- Portraits and Politics, the Life of George Caleb Bingham [Suggested Reading]
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George Caleb Bingham
Suggested Reading

The Painting and Politics of George Caleb Bingham
(Nancy Rash)
George Caleb Bingham is one of the major American genre painters of the 19th century. Nicknamed "The Missouri Artist," he left behind a vivid panorama of his state and its people which incorporated such social traumas as the Civil War and Reconstruction. While Bingham is now most famous for his riverboat paintings, he was also an active participant in Missouri politics throughout his life, holding public office for 30 years. Rash demonstrates that Bingham's political thought and activity deeply informed his art. Resting on the premise that one must understand the political thinking and context behind the works before atempting to appreciate them, Rash's study examines Bingham's major paintings in the light of his stance on issues such as slavery reform, Union causes, and civil liberties. From this study, Bingham emerges as a major American painter who helped both to shape and record the political life and culture of the three most tumultuous decades of the 19th century.


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