Bingham is pure Americana -- not in the class with the primitives, but more in the class with Rogers, creator of the Rogers' groups that graced every middle-class (and upper class) household during America's Victorian age. Bingham was a bit ahead of him, but had an equal vogue. No family with pretensions to class was happy until a Bingham portrait hung over the mantlepiece. He did portraits and genre paintings and political paintings; he did a well-known portrait of John Quincy Adams which hangs in Washington; he got involved in state politics, not too happily; all in all he was a native son in the best tradition. He was a good painter, in the realistic, almost the photographic school, and there is revived interest in his work today. This is definitely an art book, with the emphasis on descriptive and critical aspects rather than biography.