A History of American Tonalism, 1880-1920

Crucible of American Modernism (Third Edition)

By David A Cleveland

Release Date
Format Hardcover 704 pages 9 x 12 inches
ISBN-13 978-0-78921-411-9 ISBN-10 0789214113

A groundbreaking survey of the school of expressive, symbolic landscape painting that gave rise to American modernism―newly revised and updated

This magnificent volume, featuring more than 750 illustrations, is the first definitive account of the Tonalist movement. Based on original research, it tells how the progressive Tonalist landscape dethroned the Hudson River School in the late 1870s and remained the dominant school in American art until World War I. More provocatively, it also argues that Tonalism gave rise to American modernism, laying the groundwork for the artists of the Stieglitz Circle, and subsequently Milton Avery, Mark Rothko, Adolph Gottlieb, Barnett Newman, Helen Frankenthaler, Wolf Kahn, and Richard Mayhew.

A History of American Tonalism places the key figures of the movement―such as George Inness, James McNeill Whistler, and John Henry Twachtman―in their cultural context, which was influenced by such thinkers as Ralph Waldo Emerson, Henry David Thoreau, John Burroughs, and William James. It also examines the careers of more than sixty other Tonalist painters, lesser known but highly talented.

This new edition of A History of American Tonalism includes more than one hundred new illustrations, as well as a new overview of the stylistic principles of Tonalism. It will continue to be essential for art lovers, artists, scholars, and anyone seeking a better understanding not only of the Tonalist movement but American art as a whole.