Barbara Novak has written an introduction to this catalogue that provides a theoretical framework for looking at this collection in the philosophical context of nineteenth-century American culture. The works of Thomas Cole and the luminists are seen in relation to Transcendentalism as embodied in the writings of Emerson and Thoreau; the later realism of Winslow Homer is seen in relation to the influence of Darwin, and throughout, the domineering influence of nature and the unpastoralized American landscape is seen as a major factor in leading artists trained in European traditions to modify accepted solutions in a way that led to the development of a distinct national identity. Barbara Novak's essay is followed by a detailed and extensive catalogue of the 109 paintings by 55 artists, in which all the paintings in the collection are illustrated in color. The notes on each painting incorporate meticulous original research by a group of young American scholars, and in addition provide provenance and exhibition information and an account of citations in previous literature. A number of comparative illustrations are also included. Brief biographies of the artists, again using new material and accompanied by a bibliography, follow the catalogue section.