American Encounters

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9780130300041: American Encounters

American Encounters is a long-awaited dynamic new narrative of the history of American art that focuses on historical encounters among diverse cultures, upon broad structural transformations such as the rise of the middle classes and the emergence of consumer and mass culture, and on the fluid exchanges between “high” art and vernacular expression.   The text emphasizes the intersections among cultures and populations, as well as the influences, borrowings, and appropriations that have enriched and vitalized our collective cultural heritage.

 

There was a readily perceived need for an up-to-date survey of American art that addressed the thematic, cultural, and historical concerns of the field in the 21st century. American Encounters offers a new narrative of American art organized around the theme of cross-cultural exchanges. It locates America at the cross-roads of cultural encounters between Asia, Africa, Europe, and the New World, for over five centuries. The authors do not treat traditions separately, rather they explore how peoples and cultures encounter and influence each other and then evolve based on an exchange of ideas, materials etc.

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Review:

New-York Historical Society / BOOKS THAT MATTER

(What Historians Are Reading Now — A Series)

 

Sunday, December 9, 2007

 

Rebecca Zurier is reading:   

AMERICAN ENCOUNTERS:  ART, HISTORY, AND CULTURAL IDENTITY

By: Angela L. Miller, Janet C. Berlo, Bryan J. Wolf, and Jennifer L. Roberts

 

 

The reach of this lavishly illustrated textbook extends beyond the classroom, as should its readership.  A sweeping story of encounters between Native American and colonial artists, homegrown talent and cosmopolitans, builders and materials, and highbrows and lowbrows at the crossroads of five continents, it presents the bumptious pageant that has inspired a new generation of scholarship on the history of American art.  Sidebars explain everything from Moundbuilders to Modernism but what shines are the original research and interpretive passages that bring to light dozens of lesser-known creators while helping us see old favorites anew. 

 

Rebecca Zurier is Associate Professor of the History of Art at the University of Michigan.  She is the author of Picturing the City: Urban Vision and the Ashcan School.

 

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