Reading and Writing about Visual Experience: The American Landscape in Painting and Practice
The art of landscape, including two-dimensional media, gardening, and contemporary earth art, has been particularly bound up with issues of national identity in the United States. For this reason, there has been a rich body of writing about the landscape that provides the source material for this course. By analyzing major examples by artists like Thomas Cole, Frederick Law Olmsted, and Nancy Holt and the works of landscape writers like Nathaniel Parker Willis, Susan Fenimore Cooper, and William Cronon, students will learn to read closely not only texts but also the messages that the landscapes around us convey. By extensive written and verbal analysis of real and represented landscapes, we will build skills valuable in the university and in life.