The American Art Book

Overview

The American Art Book is a guide to the most influential and best-loved American artists from colonial times to the present. Covering three centuries, the art ranges from Puritan portraits to the luminous paintings of the Hudson River School and the American Impressionists, to the videos and neon and digital works of today's most intriguing conceptual artists. The American Art Book presents 500 artists in an A to Z format that departs from the usual emphasis on genres and time periods: Grandma Moses sits next to ...
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Overview

The American Art Book is a guide to the most influential and best-loved American artists from colonial times to the present. Covering three centuries, the art ranges from Puritan portraits to the luminous paintings of the Hudson River School and the American Impressionists, to the videos and neon and digital works of today's most intriguing conceptual artists. The American Art Book presents 500 artists in an A to Z format that departs from the usual emphasis on genres and time periods: Grandma Moses sits next to Robert Motherwell, and Winslow Homer faces Jenny Holzer, encouraging readers to contemplate the connections between art, American history, and popular culture. Each artist is represented by a full-page color plate of a significant work, accompanied by an informative and engaging text that places the artist in the context of contemporary movements and preceding traditions. The book includes an easy-to-use glossary of terms and artistic movements, and a directory of museums and public collections across the United States and abroad with important holdings in American art, making it a valuable reference work as well as a stimulating way to approach this multifaceted subject.
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Editorial Reviews

Karen Campbell
...[S]erves as both a coffee-table diversion and a serious, though condensed reference guide....Browsing through the myriad styles, movements and mediums of the book arouses a continual sense of serendipity.
Christian Science Monitor
Library Journal
This volume continues the immensely popular but critically challenged series that began with 1994's The Art Book. Some 500 artists, organized alphabetically, are each given one page, which is filled by a large-format reproduction of one work, a 150-word essay, cross references to other artists, and rudimentary data on the artist and the work. For those seeking scholarly or even basic reference standards, the problems are manifold. No introductory materials describe how the artists or the representative works were chosen or what parameters were used (what qualifies as "American" art, anyway?). The unsigned essays are too short to define an artist's place in history, and, in any case, the essays are mostly given to descriptions of the single piece at hand. Potentially one of book's best features, the cross references are treated as a half-hearted afterthought. The publisher is largely correct in dismissing these concerns, however. This work is meant as an introduction and as such gets the facts mostly right, presents mostly defensible choices, provides a sweeping scope, and brings it all in at an unbeatable price. For small and medium general collections.--Eric Bryant, "Library Journal" Copyright 1999 Cahners Business Information.
Karen Campbell
...[S]erves as both a coffee-table diversion and a serious, though condensed reference guide....Browsing through the myriad styles, movements and mediums of the book arouses a continual sense of serendipity.
Christian Science Monitor
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780714841199
  • Publisher: Phaidon Press
  • Publication date: 6/28/2001
  • Edition description: REV
  • Pages: 520
  • Sales rank: 1,441,453
  • Product dimensions: 4.87 (w) x 6.50 (h) x 1.12 (d)

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