Art of American Still Life, The



Audubon to Warhol. Mark D. Mitchell. Exhib’publication. Philadelphia Museum of Art. Yale University Press 2015. Contributors: Bill Brown, Katie A. Pfohl, Carol Troyen. English. 272 pages, 223 ill. (219 col. and 4 b/w). 25.5 x 30.5 cm. 1,9 kg. Hardcover.

The Art of American Still Life reconsiders the development and cultural significance of still-life painting in America, exploring renowned treasures alongside recently discovered works—some previously unpublished—in unexpected ways.

Taking an innovative approach to the genre, this captivating survey newly divides American still life into four discrete eras, each characterized by a predominant form of vision: describing, indulging, discerning, and animating. Works are grouped in “conversations” and explored in accompanying texts to reveal wider cultural meaning. Introductory essays investigate the many interactions between still life and American culture, examining the close connections between still-life painting and other visual discourses, including natural history, illustration, and commercial photography; the roles objects have played in American literature and art; the Philadelphia region’s defining and lasting impact on the genre; and the reception of still life in American art and art history.

The first major study of American still life in a generation, The Art of American Still Life is destined to become a standard reference on the subject.