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Historical Portraiture: American
The Invention of Painting in America (Leonard Hastings Schoff Lectures) by David Rosand – Hardcover: 246 pages Columbia University Press (October 20, 2004)

In this exhilarating study, David Rosand shows how America was transformed from a provincial follower of the established traditions of European painting to become one of the forerunners of artistic innovation. Pushing beyond the parochial question of "what is American about American art?" The Invention of Painting in America identifies not only the status of the artist and his or her relationship to the work of art but the larger dialogue between the artist and society as well.

Portraits of the Presidents: The National Portrait Gallery by Frederick S. Voss – Hardcover, 136 pages (November 2000) Rizzoli

The most visited gallery of the National Portrait Gallery is the Hall of Presidents, the collection of portraits of America's elected leaders. More than a visual record of holders of power, these images evoke the careers and legacies of the men they portray.

The Worlds of Jacob Eichholtz: Portrait Painter of the Early Republic by Thomas R. Ryan – Hardcover: 176 pages Publisher: Pennsylvania State University Press (November 1, 2003)

The Worlds of Jacob Eichholtz explores the life and times of an oft-overlooked figure in early American art. Jacob Eichholtz (1776–1842) began his career in the metal trades but with much practice, some encouragement from his friend Thomas Sully, and a few weeks instruction from America’s preeminent portraitist, Gilbert Stuart, he transformed himself into one of the nation’s most productive portrait painters.

Eichholtz worked primarily in the Middle Atlantic region from his homes in Lancaster and Philadelphia. While Stuart and Sully concentrated on the elite of American society, Eichholtz captured the images of a rising middle class with its craftsmen, merchants, doctors, lawyers, and their families. From a lifetime that spanned the American Revolution to the Industrial Revolution, and a career that produced more than 800 paintings, Eichholtz offers a collective portrait of early American culture in the first half of the nineteenth century.

The Worlds of Jacob Eichholtz begins with four insightful essays by Thomas Ryan, David Jaffee, Carol Faill, and Peter Seibert that examine Eichholtz’s life and work. The second part of the book—a visual essay—brings together for the first time more than 100 color reproductions of Eichholtz’s work. These images include over 60 oil-on-canvas portraits, more than 30 profiles on panel, and seven of the landscape, historical, or biblical paintings he produced. Also illustrated are artifacts associated with Eichholtz and his family, examples of the tinsmith’s and coppersmith’s trade, and the work of artists who influenced his career. The Worlds of Jacob Eichholtz promises to be the finest color catalog of Eichholtz’s oeuvre for years to come.

This book, made possible by the Richard C. von Hess Foundation, accompanies a major three-part exhibition that will run concurrently at the Lancaster County Historical Society, the Heritage Center Museum of Lancaster County, and the Phillips Museum of Art at Franklin & Marshall College from April through December 2003.

An Essay on the Portraiture of the American Revolutionary War: Being an account of a number of the engraved portraits connected therewith, remarkable for their rarity or otherwise interesting by William Loring Andrews – Unknown Binding: 3 pages

Printed by Gillis brothers for the author and sold by Dodd, Mead & Co (1896)

Newportraits by Newport Art Museum – Library Binding: 344 pages University Press of New England; 1st edition (May 1, 2000)

A lavishly illustrated catalog of portraits of Newport residents from the eighteenth century to the present.

Newport, Rhode Island, has always been a fabled American city. From 1639 when it was founded by religious dissidents from the Massachusetts Bay Colony until the Revolution, it was one of the five most important commercial centers in the colonies, aided, no doubt, by its unusual policy of religious toleration. Occupied and burned by the British during the war, Newport never regained its commercial importance, but by the end of the nineteenth century it had become the Gilded Age's most glamorous resort community and site of the grandest parties and summer houses of the national Social Register. Though much of the glamor has evaporated, it is still one of most visited summer resort locations.

In 1992, the Newport Art Museum assembled an exhibition of 223 portraits of Newporters painted over a period of three centuries. It presented not just a gallery of the Newport elite and some of its haute bourgeoisie, but also a showcase of the most famous portraitists and portrait styles throughout United States history. Artists represented in this collectionrange from the great colonial portraitists Gilbert Stuart, Robert Feke, and John Singleton Copley to such modern figures as Diego Rivera, Larry Rivers, and Andy Warhol.

American Characters: Selections from the National Portrait Gallery, Accompanied by Literary Portraits by R. W. B. Lewis, Nancy Lewis, National Portrait Gallery – Hardcover, 432 pages (Sep 1999) Yale Univ Press

This delightful book brings together 160 famous American figures from Pocahontas to Louis Armstrong, providing both visual and verbal portraits to illuminate their places in American life. The portraiture-paintings, sculptures, photographs, cartoons-and the literary images-eyewitness accounts, memoirs, poems, letters, and biographies-are accompanied by lively and informative commentary by the editors.

John Singleton Copley in America by Carrie Rebora, Paul Staiti – Hardcover: 368 pages Metropolitan Museum of Art (1995)

This ponderously impressive tome examines colonial painter Copley's American-produced oeuvre. The artist's life and work is covered until his relocation to London in 1774. Based on a large exhibition organized by New York City's Metropolitan Museum of Art and Boston's Museum of Fine Arts, this is the first monograph to appear on Copley since 1966. Essays by noted American art historians trace the artist's training and subsequent production of oil paintings, pastels, and miniatures. The scholarly re-creation of issues pertinent to the artist and his sitters' social environment is matchless, and the illustrations alone are well worth the book's price. However, the text is not an easy narrative, perhaps because of its authoritative tone. This study is most appropriate for academic and specialized library collections with an emphasis on Early American art and culture. —Paula A. Baxter, NYPL Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc.

John Singleton Copley by James T. Flexner, Deal Hudson (Introduction), Mortimer J. Adler (Preface) – Hardcover: 139 pages Publisher: Fordham University Press; 2 edition (January 1, 1993)

A book for both the general reader of American history and the student of art, Flexner's study of Copley (1738-1815), brings into vivid detail the struggle the artist endured against an unfavorable environment in the New World, his rise to fame, the development of his unique style, and the personal growth of the man who rose to critical acclaim and then sank to obscurity.

Copley's life began in the humble surroundings of Boston's waterfront. As poor boy growing up in a city where no formal art instruction was available and the conventional response of Boston society was a Puritanical mistrust of such activity, rigorous self-instruction was Copley's only means to his goal of becoming a painter. Through laborious work Copley mastered his craft; the portraits he produced between 1753 and 1774, at the height of his fame, were distinguished by the fully rounded modeling and realism which make the personalities of his sujects come alive. His paintings in these years were the best works a colonial American artist had ever produced. Yet his personal letters reveal that he found life in Boston limited, as he cites the dearth of great art from which to learn and by which to be inspired and, complains of what he perceives to be the underappreciation of his patrons.

The Boston Tea Part and other events led inexorably towards the Revolution. Copley was unwillingly drawn into the troubled political arena; his loyalist connections made his life in Boston increasingly turbulent and precarious. In 1774, at the suggestion of Joshu Reynolds and Benjamin West, Copley became convinced he was wasting his talents in the colonies and moved to London to study the European masters. This decision marked the second period of his life, lasting 40 years, and instigated a no less dramatic shift in the style and subject of his art. Copley's tour of European cities and galleries broadened the range and scope of his work. He produced large canvases of sweeping historical scenes glorifying war, political subjects, and religious subjects considered taboo in the colonies. Copley's fame soared to world-wide recognition as a historical painter. 1802 marks the beginning of Copley's ascent. In his later work Copley seems to have lost his strong sense of composition; eventually, even his draftsmanship seemed to fail him. The rejection and scorn of critics stung Copley, who, nearing seventy years old, spent the last years of his life struggling to regain his former acclaim.

John Smibert: Colonial America`s First Portrait Painter (A Barra Foundation Book) by Richard H. Saunders – Hardcover: 294 pages Yale University Press; Slipcase edition (October 25, 1995)

Though he was born in Scotland and created some of his better portraits in London, Smibert can rightfully lay claim to the title of America's first portrait painter. Art historian Saunders (American Colonial Portraits: 1700-1776, LJ 3/15/88) has carefully documented not only Smibert's life in Scotland and England but also his travels to Italy. After arriving in the colony of Rhode Island with his good friend, the philosopher and divine George Berkeley, Smibert hoped to participate in Berkeley's Utopian plan for a college in Bermuda. When funding for the project proved insufficient, Smibert remained in America, relocating to Massachusetts, where he turned to depicting the men and women of Boston. Saunders's meticulous scholarship is highlighted by his clear prose and engaging telling of Smibert's life. Of particular interest and usefulness is an extensive catalog of Smibert's works, which includes unlocated and misattributed works. Recommended for collections of American art and history. —Martin R. Kalfatovic, Smithsonian Inst. Libs., Washington, D.C. Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc.

American Portraiture in the Grand Manner, 1720-1920 by Michael Quick – Paperback: 228 pages Publisher: Los Angeles County Museum of Art (1981)


High Society: American Portraits of the Gilded Age by Barbara Dayer Gallati (Editor), Ortrud Westheider (Editor) – Hardcover: 214 pages; Publisher: Bucerius Kunst Forum. Distributed by Merrell; 1st edition (August 1, 2008)

The period of rapid industrial expansion in America after the Civil War is known as the Gilded Age. The era saw the formation of great personal fortunes and the almost feverish amassing of goods and art to fill the palatial homes of the rich. The commissioning of portraits was one way for the new aristocracy to express their wealth and demonstrate their achievements, and the stunning works of art created during these years remain among the finest examples of portraiture. Lavishly illustrated with 175 portraits and period photographs, High Society brings to life the colourful personalities of the major artists and patrons of the Gilded Age, and, through essays exploring such themes as women artists and new public perceptions of the artist, provides an entertaining introduction to a significant chapter in American art.

George and Martha Washington: Portraits from the Presidential Years by Ellen Gross Miles, National Portrait Gallery (Smithsonian Institution) – Paperback: 56 pages Publisher: University Press of Virginia (February 1, 1999)


Facing the Past: Nineteenth-Century Portraits from the Collection of the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts by Susan Danly – Paperback (June 1992) Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts


Eye Contact: Modern American Portrait Drawings from the National Portrait Gallery by National Portrait Gallery (Smithsonian Institution), Bernard Reilly, Wendy Wick Reaves, Fla. Naples Museum of Art (Naples, Amon Carter Museum of Western Art (Corporate Author), Elmhurst Art Museum (Corporate Author) – Hardcover: 304 pages National Portrait Gallery (July 2002)

Conventional wisdom suggests that portraiture lost its relevance in the twentieth century, that it was too tied to representation and biographical narrative to compete. Why then, the vitality of the the National Portrait Gallery's twentieth-century images in "Eye Contact?" Far from confirming a moribund tradition, these pictures are variously adventurous, assertive, witty, monumental, or confrontational, and all reflect modern aesthetic concerns. Fifty graphic masterpieces representing the American artistic tradition from the 1880s to the 1980s are showcased in this volume, including the work of such renowned artists as Mary Cassatt, Edward Hopper, Stuart Davis, Jacob Lawrence, Andy Warhol, and Roy Lichtenstein. Life portraits of well-known Americans, from politicians and inventors to writers, artists, and musicians are represented. Theodore Roosevelt, W.C. Fields, Alice B. Toklas, Igor Stravinsky, Stokely Carmichael, Truman Capote, and Robert F. Kennedy number among them.

A Brush with History: Paintings from the National Portrait Gallery by National Portrait Gallery Smithsonian Institution, Carolyn Kinder, Ellen G. Miles – Paperback, 250 pages (January 2001) University Press of New England

As the new nation began its journey through history, Charles Willson Peale reasoned that it would be valuable for a republic to have the likenesses of those who had played a prominent part in the struggle for independence.

Faces of Impressionism: Portraits from American Collections by Sona Johnston, Susan Bollendorf, John House, Baltimore Museum of Art – Hardcover, 168 pages (October 1999) Rizzoli International Publications

This book accompanies the first major exhibition to focus exclusively on the portraits made by the Impressionist masters and their immediate predecessors. Breaking free from portraiture's conventions, the Impressionists expanded the notion of a portrait to reflect not only an individual's appearance but also his or her everyday surroundings. From traditional, tightly rendered likenesses to light-filled, loosely brushed paintings, the works in this volume depict a variety of subjects: friends, family members, patrons, public figures, and the artists themselves. Reproduced are key works by fourteen pivotal figures including Gustave Caillebotte, Mary Cassatt, Paul Cézanne, Edgar Degas, Paul Gauguin, Édouard Manet, Claude Monet, Berthe Morisot, and Pierre-Auguste Renoir, which reveal the astonishing originality and beauty of the Impressionists' portraits.

In an introductory essay, John House examines how the Impressionists' revolutionary approach to painting changed portraiture and discusses the meanings and implications of the various types of portraits they made. House explains how these portraits were used to establish public and private identities and what makes them such insightful expressions of modern life and identity.

An extended catalogue entry by curator Sona Johnston, assisted by Susan Bollendorf, accompanies each plate, discussing the identities of the paintings' subjects, the relationships between artists and sitters, and the place of each painting within the artist's oeuvre. The stories behind the canvases are revealed as Johnston highlights the social context of this influential circle of artists.

An essential volume for lovers of Impressionism, this beautiful book paints a revealingly intimate picture of the Impressionists' world.

The Genius of Gilbert Stuart by Dorinda Evans – Hardcover: 216 pages
Princeton University Press (March 1, 1999)

Gilbert Stuart was probably the most gifted American portraitist of the late-eighteenth and early-nineteenth centuries. He is best known for his "Athenaeum" portrait of George Washington, which is today a national icon. In this book, Dorinda Evans combines a wealth of original insights with revealing new documentation to present a long-needed, scholarly treatment of Stuart's life and influential work.

Evans begins by tracing Stuart's early years and artistic beginnings in Rhode Island. She follows him to London, where he rose to prominence among such artistic luminaries as Sir Joshua Reynolds and Benjamin West. She then examines his career in the United States, where he became the favored portraitist for the country's leading citizens. In assessing Stuart's artistic importance, Evans argues that his 1796 "Athenaeum" portrait of Washington--the most recognized likeness of the president--was a landmark in the expression of contemporary ideas about moral strength. More generally, she shows that Stuart's painting reflected a genius for interpreting the sitter's personality and a growing awareness of painting's public role in conveying uplifting messages about social dignity and virtue. She challenges the view that his later paintings show a decline, revealing many as concerned with expressing the human soul in a fresh and naturalistic way.

Evans also explores Stuart's private life, discounting recent portrayals of him as an outcast and a confidence trickster. She concludes that his notoriously erratic behavior, which veered from prolonged lethargy to reckless activity and extravagance, was a sign of manic-depressive illness. Evans gathered information about Stuart from a wide variety of previously untapped sources, including unpublished interviews with the artist that shed new light on controversies over his portraits of Washington and Thomas Jefferson. The book presents not only Stuart's most famous pictures--including The Skater and his portraits of early American presidents--but also many paintings never before published. Meticulously researched, elegantly written, and richly illustrated, The Genius of Gilbert Stuart will become the standard account of one of America's most important early artists.

Facing the New World: Jewish Portraits in Colonial and Federal America by Richard Brilliant, Ellen Smith – Hardcover: 111 pages Prestel (November 1, 1997)

Facing the New World features important paintings by distinguished American artists such as Gilbert Stuart, Thomas Sully, Charles Willson Peale, John Wesley Jarvis, and Ralph Earl. There are portraits by unknown folk-artists and some comparative paintings of non-Jewish subjects, including a work by Joshua Johnson, an accomplished African-American painter active in the Baltimore area.

Gilbert Stuart: The Father Of American Portraiture (Library of American Art) by Richard McLanathan – Hardcover: 159 pages Harry N Abrams (September 1, 1986)

To some, Gilbert Stuart is merely the artist whose portrait of George Washington stared from nearly every classroom in the country at one time. He was, of course, as this book beautifully displays, one of this country's finest artists. Beginning as a Colonial primitive, Stuart limited himself to portrait painting, and achieved international fame before his death in 1828. McLanathan ably presents a clear, intelligent biography that is profusely illustrated with 51 color reproductions and 50 black-and-whites. This brief treatment of Stuart's life is not meant to compete with the only major biography to date, Charles Merrill Mount's Gilbert Stuart, a Biography (Norton, 1964). However, its inclusion of recent research and its splendid reproductions make it highly desirable for most collections. —Daniel J. Lombardo, Jones Lib., Inc., Amherst, Mass. Copyright 1986 Reed Business Information, Inc.

American Portrait 1800-1850: A Catalogue of Early Portraits in the Collections of Union College – Hardcover: 155 pages Publisher: Syracuse Univ Pr (T) (June 1, 1972)


Meet Your Neighbors: New England Portraits, Painters, & Society, 1790-1850 by Caroline F. Sloat (Editor) – Hardcover (June 1992) Old Sturbridge Village


Portraits in the Massachusetts Historical Society: An Illustrated Catalogue With Descriptive Matter by Andrew Oliver, Ann Millspaugh Huff, Edward W. Hanson – Hardcover (September 1988) Massachusetts Historical Society



A Memorial Volume of Virginia Historical Portraiture, 1585-183 by Alexander Wilbourne Weddell – Unknown Binding: 556 pages Publisher: The William Byrd Press, Incorporated (1930)



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