The Art of the Gilded Age
The Athenæum’s collections offer a wonderful glimpse into the Gilded Age through paintings, drawings, and prints by John Singer Sargent, Winslow Homer, and others, as well as through the writing of Walt Whitman, Henry James, and William Dean Howells. The Gilded Age saw the birth of modern America, and the greatest outpouring of art and architecture, as well as literature, in our history. The period began with the “Golden Spike” in 1869, which unified the nation by rail and made vast commercial expansion and the creation of great fortunes possible. Boston saw the construction of Richardson’s Romanesque Trinity Church in 1876 and McKim’s classical Boston Public Library in 1893. Theodore E. Stebbins, Jr. will examine the failures and successes of the greatest artists of the period as well as the often contradictory writings of Henry James and Mark Twain.
Theodore E. Stebbins, Jr. is one of the nation’s foremost authorities on American Art. He has served as curator at the Yale University Art Gallery, the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, and at Harvard's Fogg Art Museum, and has taught at Yale, Boston University, and Harvard. He is the author of over seventy-five books, exhibition catalogues, and scholarly articles on many of the most important American painters from the 17th century to the present. His most recent book is American Paintings at Harvard: Volume One (2014).
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