Creating a World on Paper
Harry Fenn's Career in Art
Publication Year: 2013
Published by: University of Massachusetts Press
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Title Page, Copyright, Dedication
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Table of Contents
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My interest in Harry Fenn dates back almost thirty years, to when I realized that many of the most attractive nineteenth-century prints of American scenery and cities offered in print shops were his compositions, often taken from disbound copies of the two-volume Picturesque America. The luminosity of that book’s steel engravings and the variety and charm of its wood engravings...
1. Early Life in England and New York
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Harry Fenn was a conspicuous presence in the world of American art in the latter half of the nineteenth century. In this period before photographs could be printed on the same page as type, a wide public looked to him and his colleagues for depictions of scenery, cities, and social and political life reproduced ...
2. Gaining Recognition as an Illustrator and Watercolor Painter
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Fenn was able to fulfill his intention to abandon wood engraving and establish himself as a sought-after illustrator in the last years of the Civil War and the period immediately after. At this time, many Americans endeavored to find solace for their grief, honor the lost, lay animosities to rest, and focus attention on the reunited ...
3. Poetry and Picturesque America
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Fenn continued to devote most of his time to preparing designs for illustrations, a surer means of supporting his growing family than completing paintings that might or might not sell. His projects in the late 1860s and early 1870s, commissioned by various publishers, ranged from one page for a periodical to hundreds of images ...
4. Years Abroad—Picturesque Europe and Picturesque Palestine
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From 1873 to 1881 Fenn lived abroad and traveled as the quintessential artist in search of the picturesque. Soon after Appleton began publishing Picturesque America in parts in mid-1872, it became clear that the book’s combination of text and images was a winning formula. In fact, it was so successful that the firm involved Fenn in two successors—...
5. New Clients, New Technologies, and a New Home—The 1880s
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As Fenn worked to complete his illustrations for Picturesque Palestine and his daughter Hilda neared her first birthday, the family returned to the United States. Although a second transatlantic move must have been difficult and their loyalties divided between England and America, Fenn apparently anticipated many commissions ...
6. Challenges and Triumphs—The 1890s and Beyond
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As the end of the nineteenth century approached, the United States was greatly changed since Fenn’s arrival in 1857. It was now one of the most prosperous and powerful nations on earth. Its population of more than seventy million, which stretched from coast to coast, was in closer contact than ever before thanks...
7. Continuity and Change—1900–1911, and an Assessment
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The last decade of Harry Fenn’s life coincided with the first decade of the twentieth century, with its accelerated pace of innovation and growth in communications, transportation, and industry. Fashions in the art world and in illustrated publications continued to change in ways that positioned Fenn among ...
Appendix 1: Additional Illustrations by Harry Fenn
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Appendix 2: Harry Fenn’s Works Included in Exhibitions
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About the Author, Back Cover
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Page Count: 516
Illustrations: 43 color illus., 150 b&w illus.
Publication Year: 2013