The Art-Union and Its Artists
Published by: Gilcrease Museum
Imprint: Gilcrease Museum
200 Pages | 9 x 11 | 60 color illus.
A small subscription fee entitled members of the Art-Union to at least one engraving of a prominent piece per year, as well as entry in an annual lottery distributing larger works of art. The Art-Union appealed especially to genre painters; William Sidney Mount, George Caleb Bingham, Charles Deas, William Tylee Ranney, and other noted artists submitted their works for jury and acceptance. As the United States grew increasingly divided in the 1840s, the Art-Union’s selections came under heavy scrutiny and there were accusations of supposed abolitionist and Whig sentiments. Low on funds and facing an ultimately successful lawsuit over the legality of the lottery, the American Art-Union disbanded in 1852.
This book provides a new look at the American Art-Union and the culture of the United States in the 1840s.