"The Natural Paradise: Painting in America 1800-1950"/Museum of Modern Art-1976

Excerpts from the Catalogue and Exhibition:

This Exhibition "...celebrates the Bicentennial of the United States of America. This bicentenary observance has stimulated numerous evaluations of various aspects of American Art, providing the welcome opportunity to examine the true nature of the American achievement and to make some judgements about its overall contribution to art history. This book and the exhibition it accompanies explore a particular theme: the Romantic tradition in American art..." Kynaston McShine

"This survey of the romantic tradition in American Art examines the manifestations of an attitude that has grandly and persistently linked the ambitions of American artists...critics and the public have been slow to appreciate in the american Abstract art a continuation or extension of attitudes that have characterized American art over the generations. These attitudes-romantic, transcendental, intent on the sublime-must be referred to the land itself, the continent on which a new national experience evolved..."

Edited by:

Kynaston McShine, Curator in the Department of Painting and Sculpture in the Museum of Modern Art.


Toward the Abstract Sublime

A Selection of Twentieth-Century Artist's Texts, edited by Kynaston McShine reveals the twentieth-century artist's perceptions of nature by presenting statements made by the artists themselves.

On Divers Themes from Nature"

A Selection of Texts, assembled by Barbara Novak, Professor of Art History at Barnard College, is a selection of writings by nineteenth-century artists, critics, and philosophers, examining some of the themes in nature that were primarily the preocupation of the nineteenth-century artist.

The Primal American Scene

By Robert Rosenblum, Professor of Fine Arts at New York University. In his essay, professor Rosenblum looks closely at the obsessive concerns of American landscape painting in the past one hundred and fifty years - the heavenly and hellish extremes of nature, the quiet and mysterious as well as the chaotic and turbulent.

Fire and Ice in American Art

Polarities from Luminism to Abstract Expressionism by John Wilmerding, Professor of Art at Dartmouth College. While discussing the polarities in American painting, professor Wilmerding concentrates on the sometimes bewildering oppositions of mood in Luminism and Abstract Expressionism, which he characterizes as the most original styles in nineteenth-century American painting.


Exemplifying the romantic and often grandiose aspirations of American artists, some 185 works are illustrated in the book of the Exhibition including paintings by Cole, Bierstadt, Moran, Durand, Church, Bingham, Heade, Lane, Kensett, Tyder, Dove, Burchfield, Avery, and Graves, as well as the Abstract Expressionists with whom the survey concludes.

A selected Bibliography and a Chronicle of events in American history was compiled by Mary Davis with biographical information on the artists.

Related LINKS:

ECOART  CALENDARNature and Culture: American Landscape and Painting 1825-1875 by Barbara NovakSummer 2020/Artist Bob Mueller/Ecoartpedia
Ecological Art REVIEW 2017ARTCULTURE: Essays on the Post-Modern (1977)SOUND MATRIX and Ecological Art/SOUND ART 2013 SHOW
BOOKHUGGERSECOLOGICAL ART REVIEW Special EditionEcological Art REVIEW Press Release/July 2006
Ecological Art TVMuseums and the Web2011 UPDATEECOARTPEDIA Digital Ecological Art Library