Book Details

  • Paperback
  • Bookstore's Wholesale Price: $90.00
  • September 2017
  • ISBN: 978-0-500-29297-6
  • 748 pages
  • Volume(s): 1 and 2
  • Territory Rights: USA and Dependencies, Philippines and Canada.

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  1. Art

Framing America

A Social History of American Art: Volumes 1 and 2



Volume(s): 1 and 2

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Frances K. Pohl (Author, Pomona College)


An authoritative social history of American art, thoroughly revised to meet classroom needs

Unique in its inclusive treatment, Framing America embraces the full scope of American art from the sixteenth century to the present. In addition to offering comprehensive coverage of the canon, Frances K. Pohl’s narrative goes beyond the traditional, and sometimes derogatory, treatment of certain populations in American society and addresses the domestic arts and the social and political contexts of art.

The fourth edition is presented for the first time in two volumes. It will be sold as individual volumes as well as a packaged set containing both. The book is split in order to offer greater portability to students and to appeal to a greater number of courses. For example, instructors teaching a course on American art since 1900 or American art since 1945 can now assign the single, briefer volume that relates most directly to their course. New pedagogy also makes the book more accessible: artfully designed timelines open each part, situating important events in American history more accurately and while showing how they relate to art. Many images have increased in size and color throughout to help students identify small but important details in each work.


An inclusive approach to American Art

Framing America is well-regarded in the field for Pohl’s attention to inclusivity (race, class, gender and sexuality) and her exploration of art from a more geographically diverse area in the early Americas (a continental approach). Pohl is known for her focus on critical thinking and her unique voice. The Fourth Edition furthers her commitment to representation, and in so doing reflects the latest in contemporary scholarship. This was the first (and is now the only) text to master this approach. 

More manageable chapters for greater flexibility

As requested by adopters and non-adopters alike, the 8 chapters of the previous edition are now separated into 32 chapters (organized in 9 Parts). Each chapter is much more manageable for students, and much easier to assign in 14- to 16-week semesters. 

More pedagogical support

Additional pedagogy makes the Fourth Edition more accessible for students. Each Part opens with a useful timeline that shows the artwork in context with other historical developments, and a concise chapter introduction. This helps students make connections between important historical events and the art. Additionally, many images are printed larger and in color throughout, to help students better identify small but important details. Finally, all NEW Study Questions conclude each chapter. 

Greater coverage of American Impressionism

Unlike many of their contemporaries, American Impressionists rejected the focus on the classical world and instead painted women in contemporary garb, echoing the French Impressionists. As they received the greatest critical attention at the turn of the 20th century, Pohl has provided NEW detailed analysis of the impact of consumer culture on this movement and its nostalgia for a pre-industrial landscape. 

Greater coverage of 19th- and 20th-century photography

Photographic portraits proliferated in the homes of both the rich and the poor. By the end of the 19th century, many people owned portraits of family, friends, or even themselves. Widespread use and technological advances permitted photographers to overcome barriers of race, class, gender, and identity. 

NEW two-volume format offers superior value.

The Fourth Edition is only available in two split volumes—Volume One (c. 200 B.C.E–1900) and Volume Two (c. 1865–present). Each is priced affordably. This is an ideal option if you are teaching one half of the two-semester course. For those who teach a one-semester course, we offer a package of the two volumes at a discount. 

Resources to make the most of the text

Adopters will have access to all the images in the book in JPEG and captioned PowerPoint formats (images with their accompanying captions and credits from the text). You will also have access to Frances Pohl’s Teaching Notes, a helpful document that contains insight on classroom strategies, chapter summaries, and links to relevant online resources. 

Download Volume 1 (pdf)

Download Volume 2 (pdf)