While visiting Europe In 1844, Harry McCall of Philadelphia wrote to his cousin back home of his disappointment. He didn’t mind Paris, but he preferred the company of Americans to Parisians. Furthermore, he vowed to be “an American, heart and soul” wherever he traveled, but “particularly in England.” Why was he in Europe if he found it so distasteful? After all, travel in the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries was expensive, time consuming, and frequently uncomfortable. Being American in Europe, 1750–1860 tracks the adventures of American travelers while exploring large questions about how these experiences affected national identity. Daniel Kilbride searched the diaries, letters, published accounts, and guidebooks written between the late colonial period and the Civil War. His sources are written by people who, while prominent in their own time, are largely obscure today, making this account fresh and unusual. Exposure to the Old World generated varied and contradictory concepts of American nationality. Travelers often had diverse perspectives because of their region of origin, race, gender, and class. Americans in Europe struggled with the tension between defining the United States as a distinct civilization and situating it within a wider world. Kilbride describes how these travelers defined themselves while they observed the politics, economy, morals, manners, and customs of Europeans. He locates an increasingly articulate and refined sense of simplicity and virtue among these visitors and a gradual disappearance of their feelings of awe and inferiority.
The 2004 US election provided French citizens and their media with a springboard for re-conceiving 'self' and 'other'. Given its prominent opposition to recent US foreign policy such as the invasion of Iraq, a volley of insults and caustic remarks reverberated between France and the US. French observers linked the Bush administration's policies to particular groups and regions within the US, to a democratic deficit, to a perceived threat of US collapse and to the need for a stronger Europe. By examining how the French media – newspapers, television, the internet and scholarly research – represented the election from a critical geopolitical perspective, this book provides the first major in-depth study of views of the US in contemporary foreign media.
In the late-nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, America and Japan were in the process of establishing their positions as powers in a world dominated by Western Europe. The two nations with unconnected histories and cultures found themselves in momentary sympathy as they embarked on their first forays into military imperialism, expanded their trade, and constructed civic institutions intended to compete with those of Europe. It was during this period that mass entertainments developed and began circulating across national borders and, drawing on tourist practices, helped create a "universal" visual culture which coexisted with local particularities. This dissertation undertakes a study of Japanese and American shared visual culture and modern entertainments with the goal of nuancing current scholarship on East/West exchanges and expanding the definition of modernity. Three modern phenomena, panoramas, World's Fairs, and film, form the core of my three main chapters and describe a process of appropriation, assimilation, and collaboration through their movements from Europe, across America to Japan, and ending with a return to America. Many scholars have observed that Americans viewed Japan as a confusing cultural other with a baffling skill at appearing modern. This dissertation begins with the premise that Japan was modern and re-examines American and Japanese cultural exchanges from this position with the aim of shifting the paradigms of modernity and modern visuality.
Works of art in their own right, frames play an essential and often overlooked role in complementing the artworks they support. The craft and history of European frames is a fascinating subject and this volume provides a rich and informative guide to the frame maker s art from the thirteenth to the nineteenth century. This handy reference tool features over two hundred entries arranged alphabetically from "abacus "to "whiting "that concisely explain the techniques, materials, and styles involved in the making of frames. The introduction gives an overview of the history of frame styles and explains how frames are chosen by artists and museums for specific artworks. Lavishly illustrated with objects from the collection of the J. Paul Getty Museum, this handbook will be invaluable not only to professionals and collectors but also to all those wishing to increase their understanding and enjoyment of frames."