Jennifer L. Roberts
Jennifer L. Roberts is the Elizabeth Cary Agassiz Professor of the Humanities at Harvard University.
Roberts, Jennifer L.
Roberts, Jennifer L.
United States of America
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Description: Scale
Several years ago, while researching the monumental images of The Birds of America by John James Audubon (1785–1851), I encountered an unexpected...
PublisherTerra Foundation for American Art
Related print edition pages: pp.10-24
Chapter subject tags:Size perceptionPolitics in art
Description: Scale
Scale is perhaps the most spectacularly overlooked aspect of artistic production. As photographic and digital reproductions have essentially dematerialized art, critical and historical research dealing with scale—both within the American critical tradition and abroad—has become scattered and insufficiently theorized. However, by posing a specific challenge, such research forces a heightened recognition of both the properties of materials and the deep technical knowledge of makers. A reconsideration of scalar relationships in American art and visual culture therefore reveals original insights.

With a wealth of new research from Glenn Adamson, Wendy Bellion, Wouter Davidts, Darcy Grimaldo Grigsby, Christopher P. Heuer, Joshua G. Stein, and Jason Weems, Scale explores viewers’ physical relationship to Barnett Newman’s abstract canvases, the arduous engineering behind the creation of Mount Rushmore, and the charged significance of liberty poles in the landscape of eighteenth-century New York, among other topics that range from studies of specific works of art to significant conceptual and theoretical concerns.
Print publication date November 2016 (in print)
Print ISBN 9780932171597
EISBN 9780300256833
Illustrations 74
Print Status in print