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Description: Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness: American Art from the Yale University...
PublisherYale University Art Gallery
PublisherYale University Press
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If ever an exhibition can be said to be the work of many hands, it is Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness: American Art from the Yale University Art Gallery, the largest and most complicated show ever mounted by the Yale University Art Gallery. When the idea of organizing a traveling exhibition of the Gallery’s greatest treasures of American art was still only a casual thought, Jock Reynolds, the Henry J. Heinz II Director, immediately encouraged us to think ambitiously, then offered generous support and encouragement throughout the process to help us realize our goal. This exhibition and catalogue are the outcome of an extraordinary collaboration between three departments—American Paintings and Sculpture, American Decorative Arts, and Prints, Drawings, and Photographs. Although I nominally headed the project, every aspect of its execution was collegial, with the complete involvement of the curators, interns, and graduate students in the three departments. Together we were creating a special exhibition, but we were also learning a great deal from one another as we traveled along curatorial paths that took us into unfamiliar territory. It was an immensely rewarding experience for all. I take this opportunity to express my profound gratitude to the many people who have helped in the research and organization of this exhibition and catalogue.
At the Gallery, I would like to thank Robin Jaffee Frank, the Alice and Allan Kaplan Senior Associate Curator of American Paintings and Sculpture, who was critical to the success of the project, bringing outstanding scholarship, enthusiasm, and energy to every task. Patricia E. Kane, Friends of American Arts Curator of American Decorative Arts, opened our eyes to the expressive power and cultural resonance of the decorative arts and made us more aware than ever of exactness in language. Elisabeth Hodermarsky, the Sutphin Family Associate Curator of Prints, Drawings, and Photographs, brought a breadth of knowledge that illuminated the important role of American prints in our culture. David L. Barquist, then Associate Curator of American Decorative Arts, played a seminal role in formulating the overall concept of the exhibition. Caroline Hannah, former Acting Assistant Curator of American Decorative Arts, supported the project at an important early stage. Erin Eisenbarth, then the Marcia Brady Tucker Assistant Curator of American Decorative Arts, was a most generous and knowledgeable colleague of the team, always willing to go the extra step to ensure that the information was correct. Amy Kurtz Lansing, then the Marcia Brady Tucker Graduate Curatorial Research Assistant in the Department of Paintings and Sculpture, was the kind of young scholar a curator dreams of finding; she oversaw myriad tasks, among them the gathering and organization of the photographs, the object entries, and the various manuscript edits. Our department has a magician in its midst, Janet Miller, Museum Assistant: no matter how frazzled the rest of us were, she was unfailingly helpful and good humored, knew exactly where everything was and at what stage, and somehow managed to keep all other office tasks on target. Amy Torbert and Mary Dailey Pattee, the Marcia Brady Tucker Curatorial Intern and the Rose Herrick Jackson Graduate Curatorial Intern, respectively, joined us late in the project, and both young scholars immediately became critical members of the team. Special thanks are also due to Nancy Yates, Museum Assistant for American Decorative Arts, who was a tremendous help on all aspects of the project, particularly those dealing with the decorative arts. Of particular assistance was Graham C. Boettcher, former Marcia Brady Tucker Curatorial Intern, who spent time in all three departments, and whose breadth of knowledge continually amazed us. In the project’s final phase, John Stuart Gordon, the Benjamin Attmore Hewitt Assistant Curator of American Decorative Arts, offered his insights and fresh perspective. We are also grateful to Elise K. Kenney, Gallery Archivist, for her painstaking research on the endnotes.
It is impossible to overstate the generous support we received from other colleagues at the Yale University Art Gallery. We are especially indebted to our Paintings Conservation Department: Mark Aronson and Patricia Garland, and to paper conservator Theresa Fairbanks-Harris, whose talents have made the paintings and works on paper look their best. The beautiful photographs that illuminate the book are the work of the Gallery’s Digital Media Department: Susan Cole, Alex Contreras, Anthony De Camillo, John ffrench, Chris Mir, and Janet Sullivan. Thanks are also due to Louisa Cunningham and her Business Office staff, including Kevin Johnson and Charlene Senical, and in Development, Jill Westgard and Carol Clay Wiske. Director of Collections and Technology Carol DeNatale and Registrar L. Lynne Addison made all the difficulties of shipping such a complicated exhibition seem effortless. Burrus Harlow and his installation team prepared the works for shipment and display. In the Departments of Programs and Public Affairs and Education, Anna Hammond, Pamela Franks, Amy Jean Porter, and Jessica Sack provided important advice and guidance. Chief Curator Susan B. Matheson was a wise and supportive colleague. We also thank Suzanne Boorsch, the Robert L. Solley Curator of Prints, Drawings, and Photographs; Diana Brownell, Museum Technician; Katherine Chabla, Museum Assistant; Elizabeth DeRose, then the Florence B. Selden Assistant Curator; Amy Freedberg, Yale undergraduate; Suzanne Greenawalt, Museum Assistant; Frederick Lamp, the Frances and Benjamin Benenson Foundation Curator of African Art; Russell Lord, former Museum Assistant; and William E. Metcalf, the Ben Lee Damsky Curator of Coins and Medals.
At Yale University, we wish to thank the faculty for their special assistance and advice, in particular Tim Barringer, the Paul Mellon Professor, History of Art; Jon Butler, Dean of the Graduate School and the Howard R. Lamar Professor of American Studies and Religious Studies; Edward S. Cooke, Jr., the Charles F. Montgomery Professor, History of Art; John Mack Faragher, the Arthur Unobskey Professor of American History; Joanne B. Freeman, Professor of History; Jay L. Gitlin, Lecturer in History and Associate Director, Howard R. Lamar Center for the Study of Frontiers and Borders; Howard R. Lamar, Sterling Professor of History Emeritus; Alyssa Mt. Pleasant, Assistant Professor of American Studies and History; Alexander Nemerov, Professor, History of Art; Jules David Prown, the Paul Mellon Professor Emeritus of the History of Art; and Kariann Yokota, Assistant Professor of American Studies and History. We also express our gratitude to our colleagues in the Yale University Libraries: Susan E. Burdick, Stephen C. Jones, Laurie Klein, Becca Findley Lloyd, Anne Marie Menta, George A. Miles, Reverend PaulF. Stuehrenberg, Frank Turner, and Timothy G. Young. We owe special thanks to David McCullough, a devoted Yale alumnus, whose enthusiasm for this project was an inspiration to all of us.
We extend special appreciation to content editor Diana Murphy and her assistant Claudia De Palma, and to the Gallery’s associate director of publications and editorial services, Tiffany Sprague, who transformed innumerable pages of manuscript into a coherent text, and to designer Jenny Chan, who turned it into this beautiful book. At Yale University Press, publisher Patricia Fidler and editor Michelle Komie encouraged the book from the first, and Kate Zanzucchi, Senior Production Editor; Mary Mayer, Art Book Production Manager; and John Long, Photo Editor and Assistant Production Coordinator, oversaw its production. We also thank freelance copyeditor Janet Wilson, proofreader June Cuffner, and indexer Cathy Dorsey.
Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness relied upon the research and expertise of a wide community of scholars, collectors, dealers, and other individuals scattered across the country. More than thirty individuals, whose names are listed elsewhere in this volume, contributed to the catalogue, and on behalf of these authors I would like to thank: Francis D. Campbell, American Numismatic Society, New York; Martha A. Sandweiss, Amherst College, Massachusetts; Peter McGivney, Beacon Library, New York; Emily G. Hanna, Birmingham Museum of Art, Alabama; David R. Moore, Bridgewater Historical Commission, Massachusetts; Barry Harwood, Brooklyn Museum, New York; Brenda Baldwin, California Historical Society, North Baker Research Library, San Francisco; Anita J. Ellis, Cincinnati Art Museum; Sarah Tapper, Stephen Decatur House Museum, Washington, D.C.; William C. Gates, Jr., East Liverpool Historical Society, Ohio; German Historical Society, Philadelphia; Ramona M. Austin, Hampton University Museum, Virginia; Edith Rotkopf, Howard R. Lamar Center for the Study of Frontiers and Borders, Yale University, New Haven; Shirley Lamar; Allen Weathers, Meriden Historical Society, Connecticut; Barbara Veith, Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; Barbara McLean Ward, Moffatt-Ladd House, Portsmouth, New Hampshire; Ulysses G. Dietz, Newark Museum, New Jersey; Margaret K. Hofer, New-York Historical Society; Susan K. Anderson, Kathleen A. Foster, Beatrice Garvan, Alexandra Alevizatos Kirtley, and Audrey Lewis, Philadelphia Museum of Art; Frank Futral, Roosevelt-Vanderbilt National Historic Sites, Hyde Park, New York; Bonnie Lilienfeld, Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of American History, Washington, D.C.; and Wendy Cooper, Linda Eaton, and Jeanne Solensky, Winterthur Museum, Garden, and Library, Delaware.
For their research assistance we also acknowledge James R. Beachley; John Bieber; Robin Cowie; Ellen Paul Denker; Nancy Goyne Evans; the late William H. Guthman, Guthman Americana; Susan Hobbs; Hugh Howard; Sean Keith; Ralph and Terry Kovel, Antiques, Inc.; Catherine Lanford; Jay and Emma Lewis; Crawford Alexander Mann III; Diana and J. Garrison Stradling; Peter Tuite; and Philip D. Zimmerman.
For providing images from their collections we are grateful to Elena Stolyarik, American Numismatic Society, New York; Barbara Wolanin, Curator, Architect of the Capitol, Washington, D.C.; Jennifer Belt, Art Resource, New York; Nadège Danet, Bibliothèque Nationale de France, Paris; Graham C. Boettcher; Jenni Lankford, City of Charleston, South Carolina; Aimee Marshall, Chicago History Museum; Nancy Sazama, Chipstone Foundation, Milwaukee; Kathleen Cornell and Mary Suzor, Cleveland Museum of Art; Charlene Peacock, Library Company of Philadelphia; Library of Congress, Washington, D.C.; Christopher Huntoon, Secretary, Lodge of St. Andrew, A.F. & A.M., Boston; Christa Zaros, Long Island Museum of American Art, History & Carriages, Stony Brook, New York; Cheryle T. Robertson, Los Angeles County Museum of Art; Eileen Sullivan, Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; Jennifer Riley, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; Marguerite Lavin, Museum of the City of New York; Maureen K. Harper, National Heritage Museum, Lexington, Massachusetts; Amy Trout, New Haven Museum and Historical Society; Nicole Wells, New-York Historical Society; Bill McMorris, Oakland Museum of California; Barbara Katus and Kevin Martin, Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, Philadelphia; Holly Frisbee, Philadelphia Museum of Art; David Oakey, Royal Collection, London; Martha Knapp, Saint-Gaudens National Historic Site, Cornish, New Hampshire; David Conradsen and Patricia Woods, Saint Louis Art Museum; Katherine Martin, Scholten Japanese Art, New York; Maria Mahon, Sotheby’s American Art, New York; Louise Bann and Annamarie Sandecki, Tiffany Archives, Parsippany, New Jersey; Laura Pedrick, Touro Synagogue, Congregation Jeshuat Israel, Newport, Rhode Island; Kim Robinson, U.S. Department of the Interior Museum, Washington, D.C.; Jeff Trandahl, Clerk of the House, U.S. House of Representatives, Washington, D.C.; Andrew Fotta, Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art, Hartford, Connecticut; Ann Verplanck and Susan Newton, Winterthur Museum, Library, and Garden, Delaware; and Melissa Gold Fournier, Yale Center for British Art, New Haven.
Helen A. Cooper
The Holcombe T. Green Curator of American Paintings and Sculpture
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