Not Only for Scholars University Press Publications Appeal to the General Reader

By Mary Warner Marien. Mary Warner Marien, who lives in LaFayette, N. Y., teaches fine arts . | The Christian Science Monitor, April 8, 1994 | Go to article overview

Not Only for Scholars University Press Publications Appeal to the General Reader


Mary Warner Marien. Mary Warner Marien, who lives in LaFayette, N. Y., teaches fine arts ., The Christian Science Monitor


PICTURING A NATION: ART AND SOCIAL CHANGE IN NINETEENTH-CENTURY AMERICA By David M. Lubin Yale University Press, 364 pp., $45. THOMAS EAKINS Edited by John Wilmerding Smithsonian Institution Press, 212 pp., $49.95. THE PHOTOGRAPHIC EXPERIENCE, 1839-1914: IMAGES AND ATTITUDES By Heinz K. Henisch and Bridget A. Henisch Penn State Press 462 pp., $95. VANISHING GEORGIA Text by Sherry Konter Photographs from the Georgia Department of Archives and History University of Georgia Press, unpaged $19.95 paper. PASSIONATE VISIONS OF THE AMERICAN SOUTH: SELF-TAUGHT ARTISTS FROM 1940 TO THE PRESENT Edited by Alice Rae Yelen University Press of Mississippi, 351 pp. $65 cloth, $35 paper. HOWLING WOLF AND THE HISTORY OF LEDGER ART By Joyce M. Szabo University of New Mexico Press, 270 pp., $50. CONVERSATIONS WITH LOUISE ERDRICH AND MICHAEL DORRIS Edited by Allan Chavkin and Nancy Feyl Chavkin University Press of Mississippi 262 pp., $35 cloth $14.95 paper. RONALD REAGAN IN HOLLYWOOD: MOVIES AND POLITICS By Stephen Vaughn Cambridge University Press, 359 pp., $24.95. PROJECTIONS OF WAR: HOLLYWOOD, AMERICAN CULTURE, AND WORLD WAR II By Thomas Doherty Columbia University Press, 364 pp., $32.50. SEEDS OF THE SIXTIES By Andrew Jamison and Ron Eyerman University of California Press, 235 pp., $25. THE HIGH FRONTIER: EXPLORING THE TROPICAL RAINFOREST CANOPY By Mark W. Moffett Harvard University Press 192 pp., $39.95 cloth $24.95 paper. COLD RUNNING RIVER By David N. Cassuto University of Michigan Press, 141 pp. $29.95 cloth, $15.95 paper. DOWN THE ASPHALT PATH: THE AUTOMOBILE AND THE AMERICAN CITY By Clay McShane Columbia University Press 288 pp., $29.50. THE LAWN: A HISTORY OF AN AMERICAN OBSESSION By Virginia Scott Jenkins Smithsonian Institution Press, 246 pp. $14.95 paper. THROWAWAYS: WORK CULTURE AND CONSUMER EDUCATION By Evan Watkins Stanford University Press 230 pp., $37.50 cloth $14.95 paper. HARRIET BEECHER STOWE By Joan D. Hedrick Oxford University Press 507 pp., $35. FEMINISMS OF THE BELLE EPOQUE: A HISTORICAL AND LITERARY ANTHOLOGY Edited by Jennifer Waelti-Walters and Steven C. Hause University of Nebraska Press, 337 pp. $42.50 cloth, $16.95 paper. WOMEN IN WAITING IN THE WESTWARD MOVEMENT: LIFE ON THE HOME FRONTIER By Linda Peavy and Ursula Smith University of Oklahoma Press, 381 pp. $35 cloth, $17.95 paper. FIGURES IN A WESTERN LANDSCAPE: MEN AND WOMEN OF THE NORTHERN ROCKIES By Elizabeth Stevenson Johns Hopkins University Press, 222 pp., $25.95.

UNDERPINNING the wide-ranging subjects recently published by university presses is an unstated consensus that current academic concerns may interest nonacademic audiences.

In his study of how various social groups were imaged in 19-century American painting, David M. Lubin explicitly attempts to empathize with the public by creating a "readable, stimulating, provocative, friendly" text. While he acknowledges that Picturing a Nation: Art and Social Change in Nineteenth-Century America was influenced by social historians who dispute the idea of America as a melting-pot, Lubin does not argue the proposition abstractly. Instead, he demonstrates how artists as well known as George Caleb Bingham and as uncelebrated as Lilly Martin Spencer engaged conflicting 19th-century notions of religious tolerance, race relations, domesticity, and feminism.

Like Lubin, John Wilmerding meets his audience half way in a collection of essays he edited on American painter Thomas Eakins (1844-1916). Published by the Smithsonian Institution Press - along with the National Academy Press, the nation's university press - Thomas Eakins is a richly illustrated and handsomely produced catalog for a London exhibition of Eakins's work. It brings together 30 scholars whose writing ranges from clear, if conventional, antiquarian reconstruction of the circumstances of Eakins's work to overcast psychological theory.

Many essays in Wilmerding's collection examine Eakin's use of photography. …

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