By Ellen And Aly

Transcendentalism first arose among liberal New England
Congregationalists who were seeking a departure from
Calvinism, and the bleak Puritan belief that inner human
depravity is ultimately inescapable
 Many ideals of transcendentalism parallel closely with both
predecessors German romanticism and Buddhism
 Early transcendentalists believed steadfastly in the
importance of human striving and pursuing a logic-based
life, rejecting organized religion, pre-destination, and
 Begins to take flight in Concord, New England in the 1830’s
Transcendentalism revolved around a passionate spiritual
and intellectual idealism within man
High regard was given to the concerns of “the
individual”, and his personal quest for spiritual
awakening; man must be self-directed along these travels
Institutions that hinder human spirit and potential must
be thoroughly rejected; many transcendentalists were
Nature is an eternal entity; it belongs to no one, but it is
there for everyone. The natural world is a reflection of
God’s divinity, a place of worship in itself
Transcendentalists rejected modern society, claiming its
values and morals to be corrupt
Ralph Waldo Emerson:
Born May 25th, 1803, in the
largely Puritan town of
Boston, MA
 Became close with several female
family members who influenced
his intellectual growth after the early death of his father
 Kept various journals throughout his youth,
documenting his observations
 Graduated from Harvard College in 1821
 After beginning Harvard Divinity School in 1825, Emerson began
explicitly questioning religion; this was intensified after the death of
his wife, Ellen Louisa Tucker
 After Tucker’s death, married Lydia Jackson; settled in Concord, MA
and raised children
Emerson’s Nature, a book of passionate essays
that reflect themes of self-awareness, spiritual
transience, and the pivotal beauty of the natural
world, was published in 1836
Emerson became a voice for those seeking
inner fulfillment and liberation from religious
Even after his death in 1882, Emerson’s legacy
continued(s) to shine on
Henry David Thoreau
Born in 1817, in Concord, MA
An academic prodigy from an early age, Thoreau journeyed
onward to Harvard, enrolling at the tender age of 16
A lifelong friend of Emerson’s
Started a tiny progressive school; the institution terminated after
the death of his brother, John
Emerson encouraged Thoreau to keep lengthy journals
documenting his various passions and great intellectual promise
Lived in periods of solitude on a piece of land owned by Emerson;
built a cabin, planted a garden, practiced meditation
Dies in 1862 at the young age of 44
 Thoreau’s
life span encouraged, and
continues to inspire, nature writing,
meditation, and spiritual fulfillment.
 His works instigated lasting social,
political, and spiritual impacts.
Artist from the school painted both
landscapes and allegories.
The Hudson River School was America's first
true artistic fraternity.
Its name was created to identify a group of
New York City-based landscape painters that
emerged about 1850 under the influence of
Thomas Cole and flourished until about the
time of the Centennial.
Cole is regarded as the "father" or "founder"
of the school. He was the teacher of Frederic
Edwin Church.
Major Artist of the school:
Thomas Cole
Frederic Edwin Church
Albert Bierstadt
Jasper Francis Cropsey
The school was forgotten by the time Church
and Bierstadt died.
Declined after the Civil War when the art style
started to change.
Painting altered with the influence of the
softer, more intimate French Barbizon style
first adapted to American scenery by George
Born: July 26, 1796, Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania.
Died: December 23, 1872, Jersey City, New Jersey.
He was a painter of American Indian Culture
Catlin resolved to use his art "in rescuing from oblivion
the looks and customs of the vanishing races of native
man in America."
 Between 1832 and 1836, he made a series of trips into
Indian territory up the Missouri and Mississippi Rivers
resulting in over 600 paintings of Indian portraits,
landscapes, ceremonies, and daily rituals.
 Catlin titled the collection his "Indian Gallery" which
was exhibited in major cities on the East Coast.
John James Audubon (1785 - 1851) was born in Les Cayes,
Saint-Domingue (now Haiti), and died in New York City.
Audubon spent more than a decade in business,
eventually traveling down the Ohio River to western
Kentucky - then the frontier.
He drew birds as a hobby.
“With no other prospects, Audubon set off on his epic
quest to depict America's avifauna, with nothing but his
gun, artist's materials, and a young assistant. Floating
down the Mississippi, he lived a rugged hand-to-mouth
existence in the South”.
Twenty-two of the original 435 Havell plates represent
birds Audubon observed and painted in Florida in 1831 1832.
George Caleb Bingham was born on March 20, 1811, in Augusta
County, Virginia.
Died on July 7, 1879, in Kansas City.
George Caleb Bingham was a Missouri artist and politician. During
his lifetime, he was known as “the Missouri Artist.”
Growing up along the Missouri River, Bingham had vivid mental
pictures of life on the river.
“ Bingham had strong beliefs about democracy and politics in
America. He often used his artistic skills to portray his political
views, and some of his political paintings are some of his most
important compositions. As early as 1840, Bingham sketched and
painted artful political banners for his political party, the Whigs.
During his career, he also painted notable political figures such as
George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Andrew Jackson, John
Quincy Adams, and Senator Thomas Hart Benton”.
"Hudson River School." Met Musem. Web. 21 Nov. 2011.
"Transendentalism." Web. 21 Nov. 2011.
Veith, Gene E. Painters of Faith. Washington
D.C: Regnery, 2001. Print.
Koster, Donald N. Transcendentalism in America. New England:
G.K Hall and, 1975.
Barbour, Brian M., ed. American Transcendentalism An Anthology of
Criticism. Notre Dame, Indiana: University of Notre Dame, 1973.
Kaplan, Nathaniel, and Thomas Katsaros. Origins of American
Transcendentalism In Philosphy and Mysticism. New Haven, Conn:
College & UP, 1975. Print.
Audubon, John J. Delineations of American Scenery and Character.
London: Simpkin, Marshall, Hamilton, Kent &, 1926. Print.
Tyler, Ron. Audubon's Great National Work. Austin, Texas: Universit
of Texas, 1993. Print
Shapiro, Michael E., Barbara Groseclose, Elizabeth Johns, Paul C.
Nagel, and John Wilmerding. George Caleb Bingham. New York:
Saint Louis Art Museum in Association with Harry N. Abrams,
1990. Print.

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