1790 and 1825.
"Synopsis" by , In this richly illustrated study, the first book-length exploration of illusionistic art in the early United States, Wendy Bellion investigates Americans' experiences with material forms of visual deception and argues that encounters with illusory art shaped their understanding of knowledge, representation, and subjectivity between 1790 and 1825. Focusing on the work of the well-known Peale family and their Philadelphia Museum, as well as other Philadelphians, Bellion explores the range of illusions encountered in public spaces, from trompe l'oeil paintings and drawings at art exhibitions to ephemeral displays of phantasmagoria, "Invisible Ladies," and other spectacles of deception.

Bellion reconstructs the elite and vernacular sites where such art and objects appeared and argues that early national exhibitions doubled as spaces of citizen formation. Within a post-Revolutionary culture troubled by the social and political consequences of deception, keen perception signified able citizenship. Setting illusions into dialogue with Enlightenment cultures of science, print, politics, and the senses, Citizen Spectator demonstrates that pictorial and optical illusions functioned to cultivate but also to confound discernment. Bellion reveals the equivocal nature of illusion during the early republic, mapping its changing forms and functions, and uncovers surprising links between early American art, culture, and citizenship.

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