and Fishing in American Art
edited by Kevin Sharp
in The Book Stall
This book traces the theme of hunting and fishing in American art from
the early nineteenth century through World War II. Describing a
remarkable group of American paintings and sculpture, the contributors
reveal the pervasiveness of the subjects and the fascinating contexts
from which they emerged. In one important example after another, the
authors demonstrate that representations of hunting and fishing did
more than illustrate subsistence activities or diverting pastimes. The
portrayal of American hunters and fishers also spoke to American
ambitions and priorities.
|In his introduction,
noted outdoorsman and author Stephen J. Bodio surveys the book’s
artists, who range from society painters to naturalists and modernists.
Margaret C. Adler then explores how hunting and fishing imagery in
American art reflects traditional myths, some rooted in classicism,
others in the American appetite for tall tales.
Kory W. Rogers, in his
discussion of works that valorize the dangers hunters faced pursuing
their prey, shows how American artists constructed new rituals at a
time when the United States was rapidly transforming from a frontier
society into a modern urban nation.
Shirley Reece-Hughes looks at
depictions of families, pairs, and parties of hunters and fishers and
how social bonding reinvigorated American society at a time of social,
political, and cultural change.
Finally, Adam M. Thomas considers
themes of exploration and hunting as integral to conveying the
individualism that was a staple of westward expansion.
of the hunt or the catch, American artists connected a dynamic and
developing nation to its past and its future. Through the examination
of major works of art, Wild Spaces, Open Seasons brings to light an
often-overlooked theme in American painting and sculpture.