Art and American Identity: 1670-1789

Thursday, November 29, 2012
7:00 pm - 8:30 pm (EST) Enter Classroom Enter Forum


Maurie McInnis
Associate Professor, American Art and Material Culture and
Director of American Studies
University of Virginia

About the Seminar

In 1690, to what extent were the arts and material culture of the British Atlantic colonies “American”? To what extent were they “American” by 1789? What major factors defined the evolution in American arts and material culture in this period? To what extent did this evolution reflect the changing self-image of Americans?

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Seminar Recording

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Assigned Readings

  1. Benjamin Franklin on wealth, luxury, and virtue.
  2. Note and images: teapot, ca. 1715; punchbowl, ca. 1745; bureau table, ca. 1765.
  3. “Join or Die,” essay and image by Benjamin Franklin.
  4. Diary of William Byrd II.
  5. Elizabeth Randolph, portrait. and additional text.
  6. Depictions of African Americans by white artists.
  7. Sea Captains Carousing in Surinam, painting by John Greenwood.
  8. Lapowinsa and Tishcohan, portraits by Gustavus Hesselius and additional note.

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