The Mountain
a Novel by Raymond J. Steiner

This book addresses important questions about art and what it is to be an artist, a bildungroman/ coming of age novel. Set in Woodstock, NY between 1900-1979, the story reveals the rich cultural history of the Woodstock Artists' Colonyn Woodstock, NYand relates much of the local and New York State history of the early 19th century including the bluestone industry, Hudson River Life, Building of the Ashokan Reservoir and local lore.

Available as a Kindle at amazon.com and Book on Demand

Description:

The Mountain presents all the important questions about art and what it is to be an artist. Set in Woodstock, NY between 1900-1979, the story reveals the rich cultural history of the Woodstock Artists' Colony and reflects much of the local and NY state history of the early 19th century. The Mountain is also a history of American Art.

Since the turn of the 19th-century, the course of American art took a major turn from earlier academic principles to radical modernist influences from Europe. The Mountain traces this course through the eyes of its protagonist, Jacob (Jake) Forscher, a self-made painter who tries to wend his way through the maze of new art, new ideas, and a new post-world war that turned mores and values upside down.

The uncertainty of what “art” is — or what it ought to be — dogs Jake throughout the novel. Though a fictional work, The Mountain is set mainly in the burgeoning art colony of Woodstock, New York, and contains historically authentic people and places allowing for the book to relate much local and New York state history of the early 19th century. Hudson River life, (Day Liners, ice harvesting, etc.), the bluestone industry, the building of the Ashokan Reservoir, and especially the growth and development of the Woodstock art colony serve as the setting for the story. Woodstock ‘notables’ such as Birge Harrison, John Carlson, Ralph Radcliffe Whitehead, Hervey White, and others, are included in the book as ‘characters’ with whom Jake interacts and from whom he learns about the world of art.

Opening in New York City with the famed “Armory Show” of 1913, the book ends in Woodstock, New York ten years after the equally famed 1969 Woodstock Festival.