By Holly Markovitz Goldstein
This dissertation positions modern photos of iconic American frontier websites as visible embodiments of revisionist heritage. Artists Mark Klett, John Pfahl, Deborah brilliant, and Robert Adams use images to re-image and re-write American panorama heritage; they examine conflicting narratives of nationhood and reinterpret the legacies of nineteenth-century photographers. Klett and Pfahl eventually perpetuate the parable of the frontier by way of suggesting that the country is as attractive and wealthy in assets now because it used to be within the 19th century. in contrast, vivid and Adams depict well-known frontier websites as smooth ruins, revealing that America's ethnic, type, and gender kinfolk and its ecological well-being are fragile and risky. In bankruptcy One, the Rephotographic Survey venture, created through Klett, JoAnn Verburg and Ellen Manchester, makes use of geological repeat-photography to guage current landscapes opposed to the prior; this intentionally banal comparability of "then" and "now" situates the western frontier as a altering indicator of nationwide cultural identification. In bankruptcy , Klett's panoramic photograph- collages of Yosemite and the Grand Canyon place the West as a university of background, created by means of generations of layered creative, documentary, and advertisement imagery. In bankruptcy 3, Pfahl's Arcadia Revisited sequence employs elegant and picturesque aesthetics to depict today's Niagara Falls because the beautiful vacationer vacation spot it used to be designed to be a century in the past, principally ignoring the region's present ecological devastation. bankruptcy 4 argues that of Bright's New England-based initiatives divulge biases in traditional American ancient narratives: Glacial Erratic finds Plymouth Rock, a domain of imagined patriotic reminiscence, to be seriously inscribed with histories of violence and oppression, and take place depicts crumbling stone boundary partitions as websites of energy and resistance. In bankruptcy 5, Adams's Turning again re-examines the Lewis and Clark excursion at the social gathering of its bicentennial; photos depicting ghastly scenes of big deforestation within the Pacific Northwest exhibit an American dream long past awry. Klett and Pfahl's positive pictures depict an iconic frontier that maintains to draw travelers, encourage artists, and gas patriotism. but Bright's imprisoned Plymouth Rock represents the inconsistencies of yank background, and Adams's uncomplicated forests disclose the tragic aftermath of western exploration.
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Additional info for American Landscapes as Revisionist History: The Frontier Photographs of Mark Klett, John Pfahl, Deborah Bright and Robert Adams
In addition to a careful consideration of the images' formal arrangement and aesthetic impact, each series, and each landscape, is examined within its broad historical and artistic context. 55 Similar to writings of revisionist historians, the photographs considered here reframe and re-image conventional historical 54 Schulman, 30. While scholars of the New Western History aim to enrich and broaden conventional narratives of regional western history, this model can be expanded to include eastern American territories as well.
41 See Treuttner, ed. Additional examples of revisionist historians evaluating visual material are discussed later in the review of literature. , (Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press, 1994). 42 In February, 2010,1 will deliver the paper, Traveling East to Revisit the West: Robert Adams's 'Turning Back' as part of the panel The West as America Revisited at the College Art Association (CAA) Annual Meeting in Chicago. The session's discussant will be William Truettner, editor of The West as America.
24 Recent "ecocritical" scholarship has brought an ecological, environmental focus to art history. The artists discussed in this dissertation are examined within this discourse of ecocriticism. See especially Alan Braddock and Christoph Irmscher eds, A Keener Perception: Ecocritical Studies in American Art History (Tuscaloosa, AL: University of Alabama Press, 2009). 25 First, the great western geologic surveys of the late-nineteenth century, and chiefly the images of O'Sullivan, literally and figuratively carved a photographic swath through the previously-undocumented frontier.
American Landscapes as Revisionist History: The Frontier Photographs of Mark Klett, John Pfahl, Deborah Bright and Robert Adams by Holly Markovitz Goldstein
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