Emerson and the Nature of American Republicanism in America’s Art

Speaker: Tyler Greene - Historian, Critic, and Author

For several generations, scholars have treated nineteenth-century American art’s fascination with nature as more of an end rather than as the means via which artists addressed the idea of the American nation. Building on new research and critical analysis in his new book “Emerson’s Nature and the Artists: Idea as Landscape, Landscape as Idea,” Tyler Green reveals how Ralph Waldo Emerson’s landmark 1836 book-length essay “Nature,” arguably the most influential non-fiction book in antebellum America, was a kind of instruction manual that artists mined for ideas on how to address America’s foundational republicanism — and to warn of how it was threatened by an increasingly intransigent slavocracy. 

Tyler Green is an historian, critic and author whose work examines the ways in which artists and their work have engaged and often impacted national histories. His first book, “Carleton Watkins: Making the West American” was a biography-ish of the greatest American photographer of the nineteenth century and arguably the most influential artist of his era. It won the preeminent book award in the American West, the California Book Award. Green is also the producer and host of The Modern Art Notes Podcast, the leading audio program about art.  

Organised by Dr Tom Day (The Courtauld) and Professor David Peters Corbett (The Courtauld). 

5:00pm, 21 Feb 2022

Monday 21st February 2022, 5.00pm - 6.00pm GMT

Free, booking essential

Lecture Theatre 1, Vernon Square and online via Livestream
Painting showing a countryside landscape with a lake
Frederic Church, Evening After a Storm, 1849. Amon Carter Museum of American Art, Fort Worth, Texas.
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