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CHF 2012: America

Rediscovering the American Landscape

Terra Foundation Lecture on American Art

American art history brims with gorgeous landscape paintings, but are they important art? To our modern aesthetic, these paintings can seem awfully pretty, even precious. But to dismiss them would be a grave mistake, says Princeton University art historian Rachael DeLue, one of the leading authorities on the American landscape. She argues that the work of artist George Inness (1825–1894), for example, is full of innovation, not just on painterly grounds but in its engagement of optics, psychology, physiology, and even mathematics. Let DeLue be your guide to seeing the American landscape in an altogether new light.

Teachers' Guide

The Chicago Humanities Festival has prepared a teachers' guide for this program. Download the Rachel Delue: The American Landscape Study Guide now!

This lecture is one of three 2012 programs generously sponsored by the Terra Foundation for American Art. The Terra Foundation is dedicated to fostering the exploration, understanding, and enjoyment of the visual arts in the United States for national and international audiences.

Pictured: Thomas Cole View from Mount Holyoke, Northampton, Massachusetts, after a Thunderstorm—The Oxbow 1836

Speakers and Performers

Rachael DeLue

Rachael Z. DeLue is associate professor in the Art & Archaeology Department at Princeton University.  She is also affiliated faculty in Princeton's Center for African American Studies and the American Studies Program. Her area of specialization is the history of American art and visual culture, with particular focus on intersections between art and science and the history of African American art.
CHF Suggests      Related links and resources for further study

Leaders And Thinkers

"George Inness' landscapes reveal more than portrayal of nature, author says" by Melissa Mitchell
An article from the Illinois News Bureau

Good Reads

"George Inness and the Science of Landscape"
University of Chicago Press Review

Online Resources

Video Overview of Paintings by George Inness