Abstract and Keywords
In the two decades following the American Revolution, the art and architecture of the United States were hounded by questions about the role of art in a republican society. The problem facing aspiring artists and architects during those years was how to establish committed patronage for the arts. Not surprisingly, eighteenth-century art and architecture in Britain's North American colonies largely reflected English aesthetic trends. The consumer revolution not only encouraged the demand for portraiture, but also fueled a market in the British colonies for printed books, periodicals, and engravings. Architectural publications occupied a central place in this surge in the distribution of print. Aside from securing patronage, American designers struggled with provincialism in the early republic. Artists such as Charles Willson Peale and John Trumbull hoped to encourage the republic by educating its citizenry.
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