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American ArcadiaCalifornia and the Classical Tradition$
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Peter J. Holliday

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780190256517

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: June 2016

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780190256517.001.0001

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Out of the Wilderness, Arcadia

Out of the Wilderness, Arcadia

(p.1) 1 Out of the Wilderness, Arcadia
American Arcadia

Peter J. Holliday

Oxford University Press

This chapter explores how Americans followed John Muir in celebrating the natural wonder of California, especially as represented in paintings by the Rocky Mountain School. Settlers, however, following the call of Edward James Wickson, were attracted by the state’s agricultural potential, and men like William Hammond Hall and William Mulholland engineered a mighty infrastructure of dams and aqueducts rivaling the structures of ancient Mediterranean civilizations. The state set up cooperatives to help small independent growers prosper in viticulture and citriculture, fulfilling the Jeffersonian ideal of a culture of engaged citizen farmers. In the early twentieth century a new generation of plein-air painters (John Bond Francisco, Elmer Wachtel, and Maurice Braun) depicted the arcadian landscape thus being shaped.

Keywords:   agriculture, aqueducts, William Hammond Hall, John Muir, William Mulholland, plein-air painting, Rocky Mountain School, Edward James Wickson

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