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Art Crusade: An Analysis of American Drawing Manuals, 1820-1860

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dc.contributor.author Marzio, Peter C. en
dc.date.accessioned 2007-09-27T18:34:24Z en_US
dc.date.accessioned 2013-03-18T17:59:12Z
dc.date.available 2007-09-27T18:34:24Z en_US
dc.date.available 2013-03-18T17:59:12Z
dc.date.issued 1976
dc.identifier.citation Marzio, Peter C. 1976. "<a href="http%3A%2F%2Fdx.doi.org%2F10.5479%2Fsi.00810258.34.1">Art Crusade: An Analysis of American Drawing Manuals, 1820-1860</a>." <em>Smithsonian Studies in History and Technology</em>. 1&ndash;94. <a href="https://doi.org/10.5479/si.00810258.34.1">https://doi.org/10.5479/si.00810258.34.1</a> en
dc.identifier.issn 0081-0258
dc.identifier.uri http://dx.doi.org/10.5479/si.00810258.34.1
dc.description.abstract Between 1820 and 1860 approximately 145 popular drawing manuals were published in the United States. Authored by painters, printers, and educators the drawing books were aimed at the general public. Based on the democratic ideal that "anyone who can learn to write can learn to draw," the manuals followed a highly structured system of drawing based on the theory that lines were the essence of form. The aesthetic system of Sir Joshua Reynolds often served as the principal artistic guideline, while the pedagogy of Johann Heinrich Pestalozzi was used as a tool for making "drawing" part of a general approach to education.<br/>Although the American drawing books are often seen as part of the general social effort to democratize art, their appeal went beyond art students to engineers, scientists, and illustrators. Drawing was considered a general skill, such as writing, which could be applied to numerous aspects of life.<br/>The leaders of the amorphous art crusade were John Rubens Smith, John Gadsby Chapman, and Rembrandt Peale. Each was considered a fine painter and draughtsman, classical in approach and somewhat out of step with the advanced aesthetic movements of the pre-Civil War years. Their efforts formed a loose but intelligible approach to art promotion. But by 1860 their crusade disintegrated: new drawing theories popularized by the English writer, John Ruskin, placed shading and mass above line in the definition of form; specialization in art, in science, in education, and in mechanical drawing warred against the general approach of the art crusade; new theories of child development emphasized more subtle and open methods of learning that countered the rigid, formula approach of the drawing books; and finally, the common school movement of the post-1860 period failed to incorporate the system envisioned by Smith, Peale, and Chapman into the general curriculum.<br/>The drawing books remain important social and artistic documents. They carried a body of ideas about art and its place in American society that guided the work of numerous painters, educators, and promoters of high culture. They touch many present-day disciplines from the history of art to the history of science. en
dc.format.extent 38412929 bytes en_US
dc.format.extent 5642742 bytes en_US
dc.format.mimetype application/pdf en_US
dc.format.mimetype application/pdf en_US
dc.language.iso en_US en_US
dc.relation.ispartof Smithsonian Studies in History and Technology en
dc.title Art Crusade: An Analysis of American Drawing Manuals, 1820-1860 en
dc.type Journal Article en
dc.identifier.srbnumber 113137
dc.identifier.eISSN 1948-6006 en_US
dc.identifier.doi 10.5479/si.00810258.34.1
rft.jtitle Smithsonian Studies in History and Technology
rft.issue 34
rft.spage 1
rft.epage 94
dc.description.SIUnit SISP en
dc.citation.spage 1
dc.citation.epage 94
dc.relation.url http://dx.doi.org/10.5479/si.00810258.34.1

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