Supernatural America

Cozzolino Robert
"Simply put, the history of American manifest destiny is written in blood and paved with ghosts: those of Native Americans, slaves, war casualties, and countless others caught in the crosshairs of our nation's "progress." Between the trauma, bloody wars, everyday violence, and the threat (always) of nuclear annihilation, a culture of the supernatural has long been part of our heritage. This quirky book is the exhibition catalogue for "the first major assessment of the supernatural in American art." As such, it studies works from the nineteenth century to the present day, works by artists exploring all manner of things spooky from sâeances to UFO sightings to possession to the ghosts that stalk our battlefields, lynching sites, and the space of other unhappy adventures. The exhibition itself promises to be strong-minded and colorful. Many of the artworks on the walls and in the pages of the catalogue are captivating, creepy, or occasionally just plain silly as they explore contacts between the living and the uncanny"--


America is haunted. Ghosts from its violent history--the genocide of Indigenous peoples, slavery, the threat of nuclear annihilation, and traumatic wars--are an inescapable and unsettled part of the nation's heritage. Not merely in the realm of metaphor but present and tangible, urgently calling for contact, these otherworldly visitors have been central to our national identity. Through times of mourning and trauma, artists have been integral to visualizing ghosts, whether national or personal, and in doing so have embraced the uncanny and the inexplicable. This stunning catalog, accompanying the first major exhibition to assess the spectral in American art, explores the numerous ways American artists have made sense of their own experiences of the paranormal and the supernatural, developing a rich visual culture of the intangible.

​Featuring artists from James McNeill Whistler and Kerry James Marshall to artist/mediums who made images with spirits during séances, this catalog covers more than two hundred years of the supernatural in American art. Here we find works that explore haunting, UFO sightings, and a broad range of experiential responses to other worldly contact.

More Information
Publisher University of Chicago Press
ISBN-10 022678682X
ISBN-13 9780226786827
GTIN-13 9780226786827
GTIN-14 09780226786827
Subtitle The Paranormal in American Art
Author Cozzolino Robert
Edition 1
Language Code eng
Page Count 320
Publication Date Aug 3, 2021
Dimension 9.25 in 11 in 0 in