A Love for the Beautiful: Discovering America's Hidden Art Museums

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Some of the country's best art is hidden in plain sight, in museums largely unknown outside their regions. How works by masters like Rembrandt, Rodin, Picasso, and O'Keeffe wound up where they did is a colorful tale of American art collecting. It's the story of patrician families who acquired masterworks, self-made millionaires who used their business savvy to outbid rivals, and prescient collectors who championed new artists and neglected genres. Each of the fifty museums profiled in this book offers a uniquely ...

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Some of the country's best art is hidden in plain sight, in museums largely unknown outside their regions. How works by masters like Rembrandt, Rodin, Picasso, and O'Keeffe wound up where they did is a colorful tale of American art collecting. It's the story of patrician families who acquired masterworks, self-made millionaires who used their business savvy to outbid rivals, and prescient collectors who championed new artists and neglected genres. Each of the fifty museums profiled in this book offers a uniquely personal, intimate art-viewing experience.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"What a wonderful book this is for art lovers of every stripe—a guide to top-tier collections around the United States that are hiding in plain sight. From cowboy art to pre-Columbian, Boucher to Braque, it can all be found at the 50 lesser-known museums that star in A Love for the Beautiful. Susan Jaques' lively guide will prompt hours of enjoyable browsing—as well as dreams of a cross-country art tour. I'll start mine at the Sydney and Walda Besthoff Sculpture Garden in New Orleans." —Annalyn Swan, Pulitzer prize–winning coauthor of de Kooning: An American Master"Susan Jaques has produced an informative, accessible guide to the fascinating mosaic of America's art museums. Chock full of history, beautifully descriptive, and always engaging, this work will introduce art lovers (and art lovers to be) to many undiscovered riches." —Dewey Blanton, director of Strategic Communications, American Association of Museums
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780762779505
  • Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc.
  • Publication date: 11/6/2012
  • Edition description: First Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 288
  • Product dimensions: 7.80 (w) x 9.30 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author

Susan Jaques is a journalist specializing in art and travel. She has written for numerous magazines, newspapers, and websites. Travel writing sparked Jaques's love for art. An assignment in Italy led to Padua and the Scrovegni Chapel, Giotto's medieval treasure. Another assignment led her to Holland for Rembrandt's 400th birthday. Articles about museums in London and Amsterdam soon followed. Jaques is graduate of Stanford University with a B.A. in history and UCLA's Graduate School of Management, where she earned her master's degree. Among her favorite places are the Getty and Frick libraries. She lives in Southern California.

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Table of Contents

Chapter 1: African, Pre-Columbian & Oceanic ArtDumbarton Oaks, Washington, DCIndiana University Art Museum, Bloomington, IndianaThe Menil Collection, Houston, TexasChapter 2: American ArtThe Addison Gallery of American Art, Andover, MassachusettsColby College Museum of Art, Waterville, MaineThe Florence Griswold Museum, Old Lyme, ConnecticutThe Portrait Gallery of the Second Bank of the United States, Philadelphia, PennsylvaniaChapter 3: Ancient ArtThe Michael C Carlos Museum, Atlanta, GeorgiaThe Oriental Institute Museum, Chicago, IllinoisThe Walters Art Museum, Baltimore, MarylandChapter 4: Asian ArtThe Honolulu Museum of Art, Honolulu, HawaiiThe Pacific Asia Museum, Pasadena, CaliforniaThe Rubin Museum of Art, New York, New YorkChapter 5: Contemporary ArtDes Moines Art Center, Des Moines, IowaThe Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art, Kansas City, MissouriTelfair Museums, Savannah, GeorgiaChapter 6: Decorative ArtsBayou Bend Collection and Gardens, Houston, TexasCalifornia Palace of the Legion of Honor, San Francisco, CaliforniaThe Shelburne Museum, Shelburne, VermontChapter 7: Design & CraftMint Museum, Charlotte, North CarolinaMuseum of Glass, Tacoma, WashingtonRacine Art Museum, Racine, WisconsinWolfsonian–FIU, Miami Beach, FloridaChapter 8: European Painting, Eighteenth to Twentieth CenturyChrysler Museum of Art, Norfolk, VirginiaThe Dixon Gallery and Gardens, Memphis, TennesseeThe McNay Art Museum, San Antonio, TexasChapter 9: Medieval, Renaissance & Baroque ArtThe Allen Memorial Art Museum, Oberlin, OhioThe John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art, Sarasota, FloridaThe Taft Museum of Art, Cincinnati, OhioThe Timken Museum of Art, San Diego, CaliforniaChapter 10: Modern ArtThe Kreeger Museum, Washington, DCMorris Museum of Art, Augusta, GeorgiaSheldon Museum of Art, Lincoln, NebraskaWeisman Art Museum, Minneapolis, MinnesotaChapter 11: Native American & Western ArtMillicent Rogers Museum, Taos, New MexicoNew Mexico Museum of Art, Santa Fe, New MexicoWhitney Gallery of Western Art, Cody, WyomingChapter 12: PhotographyGeorge Eastman House, International Museum of Photography and Film, Rochester, New YorkThe Monterey Museum of Art, Monterey, CaliforniaThe Museum of Contemporary Photography, Chicago, IllinoisChapter 13: SculptureThe Sydney and Walda Besthoff Sculpture Garden, New Orleans, LouisianaThe Cantor Arts Center, Palo Alto, CaliforniaFrederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park, Grand Rapids, MichiganChapter 14: Single-ArtistsThe Brandywine River Museum, Chadds Ford, PennsylvaniaThe Charles Hosmer Morse Museum of American Art, Winter Park, FloridaThe Clyfford Still Museum, Denver, ColoradoThe Dali Museum, St Petersburg, FloridaChapter 15: Spanish & Latin American ArtThe Art Museum of the Americas, Washington, DCThe Hispanic Society of America, New York, New YorkThe Meadows Museum, Dallas, Texas

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Posted September 1, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    In this lavishly-illustrated (more than 250 full-color photograp

    In this lavishly-illustrated (more than 250 full-color photographs) guide, Jaques (Bachelor of Arts, History, Stanford University; Master of Business Administration, University of California at Los Angeles), a journalist specializing in art and travel and a gallery docent at The J. Paul Getty Museum, introduces readers to art collections in fifty lesser-known American museums.  Covering museums in thirty-one states with “geography” factoring into her selection process, the author showcases “diverse” museum collections that remain “hidden” or “under-the-radar” to many museum goers, even though they may be located on the “beaten path” or in “plain sight.” (p. xii)  Not known for their blockbuster exhibitions or encyclopedic holdings, these “unsung,” “largely unknown” museums constitute “collecting” museums that display “extraordinary” art from their permanent collections and “tend to be exceptional in specific areas.” (pp. xii-xiii)  They typically offer “unique” art-viewing experiences that are “genuine, intimate, and uncrowded.”  (p. xii)  Jaques organizes her book into fifteen chapters, each of which features three or four museums that have extraordinary collections in certain areas. She titles chapters:  African, Pre-Columbian & Oceanic Art; American Art; Ancient Art; Asian Art; Contemporary Art; Decorative Arts, Design & Craft; European Painting, Eighteenth to Twentieth Century; Medieval, Renaissance & Baroque Art; Modern Art; Native American & Western Art; Photography; Sculpture; Single-Artists; and Spanish & Latin American Art.  In each entry for a museum, Jaques describes the museum, its founder(s), buildings, collections, and history.  The author also sets forth each institution’s address, contact information, website, hours of operation, and admission fee(s) as well as briefly highlights a few of its “must see” pieces.  Of interest mostly to art lovers and travelers, this accessible, artfully- designed, engaging, informative, nicely- written, thoughtful, and well-presented publication by an experienced writer, traveler, and museum aficionado may be read from cover-to-cover and/or consulted by chapter and/or entry.  While Jaques’s selection criteria and classification scheme may seem too arbitrary, inexplicit, personal, subjective, and/or superimposed for some readers, this book nevertheless belongs in many public, academic, and special libraries.  It is recommended for individual readers as well as for library reference collections.--C. A. Lajos, Art History, Architecture, Decorative Arts, Museum, and Visual Studies Book Review Blog

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  • Posted December 4, 2012

    Such a fascinating and charming book!  This informative, delight

    Such a fascinating and charming book!  This informative, delightful read is for the art connoisseur AND for anyone who appreciates a quiet stroll through gallery space (this would be me).  
    Susan Jaques has selected a wonderful balance of unique small museums to entice your palette.  Imagine a cross country road trip (and, also Hawaii) taking in each of these gems along the way!

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