Thomas Cole's Journey: Atlantic Crossings

Kornhauser, Elizabeth Mankin & . Yale Univ. Feb. 2018. 288p. illus. notes. bibliog. index. ISBN 9781588396402. $65. FINE ARTS
This catalog for an impressive traveling exhibition offers a new and more expansive vision of American landscape painter Thomas Cole and his influence. Specialists Barringer (art history, Yale Univ.), Kornhauser (American paintings and sculpture, Metropolitan Museum of Art) and others explore the artist's interest in ancient Rome and its ascent and descent while living through a not dissimilar evolution of life in western Europe, the Industrial Revolution, and the drive for money and power at the expense of the people and the land on which they live. The title details the artist's best-known works but then goes on to discuss his sketches, letters, and journals. Cole comes to life in these pages: his acutely observant eye for the physical landscape and the emotional one, his inheritance of the past and his gift to the future. By including works by his contemporaries (J.M.W. Turner, John Constable) and by those who followed him (Frederic Church to Edward Ruscha), the authors have defined the enormous contribution made by Cole to the history of Western art.
VERDICT This thought-provoking and stimulating work presents the familiar made new and the new made clear.
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