Thursday, July 19, 2018

Gregory Tomso on Lincoln

Vinnie Ream's
Lincoln Statue

Here is more information on the Lincoln Statue, written by the scholar Gregory Tomso:
Specifically, I argue that the much-touted, life-like features of Ream's statue of Lincoln are not, as her most admiring biographer has claimed, evidence of "man's propensity for naturalism," but signs of a historical shift in the discourses of aesthetics central to what Hendler describes as the subjective process of sentimental, nationalist identification in the nineteenth century. As the dream of an American Athens, embodied in the classical idealism of Powers and Greenough, gave way to Ream's realism, the powerbrokers of American art and politics did not reject, but intensified and naturalized, the ideological fervor of American nationalism and the forms of sentimental experience crucial to its expression. True to Brown's dictum that "America will be realized in its simulacra," Ream's Lincoln, in its striking verisimilitude, does not so much represent life itself as it instead offers up, for public consumption, a re-vitalized fantasy of the origin of "Americanness" empirically legible in the face, eyes, tears, hair, hands and "unspeakable sadness" of Lincoln's body.
This actually sounds interesting. I may just have to read it . . .



Post a Comment

<< Home