Seeing America

August 2006
175 colour, 5 black and white illustrations
336 pages
University of Rochester Press
BISAC ART006000, ART059000, ART006020

Seeing America

Painting and Sculpture from the Collection of the Memorial Art Gallery of the University of Rochester

Edited by Marjorie B. Searl

A stunning, full-color volume that examines 82 pieces in the University of Rochester Memorial Art Gallery's American collection and their connections to American history, culture, literature, and politics.
Seeing America is the first-ever catalog of the University of Rochester Memorial Art Gallery's American collection. Founded in 1913, the Memorial Art Gallery was created in conjunction with the University of Rochester so that it would function within a scholarly milieu, yet at the same time perform service as a community museum. From its conception it has been an ardent advocate for American art, which so many counterpart institutions snubbed until at least the 1930s, and more often until well after World War II, in favor of European and Asian art.
The 336-page, full-color volume examines 82 objects and their connections to American history, culture, literature and politics. The 73 articles present a running commentary on each piece by knowledgeable and thoughtful contemporary scholars and artists writing with expertise and insight, ultimately presenting a new and deeper understanding that enhances the reader/viewer's appreciation of the work.

The tour ranges from Colonial times to the twenty-first century, from Maine to Florida to the far West, from mighty historical subjects to intimate byways, from august figures and events to the humblest and most anonymous. The diversity of American experience on display here reminds us that the best American art is inextricably bound up with the essential truths of American experience.


With paintings from John Singleton Copley to Andy Warhol, the Memorial Art Gallery seems to have representative of the entire range of American artists on its walls. Handsomely produced with both full color and black and white reproductions of their collection alongside commentary for each inclusion, Seeing America stands as an impressive tribute to the University of Rochester. ART TIMES, 2007

Highly recommended. CHOICE