Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Picturing the Fourth of July

Americans for the past decade seem more caught up than ever in the idea of what it is to be an American, especially in an election year and perhaps never so much as on the Fourth of July—the day on which we celebrate the Declaration of Independence that inaugurated this little experiment in democracy we’ve been performing for over two centuries. To see a picture of the Fourth of July 2012, all you need to do is look out your window at the parades, barbeques, and fireworks. But to look back two centuries and see the Fourth of July circa 1812, perhaps our best glimpse appears in John Lewis Krimmel’s Fourth of July, Center Square (detail shown above). Krimmel’s genre scene of Americans celebrating America back then allows us to see how our celebration today mirrors and, perhaps, distorts what our ancestors saw as most important for our country. Please come over to Picture This at Big Think to read more of "Picturing the Fourth of July."

[Image: John Lewis Krimmel. Fourth of July, Center Square (detail), 1811-1812.]

1 comment:

Unknown said...

Its amazing how the words make us relive the history. My mind slipped down the memory lane to the days when I used to enjoy the fixie bicycle ride with my Grandpa while listening to the independence stories.