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The Art of American Still Life: Audubon to Warhol

The Art of American Still Life: Audubon to Warhol

by Mark D. Mitchell, Bill Brown, Katie A. Pfohl, and Carol Troyen

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This catalogue reconsiders the development and cultural significance of still-life painting in America, exploring renowned treasures alongside recently discovered works—some previously unpublished—in unexpected ways.

Taking an innovative approach to the genre, this captivating survey newly divides American still life into four discrete eras, each characterized by a predominant form of vision: describing, indulging, discerning, and animating. Works are grouped in “conversations” and explored in accompanying texts to reveal wider cultural meaning. Introductory essays investigate the many interactions between still life and American culture, examining the close connections between still-life painting and other visual discourses, including natural history, illustration, and commercial photography; the roles objects have played in American literature and art; the Philadelphia region’s defining and lasting impact on the genre; and the reception of still life in American art and art history.

The first major study of American still life in a generation, this catalogue is destined to become a standard reference on the subject.

About the Authors
Mark D. Mitchell was formerly the Associate Curator of American Art and Manager, Center for American Art, Philadelphia Museum of Art; now The Holcombe T. Green Curator of American Paintings and Sculpture, Yale University Art Gallery, New Haven, Connecticut. Bill Brown is Karla Scherer Distinguished Service Professor in American Culture, Department of English Language and Literature, University of Chicago. Katie A. Pfohl is Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art, New Orleans Museum of Art. Carol Troyen is Kristin and Roger Servison Curator Emerita of American Paintings, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.