In his landmark 1864 book, “Man and Nature,” George Perkins Marsh drew distinctions between the “free” landscapes of the prosperous North and the Southern practice of cultivating cotton and tobacco with slave labor. Reviewing Marsh’s ideas, along with the works of Hudson River School artists and their Southern counterparts, Smithsonian curator Eleanor Jones Harvey explores how images of agriculture served abolitionist politics in the 19th century.
About Eleanor Jones Harvey
Eleanor Jones Harvey is senior curator at the Smithsonian American Art Museum (SAAM). She earned a B.A. with distinction in art history from the University of Virginia, and a Ph.D. in the history of art from Yale University. She organized the widely-praised exhibition The Civil War and American Art (SAAM and the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York in 2012-2013). Her most recent exhibition was Alexander von Humboldt and the United States: Art, Nature, and Culture, (SAAM, 2020-2021). The books for both exhibitions won the Smithsonian Secretary’s Distinguished Research Prize for best single-author Exhibition Catalogue, in 2014 and 2021 respectively.
Painting: Spring Blossoms, Montclair, New Jersey
Gift of George A. Hearn, in memory of Arthur Hoppock Hearn, 1911
Underwriter: Peter Gilbert Endowment Fund
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