Article

Republican Art and Architecture

Martha J. McNamara

in The Oxford Handbook of the American Revolution

Published in print December 2012 | ISBN: 9780199746705
Published online December 2012 | | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/oxfordhb/9780199746705.013.0028

Series: Oxford Handbooks

 Republican Art and Architecture

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In the two decades following the American Revolution, the art and architecture of the United States were hounded by questions about the role of art in a republican society. The problem facing aspiring artists and architects during those years was how to establish committed patronage for the arts. Not surprisingly, eighteenth-century art and architecture in Britain's North American colonies largely reflected English aesthetic trends. The consumer revolution not only encouraged the demand for portraiture, but also fueled a market in the British colonies for printed books, periodicals, and engravings. Architectural publications occupied a central place in this surge in the distribution of print. Aside from securing patronage, American designers struggled with provincialism in the early republic. Artists such as Charles Willson Peale and John Trumbull hoped to encourage the republic by educating its citizenry.

Keywords: art; architecture; American Revolution; United States; provincialism; patronage; education; Britain; consumer revolution; print

Article.  9751 words. 

Subjects: History ; United States History ; Early Modern History (1500 to 1700) ; Social and Cultural History

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