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AHIS GU4150 Tourism, Nature, and the North American Landscape. 3 points.

It is a truism that landscape painting dominated nineteenth-century American art, especially as represented by members of the so-called “Hudson River School.”  Some have attributed this phenomenon to the inherent beauty of the natural environment on this continent.  Others have seen it as an expression of an innate, transcendental national character.  Recently, however, scholars have explored American landscape painting in connection to the development of tourism.  Beginning in the eighteenth century, tourists in Europe and America began seeking out powerful vistas as a means of cultivating taste and expressing cultural, national, and class identity.  Landscape tourism was fueled by and fueled the market for landscape representations and inspired the creation of new aesthetic categories such as “the sublime” and “the picturesque.”  At the same time, the development of tourism—including accommodations, roads, and new forms of transportation—facilitated artists’ exploration of the land.  These developments contributed to new technologies of vision that structured both the making and the consumption of pictures.