Neoclassicism in America 1750-1900
About this course:
Why do American public buildings look like Greek temples? Why does the U.S. Constitution use the model of the Roman republic? The answer is that Americans between 1750 and the early 20th century modeled their designs, intellectual life, and civic projects on classical antiquity. This course examines the influence of classicism on U.S. culture and government from 1750 to the 20th century. We consider American classicism from many different perspectives—the impact of archaeology and discoveries at Pompeii, the Grand Tour and lure of ancient Rome for American travelers, the rise of libraries and illustrated books, and the role of classical models in the founding of the nation. We discuss living myths such as Hercules and historical figures like Spartacus and Cleopatra in arts and film. Expect a mix of short lectures, pictorial analysis of ancient and modern works, as well as open discussion on all topics.