The American Museum of Natural History's Rare Book Collection contains a nonpareil collection of rare illustrated nature volumes, many of exquisitely hand-colored and reproduced. For obvious, defensible reasons, many of these priceless tomes are seldom, if ever seen by the public. Now, for the first time, Natural Histories brings together a selection of ready-to-frame fine prints of artwork and places them within the context of a carefully prepared, lavishly illustrated 176-page monograph containing in-depth commentary on these featured natural artworks. Nature's beauty; humankind's artistry. Editor's recommendation.
Natural Histories: Extraordinary Rare Book Selections from the American Museum of Natural History Libraryby Tom Baione
For the first time, Natural Histories allows readers a privileged glimpse of seldom seen, fully illustrated scientific tomes from the American Museum of Natural History's Rare Book Collection--a collection of over 450,000 volumes. Forty essays from the museum's top experts in a variety of natural science disciplines, from anthropology to zoology, accompany and discuss each rare tome's unique qualities and scientific contribution. Packaged with extraordinary prints suitable for framing and facsimile items inside bound-in envelopes, this deluxe edition will fascinate both natural science and art lovers alike.
"...a truly stunning collection of rare prints covering a litany of topics. Whether readers choose to focus on the 40 prints just begging for frames that are included in the box or the often breathtaking images in the book itself, they'll quickly find themselves sucked into this fantastically assembled and informative work of natural and human history . . . armchair naturalists, archeologists, and anthropologists will have a field day with this lovingly curated collection. Remarkable for its editing as well as its breadth of scope (even the binding of Victorian natural history books is studied), this gem of a book is one of the best in its class.” Publishers Weekly (Starred Review)
"...this collection from the AMNH is sure to please. It presents rare essays and artwork about the natural sciences along with a selection of prints for display." TIME magazine
“Baione (dir., American Museum of Natural History Lib.) examines book illustrations found in the library of New York City's American Museum of Natural History. The volume also gathers 40 essays written by the museum's librarians, researchers, curators, and administrators. They discuss woodcuts, etchings, engravings, and lithographs from books published between the 16th and early 20th centuries on topics in the natural sciences. The book presents many full-page, color reproductions of illustrations of insects, sea animals, birds, and mammals, accompanied by historical descriptions. Also included is a 19th-century astronomical atlas and a collection of portraits of Native Americans. The museum has published many books that discuss its collections...Baione's is the first to focus on book illustrations. It is packaged with 40 frameable prints. VERDICT - Combining well-chosen reproductions and interesting essays, this book would be a great choice for readers of National Geographic and the like.” Library Journal
" . . . a beautiful boxed set that includes a softcover book of essays and illustrations and 40 loose plates housed in an illustrated clamshell box. The plates are frame-worthy copies of some of the illustrations used in the essay volume. The writing style is directed to a general reading audience, and is appropriate for undergraduates looking for introductory information. The short essays are informative and excite interest in further study.” Choice
Meet the Author
Tom Baione is the Harold Boeschenstein Director of Library Services in the American Museum of Natural History's Library and oversees all aspects of the library's functions. An active member of the Grolier Club, Tom divides his time between Manhattan and Long Island.
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I gave this book as a Christmas gift and the recipient said he had never seen any book like it and was thrilled to have and read it.
I sent this at Christmas to friends in Vermont. I received a phone call on Christmas Day with a truly excited thank you, "Oh, Nancy, You always send such unusual and interesting gifts!" They went on to say that they had framed two of the "beautiful" prints. and raved about how fascinating the book was. Based on their review .......I need to buy this book for myself!!!
This is a beautiful package. I haven't read much of it yet, but the prints are lovely, and the book is nicely made and includes many illustrations, both of the included prints and others. Box is very sturdy.