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Picturing America: Thomas Cole and the Birth of American Art by Hudson Talbott

Picturing America: Thomas Cole and the Birth of American Art

Best Seller
Picturing America: Thomas Cole and the Birth of American Art by Hudson Talbott
Hardcover $17.99
Sep 04, 2018 | ISBN 9780399548673

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  • Sep 04, 2018 | ISBN 9780399548673 | 6-8 years

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“The painters of the Hudson River School were grandiose, romantic, dramatic and brilliantly colorful. They also helped define the nation, championing wild America to a population that often saw nature as a thing to be feared and tamed, not celebrated. They made art with a wow factor, which is why it’s surprising that there are so few children’s books about this country’s first art movement or its painters. . . . Picturing America traces Cole’s life and his interest in art and nature, starting with his birth in 1801 in England, where his family witnesses the ways in which the nascent Industrial Revolution despoils English cities. . . . Talbott illustrates the narrative with beautiful watercolors, imagining the landscape Cole would have seen, and he includes reproductions of more than a dozen of Cole’s works. . . . Talbott ends on an upbeat note. Thanks in part to Cole’s influence, by ‘the 1870s large areas of pristine wilderness were being preserved from destruction,’ Talbott writes. ‘They eventually became our national parks.’”—The Washington Post

“Few artists have been able to capture the magic and timeless beauty of the U.S. landscape better than Thomas Cole. . . . The book offers excellent reproductions of Cole’s work: text, illustrations, and reproductions combine to trace the evolution of Cole’s art and the progression of the Hudson River Movement, including its implications for modern art. Readers will fall in love with landscape in this captivating, inspiring picture book. A fine addition to art history collections.”—School Library Journal

“Talbott, who wrote about the same area in River of Dreams (2009), does a fine job of capturing an artist’s life, while at the same time offering a history lesson on the natural beauty of the country, as well as an early push to protect the environment. Cole, instrumental in the formation of the Hudson River School, is shown here in light-hearted illustrations and in dramatic full-page paintings. Reproductions of his works appear on several pages. . . . Aided by the back matter, many intrigued readers will happily search out more.”—Booklist

“In visual vignettes rendered in mixed-media art, Talbott depicts Cole traveling on foot, sleeping in derelict conditions, and finding salvation through moments spent painting. . . . Talbott integrates images from Cole’s oeuvre, including the four paintings from the Voyage of Life series.”—Publishers Weekly

“Talbott smoothly blends commentary on Cole’s life with exploration of his art, briefly but cogently guiding the young audience through the social meaning embedded in such works as The Course of Empire and The Voyage of Life series. Eight of Cole’s works are reproduced within the text (and credited in end matter), where they mingle easily among Talbott’s own watercolor scenes.”—The Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books 

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