Faculty Book: Kevin D. Murphy

Kevin D. Murphy

Jonathan Fisher of Blue Hill, Maine: Commerce, Culture, and Community on the Eastern Frontier
(University of Massachusetts Press, 2010)

This book examines the life of Jonathan Fisher (1768–1847) and his multifaceted career as a pioneer minister, farmer, entrepreneur, and artist. Drawing on a vast record of letters, diaries, sermons, drawings, paintings, and buildings, Murphy reconstructs Fisher’s story and uses it to explore larger issues of material culture, visual culture, and social history during the early decades of the American republic. Murphy shows how Fisher helped spearhead the transformation of a frontier settlement into a thriving port community; how he used his skills as an architect, decorative painter, surveyor, and furniture maker not only to support himself and his family, but to promote the economic growth of his village; and how the fluid professional identity that enabled Fisher to prosper on the eastern frontier could only have existed in early America, where economic relations were far less rigidly defined than in Europe. Kevin D. Murphy (GC/Brooklyn) is on the doctoral faculty in art history.

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Submitted on: JUL 2, 2010

Category: Art History, Faculty Books