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Moved to Tears: Rethinking the Art of the Sentimental in the United States

Princeton University Press

Moved to Tears: Rethinking the Art of the Sentimental in the United States

by Rebecca Bedell

In Moved to Tears, Rebecca Bedell overturns received ideas about sentimental art. Countering its association with trite and saccharine Victorian kitsch, Bedell argues that major American artists—from John Trumbull and Charles Willson Peale in the eighteenth century and Asher Durand and Winslow Homer in the nineteenth to Henry Ossawa Tanner and Frank Lloyd Wright in the early twentieth—produced what was understood in their time as sentimental art. This was art intended to develop empathetic bonds and to express or elicit social affections, including sympathy, compassion, nostalgia, and patriotism. Beautifully illustrated, Moved to Tears transforms our understanding of the nature and influence of sentimental art.

Hardcover, 232 pages, 8.8"x 9.5".