1754 – 1800

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videos + essays

Over the next two years, Seeing America will grow to include 100 videos, 18 essays, quizzes, discussion questions and lesson plans.

Ostentatious plainness: Copley’s portrait of the Mifflins
Ostentatious plainness: Copley’s portrait of the Mifflins

Politics and fashion on the eve of the American Revolution

An architect of the Enlightenment, Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello
An architect of the Enlightenment, Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello

In addition to being an politician, Jefferson was an ardent supporter and practitioner of classical architecture.

Picturing George Washington, the <em>Lansdowne Portrait</em>
Picturing George Washington, the Lansdowne Portrait

Presidential portraits of George Washington were Stuart’s bread and butter when he returned to his native America.

The French and Indian War, <em>The Death of General Wolfe</em>
The French and Indian War, The Death of General Wolfe

West turned the conventions of history painting on their head by choosing a contemporary subject and dress.

A portrait and a poem: the making of Paul Revere’s fame
A portrait and a poem: the making of Paul Revere’s fame

Well known in his own day as a silversmith, Revere is shown in casual attire, with a teapot brimming with meaning.

Sculpting an American hero: Jean-Antoine Houdon’s <em>George Washington</em>
Sculpting an American hero: Jean-Antoine Houdon’s George Washington

Lack of an American sculptural tradition compelled Jefferson to look to France for this portrait of Washington.

Painting the story of the Declaration of Independence
Painting the story of the Declaration of Independence

Trumbull traveled up and down the Eastern Seaboard to paint the members of the Continental Congress from life.

Fashioning diplomacy: the Anishinaabe, Britain, and 18th-century America
Fashioning diplomacy: the Anishinaabe, Britain, and 18th-century America

This outfit was likely made for a British lieutenant and gifted to him in a ritual exchange to show mutual respect.

Casta paintings: constructing identity in Spanish colonial America
Casta paintings: constructing identity in Spanish colonial America

These challenging paintings visually separate indigenous Americans from the Spanish elite; most were exported.