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Art of an American Icon

Amy Scott (Editor), William F. Deverell (Contributions by), Brian Bibby (Contributions by), Kate Nearpass Ogden (Contributions by), Jennfier A. Watts (Contributions by), Gary F. Kurutz (Contributions by), Jonathan Spaulding (Contributions by), Lauren Trainer (Contributions by)


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Other Editions of This Title:
Hardcover (10/30/2006)


This lavishly illustrated volume offers a stunning new view of Yosemite's visual history by presenting two hundred works of art together with provocative essays that explore the rich intersections between art and nature in this incomparable Sierra Nevada wilderness. Integrating the work of Native peoples, it provides the first inclusive view of the artists who helped create an icon of the American wilderness by featuring painting, photography, basketry, and other artworks from both well-known and little-studied artists from the nineteenth century to the present. Yosemite: Art of an American Icon pursues several evocative themes, including the relationship between environment and aesthetics in Yosemite; the various ways in which artists have shaped how we see and use the park; and the dynamic intersections between art, nature, and commerce that have played out during its history. In addition to offering a wide-ranging view of Yosemite's art over the past two centuries, the volume provides intriguing insights into the complexities and contradictions inherent in its enduring image as both an unspoiled natural wonder and a must-see spot for sightseers.

With Essays by Amy Scott, William Deverell, Kate Nearpass Ogden, Gary F. Kurutz, Brian Bibby, Jennifer A. Watts, and Jonathan Spaulding

Copub: Museum of the American West

Praise For Yosemite: Art of an American Icon

“Informative and richly illustrated.”

— ARTnews

“This beautifully illustrated volume paints a new picture of Yosemite’s visual history.”

— Antiques and the Arts Weekly

Yosemite includes equally striking landscapes and related artworks in a variety of media, ranging from such early paintings as Albert Bierstadt’s otherworldly 1868 painting Sunset in the Yosemite Valley, to David Hockney’s photo-collage Merced River, Yosemite Valley, Sept. 1982.”

— Natural History

“The season's most impressive art book, Yosemite is aptly subtitled Art of an American Icon. . . . In addition to the spectacular illustrations—the chapter on the early photographers includes some breath-taking panoramas—Yosemite boasts some unusually astute and readable analyses by a half-dozen guest scholars.”

— Metro Newspapers

“A wonderful walk down art history lane while still being a balanced and fair assessment of Yosemite’s complexities. . . . And for the first time, in one single gorgeous volume, we can delight in a complete and wide-ranging artistic view of its wonder, power and mystery.”

— Fresno Magazine

University of California Press, 9780520249226, 232pp.

Publication Date: October 30, 2006

About the Author

Amy Scott is Curator of Visual Arts at the Autry National Center's Museum of the American West, Los Angeles, California. William Deverell is Director of the Huntington-USC Institute on California and the West. Kate Nearpass Ogden is Associate Professor of Art History at the Richard Stockton College of New Jersey. Gary Kurutz is Curator of Special Collections at the California State Library. Brian Bibby is an independent scholar and author. Jennifer Watts is curator of photography at the Huntington Library. Jonathan Spaulding is executive director and chief curator at the Autry National Center's Museum of the American West.