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Environment and History

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Environment and History

Artists with Axes

Tim Bonyhady

Environment and History 1(1995): 221-239

Nineteenth century artists have been widely identified as agents of environmental protection, particularly in the United States. But while their paintings and photographs sometimes helped to secure the protection of particular places, artists often showed little respect for the environment when they set about securing their views. This destructiveness may lie behind even those works which seem to express greatest awe before nature – causing us to reassess both the role of art and our attitude to it.


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