“Of Arms and Artists: The American Revolution through Painters’ Eyes”
By Paul Staiti
400 pp., Bloomsbury Press
Reviewed by Alex Nyerges, Director, Virginia Museum of Fine Arts
September 1781 — Loyalists broke into the Pennsylvania State House in Philadelphia and slashed the Charles Willson Peale portrait of George Washington. It was an act of desperation and frustration by Colonists still loyal to King George III who sensed the unthinkable was near — an American victory in the battle for independence. A month later, Cornwallis surrendered to Washington at Yorktown and the war was all but over. Read More…
In The News
March 14, 2017 — In today’s issue of The New York Times, reporter Jennifer Schuessler writes:
Jane Kamensky, a professor at Harvard University, will take on the unofficial title “American historian laureate” in April when the New-York Historical Society presents her with its annual book prize in American history, for “A Revolution in Color: The World of John Singleton Copley.”
The book, published by W. W. Norton, used Copley — who is celebrated for his portraits of Paul Revere and other Revolutionary War-era patriots, despite the fact that he was a loyalist who spent the war years in London — as a window onto the complexities of Revolution-era America. Virginia DeJohn Anderson, writing in The New York Times Book Review in December, praised the book’s vivid depiction of a man who “remained conflicted to the end.”
The prize, which was recently renamed in honor of the philanthropists Barbara and David Zalaznick, carries a $50,000 cash award and an engraved medal, as well the unofficial laureate title. (The historical society is a private organization.) Past winners include Eric Foner, Drew Gilpin Faust, Gordon S. Wood and Jill Lepore. Read More…
March 20, 2017 — In conjunction with Sunshine Week and timed for the opening of confirmation hearings for Neil Gorsuch, President Trump’s pick for the Supreme Court, C-SPAN asked polling company Penn Schoen Berland (PSB) to learn more about the public’s interest in the third branch of government. The results: Fifty-seven percent of those polled weren’t able to name any, or gave an incorrect name.
Click here to review the survey.
And click here to study the poll results.
More History Matters