Cloth $39.95 ISBN: 9781935195276 Published March 2013

Mountains and Memory

Robert L. McGrath

Robert L. McGrath

Distributed for Columbia College Chicago Press

167 pages | 94 halftones | 6 x 9 | © 2012
Cloth $39.95 ISBN: 9781935195276 Published March 2013

From Egypt’s Abu Simbel to South Dakota’s Mount Rushmore to Tan Swie Hian’s Earth Art Museum in China’s Quingdao National Forest, mountains have long been shaped to resemble human personages, including pharaohs, presidents, and painters. Mountains and Memory explores this practice and traces the history of anthropomorphism—the attribution of human qualities to non-human nature—as expressed in the form of carvings on mountainous rock formations.
 
Anthropomorphism can be understood as either perceptual, wherein natural forms are perceived as bearing human likeness, as is the case with New Hampshire’s Old Man of the Mountain, or conceptual, wherein mountains are shaped sculpturally into human form, exemplified by Mount Rushmore. In both cases, the author argues, memory is enlisted to impose meaning on otherwise inchoate rock formations. In addition to exploring the theme through examples of actual mountains, the author also considers paintings and prints that impose human forms onto mountains and discusses projects that are still in development. In its range and attention, Mountains and Memory offers a unique look at mountains as the subject of both art and collective experience.   

Contents
Preface
Introduction

Mountain-as-Man
A City Upon the Hill
The Great Stone Face: Sermons in Stone
The Mountain of the Holy Cross: The Kingdom of God in America and the Rocky Road to Redemption
The Ames Monument and Beyond: On the Fast Track from the White Mountains to the Black Hills
Woman-as-Mountain
Men to Match the Mountains
From Stone Mountain to Mount Rushmore
Holiness in High Places

Notes
About the Author
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