Critical Shift: Rereading Jarves, Cook, Stillman, and the Narratives of Nineteenth-Century American Art by Karen L. GeorgiCritical Shift: Rereading Jarves, Cook, Stillman, and the Narratives of Nineteenth-Century American Art by Karen L. Georgi

Critical Shift: Rereading Jarves, Cook, Stillman, and the Narratives of Nineteenth-Century American…

byKaren L. Georgi

Paperback | February 5, 2015

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American Civil War–era art critics James Jackson Jarves, Clarence Cook, and William J. Stillman classified styles and defined art in terms that have become fundamental to our modern periodization of the art of the nineteenth century. In Critical Shift, Karen Georgi rereads many of their well-known texts, finding certain key discrepancies between their words and our historiography that point to unrecognized narrative desires. The book also studies ruptures and revolutionary breaks between “old” and “new” art, as well as the issue of the morality of “true” art. Georgi asserts that these concepts and their sometimes loaded expression were part of larger rhetorical structures that gainsay the uses to which the key terms have been put in modern historiography.

It has been more than fifty years since a book has been devoted to analyzing the careers of these three critics, and never before has their role in the historiography and periodization of American art been analyzed. The conclusions drawn from this close rereading of well-known texts challenge the fundamental nature of “historical context” in American art history.

Karen L. Georgi is Adjunct Associate Professor of Art History at John Cabot University in Rome. Karen L. Georgi is Adjunct Associate Professor of Art History at John Cabot University in Rome.
Title:Critical Shift: Rereading Jarves, Cook, Stillman, and the Narratives of Nineteenth-Century American…Format:PaperbackDimensions:152 pages, 9 × 6 × 0.42 inPublished:February 5, 2015Publisher:Penn State University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0271060670

ISBN - 13:9780271060675

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Table of Contents

Contents

List of Illustrations

Acknowledgments

Introduction

1 Rereading James Jackson Jarves’s Art-Idea

2 Clarence Cook and Jarves: Fact, Feeling, and the Discourse of Truthfulness in Art

3 A Further Look at Clarence Cook and the “Revolution” in Art

4 William J. Stillman’s Ruskinian Criticism: Metaphor and Essential Meaning

5 Art Discourse After Ruskin: Time and History in Art

Notes

Bibliography

Index

Editorial Reviews

“One cannot embark upon an analysis of how historical periodization took shape without being keenly aware of one’s own historical desires and their enactment in writing; these thoughtful concerns inform Georgi’s philosophy of history and undergird her historiographic enterprise. . . . Given the need for thorough, subtle, and complex analyses of historical art criticism in America, this investigation offers the tantalizing glimpse of what such projects might look like, if done with great restraint and attention to the intertwining of rhetoric and belief. The care with which she sets forth the boundaries of her study demonstrates how sensitive Georgi is to the failures any such ‘comprehensive’ study might risk in creating its own mythologized history.”—Emily Gephart, Journal of Art Historiography