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American Passages: A Literary SurveyUnit IndexAmerican Passages Home
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3. Utopian Promise   

3. Gothic Undercurrents

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Activities: Author Activities

Washington Irving - Selected Archive Items

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[3108] John Plumbe, Washington Irving [Half-length portrait, three-quarters to the left] (1855),
courtesy of the Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division [LC-USZ62-110044 DLC].
Daguerreotype portrait of popular American author Irving. Best known for stories in his Sketch Book (1819-20), namely "Rip Van Winkle" and "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow," Irving is recognized as America's first professional writer.

[3694] Thomas Cole, The Falls of the Kaaterskill (1826),
courtesy of the Warner Collection of the Gulf States Paper Corporation.
Cole was one of the first American landscape artists and a founder of the Hudson River School of painting. Romantic depictions of wilderness became popular as the United States expanded westward.

[5932] Thomas Doughty, In the Catskills (1835),
courtesy of Reynolda House, Museum of American Art.
Landscape painting of river and boulders framed by trees in the foreground. A member of the Hudson River School, Doughty painted the vast American landscapes that writers such as Washington Irving described in their novels.

[7242] John Plumbe, Washington Irving (1861),
courtesy of the Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs [LC-USZ62-4238].
Portrait of Irving. Irving's work suggests nostalgia for European aristocratic culture over early-nineteenth-century American commercialism, but his position as America's first commercially successful writer complicates this view.

[7243] Currier & Ives, Washington's Head-Quarters 1780: At Newburgh, on the Hudson (1856),
courtesy of the Library of Congress [LC-USZC2-3161].
Painting of stone farmhouse and bucolic surroundings along the Hudson River. General George Washington, his wife, officers, slaves, and servants occupied this modest house during the Revolutionary War. Washington Irving set many of his stories in this area.

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