West Of The Imagination: Book Review

Decent Essays

West of the Imagination is a collection of fascinating tales of western artists from Charles Willson Peale to Georgia O’Keeffe. Furthermore, it covers various art forms from painting to photography to sculpture to illustration and to theatrical production. This book also explores comparisons between such artists as the man who “made a momentous decision to become the latter-day George Catlin and record the “vanishing American” or “fallen foe” for posterity. This man was Edward Sheriff Curtis, a Seattle society photographer.” The authors are amply knowledgeable on the subject of life and art in the west as well as how the West is a enduring concept. The content is clear enough for the general public, but more appreciated by experts who have a background in western art and history. Specific names, locations, and events referenced, imply the reader should be knowledgeable of the context and historical significance of American history. Likewise, Robert Thacker, a book reviewer from St. Lawrence University, boldly stated that “This is in every meaning of the word a wonderful book.” Thacker expresses later that “The authoritative tone belies a wealth of information, for the authors make their analysis seem easy …show more content…

In spite of this, a few photos with high detail, Henry McArdle’s The Battle of San Jacinto and Private Gustavus Sohon’s Crossing the Hellgate, were reduced to a size that didn’t properly support the authors’ written investigation of the artwork. In addition, certain photos were excluded from the book; Fanny Palmer’s illustration Across the Continent, though described, is nowhere to be seen for instance. It is frustrating to read about an artwork with no representation of it; it is further aggravating to discover that the designer of the book placed photos pages away from the writing in an inconsistent way throughout the

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