Enlarged to accommodate museum acquisitions from the 1980s, this revised edition serves as both a beautifully packaged promotional piece for the National Gallery and a concise survey of American art history. In his introductory essay, Wilmerding explores the collecting history of this relatively young museum and explains how individual works fit into an art historical framework. While this introduction ranges over the collection, covering drawings, watercolors, sculpture, photography, and prints, the body of the book includes only paintings. Seventy-five masterpieces, beginning with a colonial portrait by Benjamin West and concluding with an Abstract Expressionist canvas by Robert Motherwell, are illustrated by handsome color plates. Short biographies of the artists represented appear as an addendum. Great for browsing.-- Kathleen Eagen Johnson, Historic Hudson Valley, Tarrytown, N.Y.