1st Edition

Antebellum American Pendant Paintings
New Ways of Looking

ISBN 9781032179087
Published September 30, 2021 by Routledge
216 Pages 8 Color & 49 B/W Illustrations

USD $48.95

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Book Description

Antebellum American Pendant Paintings: New Ways of Looking marks the first sustained study of pendant paintings: discrete images designed as a pair. It opens with a broad overview that anchors the form in the medieval diptych, religious history, and aesthetic theory and explores its cultural and historical resonance in the 19th-century United States. Three case studies examine how antebellum American artists used the pendant format in ways revelatory of their historical moment and the aesthetic and cultural developments in which they partook. The case studies on John Quidor’s Rip Van Winkle and His Companions at the Inn Door of Nicholas Vedder (1839) and The Return of Rip Van Winkle (1849) and Thomas Cole’s Departure and Return (1837) shed new light on canonical antebellum American artists and their practices. The chapter on Titian Ramsay Peale’s Kilauea by Day and Kilauea by Night (1842) presents new material that pushes the geographical boundaries of American art studies toward the Pacific Rim. The book contributes to American art history the study of a characteristic but as yet overlooked format and models for the discipline a new and productive framework of analysis focused on the fundamental yet complex way images work back and forth with one another.

Table of Contents

Table of Contents

List of Illustrations



Opening the Space Between: Antebellum American Pendant Paintings

Chapter 1

Putting the "Rip" in Rip Van Winkle: Historical Absence in John Quidor’s Companion Paintings

Chapter 2

Taking a Contemplative Look: Visual Devotion in Thomas Cole’s Departure and Return

Chapter 3

The Missing Pacific: The Expeditionary Blank in Titian Ramsay Peale’s Kilauea Landscapes


After the Antebellum: Pendants during the Civil War and Postbellum Era

Works Cited

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Wendy N. E. Ikemoto earned her Ph.D. in the History of Art and Architecture from Harvard University. She taught at Harvard and The Courtauld Institute of Art in London and served as Visiting Assistant Professor of American Art at Vassar College. She has published in American Art and The Burlington Magazine.