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"A significant other to American Art" offers 35 newly-commissioned essays through top students that discover the method, historiography, and present nation of the sector of yank paintings historical past. good points contributions from a stability of demonstrated and rising students, artwork and architectural historians, and different experts comprises a number of paired essays to stress discussion and debate among students on very important modern concerns in American artwork background Examines subject matters akin to the methodological stakes within the writing of yankee artwork background, altering principles approximately what constitutes "Americanness," and the connection of paintings to public tradition bargains a desirable portrait of the evolution and present nation of the sector of yank paintings background and indicates destiny instructions of scholarship.

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Ethan Lasser’s chapter looks at how the study of processes of making might productively contribute to the history of American art. ” Lasser shows what uncommon methods, from running a hand across the grain of a piece of colonial furniture, to the literal reconstruction of a late eighteenth-century porcelain picklestand, can tell us that the textual record cannot. Written from his perspective as a museum curator, Lasser’s chapter offers a lesson on the value of engaging materials in unusual ways, for curators and academics alike.

Berger traces the “ascendance of close looking” in the field during the 1980s and analyzes the writings of Jules Prown, whom he credits with codifying this approach as a methodology. ” In her response, Greenhill fleshes out Berger’s account of Prown’s legacy, bringing his methods into conversation with newer work in affect theory and critical approaches to “surface reading” in scholarship on literature. She argues that “intense engagement” is a better way to describe Prown’s practice than “close looking,” and endeavors to demonstrate how much scholars would miss if they ­ adopted Berger’s conception of “the visual”—what it is, how it works, where it is located, and how it might be perceived by interpreters.

It is difficult imagine a collection of essays in Americanist art history organized under these theoretical terms, although several of them could certainly be made to apply. The difference perceptible here is a symptom of the kinds of theory at work in the two fields. And it is in modernist art history, more consistently than in any other branch of the discipline, that poststructuralist approaches have shifted the mainstream of scholarship. ”18 Further remarks clarified what the editors meant by claiming that they and their authors took a poststructuralist view.

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