If painting techniques are international almost by definition, subject matter is not. American painting remains unmistakably American, and no other nation's painters have so consciously drawn their inspiration from their native land. Thomas Cole, the founder of the Hudson River School, urged his followers to wed themselves to the American landscape. Thomas Ekins said that to create art worthy of the nation, artists should "peer deeper into the heart of American life."
Such admonitions could be reversed for laymen to show that American painting affords an unexcelled insight into the nation's life, past and present. Vigorous, varied, and spacious as the continent itself, it opens a thousand windows on the American heritage and home. Alexander Eliot
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