Frederic Remington and Turn-of-the-Century America - Nemerov, Alexander - Yale University Press
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- Yale Publications in the History of Art
Frederic Remington and Turn-of-the-Century America
Out of Print.
Winner of a Choice 1996 Outstanding Academic Book Award
One of the finalists in the Best Western Nonfiction category of the Spur Awards (1996), offered by Western Writers of America.
One of the most enduringly popular American artists, Frederic Remington created romantic images of the Old West that inspire a nostalgic longing for a simpler era. Despite his popularity—or perhaps because of it—Remington's work is rarely treated seriously by art critics: it has been both dismissed as clichéd and condemned for its frank and unrepentant racist themes.
This engrossing book by Alexander Nemerov will change perceptions of Remington and open new fields of investigation in the study of American art. Nemerov treats Remington's paintings and sculptures not as mere illustrations of the frontier experience but as complex, imaginative inventions, and he argues that Remington's politics and aesthetics are intrinsically related. Drawing on the methods of literary theory, psychoanalysis, and material culture studies, as well as art history, Nemerov places Remington's art in the context of the cultural and ideological currents of his times: social evolution; imperialism (specifically the Spanish-American War); widespread immigration and the resulting crisis of Anglo-Saxon identity; concerns about memory, telepathy, and the recovery of the past; and doubts about the mimetic powers of painting and writing. Nemerov neither celebrates Remington nor debunks him; rather, he succeeds in restoring his art to its centrally important place, largely forgotten now, in turn-of-the-century American culture.
Alexander Nemerov is assistant professor of art history at Stanford University.
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