videos + essays

We're adding new content all the time!

Science, religion, and politics, Church’s Cotopaxi
Science, religion, and politics, Church’s Cotopaxi

The natural world and political metaphor, Church's Cotopaxi

Frederic Edwin Church, <em>The Iceberg</em>
Frederic Edwin Church, The Iceberg

Revisiting a frozen sea, memory and science in the 19th century

Envisioning Manifest Destiny
Envisioning Manifest Destiny

Daniel Boone, Moses, and the western frontier: creating an American mythology

Thomas Cole, The Architect’s Dream
Thomas Cole, The Architect’s Dream

Cole, the great American landscape painter looks across the vast history of Western architecture

Albert Bierstadt, <em>Hetch Hetchy Valley, California</em>
Albert Bierstadt, Hetch Hetchy Valley, California

Captured here in paint, this grand Californian landscape would soon disappear under water.

Thomas Cole, <em>The Hunter’s Return</em>
Thomas Cole, The Hunter’s Return

Cole feared for the American landscape as his country expanded westward.

Fitz Henry Lane, <em>Owl’s Head, Penobscot Bay, Maine</em>
Fitz Henry Lane, Owl’s Head, Penobscot Bay, Maine

“Luminism” sounds like a subject at Hogwarts, but it actually describes landscape paintings like this one.

Thomas Cole, <em>Expulsion from the Garden of Eden</em>
Thomas Cole, Expulsion from the Garden of Eden

Adam and Eve have just been evicted from Paradise, and the grass was definitely greener on the other side.

Washington Allston, <em>Elijah in the Desert</em>
Washington Allston, Elijah in the Desert

Can we call a landscape painting “emo”? This brooding, melancholy canvas definitely tempts us to.

Frederic Edwin Church, <em>Niagara</em> and <em>Heart of the Andes</em>
Frederic Edwin Church, Niagara and Heart of the Andes

Church was the child star of nineteenth-century landscape painting; these astonishing canvases show us why.

Emanuel Leutze, <em>Washington Crossing the Delaware</em>
Emanuel Leutze, Washington Crossing the Delaware

This gigantic canvas is one of the most famous in the history of American art, but it wasn’t made in the USA.

Selected Contributors