American Art

Identifying themes of living in freedom and peace in American art.

I think this typifies some of the original ideas behind America: searching for freedom; civilizing the wild.
The river in this piece has never looked very calm to me, yet we have George Washington, a symbol of our country, conquering it to go fight the British for freedom.
Here, Americans are "civilizing" the Indians in order to live more peaceably and freely.
Not only do they conquer/climb the mountains, they are removing from the mountains stones that could have been obstacles in order to build their cities. Or, they're mining for gold in order to enhance their living in society. In either case, they are overcoming nature to improve society.
America as a haven for people of all backgrounds. Anyone is free to come and dwell in peace, even amidst storms and floods.
Like Hicks' "Noah's Ark," this is promoting the idea that all can live together in peace. Also, both connote the taming of the wild.
Another work by Hicks. The child could represent the young America taming the wild that surrounds it. The child does not seem to be threatened by anything.
Man's ingenuity allows him to overcome nature's obstacles, allows him to live freely wherever he is and whatever his circumstances. Also, they seem frontiersmen, showing again American expansion into uncivilized lands.
Man conquers nature again, but this time it's for enjoyment. America isn't limited by anything, will conquer obstacles for necessity or fun. Americans are free to live how they want without fear of repercussions.
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