New Book Features the American Art-Union

The American Art-Union, based in New York City, founded in 1844 with the goal of fostering the arts in America through education and publication, is the subject of an outstanding new book, Perfectly American: The Art-Union & Its Artists.

Modeled after European organizations, the American Art-Union sought to establish a national aesthetic in the United States and unite all regions of the country through art. A small subscription fee entitled members of the Art-Union to at least one engraving of a prominent piece per year, as well as entry in an annual lottery distributing larger works of art.

The Art-Union appealed especially to genre painters- William Sidney Mount, George Caleb Bingham, Charles Deas, William Tylee Ranney, and other noted artists submitted their works for jury and acceptance. As the United States grew increasingly divided in the 1840s, the Art-Union’s selections came under heavy scrutiny and there were accusations of supposed abolitionist and Whig sentiments. Low on funds and facing an ultimately successful lawsuit over the legality of their annual lottery, the American Art-Union disbanded in 1852.

At 200 pages, and with contributions by Patricia Hills, Peter J. Brownlee, Randy Ramer, Amanda Lett and 60 color illustrations Perfectly American provides a new look at the American Art-Union and the culture of the United States in the 1840s.

Note: Books noticed on this site have been provided by the publishers. Purchases made through this Amazon link help support this site.

Related Articles

  • Lippard and Conceptual Art Focus of New ExhibitLippard and Conceptual Art Focus of New Exhibit Materializing “Six Years”: Lucy R. Lippard and the Emergence of Conceptual Art, the first exhibition to explore the impact of the feminist writer, curator, and activist Lucy R. […]
  • Toulouse-Lautrec Exhibition at the Hyde CollectionToulouse-Lautrec Exhibition at the Hyde Collection The Hyde Collection in Glens Falls, Warren County, has announced it will present the exhibition Toulouse-Lautrec & Company: Prints from the Belle Epoque. On view in Hoopes Gallery from […]
  • Early Albany Deptartment Store Exhibition OpensEarly Albany Deptartment Store Exhibition Opens The Albany Institute of History & Art is presenting Temple of Fancy: Pease’s Great Variety Store, an exhibition featuring Richard H. Pease’s upscale “Five and Dime” where Albany families […]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *