American Art
Featured Items
Sister Wendy's American Collection
Sister Wendy's American Collection
1st Edition    Hardcover      ISBN: 0060195568

Sister Wendy Beckett has been dubbed a "pop star" by the New York Times and "a phenomenon" by the Washington Post. She is certainly one of the world's best-known and best-loved art critics, familiar to millions from her wildly popular art series on PBS.

In Sister Wendy's American Collection, she visits six of America's most prestigious museums: the Metropolitan Museum of Art (New York City), the Museum of Fine Arts (Boston, Massachusetts), the Art Institute of Chicago, the Cleveland Museum of Art, the Kimbell Art Museum (Fort Worth, Texas), and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. In each, Sister Wendy chooses a wide variety of artpaintings, sculpture, porcelain figures-and draws attention to the small details of the work, revealing hidden meanings and symbolism. She relates the background of the artist and explains the techniques and the histories behind each work in a straightforward language that speaks to all with humor and insight.

More than 250 full-color illustrations illuminate Sister Wendy's text. Sister Wendy's American Collection is a wonderful tour of six great American museums -- it is also the equivalent of taking a personal tour with Sister Wendy, studying and enjoying her favorite pieces of art, chosen from across the whole breadth of history to the present. It is a fascinating journey, one that can be taken again and again. Sister Wendy's American Collection is soon to be a PBS miniseries.

The Triumph of Painting: The Complete Volume
The Triumph of Painting
The Complete Volume
Hardcover      ISBN: 0224079409

A radical new generation of American abstract painters has emerged at the beginning of the new century. Even although they 'deconstruct' traditions and echo grunge, the movement also finds room for historical references to war, brutality and the spilling of blood. This book profiles some of the leading exponents of the movement.

Natural Magic: Salted Paper Prints in North America
Natural Magic
Salted Paper Prints in North America
Hardcover      ISBN: 0295994908

The salted paper print process and the daguerreotype were invented, for all practical purposes, simultaneously. Though using different materials and methods (the salted paper print was patented, while daguerreotype was not) still both achieved the miracle of fixing an image from life within a substrate--in other words, they ushered in the medium of photography.

The uses of each form of photography varied greatly. In Europe the salted paper print was valued for its aesthetic qualities―the massing of light and the softening of detail--while in North America, the salted paper print was valued for its portability and reproducibility. At the same time, the three evolving regions that comprised North America--Canada, the United States and Mexico--faced quite different realities and challenges than those in Europe (primarily France and Britain). In North America artistic merit was less of a priority, as each emerging nation faced vast, untamed territories, as well as social and political tumult. These were countries in the making--defining borders, struggling to create identities, and establishing metropolitan areas and transportation networks, while the scions on the other side of the Atlantic cast a leisurely eye to their artistic, architectural, and colonial heritage for subject matter.

Scant research has been done on the use of the salted paper print in North America during its brief period of use (approximately 1847-1865); physical prints are often found in obscure collections and locations, and they are, as is true for most works on paper from that period, exceedingly fragile.

This volume, with essays by three up and coming 19th-century scholars, offers new views on the use and employment of the salted paper print in North America. The hope is that this publication will encourage investigation, for the history of photography has many areas of terra incognita yet to discover.

Dance: American Art, 1830-1960
Dance
American Art, 1830-1960
Hardcover      ISBN: 0300211619
A landmark examination of the art and artists inspired by American dance from 1830 to 1960

As an enduring wellspring of creativity for many artists throughout history, dance has provided a visual language to express such themes as the bonds of community, the allure of the exotic, and the pleasures of the body. This book is the first major investigation of the visual arts related to American dance, offering an unprecedented, interdisciplinary overview of dance-inspired works from 1830 to 1960.

Fourteen essays by renowned historians of art and dance analyze the ways dance influenced many of America's most prominent artists, including George Caleb Bingham, William Sidney Mount, Winslow Homer, John Singer Sargent, Cecilia Beaux, Isamu Noguchi, Aaron Douglas, Malvina Hoffman, Edward Steichen, Arthur Davies, William Johnson, and Joseph Cornell. The artists did not merely represent dance, they were inspired to think about how Americans move, present themselves to one another, and experience time. Their artwork, in turn, affords insights into the cultural, social, and political moments in which it was created. For some artists, dance informed even the way they applied paint to canvas, carved a sculpture, or framed a photograph. Richly illustrated, the book includes depictions of Irish-American jigs, African-American cakewalkers, and Spanish-American fandangos, among others, and demonstrates how dance offers a means for communicating through an aesthetic, static form.
American Visions: The Epic History of Art in America
American Visions
The Epic History of Art in America
1st Edition    Hardcover      ISBN: 0679426272

Traces the history of art in America, from the early works of Native Americans to the present day, and includes critical commentaries, anecdotes, profiles, and hundreds of illustrations

Still Looking: Essays on American Art
Still Looking
Essays on American Art
Hardcover      ISBN: 1400044189

When, in 1989, a collection of John Updike's writings on art appeared under the title Just Looking, a reviewer in the San Francisco Chronicle commented, "He refreshes for us the sense of prose opportunity that makes art a sustaining subject to people who write about it." In the sixteen years since Just Looking was published, he has continued to serve as an art critic, mostly for The New York Review of Books, and from fifty or so articles has selected, for this richly illustrated book, eighteen that deal with American art.

After beginning with early American portraits, landscapes, and the transatlantic career of John Singleton Copley, Still Looking then considers the curious case of Martin Johnson Heade and extols two late-nineteenth-century masters, Winslow Homer and Thomas Eakins. Next, it discusses the eccentric pre-moderns James McNeill Whistler and Albert Pinkham Ryder, the competing American Impressionists and Realists in the early twentieth century, and such now-historic avant-garde figures as Alfred Stieglitz, Marsden Hartley, Arthur Dove, and Elie Nadelman. Two appreciations of Edward Hopper and appraisals of Jackson Pollock and Andy Warhol round out the volume.

America speaks through its artists. As Updike states in his introduction, "The dots can be connected from Copley to Pollock: the same tense engagement with materials, the same demand for a morality of representation, can be discerned in both."

On Just Looking

"Some of these essays are marvelous examples of critical explanation, in which the psychological concerns of the novelist drive the eye from work to work in an exhibition until a deep understanding of the art emerges."
--Arthur Danto, The New York Times Book Review

"These are remarkably elegant little essays, dense in thought and perception but offhandedly casual in style. Their brevity makes more acute the sense of regret one feels to see them end." --Jeremy Strick, Newsday
Art and Life on the Upper Mississippi 1890-1915: Minnesota 1900
Art and Life on the Upper Mississippi 1890-1915
Minnesota 1900
Hardcover      ISBN: 0874135605

This work examines advances in architecture, design, and painting in a region now recognized for its contribution to the Arts and Crafts and Prairie School movements. The work of many well-known American artists is featured, including the architects Cass Gilbert, Harvey Ellis, Frank Lloyd Wright, and Purcell and Elmslie, ceramicist Ernest Batchelder, and the painters Homer Dodge Martin and Alexander Fournier. Illustrated.



*1890-1915. 1994.

Masterpieces of American Painting in the Metropolitan Museum of Art
Masterpieces of American Painting in the Metropolitan Museum of Art
Hardcover      ISBN: 0394554914
Eakins Revealed: The Secret Life of an American Artist
Eakins Revealed
The Secret Life of an American Artist
Hardcover      ISBN: 0195156684

Thomas Eakins is widely considered one of the great American painters, an artist whose uncompromising realism helped move American art from the Victorian era into the modern age. He is also acclaimed as a paragon of integrity, one who stood up for his artistic beliefs even when they brought him personal and professional difficulty--as when he was fired from the Pennsylvania Academy of Art for removing a model's loincloth in a drawing class.
Yet beneath the surface of Eakins's pictures is a sense of brooding unease and latent violence--a discomfort voiced by one of his sitters who said his portrait "decapitated" her. In Eakins Revealed, art historian Henry Adams examines the dark side of Eakins's life and work, in a startling new biography that will change our understanding of this American icon. Based on close study of Eakins's work and new research in the Bregler papers, a major collection never fully mined by scholars, this volume shows Eakins was not merely uncompromising, but harsh and brutal both in his personal life and in his painting. Adams uncovers the bitter personal feuds and family tragedies surrounding Eakins--his mother died insane and his niece committed suicide amid allegations that Eakins had seduced her--and documents the artist's tendency toward psychological abuse and sexual harassment of those around him.
This provocative book not only unveils new facts about Eakins's life; more important, it makes sense, for the first time, of the enigmas of his work. Eakins Revealed promises to be a controversial biography that will attract readers inside and outside the art world, and fascinate anyone concerned with the mystery of artistic genius.

Saints, Statues, and Stories: A Folklorist Looks at the Religious Art of Sonora
Saints, Statues, and Stories
A Folklorist Looks at the Religious Art of Sonora
Hardcover      ISBN: 0816539618

. . . we move to the town of Aconchi on the R o Sonora, where the mission church once contained a life-sized crucifix with a black corpus, known both as Nuestro Se or de Esquipulas . . . and El Cristo Negro de Aconchi . . .

So describes well-known and beloved folklorist James S. Griffith as he takes us back through the decades to a town in northern Sonora where a statue is saved--and in so doing, a community is saved as well.

In Saints, Statues, and Stories Griffith shares stories of nearly sixty years of traveling through Sonora. As we have come to expect through these journeys, "Big Jim"--as he is affectionately known by many--offers nothing less than the living traditions of Catholic communities. Themes of saints as agents of protection or community action are common throughout Sonora: a saint coming out of the church to protect the village, a statue having a say in where it resides and paying social calls to other communities, or a beloved image rescued from destruction and then revered on a private altar. A patron saint saves a village from outside attackers in one story--a story that has at least ten parallels in Sonora's former mission communities. Details may vary, but the general narrative remains the same: when hostile nonbelievers attack the village, the patron saint of the church foils them.

Griffith uncovers the meanings behind the devotional uses of religious art from a variety of perspectives--from artist to audience, preservationist to community member. The religious artworks transcend art objects, Griffith believes, and function as ways of communicating between this world and the next. Setting the stage with a brief geography, Griffith introduces us to roadside shrines, artists, fiestas, saints, and miracles. Full-color images add to the pleasure of this delightful journey through the churches and towns of Sonora.