Sound, Image, Silence

Art and the Aural Imagination in the Atlantic World

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Michael Gaudio

Sound, Image, Silence provides a groundbreaking examination of the colonial Americas by exploring the special role that aural imagination played in visible representations of the New World. It masterfully fuses a diversity of work across vast social, cultural, and spatial distances, giving us both a new way of understanding sound in art and a powerful new vision of the New World.

Background image, Thomas Cole, View from Mount Holyoke, Northampton, Massachusetts, after a Thunderstorm—The Oxbow, 1836. Oil on canvas, 130.8 × 193 cm. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Gift of Mrs. Russell Sage, 1908 (08.228).


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    This book is freely available in an open access edition thanks to TOME (Toward an Open Monograph System)—a collaboration of the Association of American Universities, the Association of University Presses, and the Association of Research Libraries—and the generous support of the College of Liberal Arts at the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities. Learn more at

    The publication of this book was supported by an Imagine Fund grant for the Arts, Design, and Humanities, an annual award from the University of Minnesota’s Provost Office.

    A different version of chapter 3 was previously published as “Magical Pictures, or, Observations on Lightning and Thunder, Occasion’d by a Portrait of Dr. Franklin,” in Picturing, ed. Rachael Ziady DeLue, Terra Foundation Essays 1 (Paris and Chicago: Terra Foundation for American Art, 2016; distributed by the University of Chicago Press). A different version of chapter 4 was previously published as “At the Mouth of the Cave: Listening to Thomas Cole’s Kaaterskill Falls,” Art History 33, no. 3 (June 2010): 448–65.

    Copyright 2019 by the Regents of the University of Minnesota

    Sound, Image, Silence: Art and the Aural Imagination in the Atlantic World by Michael Gaudio is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0):
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    University of Minnesota Press
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    Please see the Creative Commons website for details about the restrictions associated with the CC BY-NC-ND 4.0 license.
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    Regents of the University of Minnesota
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