Smashing the monuments and saving the pedestals : Washington Allston and Edgar Allan Poe's mandate for the American artist

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Debra Faye Weston (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
Web Site:
Murray Arndt

Abstract: The purpose of this study is to examine the role of the artist in nineteenth-century America as it was conceived by Washington Allston and Edgar Allan Poe. Washington Allston was the first American painter and Edgar Allan Poe the first American poet to define their aesthetic theories and practice in an attempt to fashion a more definitive and prominent role for the American artist. Allston's and Poe's contributions as artists and aesthetic theorists are significant in that both men seek to construct a mandate for the artist in an American environment void of both a native tradition and the necessary resources to promote and sustain American art and artists. In an effort to overcome these obstacles, Allston and Poe find themselves attempting to reconcile a number of paradoxes in their mandates: questions of the artist as elitist or democrat, the artist as aesthete or instructor and the artist as advocate of the traditional or the original. These were all issues confronted and reconciled in their mandates. For Allston and Poe the reconciliation of these paradoxes is, in turn, the similarity of their visions.

Additional Information

Language: English
Date: 1992
Poe, Edgar Allan, $d 1809-1849 $x Aesthetics
Allston, Washington, $d 1779-1843 $x Aesthetics
Art, Modern $y 19th century
Art, American $x History

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