Synopses & Reviews
The American Art-Union, based in New York City, was founded in 1844 with the goal of fostering the arts in America through education and publication. Modeled after European organizations, the American Art-Union sought to establish a national aesthetic in the United States and unite all regions of the country through art.
A small subscription fee entitled members of the Art-Union to at least one engraving of a prominent piece per year, as well as entry in an annual lottery distributing larger works of art. The Art-Union appealed especially to genre painters; William Sidney Mount, George Caleb Bingham, Charles Deas, William Tylee Ranney, and other noted artists submitted their works for jury and acceptance. As the United States grew increasingly divided in the 1840s, the Art-Union’s selections came under heavy scrutiny and there were accusations of supposed abolitionist and Whig sentiments. Low on funds and facing an ultimately successful lawsuit over the legality of the lottery, the American Art-Union disbanded in 1852.
This book provides a new look at the American Art-Union and the culture of the United States in the 1840s.
Written to accompany an upcoming exhibition, To Capture the Sun: Gold of Ancient Panama
explores the Gilcrease Museumandrsquo;s collection of Pre-Columbian gold for the first time since its acquisition in the 1940s. The collection, from the Gran Coclandeacute; culture of Panama, consists of more than 250 gold objects from early Panama, including effigy pendants, pectorals, cuffs, bands, ear rods, and bells, as well as a ceramics collection.
More than a beautifully illustrated exhibit catalogue, this volume includes essays by leading scholars who use the Gilcrease collection to discuss the rise of metallurgy in the Western Hemisphere, the symbolic significance of gold in Gran Coclandeacute; culture, and the influence of Pre-Columbian gold on world economies. The contributors also provide a survey of archaeological excavations in the region, including a discussion of Gilcreaseandrsquo;s important collection of Coclandeacute; ceramics.
About the Author
Richard G. Cooke is a staff scientist for the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute.
Nicholas J. Saunders teaches archaeology and anthropology at the University of Bristol.
John W. Hoopes directs the Global Indigenous Nations Studies Program at the University of Kansas.
Jeffrey Quilter is Senior Lecturer in the Archaeology Department at Harvard University and Deputy Director of the Peabody Museum.