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Not Now

The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 89, July 1985 - April, 1986

Southwestern Historical Quarterly

Joseph R. McCarthy. The question, therefore, might be asked, why
spend so much text on such an event? Carleton provides a detailed, ex-
tensive account with references to parallel events in Austin and Wash-
ington, D.C. His writing and research is excellent. If we would all ingest
this history it might well serve as an antidote to block future outbreaks
of the red-scare lesion that lurks in American society.
Colorado State University DAVID MCCOMB
Views and Viewmakers of Urban America: Lithographs of Towns and Cities in
the United States and Canada, Notes on the Artists and Publishers, and a
Union Catalog of Their Work, 1825- 1925. By John W. Reps. (Colum-
bia, Missouri: The University of Missouri Press, 1984.
Pp. xvi+570. Preface, color plates, tables, figures, bibliography,
black and white plates, introduction to the catalog, abbreviations of
locations, abbreviations of catalogs and checklists, catalog acknowl-
edgments, index, index to the catalog. $89.50.)
In many ways, Views and Viewmakers completes the work of Harry T.
Peters, whose America on Stone (1931) catalogued lithographs and lith-
ographers as a key to "the day-to-day life of our ancestors, the more
enduring romance of our past." While Peters favored the antebellum
period and genre views, Reps has pursued the romance of our cities in
the production of urban views through the twentieth century. This vol-
ume includes a thorough history of the medium, biographical essays on
artists and publishers, a geographical listing of views known to date and
their locations, as well as a detailed bibliography. Fine reproductions
(many familiar to Reps's readers) complement the text, making this a
handsome reference guide for many fields.
Flattering images of North American cities were the collaborative
effort of publisher, printer, artist, and sales agent. Frontier cities used
them to lure labor and capital to places like Indianapolis, Cheyenne,
Fort Worth, or Austin (described in a typical view of 1895 as "The Most
Beautiful and Wealthiest City of its Size in the United States" [Reps
Catalog 3948]). Early viewmakers adorned their work with vignettes of
important buildings and businesses-most made important by patron-
age solicited by the artist, who often doubled as the agent. By the 189os
conventions demanded the bird's-eye view, showing city and scenery
from a spectacular height. It is easy to see how aerial photography fi-
nally made these lithographs obsolete.
Gradual changes in the style and content of these views from 1825 to
1925 suggest both new markets and new assumptions about the charac-
ter of American cities. However, Reps stays clear of speculative discus-


Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 89, July 1985 - April, 1986. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. Accessed May 6, 2016.

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