The Pacific world has been long recognized as a hub for the global trade in art objects, but the history of art and architecture has seldom reckoned with another profound aspect of the region’s history: its exposure to global conflict during the British and US imperial incursions of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. Art and War in the Pacific World provides a new view of the Pacific world and of global artistic interaction by exploring how the making, alteration, looting, and destruction of images, objects, buildings, and landscapes intersected with the exercise of force. Focusing on the period from British Commodore George Anson’s voyage to the Philippine-American War, Mancini’s exceptional study deftly weaves together disparate strands of history to provide a novel paradigm for cultural analysis.
J. M. Mancini is Senior Lecturer in the Department of History, Maynooth University, Ireland. Her publications include Pre-Modernism: Art-World Change and American Culture from the Civil War to the Armory Show and Architecture and Armed Conflict, edited with Keith Bresnahan.
“In this meticulously researched and powerfully argued account, Mancini makes clear the degree to which the violence of war, rather than simply trade, was key to the global circulation of objects and information about architecture during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. She reveals Manila’s importance to the fortunes of first its British and then its American invaders.”—Kathleen James-Chakraborty, author of Architecture since 1400
“This is a path-breaking study that shifts our attention from the Atlantic world to the Pacific, the competing Spanish and British empires, and the forms of cultural exchange that took place across China, Spain, the Philippines, Britain, and the Americas North and South. It has opened a new front in historical scholarship on American visual culture. Such a complicated subject demands narration and interpretation with subtlety and nuance, and Professor Mancini’s book more than meets the challenge.”—Michael Leja, author of Looking Askance: Skepticism and American Art from Eakins to Duchamp