Tag: Nineteenth-Century Art

I immediately recognized that the instruments of his labor—brushes and a bucket of whitewash, used to brighten the walls of soot-filled homes—were often the stuff of racial satire and caricature in the nineteenth century. Was this a sympathetic portrayal of an African American or something much more complicated?

To anyone who had the temerity to press a nose against the picture, to sniff at or try to smell it, he gave a clear message. . . . Just below his signature and the painting’s date, Homer wrote in light-colored script, as if it were flotsam from a wreck: “At 12 feet from this picture/you can see it.”

Discourses of health, hygiene, and progress—visual and textual—provide the primary metric with which to recalibrate thinking about the Panama Canal enterprise and zone as an ecology located at the nexus of intersecting discourses.

Susan Rather

New Haven: Yale University Press in association with the Paul Mellon Center for Studies in British Art, 2016; 316 pp.; 100 color illus.; 80 b/w illus.; ISBN: 978-0-300-21461; Hardcover: $75.00

Reviewed by: Marie-Stéphanie Delamaire, Winterthur Museum, Garden, and Library, Winterthur, Del.