This book reveals a new history of the imagination told through its engagement with the body. Even as they denounced the imagination’s potential for inviting luxury, vice, and corruption, American audiences avidly consumed a transatlantic visual culture of touring paintings, dioramas, gift books, and theatrical performances that pictured a preindustrial—and largely imaginary—European past. By examining the visual, material, and rhetorical strategies artists like Washington Allston, Asher B. Durand, Thomas Cole, and others used to navigate this treacherous ground, Catherine Holochwost uncovers a hidden tension in antebellum aesthetics. The book will be of interest to scholars of art history, literary and cultural history, critical race studies, performance studies, and media studies.
Table of Contents
1. Historicizing the Imagination
2. 'A Representation So Completely Ad Vivim'
3. Staying on the Surface
4. Race-ing and the Embodied Imagination
5. Culturing the Embodied Imagination in Luman Reed's New York
Catherine Holochwost is Assistant Professor of Art History at La Salle University, Philadelphia, USA.