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Grant number: FT-254451-17

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Anne Ayer Verplanck
Pennsylvania State University, Harrisburg (Middletown, PA 17057-4846)

The Business of Art: Transforming the Graphic Arts in an Age of Mechanical Reproduction

Preparation of a book-length study on the history of business and graphic arts in 19th-century Philadelphia.

The book analyzes how the art world functioned amid changing business structures, technological innovations, and rapid urban development. Using Philadelphia as its locus, the book positions the city in both national and international contexts, asking how the interplay of place, economics, and social relations affected the creation and use of art, individual businesses, and the ascent and decline of high-caliber graphic arts in Philadelphia. At its core, the book analyzes why seemingly contradictory innovative and retardataire practices and mindsets in the city enabled the infrastructure surrounding the graphic arts to expand during the antebellum period, yet ultimately cede prominence as the nation’s artistic center to New York City. The project analyzes the financial underpinnings and creative output of artists, printers, publishers, and others in the art world to provide new perspectives on artistic patronage, production, and distribution; urban development; and business practices.

[Grant products]

Project fields:
American Studies; Art History and Criticism; U.S. History

Summer Stipends

Research Programs

Total amounts:
$6,000 (approved)
$6,000 (awarded)

Grant period:
6/1/2017 – 7/31/2017