This course emphasizes the practice of the discipline of art history by approaching artistic production thematically, focusing on art historical method and theory with reference to particular case studies. When appropriate, this seminar will meet jointly with other introductory courses that take this same approach to address both cultural difference and similarities of practice. This seminar will investigate American painting, sculpture, and architecture from the nation's founding to the end of the Federal period. As Americans defined themselves, their beliefs, and traditions, how did American artists respond? What was the visual arts' role in the construction of American identity, politics, religion, and society? What was the interrelationship of American art and European trends such as neoclassicism and romanticism? What were the aims and achievements of artists such as John Singleton Copley, John Trumbull, Charles Wilson Peale, and John Vanderlyn? How did the work of architects Benjamin Latrobe and Thomas Jefferson convey meaning? John Adams said, "It is not indeed the fine arts which our country requires; the useful, the machine arts are those we have occasion for in a young country." How did American artists and architects prove Adams wrong?