...landscape representation reveals an awareness of the natural environment as something finite, fragile, and requiring stewardship
Recorded on November 7, 2010.
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.