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American Art

In: English and Literature

Submitted By drsporty87
Words 812
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Baptism of Pocahontas

John Gadsby Chapman
I believe the artist portrayed reverence and family connection in this painting. He shows a convergence of Christianity and the uncivilized Indians. It shows that different tribes or civilizations can love each other even though their belief systems can remain somewhat different. This painting was commissioned in1836 and was placed in the Rotunda of the Capitol Building in 1840. William Henry was elected as President in 1840. During the time this painting was commissioned, the fight against slavery actually began and cotton prices went up. Women also became antislavery abolitionist, which help link the two fights together. A state education board was also started in Massachusetts.

Declaration of Independence

John Trumbull
This painting shows a group of individuals working for a better United States. The painting does not show the actual signing of the Declaration. It does show a united front with strength and authority around the desk being well balanced, which was a show of republicanism. I feel Trumbull portrayed this well with great detail of strength and authority in the face and stance of each individual. Trumbull was commissioned to do four paintings with this being the first completed and the first to be hung in the Capitol in 1819 and later was moved to the Rotunda in 1826. The painting was also one of four to be done in the Revolution-era. During this time period the founding fathers were trying to free the colonies from Great Britain’s control. Parliament passed the Sugar Act to collect money for Americans and punished Boston for their involvement with Great Britain. Parliament was very busy during this period fighting for independence and passing acts to broaden revenue for America.

General George Washington Resigning His Commission

John Trumbull
This was the last of four paintings commissioned by John Trumbull. Once again you can see the emotion and sense of pride in his subjects including his wife, Martha and grandchildren uniting as a family. Washington showed faith in this young nation he started when he willingly resigned his commission to spend more time with family. This painting was finished in 1824 and hung in the Rotunda in 1826. Political tensions were high during this period with talk of political factions. The Federalists thought the Republicans were ready for violence. Bank of United States was started. Hamilton resigned as secretary of treasury. John Adams was elected President. After Washington’s Farewell Address, the XYZ affair killed our relationship with France. Yes I think there is a clear connection between content and context.

Landing of Columbus

John Vanderlyn
I believe John Vanderlyn showed what Columbus and his crew felt when they landed on this beach. You see some crew members with fear on their face while others show pride in making landfall after a long journey. It also shows Indians watching from the trees. John Vanderlyn was commissioned by Congress in 1836 to paint this point in history to be placed in the Rotunda. It was placed there in 1847. During this time period, Spain was united with the marriage of Isabella and Ferdinand and Cabot led his first expedition to North America. Columbus made four expeditions to America before his death in 1506. Yes there is a clear connection between content and context.

Helen Keller-Alabama

Edward Hlavka
Helen Adams Keller was born on June 27, 1880, in Tuscumbia, Alabama. After an illness at the age of 19 months she was blind, deaf and unable to talk. Annie Sullivan taught her to communicate by touch and Braille. Later in 1890 she learned to speak. Keller and Sullivan worked together on her book, The Story of My Life. Keller worked hard for the rights of the physically handicapped. She died on June 1, 1968, in Westport, Connecticut. The statue by Edward Hlavka shows a moment made famous in her movie. Keller was well-known for her work with the blind. Helen Keller is an excellent choice to represent the state of Alabama. This statue was given by Alabama in 2009 to Emancipation Hall.

Joseph Wheeler-Alabama

Berthold Nebel
Wheeler was born in 1836 and died in January, 1906. Before serving in the House of Representatives, he was a Calvary leader in the Civil War where he bore the nickname of “Fighting Joe”. He was one of two outstanding Calvary leaders. After the war, he studied law and served as a Representative in the House where he worked to bring the North and South closer. He also wrote several books on military strategy and civil subjects. He was buried in the Arlington Nashville Cemetery after his death on January 25, 1906. Yes I believe this was another good choice to represent the state of Alabama. This statue was given by Alabama in 1925 to be placed in the National Statuary Hall at the U.S. Capitol

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