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I guess this is another promotional diary for NN 14. The Rivera Court at the Detroit Institute of Art is spectacular in itself, but the rest of the collection is every bit as excellent. You won't be surprised to know that I concentrated on the galleries of American Art while I was there, and it's only because it was on this trip I learned that you bring your phone charger with you every time you're out with your smartphone. I liked some of the early 20th century decorative art too. Incidentally, two of these paintings are paintings I use in the classroom to illustrate certain points.

I'll use some of the pictures I took and some taken by professionals, of five paintings by American artists, painted between 1780 and 1870. Each with some significance.

After a word from our sponsor.

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John Singleton Copley, Watson and the Shark (1782). His first large-scale history painting, which made his reputation in London. The 1778 original is in National Gallery of Art.
and the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston has one that he painted for his own studio in 1782 (we saw it last Thursday). The one at DIA carries the date 1782 as well, and, although there's no explanation of what it meant for Copley (it's smaller), the provenance statement the DIA provides says this painting was sold at Christies in 1786. We get to draw our own conclusions.
Benjamin West, Lot Fleeing from Sodom (1810). An I guess typical religious painting by West from his later period. Not an image you see very often.
Lilly Martin Spencer, Domestic Happiness (1849). And here's a biography you don't expect of an American woman before 1900. From the National Museum of Women in the Arts in Washington, D.C.:
At 22, Lilly Martin married Benjamin Rush Spencer. They made their home first in New York City, then in Newark, New Jersey, and then moved into a large house in Highland, New York, across the Hudson River from Poughkeepsie. The couple had 13 children, seven of whom survived to adulthood. Lilly was the principal breadwinner, while Benjamin managed their growing household. In the late 1840s and 1850s, the artist’s work became popular in Europe and America.
I use her paintings to illustrate my discussion of the so-called Cult of True Womanhood, a concept of how the new urban woman of the i840s and 1850s lived that was introduced by the historian Barbara Welter in the late 1960s at the dawn of women's history.

Plus, note the top of an absolutely over-the-top Belter sofa (1850-1860), like this one from the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York,  

below the painting.
George Caleb Bingham, The Trappers' Return (1851) Westward expansion, a fur trapper and his metis son, with a baby bear chained to the stern of the boat.
Frederic Edwin Church, Cotopaxi (1862). From the New York Times Disuniopn series, which remembers the Civil War's 150th anniversary for the editorial pages:
Landscape artists were no different. By 1862 the nation was locked in
a bloody Civil War with no end in sight. That year America’s leading landscape painter, Frederic Edwin Church, began working on a monumental image, “Cotopaxi,” now held at the Detroit Institute of Arts. This usually idyllic Ecuadorean volcano had long been described as a paradise on earth, a Southern Eden. Now, during the war, Church showed the cinder cone of the erupting volcano dominating a panoramic sweep of the Andean plateau. The sulfurous smoke and ash rolling from the caldera drift down the side of the mountain, nearly obliterating the surrounding landscape. The red tonalities of the water are reminiscent of fresh blood. Although “Cotopaxi” is not specifically about the Civil War, it is a landscape suffused with it.
And that's just American paintings before the Civil War. It's a wonderful collection, and you should see it before you leave Detroit. We'll probably have time, too.

And now for the stuff that makes this Top Comments:

TOP COMMENTS, July 2, 2014: Thanks to tonight's Top Comments contributors! Let us hear from YOU when you find that proficient comment.

From aeou:

Forwarding elfling's flag of jfromga's comment on women and their medical needs in Vyan's diary, Hobby Lobby wanted to block Doctors from even Talking to you about Contraception.
From grover:
RalphDog shows ushow scrambled our brains can get if we listen to rightwing memes too long in xxdr zombiexx's diary "Draw, Sucka." about Georgia's new open carry law.
From Gwennedd:
Xaviour Breff complains about having capricorniphobia in my diary. Hilarious!
From Mets102:
Its the Supreme Court Stupid explaining why Tim Howard's nomination to be the next Secretary of Defense failed in response to a comment in his own diary, WH petition to rename Ronald Wilson Reagan National Airport in DC for US goalkeeper Tim Howard.
From Tara the Antisocial Social Worker:
In her diary College GOP Chairman slams Tea Party, resigns, and joins the Democrats, Leslie Salzillo raises the time-honored question of how many Republicans it takes to change a light bulb.  Niemann proposes an alternate answer,and a hilarious thread follows. Also flagged, for the reply by Hatrax, by NBbooks.
In the diary Can we call it CT?  Please? by serendipityisabitch, here's a diary-worthy comment from CroneWit examining "men's rights"/"red pill" ideology.  The kicker is at the end. (Your diarist suggests that if you're not familiar with these terms you go there - it's worse than even I thought)
From your diarist, Dave in Northridge:
La Feminista's contribution to Hunter's diary on Jonah Goldberg and Hobby Lobby, "EpicFail Teh Movie" and the entire thread it inspired, are worth recognizing.
TOP MOJO, July 1, 2014 (excluding Tip Jars and first comments):
  1) Do those effing RWNJ's...... by 57andFemale — 128
  2) This is taking us all back to the 1950s. by blue jersey mom — 113
  3) Good for you. by Silencio — 101
  4) None of this stuff ever happened by LeftHandedMan — 100
  5) It's not about birth control, either. by Dartagnan — 95
  6) My fervant hope is that women make 2014 by Phoebe Loosinhouse — 94
  7) This needs to be front page and I think you buried by Phoebe Loosinhouse — 94
  8) Don't Worry, Rush. The Reaction is Just a Fluke nt by Gooserock — 93
  9) Be sure to include in your educational plan the by drmah — 91
10) Crazytown by phenry — 88
11) somebody's Culpa by annieli — 87
12) I lived through the 50s, and I don't want to by blue jersey mom — 85
13) We need to catch the fire that Cochran caught in by Jon Sitzman — 79
14) Exactly, control over our own fertility is by blue jersey mom — 78
15) This by Tod — 75
16) I was told not to get my panties in a bunch by tecolata — 73
17) We need to capture the votes of the opposition. by Susan from 29 — 73
18) Time for a Women's Healthcare Restoration Act by joeff — 72
19) This IS stunning. by elwior — 72
20) Medical reasons by mayim — 72
21) oh FUCK these old men by The Termite — 71
22) It is a very customer friendly store here in PNW by Penny GC — 71
23) Maybe, but it's not surprising by Califlander — 69
24) Yeah, the 1350's by radarlady — 66
25) The Era George Will and Pat Buchanan Formed by Gooserock — 65
26) How sad. Thanks for bringing this to our by HoundDog — 64
27) One of my favorite stories is about by Richard Lyon — 64
28) Why should we? by Dallasdoc — 63
29) It seems to me that this decision by these   by koosah — 62
30) Exactly! by politik — 60
For an explanation of How Top Mojo Works, see mik's FAQing Top Mojo

TOP PHOTOS, July 1, 2014: Enjoy jotter's wonderful PictureQuilt below. Just click on the picture and it will magically take you to the comment that features that photo. Have fun, Kossacks!

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