The Magic Art of Framing: Alexander Nemerov on Writing History and Making a World

I've always been seduced by this idea of a world picture, or if you wanted to think of it artistically, in the manner of framing and the magic art of framing, you could say making a world.

In this episode

Sara Houghteling speaks with Alexander Nemerov, professor of art history at Stanford University, about his most recent book, The Forest: A Fable of America in the 1830s (Princeton University Press, 2023). He discusses his writing process, how his craft has changed over time, and this current book's varied sources of inspiration from painting and poetry to time spent in nature and pilgrimages to historical sites. 


Alexander Nemerov is the Carl and Marilynn Thoma Provostial Professor in the Arts and Humanities at Stanford University. A scholar of American art, he writes about the presence of art, the recollection of the past, and the importance of the humanities in our lives today. His many books include The Forest: A Fable of America in the 1830s, (Princeton University Press, 2023), Fierce Poise: Helen Frankenthaler and 1950s New York, (Penguin, 2022), Soulmaker: The Times of Lewis Hine (Princeton University Press, 2016), Silent Dialogues: Diane Arbus and Howard Nemerov (Fraenkel Gallery, 2015), Wartime Kiss: Visions of the Moment in the 1940s (Princeton University Press, 2013), Acting in the Night: Macbeth and the Places of the Civil War (University of California Press, 2010), Icons of Grief: Val Lewton’s Home Front Pictures (University of California Press, 2005), The Body of Raphaelle Peale: Still Life and Selfhood, 1812–1824 (University of California Press, 2001), and Frederic Remington and Turn-of-the-Century America (Yale University 1995).

This conversation was recorded on June 26, 2023.


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