Fine Arts | Race & Identity in 19th Century American Art (Topcis in Art History)
A200 | 12050 | Tate


This course surveys the national and racial atmosphere of nineteenth-
century America, with a heavy focus on the second half of the
century.  The course is divided into three parts. In the first part
of the class we will examine the visual encodings of racism in
American art of the nineteenth-century, and explore issues of racial
identity and representation. In the second part, we will focus on
the tumultuous decades surrounding the Civil War and the role that
African Americans played in the nationís coping with the changes
brought on by the war. The third part of the class will look at the
changing character of American nationalism and identity from 1830 to
1900. Here we will look at representations of Native Americans in
the art of the Hudson River School artists and examine the ways in
which Americans attempted to forge a new identity in the last
decades of the nineteenth-century.

Throughout the course we will look at the artwork of a number of key
players including Thomas Cole, Winslow Homer, Eastman Johnson, and
William Sydney Mount, as well as lesser-known regionalist artists,
who grappled with the issues of slavery, abolition, war, and
American identity in their art. We will also sample from nineteenth-
century literature (ie: Thomas Nelson Page and James Fenimore
Cooper) to get a better understanding of popular nineteenth-century
conceptions of race and identity.