Rendering Violence: Riots, strikes, and upheaval in nineteenth-century American art and visual culture


Luce/ACLS Dissertation Fellowships in American Art


Department of Art History


The American social order was tested throughout the nineteenth century by eruptions of internal social violence; over the course of the century, violent riots, strikes, and uprisings continually threatened the social stability of the expanding nation. As each violent confrontation unfolded, printmakers, illustrators, and artists analyzed, reframed, and defused the conflict for an expanding body of viewers. My dissertation analyzes the intersections of painterly practice with the popular representation of social conflict, studying how the paintings and drawings of Thomas Cole, William Sidney Mount, George Henry Hall, Robert Koehler, Elihu Vedder, and Frederic Remington interrelate with contemporaneous prints and illustrations in the interpretation of riotous violence.