Book cover for Painting the Inhabited Landscape

Painting the Inhabited Landscape: Fitz H. Lane and the Global Reach of Antebellum America

Margaretta Lovell in conversation with Scott Casper

Thursday, October 5, 2023, at 7:00 pm ET

Approximately 60 minutes. This virtual program is free, but registration is required. You will be sent an email with a link and instructions on how to join the program upon registration. Closed captioning is available as an option via Zoom’s live transcription.

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Join us as historian Margaretta Lovell discusses her new publication, Painting the Inhabited Landscape: Fitz Henry Lane and the Global Reach of Antebellum America. During the program, Lovell will explore the paintings of Gloucester native Fitz H. Lane and the community and the patrons that supported his career with an eye to understanding how New Englanders thought about their land, their economy, their history, and their links with widely disparate global communities.

The impulse in much nineteenth-century American painting and culture was to describe nature as a wilderness on which the young nation might freely inscribe its future. Lane’s works depict nature as productive and allied in partnership with humans to create a sustainable, balanced political economy. What emerges from this close look at Lane’s New England is a picture not of a “virgin wilderness” but of a land deeply resonant with its former uses—and a human history that incorporates, rather than excludes, Native Americans as shapers of land and as agents in that history.

MargarettaMargaretta M. Lovell is a cultural historian working at the intersection of history, material culture studies, architectural history, and art history. She is the author of prize-winning books on American art and culture of the eighteenth, nineteenth, and twentieth centuries. She teaches at the University of California, Berkeley where she holds the Jay D. McEvoy, Jr., Chair in the History of American Art. Her interests include ecological and economic history, and her research has been supported by the Guggenheim, Rockefeller and Terra Foundations, the NEH, Huntington Library, American Philosophical Society, and the American Council of Learned Societies. In 2007-08 she was the Mellon Distinguished Scholar in Residence at AAS where she enjoyed a deep dive into initial research for Painting the Inhabited Landscape: Fitz Henry Lane and the Global Reach of Antebellum America (Penn State Press, 2023). She was elected to AAS membership in October, 2001 and served as a councilor from 2016-2022.

Scott Casper was appointed the eighth president of the Society in December 2020. A historian of the nineteenth-century United States, he has been associated with AAS for three decades, beginning as a Peterson Fellow in 1990. Before joining AAS he served as dean of the College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences and professor of history at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, and as Foundation Professor of history at the University of Nevada, Reno. Casper is the author of Sarah Johnson’s Mount Vernon: The Forgotten History of an American Shrine (2008) and Constructing American Lives: Biography and Culture in Nineteenth-Century America (1999), which won the book prize of the Society for the History of Authorship, Reading, and Publishing. Casper was elected to AAS membership in April 1999.

Center for Historic American Visual Culture (CHAViC)

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