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Looking Askance: Skepticism and American Art from Eakins to Duchamp

Looking Askance: Skepticism and American Art from Eakins to Duchamp
Author: Michæl Leja
ISBN 13: 9780520249967
ISBN 10: 520249968
Edition: 1
Publisher: University of California Press
Publication Date: 2007-03-28
Format: Paperback
Pages: 333
List Price: $39.95

"Beautifully written in an engaging style, this book provides a new perspective on turn-of-the-century American culture that nuances and complicates our vision of that historical moment. I have no doubt that it will become a classic text in American studies, the history of American art, and the study of visual culture."—Kathleen Pyne, author of Art and the Higher Life: Painting and Evolutionary Thought in Late Nineteenth-Century America

"Michael Leja, one of our most original and acute historians of American art, has written an indispensable and lively study of what we might call the modern anxiety of seeing. He traces our inherently skeptical view of the world back to the turn of the last century, a golden age of hucksters, swindlers, quacks, humbugs, rascals, cheats, and confidence men, and shows how artists as diverse as Eakins and Duchamp fit into this new culture of suspicion. Leja's book breathes fresh life into the period."—Michael Kimmelman

"Bringing together the strangest of bedfellows-paintings by Thomas Eakins, spirit photographs, William Harnett's still lifes, occult philosophies, Duchamp readymades-Leja uncovers a deep culture of suspicion and skepticism in America around 1900. As Americans grappled with the complexities of modern life, 'seeing was not believing,' he argues in this deeply researched and brilliantly provocative study."—Wanda M. Corn, author of The Great American Thing: Modern Art and National Identity, 1915-1935