February 8, 2017 – William L. Coleman

NEH Post-Doctoral Fellow, The Library Company of Philadelphia
Painter-Architects and the Making of the American Landscape”

A striking number of nineteenth-century American landscape painters also aspired to the practice of architecture and constructed intriguing buildings that have received little scholarly attention. This talk explores the sources of that preoccupation with domestic architecture in particular. The houses that Thomas Cole, Frederic Church, and Jasper Francis Cropsey, among others, designed and constructed were integral to the practice of a transdisciplinary art of landscape that transmitted principles from oil on canvas to the built environment, and put them in dialogue with a transatlantic tradition of “painter-architects” that can be traced to Rubens, Raphael and beyond.

This research draws from Will’s book project “Painting Houses: The Domestic Landscape of the Hudson River School,” on which he is at work full-time for 2016-17 with the support of fellowships from the New York Public Library, the Library Company of Philadelphia, and the Winterthur Museum, Garden & Library. After graduating from Haverford as a member of the 2007 Bryn Mawr History of Art major class, he earned master’s degrees from the Courtauld Institute and Oxford and a PhD from Berkeley.