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Perhaps best known as the painter of Kindred Spirits, the quintessential Hudson River School painting, Asher B. Durand (1796 to 1886) was one of the most important American artists of the nineteenth century, a central figure as an artist, as a founder of art institutions, and as the acknowledged leader of the American landscape school from his election as president of the National Academy of Design in 1845 until his death at the age of ninety. Durand's six-decade career spanned the period from the earliest efforts of artists and writers to construct a national cultural identity on through the mid-century triumph and, later, the eclipse of what is now known as the Hudson River School. In this biography first published in 1894, Durand's son John reconstructed the artist's life from family records and documents and his own recollections, creating what has become an essential source of biographical data on Durand, his paintings, his engravings, and his patrons. This edition features a new introduction by Linda S. Ferber, vice president and museum director for the New York Historical Society.
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