Here is high entertainment for art lovers, animal lovers, and Americana buffs. With wit, grace, and an easy command of her subject, Mary Sayre Haver-stock surveys animal imagery in American art from the colonial period to the present day. As this colorful gallery of birds, beasts, and fish confirms, the animal kingdom has inspired some of the most enchanting paintings, drawings, and prints that America has produced. Albert Bierstadt, Thomas Eakins, Winslow Homer, John Singer Sargent, James McNeill Whistler, Alexander Calder, Robert Rauschenberg, Andrew Wyeth, Andy Warhol — virtually all of America's great artists — have depicted animals at one time or another. The results, often quite different from their best-known work, offer unexpected glimpses into the artists' private, unguarded selves. Equally fascinating are the house pets and farm animals limned by legions of self-taught folk artists—affectionate portraits that are also valuable fragments of American social history.

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