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Clasped hands in robe with CHF logo and text overlay: BELIEF, October 28 - November 12
CHF 2007: Climate of Concern

Angela Miller: American Landscape Art and Environmental Thinking

What happens when we reexamine the great works of nineteenth century American landscape painting through the lens of contemporary environmental concerns? In a lecture entitled “Nature’s History: American Landscape Art and Environmental Thinking,” Angela Miller, a distinguished art and cultural historian at Washington University, considers how American landscape art shaped and reflected public attitudes toward nature, place, and nation, supplementing her lecture on American landscape art with a range of American cultural voices from both the 19th and 20th centuries.

The landscape paintings of Thomas Cole, Asher B. Durand, and others, and the profound meditations of contemporaries including Herman Melville, chart a wide range of attitudes about the role of nature in national culture, and an equally varied understanding of the impact of settlement, commerce, and industry on the future of nature as a national resource.

Speakers and Performers

Angela Miller

Angela Miller is a Professor of Art History and Archaeology at Washington University in Saint Louis. She is the author of Empire of the Eye: Landscape Representation and American Cultural Politics, 1825-1875.

CHF Suggests      Related links and resources for further study

Leaders And Thinkers

Simon Schama
Columbia University Dept of Art History and Archeology
Michael Leja
University of Pennsylvania Department of Art History
Carolyn Merchant
Professor of Environmental History, Philosophy, and Ethics

Good Reads

Martin Johnson Heade
American landscape and still life artist, 1819 - 1904
The Encantadas
Herman Melville's encounter with the Galapagos Islands collected in The Piazza Tales.
When Lilacs Last in the Dooryard Bloom’d
Walt Whitman's 1865 elegy in the aftermath of the assassination of Abraham Lincoln.

Online Resources

Hudson River School Painters
Desmond-Fish Library Index of Hudson River School Painters
National Gallery of Art
American Landscape Painting, National Gallery of Art
Kindred Spirits by Asher B. Durand
A resource on the work from the National Gallery of Art.