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For generations of Virginians and visitors the landscape of the Old Dominion has represented something unique and symbolic. In conjunction with a ...Show synopsisFor generations of Virginians and visitors the landscape of the Old Dominion has represented something unique and symbolic. In conjunction with a landmark exhibition at the Virginia Historical Society, this beautifully produced volume brings together more than 250 paintings, drawings, prints, and photographs depicting the rich and varied history of the state through the eyes of the artists who have painted and photographed it.Hide synopsis
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Description:Very Good in Very Good jacket. 9.5" X 12.5. H/B, 214 pages,...Very Good in Very Good jacket. 9.5" X 12.5. H/B, 214 pages, condition is very good. Both Thomas Jefferson and George Washington revered the Virginia landscape. Jefferson's descriptions of its physical attractions, expressed both in letters and his Notes on the State of Virginia, lured European and American travelers to the state and helped bring it renown. In the same way, it was the land of Virginia that ever commanded the affection of Washington; the first president owned extensive tracts and hung large landscape paintings at Mount Vernon. These luminaries shared with contemporaries a vision that the Virginia landscape is somehow special and an attribute and identifying symbol of the region. During the course of the following two centuries, this fundamental belief has been perpetuated by waves of artists who have defined, celebrated, and modified the idea. This body of material has never before been displayed as a group and has never been critically examined. The paintings bring to light attitudes about progress, the growth of towns, and the loss of wilderness that were different from the views of contemporary urban patrons in the North. More than just the definition of physical extent, the Virginia landscape has provided the region its identity. James C. Kelly and William M. S. Rasmussen examine how natural landmarks like the Dismal Swamp, the Peaks of Otter, and Natural Bridge became associated in the national consciousness with the state. Natural Bridge, paired throughout the nineteenth century with Niagara Falls as equal in splendor, was even remembered by Herman Melville in his description of the great white whale. In the same way, historic landmarks like Mount Vernon, Jamestown, and Yorktown helped to define Virginia as a place where significant American history unfolded. Mount Vernon became so well known an image that novelist Willa Cather could use it as a means to describe another building. The landscape determined how the Virginia colony would be settled, how the Revolutionary and Civil Wars would be fought, and its resources have shaped our twentieth-century patterns of growth. No resident population of landscape painters comparable to the so-called Hudson River School in the Northeast was established in the state in the nineteenth century, but Kelly and Rasmussen demonstrate that the land in Virginia was just as important then to both its residents and visitors. Their cultural study traces the rural settlement of the colony and state along the models of the plantation and the market town. It examines the meaning of progress in Virginia by following the visual record of urban growth and the construction of canals and railroads. It surveys Virginia's Civil War landscape, which inspired Walt Whitman's "surprise and admiration." It follows the path of landscape imagery to the end of the twentieth century, when a tradition of nature painting finally was established in the state, in defiance of environmental threats to the survival of the land. The Virginia Landscape is an extraordinary compilation of visual and written images of Virginia. Among the painters represented are such well-known figures as Albert Bierstadt, George Inness, David Johnson, Rockwell Kent, Gari Melchers, William Trost Richards, Charles Sheeler, William Louis Sonntag, Wayne Thiebaud, Alfred Wordsworth Thompson, and Worthington Whittredge, as well as a number of lesser-known but highly competent artists such as Edward Beyer and Alexis Fournier.
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