“No other single work offers a comparable wealth of information about the missions of California, all of which is superbly organized and clearly presented. This authoritative yet accessible volume offers readers a compelling and balanced account of the founding and early history of the missions, the birth and growth of the mission myth, and modern preservation efforts, as well as concise historical profiles of individual missions. A noteworthy achievement.”
Rose Marie Beebe, Santa Clara University, Coauthor of Lands of Promise and Despair: Chronicles of Early California and Testimonios: Early California through the Eyes of Women
“The California missions endure on the landscape as wondrous monuments, inviting us to stand and ponder what happened there. Long subjected to one-dimensional, celebratory accounts, the missions in recent decades have benefited from more thoughtful analysis, and in this splendid book they receive the eloquent, multilayered chronicle they deserve.”
Douglas Monroy, Colorado College, Author of Thrown Among Strangers: The Making of Mexican Culture in Frontier California and The Borders Within: Encounters Between Mexico and the U.S.
Illustrated in color throughout, The California Missions: History, Art, and Preservation combines engaging text with historical paintings, archival photographs, and recent photography to create a vivid profile of these iconic institutions. Initial chapters recount their founding and early history, examine their rediscovery in the late nineteenth century, and trace the beginnings of the mission restoration movement. Subsequent chapters present mission architecture and wall murals, survey the rich holdings of European and Native American art in mission collections, and examine the challenges involved in preserving the mission heritage for future generations. The second part of the book provides concise historical profiles of each of the twenty-one missions. There is also a glossary.