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July 05, 2016

Mid-Morning Open Thread: America The Beautiful [OregonMuse]



Albert_Bierstadt,_Among_the_Sierra_Nevada_Mountains.jpg
Among The Sierra Nevada Mountains
Albert Bierstadt

Good morning and happy 5th of July to all of you 'rons an 'ettes.

First, that Bierstadt pic is way too small, so you'll definitely want to click on it to see a larger version.

From Bierstadt's wiki page:

Despite his popular success, Bierstadt was criticized by some contemporaries for the romanticism evident in his choices of subject and his use of light was felt to be excessive. His exhibition pieces were brilliantly crafted images that glorified the American West as a land of promise.

Nope, can't have that.

In later life, Bierstadt's work fell increasingly out of critical favor. It was attacked for its theatrical tone...In 1882 Bierstadt's studio at Irvington, New York, was destroyed by fire, resulting in the loss of many of his paintings. By the time of his death on February 18, 1902, the taste for epic landscape painting had long since subsided. Bierstadt was then largely forgotten. He was buried at the Rural Cemetery in New Bedford, Massachusetts.

Guys from the Hudson River School can't catch a break.

More art below the fold


Daniel Boone - Cumberland Gap.jpg
Daniel Boone Escorting Settlers through the Cumberland Gap
George Caleb Bingham

While not as spectacular as Bierstadt, I think that this painting by Bingham captures the moral beauty that America is called to be, which Katherine Lee Bates, who wrote 'America The Beautiful', also saw. Especially the last three lines of the 2nd stanza:

O beautiful for pilgrim feet,
Whose stern, impassioned stress
A thoroughfare for freedom beat
Across the wilderness!
America! America!
God mend thine every flaw,
Confirm thy soul in self-control,
Thy liberty in law!

I also like the Bingham painting because it holds up for admiration pretty much everything that the social justice crybullies hate: a rapey, patriarchal white guy bringing hordes of Eurocentric despoilers of Mother Gaia to ruin the brown people's paradise, where there was no war, disease, or starvation, and everyone was healthy and well-fed all the time.

Just ask the guy a little over on the left tying his shoe.

digg this
posted by Open Blogger at 10:00 AM

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