Beginning with the inauguration of the Eric Canal and ending with the outbreak of the Civil War, the port of New York was turned into the gateway to the United States. Already the financial capital of America, the city now became an international economic and cultural center as well. In this magnificent book, eminent authorities discuss the proliferation of the visual arts that occurred during this period.Dell Upton describes the cultural and historical background for the artworks, and John K. Howat discusses the increasingly sophisticated New York collectors who bought them. Essays from other authors explore shopping in the city, the professionalization and growth of exhibition venues, landscape painting seen against the background of tourism, sculpture, prints, architecture and city planning, ceramics and glass, jewelry costume, furniture, and the birth of photography. Lavishly illustrated, the book provides reproductions of hundreds of works of art from the period as well as rich comparative material.