Artists & Inspirations
Race and Geography in the American Landscape Tradition
This program is only offered through Zoom.
In the mid nineteenth century United States, landscape painting flourished as an art form. Well-traveled painters celebrated the beauty and wonder of places like the Adirondacks, portraying its mountains and rivers as worthy of patriotic celebration. Meanwhile, their artistic success promoted the area as a touristic center. Both the growth of landscape tourism and landscape art were privileged pursuits in an era of racial division. This talk will consider the ways in which race factored into the American landscape. How did Blacks and whites interact in landscapes like the Adirondacks? How did African American artists who chose to pursue landscape painting deal with the limits of their mobility?
About The Speaker:
Maggie Cao is an assistant professor of art history at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She is a historian of eighteenth and nineteenth-century American art in a global context. Her first book, The End of Landscape in Nineteenth-Century America, published in 2018, examined the fall of the landscape tradition in the face of geographic, economic, environmental change. She is now writing a book on American painting and overseas empire building in the nineteenth century.