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Images and Anxieties in 19th Century Landscape Painting: Pittsburgh and Allegheny County

Clover Bachman, Ph.D. candidate, Dept. of English

An overview of eighteenth and nineteenth century landscape painting that depicts the changing relationships between nature, land, water, cities, labor and industry in Allegheny County.

"Pittsburgh in the nineteenth-century is a well documented city of contradictions. The emerging wealth of mine and mill owners contrasted with urban poverty amidst the raw natural beauty of the three rivers and an evergrowing industrial cityscape. This cityscape would ultimately include the sprawling steel mills where -- along riverbanks transformed into industrial ports -- the poorest laborers and their families would work and live. Artists painting in Allegheny County during this time were by no means outside of these social and ecological contradictions. Their works often indirectly express, and occasionally directly engage, emerging anxieties about the relationships between humans, industry, capital, and the natural world. A close examination of some of the paintings from this period helps us to understand the historic relationship between industry, art, people, and nature in the Allegheny County region."

-Images and Anxieties in 19th Century Landscape Painting