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Drawing the Borderline: Artist-Explorers of the U.S.-New Mexico Boundary Survey

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The boundary between the United States and Mexico has long been troublesome. The Mexican War grew out of a border dispute, and when peace was restored in 1848 the task of redrawing the boundary was assigned to the US-Mexico Boundary Survey. The art produced for the survey played a crucial role in creating a national appreciation of the desert landscape of the Southwest. Th The boundary between the United States and Mexico has long been troublesome. The Mexican War grew out of a border dispute, and when peace was restored in 1848 the task of redrawing the boundary was assigned to the US-Mexico Boundary Survey. The art produced for the survey played a crucial role in creating a national appreciation of the desert landscape of the Southwest. This handsomely illustrated book, produced in conjunction with a 1996 exhibition at the Albuquerque Museum, considers the work of John Russell Bartlett, the literary scholar, bibliophile, and artist who was commissioner of the boundary survey, and of Henry Cheever Pratt and Seth Eastman, the survey artists who accompanied him. Historians John Mack Faragher and Sam Truett (Yale) and Oscar J. Martinez (University of Arizona) and art historians Gray Sweeney (Arizona State) and Lucretia Hoover Giese (Rhode Island School of Design) discuss the cultural, political, and environmental context and significance of the survey and the haunting images it produced.


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The boundary between the United States and Mexico has long been troublesome. The Mexican War grew out of a border dispute, and when peace was restored in 1848 the task of redrawing the boundary was assigned to the US-Mexico Boundary Survey. The art produced for the survey played a crucial role in creating a national appreciation of the desert landscape of the Southwest. Th The boundary between the United States and Mexico has long been troublesome. The Mexican War grew out of a border dispute, and when peace was restored in 1848 the task of redrawing the boundary was assigned to the US-Mexico Boundary Survey. The art produced for the survey played a crucial role in creating a national appreciation of the desert landscape of the Southwest. This handsomely illustrated book, produced in conjunction with a 1996 exhibition at the Albuquerque Museum, considers the work of John Russell Bartlett, the literary scholar, bibliophile, and artist who was commissioner of the boundary survey, and of Henry Cheever Pratt and Seth Eastman, the survey artists who accompanied him. Historians John Mack Faragher and Sam Truett (Yale) and Oscar J. Martinez (University of Arizona) and art historians Gray Sweeney (Arizona State) and Lucretia Hoover Giese (Rhode Island School of Design) discuss the cultural, political, and environmental context and significance of the survey and the haunting images it produced.

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