Degree Name

MA (Master of Arts)



Date of Award


Committee Chair or Co-Chairs

Mark Holland

Committee Members

Michael Cody, Tess Lloyd


The Great Plains are prevalent among the literature of the nineteenth century, but receive hardly a single representation among the landscapes of the Hudson River School. This is certainly surprising; the public was teeming with interest in the Midwest and yet the principal landscape painters who aimed to represent and idealize a burgeoning America offered hardly a glance past the Mississippi River. This geographical silence is the result of a tension between idealistic and empirical representations of the land, one echoed in James Fenimore Cooper’s The Prairie, Washington Irving’s A Tour on the Prairies, and Margaret Fuller’s Summer on the Lakes, in 1843. Margaret Fuller’s more physical and intimate Transcendentalism unifies this tension in a manner that heralds the rise of the Luminists and the plains-scapes of Worthington Whittredge.

Document Type

Thesis - unrestricted


Copyright by the authors.