1st Edition

Mobility and Identity in US Genre Painting Painting at the Threshold

By Lacey Baradel Copyright 2021
    178 Pages 32 Color & 34 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    178 Pages 32 Color & 34 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

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    This book examines the portrayal of themes of boundary crossing, itinerancy, relocation, and displacement in US genre paintings during the second half of the long nineteenth century (c. 1860–1910).

    Through four diachronic case studies, the book reveals how the high-stakes politics of mobility and identity during this period informed the production and reception of works of art by Eastman Johnson (1824–1906), Enoch Wood Perry, Jr. (1831–1915), Thomas Hovenden (1840–95), and John Sloan (1871–1951). It also complicates art history’s canonical understandings of genre painting as a category that seeks to reinforce social hierarchies and emphasize more rooted connections to place by, instead, privileging portrayals of social flux and geographic instability.

    The book will be of interest to scholars working in art history, literature, American studies, and cultural geography.

    Introduction 1. Mobility and Containment in Eastman Johnson’s Genre Paintings 2. Mapping Enoch Wood Perry’s Genre Scenes 3. Crossing Thresholds in Thomas Hovenden’s Breaking Home Ties 4. Dislocation and Connection in John Sloan’s Scenes of Urban Transport Conclusion


    Lacey Baradel is a historian of the art of the United States. She has taught at the University of Washington, Seattle, and at Vassar College.