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Distributed for University Press of New England

American Faces

A Cultural History of Portraiture and Identity

Distributed for University Press of New England

American Faces

A Cultural History of Portraiture and Identity

Portraits. We know what they are, but why do we make them? Americans have been celebrating themselves in portraits since the arrival of the first itinerant portrait painters to the colonies. They created images to commemorate loved ones, glorify the famous, establish our national myths, and honor our shared heroes. Whether painting in oil, carving in stone, casting in bronze, capturing on film, or calculating in binary code, we spend considerable time creating, contemplating, and collecting our likenesses. In this sumptuously illustrated book, Richard H. Saunders explores our collective understanding of portraiture, its history in America, how it shapes our individual and national identity, and why we make portraits—whether for propaganda and public influence or for personal and private appreciation. American Faces is a rich and fascinating view of ourselves.

260 pages | 8 1/2 x 11

Art: American Art


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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments • Introduction • The Rich • Portraits for Everyone • Fame • Propaganda • Self and Audience • Rituals, Power, and Memory • The Gallery • Notes • Bibliography • Index

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