In a monumental effort, [Barquist] seems to have gathered every scrap of information one can excavate from old documents.
Handsomely designed and printed. . . . The book [is] bound to remain the standard reference work on Myers for a long time.
An artisan's life work is celebrated in Myer Myers: Jewish Silversmith in Colonial New York by David L. Barquist, an associate curator at the Yale University Art Gallery. During the second half of the 18th century, Myers produced many objects for New York's Jewish community and the city's elite. Jon Butler contributes an essay on ethnosocial relations in the new city, and Jonathan D. Sarna zeroes in on the Sephardim of early New York, describing how the city attracted many "Crypto-Jews, forced converts who were outwardly Christian but inwardly Jewish." This admirable book, including nearly 200 photographs of rich rococo silverwork of the first order, is the catalogue to a Yale exhibition curated by Barquist, and delivers a fascinating scholarly look at a previously obscure aspect of pre-revolutionary America. (Oct.) Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
The catalog of an exhibition at Yale University (where Barquist is associate curator of American decorative arts at the art gallery), as well as Skirball in Los Angeles and Winterthur in Delaware, this is both a well-researched contribution on the work and life of the Jewish silversmith Myer Myers and an examination of the society in which he lived. Each of the silver pieces presented is fully described in terms of provenance and history, and each is beautifully photographed not an easy accomplishment with silver, whose detail is difficult to capture. In addition to the catalog, the book presents paintings of the leading figures of colonial New York in Myers's day; documents about colonial Jewry; a section, with photographs and explanation, of the marks Myers used to stamp his work; and a long essay on Myers's life. Of interest to historians and art historians, this book boasts a clear and concise style that will make it appealing to the general public as well. Recommended for public as well as academic libraries and especially for collections dedicated to Judaica. Martin Chasin, Adult Inst., Bridgeport, CT Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.