Summary: This clear, thorough, and reliable survey of American painting and sculpture from colonial times to the present day covers all the major artists and their works, outlines the social and cultural backgrounds of each period, and includes 409 illustrations integrated with the text. Although some determining factors in American art are considered, Matthew Baigell views the rich and diverse achievements of American art as the result of the efforts and talents of a pluralistic societ ...show morey rather than as fitting into a particular mold. This edition includes corrections and revisions to the text, an updated bibliography, and 13 new illustrations.
The book begins with a discussion of 17th-century art along the eastern seaboard and ends with sections on current realistic, process, and technological art. The eight chapters are arranged chronologically and each generally follows the same organizational sequence. From time to time the author suggests continuities of themes, ideas, and images; and contrasts and comparisons are made between artists of the same or different centuries to show continuities or discontinuities.