New Books

Painting the Dark Side: Art and the Gothic Imagination in Nineteenth-Century America by Sarah Burns

ND 210 .B87 2004

“Sarah Burns leads readers through the interior worlds of seven troubled nineteenth-century painters. With a splendid eye for historical detail, she probes relationships between the work of these tormented individuals and the national upheavals associated with slavery, immigration, industrialization, and women’s rights. Painting the Dark Side explores the gothic strain in American art with luminous intelligence.”–David Lubin, author of Picturing a Nation: Art and Social Change in Nineteenth-Century America

Basilica: The Splendor and the Scandal: Building St. Peter’s
by R.A. Scotti      NA 5620 .S9 S36 2006

In this absorbing story of the construction of the Basilica of St. Peter in Rome—the grandest architectural undertaking of the High Renaissance—Scotti (Sudden Sea: The Great Hurricane of 1938) shows how the construction fed the ambitions of 30 popes, including the indomitable Julius II, who laid the first stone in 1506; Leo X, the Medici pope whose extravagant spending fueled the resentment toward the papacy that culminated in the Protestant Reformation; Clement VII, on whose watch Rome was sacked by Emperor Charles V; and Sixtus V, who restored the ravaged city and pushed, against all odds, to have the great dome completed during his lifetime. In 1506, the great architect Donato Bramante envisioned a gigantic central crossing topped by a dome of such daring design that many believed it could not be built. Throughout the 100 years of construction, numerous architects, most of them consumed with pride, lofty ambition and professional jealousy, followed. Among them were Raphael, who died at age 37; Michelangelo, who accepted the job reluctantly at the age of 71; and Giacomo della Porta, who, in 1590, succeeded in raising the grand cupola. All are brought to life in this fascinating tale of genius, power and money. — Publishers Weekly Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.


Dada: Zurich, Berlin, Hanover, Cologne, New York, Paris

NX 456.5 .D3 D53 2005

This major museum exhibition, which premiered at the National Gallery of Art, is the first in the United States to focus exclusively on Dada, one of the twentieth century’s most influential avant-garde art movements. Responding to the disasters of World War I and to an emerging modern media and machine culture, Dada artists led a creative revolution that profoundly shaped the course of subsequent art. Dada was a defiantly international movement, the first to self-consciously position itself as an expansive network crossing countries and continents. Born in neutral Zurich and New York, two cities that served as independent points of origin for the movement, Dada rapidly spread to Berlin, Cologne, Hannover, Paris, and beyond. This exhibition surveys the many forms of Dada artistic production as developed in the movement’s six primary city centers and features over four hundred works in a dynamic multimedia installation that includes collages, films, paintings, photographs, printed matter, sound recordings, and sculpture. Among the nearly fifty artists represented are Hans Arp, Marcel Duchamp, Max Ernst, Raoul Hausmann, Hannah Höch, Francis Picabia, Kurt Schwitters, and Sophie Taeuber, along with a number of less familiar individuals associated with the movement.


The Modern West: American Landscapes, 1890-1950

by Emily Ballew Neff

N 8214.5 .U6 N44 2006

Modernism, which curator Neff succinctly defines as “a cultural response to modernization and industrialization,” was not confined to progress-embracing New York but, rather, was intrinsic to the much-mythologized western expansion. As technology in the form of the rifle, railroad, telegraph, automobile, and industrialized agricultural and mining practices bolstered the war against American Indians and transformed nature, painters and photographers responded to these epic changes in modes ranging from romantic to radical. Barry Lopez sets the historic, moral, and aesthetic markers for this beautifully mind-expanding volume in his opening essay. Neff then launches her gracefully lucid and remarkably informative running commentary, vividly profiling diverse artists and presenting fresh analysis of their interpretations of the grandeur and desolation of the West. Sharpened appreciation for Thomas Moran, Frederic Remington, Ansel Adams, and Georgia O’Keeffe is linked to Neff’s broadly illuminating discussions of many others, including Laura Gilpin, who photographed the West for 60 years, and the painters Arthur Wesley Dow, Marsden Hartley, and Alexandre Hogue. Neff’s inspired overview creates a new and dynamic perspective on America’s land and art.  — Booklist Donna Seaman Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved


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