Gems of Art on Paper
Illustrated American Fiction and Poetry, 1785-1885
Published by: University of Massachusetts Press
Georgia Brady Barnhill, an expert on the visual culture of this period, explains the costs and risks that publishers faced as they brought about the transition from a sparse visual culture to a rich one. Establishing new practices and investing in new technologies to enhance works of fiction and poetry, bookmakers worked closely with skilled draftsmen, engravers, and printers to reach an increasingly literate and discriminating American middle class. Barnhill argues that while scholars have largely overlooked the efforts of early American illustrators, the works of art that they produced impacted readers' understandings of the texts they encountered, and greatly enriched the nation's cultural life.
"Barnhill does an excellent job tracing the slow development of publishing in the United States, from the late eighteenth century when there was a dearth of paper, ink, presses, and trained printers, as well as artists, to the late nineteenth century when all were available in abundance and American publications could compete with those of Europe."—Patricia Mainardi, author of Another World: Nineteenth-Century Illustrated Print Culture
"Gems of Art on Paper makes a very significant contribution to our knowledge and understanding of the growing use of illustrations in books published in the United States before 1885 and the great numbers of people involved.”—Sue Rainey, author of Creating a World on Paper: Harry Fenn's Career in Art