Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness


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American Art from the Yale University Art Gallery

Edited by Helen A. Cooper with Robin Jaffee Frank, Elisabeth Hodermarsky, and Patricia E. Kane, with the assistance of Amy Kurtz Lansing; Introduction by David McCullough; Essays by Jon Butler, Joanne B. Freeman, Howard R. Lamar, and Jules D. Prown


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Price: $75.00
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The American experience—from its colonial beginnings to the modern age—has captured the imagination of all Americans, including its artists. This richly illustrated book explores works from the renowned collections of American paintings, decorative arts, prints, and photographs at the Yale University Art Gallery and creates a vivid portrait of a young country defining itself culturally, politically, and geographically.

Distinguished scholars shed new light on American history by examining some of the most familiar and revered objects in American art—paintings by Trumbull, Peale, Copley, Eakins, Church, and Homer; silver by Revere and Tiffany; furniture by Roux and Connelly; and photographs by Muybridge, among others. The authors discuss how issues of cultural heritage, patriotism, politics, and exploration shaped America’s art as well as its attitudes and traditions.

Published in association with the Yale University Art Gallery

Exhibition Schedule:

Speed Art Museum, Louisville (September 7, 2008 – January 4, 2009)

Seattle Art Museum (February 26 – May 24, 2009)

Birmingham Museum of Art, Alabama (October 4, 2009 – January 10, 2010)

Helen A. Cooper is the Holcombe T. Green Curator of American Paintings and Sculpture at the Yale University Art Gallery. David McCullough, American historian and bestselling author, is a two-time winner of the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Award.


Speed Art Museum, Louisville (September 7, 2008 – January 4, 2009)

Seattle Art Museum (February 26 – May 24, 2009)

Birmingham Museum of Art, Alabama (October 4, 2009 – January 10, 2010)

"Yale University owns one of the premier collections of American art, and this impressive exhibition catalog fully brings its richness and variety to the public's eye. . . . Furniture, decorative objects, medals, jewelry, prints, paintings, and photographs receive equal attention as markers of American values and achievement in this superb catalogue. Essential. Lower-level undergraduates through faculty/researchers; general readers."—Choice

"This catalog accompanies a 2008-09 traveling exhibition of 200-plus objects from Yale's extensive collection of American art, representing all media and dating from the 1600s to 1900. . . . [It] takes a serious look at the question of the American-ness of American art through objects of generally high quality and always of substantial intellectual interest. Highly recommended for all collections on American art. . ."—Library Journal

Chosen as an Outstanding Academic Title for 2009 by Choice Magazine
ISBN: 9780300122893
Publication Date: October 28, 2008
Publishing Partner: Published in association with the Yale University Art Gallery
368 pages, 11 1/2 x 9 3/4
65 b/w + 315 color illus.
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