Illuminated manuscripts, a photograph of Walt Whitman, and even a lock of Nathaniel Hawthorne's hair: these are just a few of the treasures in the vast collection of books, letters and memorabilia that Isabella Stewart Gardner amassed.
Gift at the Gardner offers an eclectic array of books: from art history to poetry, beautifully bound literary classics and more, start your own literary collection with our featured titles today!
Presenting Kehinde Wiley’s hotly anticipated response to a legendary Gainsborough portrait.
This volume presents A Portrait of a Young Gentleman, a new portrait by Kehinde Wiley (born 1977), commissioned to mark the centennial of the acquisition of Blue Boy by Henry and Arabella Huntington. The Huntington Library, Art Museum, and Botanical Gardens places Wiley's painting in conversation with Thomas Gainsborough's 18th-century masterpiece. A deep connection exists between the museum’s most famous painting and the artist who is known for creating one of the most beloved presidential portraits of our time. A native of Los Angeles, Wiley has often spoken about his childhood visits to the Huntington’s British portrait gallery and how they inspired him to become an artist.
Richly illustrated with portraits by Wiley and by 18th-century masters such as Gainsborough, Joshua Reynolds and Thomas Hudson, this book offers insight into the evolving history of portraiture and the representation of power. An essay by Malik Gaines, Associate Professor of Performance Studies at New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts, investigates Wiley’s postmodern strategy of inserting Black subjects into canonical European settings. An essay by fashion historian Kimberly Chrisman-Campbell situates Wiley’s work within the traditions and trappings of 18th-century grand manner portraiture.
By Kehinde Wiley; edited by Melinda McCurdy
Published by The Huntington Library, Art Museum, and Botanical Gardens, 2022
7.75 x 0.5 x 10 inches
This richly illustrated book provides the visual keys for any art lover to decode and understand the iconography, tenets, sites, and rituals of the Catholic faith through accessible analysis of its visual and material culture
Focusing on a carefully curated selection of Catholic art and artifacts, this volume explores the influence of iconography and the mystic power of a range of ritual objects. Expert Suzanna Ivanic identifies hidden visual symbols in paintings and examines them close-up, building a catalog of key symbols for readers to use to interpret Catholic art and culture.
Catholica is organized into three sections―”Tenet,” “Locus,” and “Spiritus”―each with three themed subdivisions. Part one introduces the centerpieces of the faith, surveying symbolism in the artistic representation of the holy family, apostles, and saints in stories from scripture. The second part examines places of worship, identifying the essential elements of the cathedral and presenting evocative images of roadside shrines. The third part explores celebrations and traditions, in addition to personal devotional tools and jewelry.
For each of the nine central themes of the faith, introductory text is followed by pages that look in-depth at paintings and artifacts, identifying and explaining the symbolism and stories depicted. As the book progresses, readers build up their knowledge of the entire Catholic visual code―the symbols that define Catholic practice, the attributes of the saints, the parts of the cathedral―allowing them to interpret all Catholic imagery and objects wherever they find them and consequently to better understand the tenets, sites, and rituals of this faith.
By Suzanna Ivanic
Published by Thames & Hudson, 2022
7 x 1.2 x 9.7 inches
A lavish new investigation into the Paris Opera’s influence on Edgar Degas's painting.
From his debut in the 1860s up to his final works after 1900, the Paris Opera formed a focal point of Edgar Degas's paintings. He explored the theater's various spaces―auditorium and stage, private boxes, foyers, and dance studios―and painted those who frequented them: dancers, singers, orchestral musicians, audience members, and subscribers watching from the wings. This theater presented a microcosm of infinite possibilities, allowing him to experiment with multiple points of view, contrasting lighting, motion, and the precision of movement.
This catalog, created in concert with an exhibition at the Muse´e d'Orsay in Paris, and the National Gallery of Art in Washington, DC, considers the Paris Opera’s influence on Degas as a whole, examining not only his passionate relationship with the house and his musical tastes, but also the infinite resources of the opera's marvelous toolbox. Filled with striking reproductions of Degas’s work and including insightful essays by leading curators and scholars, Degas at the Opera offers admission into the world of Degas and the Paris Opera of the nineteenth century.
By Henri Loyrette
Published by Thames & Hudson, 2020
10.1 x 1.4 x 12 inches
Giorgio Vasari’s The Lives of the Most Eminent Painters, Sculptors and Architects, written in 1550 and 1568, is a classic text of cultural history. This monumental assembly of artists’ lives from Giotto to Michelangelo paints a vivid picture of the progression of art in the hands of individual masters.
This illustrated stand-alone edition of Vasari’s Life of Raphael offers a new translation of this rich and remarkable life, elegantly rendering Vasari’s literary text in modern terms. A work of authoritative skill and precision, this new translation preserves Vasari’s exciting narrative, alongside beautifully reproduced color illustrations. Editors Paul Joannides and Rick Scorza bring together the original and expanded Italian editions from 1550 and 1568 with succinct commentary drawing upon their expert knowledge of Raphael’s career. This fascinating and accessible read is published in the five hundredth anniversary year of Raphael’s death.
By Paul Joannides and Rick Scorza
Published by Thames & Hudson, 2020
5.7 x 7.7 in
An in-depth guide to Venetian culture and history through its houses of worship
Begun in 2014 by Ecuadorian-born, New York–based photographer Alejandro Merizalde (born 1979), 100 Churches of Venice and the Lagoon documents religious temples from every sestiere of Venice and the smaller towns of the Venetian lagoon. What began as a small challenge of photographing just the Grand Canal’s churches quickly grew in scope to include every neighborhood in the city. From Murano to Burano and Torcello, from Pellestrina to Chioggia, and deep into the northern lagoon to areas such as Lio Piccolo and Treporti, Merizalde photographed their respective churches whether they remained in service or were deconsecrated or repurposed. The layout of these images emphasizes the facade, relying on subtle repetitions for aesthetic continuity and balance. An essay by Marina Gasparini Lagrange combines her experience living in Venice with a poignant historical perspective.
By Alejandro Merizalde with contributions by Marina Gasparini Lagrange
Published by Damiani, 2021
9.06 x 9.06 inches
This absorbing book explores the crown jewel of the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum’s collection of rare books and manuscripts: Jean Bourdichon’s Boston Hours. As court artist to King François I of France, Bourdichon produced paintings, books and even parade floats for the sovereign and his entourage. This publication accompanies the museum’s first ever exhibition dedicated to this spectacular illuminated manuscript.
Painter to two kings, Jean Bourdichon remains today one of the most celebrated artists of the French Renaissance. By age twenty-four, he was already serving as “peintre du roy,” a title which Bourdichon held for the rest of his life. His illustrious career at the French royal court led to a wide range of commissions—from portraits to wall maps to stained glass—but he is remembered principally for astonishing illuminated manuscripts. The peerless Grandes Heures for Queen Anne of Brittany remains the touchstone of this group which includes some of the most lavishly painted books of hours ever produced.
One of these masterpieces—Bourdichon’s Boston Hours—in the collection of the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum is the subject of this book. Bourdichon’s only intact book of hours in the United States was acquired by Isabella Stewart Gardner in 1890 and became the crown jewel of her collection of rare books and manuscripts. Leading scholars Nicholas Herman and Anne-Marie Eze explore its history in depth, shedding new light on the book’s patronage and provenance—from the shelves of a wealthy Catholic landowner in Lincolnshire to the shop of a Venetian art and antiques dealer.
This book is the latest in the Gardner’s Close Up series, each installment focusing on an individual, outstanding work of art in the collection. This publication is the first dedicated to this rare treasure, and precedes an exhibition opening in summer 2022.
At the end of his long, prolific life, Titian was rumored to paint directly on the canvas with his bare hands. He would slide his fingers across bright ridges of oil paint, loosening the colors, blending, blurring, and then bringing them together again. With nothing more than the stroke of a thumb or the flick of a nail, Titian’s touch brought the world to life. The clinking of glasses, the clanging of swords, and the cry of a woman’s grief. The sensation of hair brushing up against naked flesh, the sudden blush of unplanned desire, and the dry taste of fear in a lost, shadowy place.
Titian’s art, Maria H. Loh argues in this exquisitely illustrated book, was and is a synesthetic experience. To see is at once to hear, to smell, to taste, and to touch. But while Titian was fully attached to the world around him, he also held the universe in his hands. Like a magician, he could conjure appearances out of thin air. Like a philosopher, his exploration into the very nature of things channeled and challenged the controversial ideas of his day. But as a painter, he created the world anew. Dogs, babies, rubies, and pearls. Falcons, flowers, gloves, and stone. Shepherds, mothers, gods, and men. Paint, canvas, blood, sweat, and tears. In a series of close visual investigations, Loh guides us through the lush, vibrant world of Titian’s touch.
Portraits from an important Belgian collection, most of which have never before been published
Men in stately black, women with huge ruffs, children with golden rattles, old women with wizened faces, and self-satisfied artists... These are the main players in just about every portrait ever painted in the Southern Netherlands. From the15th to the 17th centuries, the tract of land that we today call Flanders was the economic, cultural, intellectual and financial heart of Europe. And money flows - with everyone who could afford it investing in a portrait.
Today, these cherished status symbols of the past have largely lost their original significance. But beyond their functional and emotional aspects, these portraits turn their subjects into gateways to the past. This book takes masterpieces from the collection of The Phoebus Foundation and outlines the broad context in which they came into being, peeling back levels of meaning like the layers of an onion. Whether captured in an impressive Rubens or Van Dyck, or an intimate portrait by a forgotten artist, the persons portrayed were once flesh and blood, each with their own peculiarities, hidden agendas and ambitions. Some portraits are very personal and hyper-individual. Others are a little dusty, the ladies and gentleman being children of their time. In most cases, however, their dreams and aspirations are surprisingly timeless and soberingly recognizable.
The Bold and the Beautiful is an appointment with history: a meeting through portraiture with men and women from bygone centuries. But for those willing to look closely, the border between the present and the past is paper-thin.
Published on the occasion of the exhibition Blind Date. Portretten met blikken en blozen, Autumn 2020, in Snijders & Rockoxhuis Antwerp, curated by Dr. Katharina Van Cauteren & Hildegard Van de Velde with a scenography by Walter Van Beirendonck.
Antonio Mancini (1852-1930) was one of the most important Italian painters of the 19th century. His talent was recognized early on by the Dutch painter Hendrik Willem Mesdag (1831-1915) who, together with his wife Sientje, bought many expressive paintings and drawings by the eccentric Italian. Mancini delighted in experimenting and incorporated fragments of glistening glass or other objects in his paint. The Mesdag Collection still owns fifteen works by Mancini. This book sheds light on his art and his turbulent life.Written by Adrienne Quarles Van Ufford
Rembrandt seems to have been an artist who took little notice of other people. Yet he had a family, friends and acquaintances who helped him, bought his art, lent him money, challenged him artistically and inspired him. He would never have become such a great artist without his social network. This book explores that network: Rembrandt's early friends, family members ('blood friends'), artist friends, the connoisseurs who supported him and his friends in times of need. As a friend, Rembrandt went his own way. He made little effort to get on with the elite, and preferred to surround himself with people who understood art. He had strong ties with them, as he did with the members of his family. He portrayed them in remarkably informal paintings and prints, works that bring Rembrandt's private world to life.Written by Epco Runia and David de Witt
A timely and urgent exploration into the ways artists have grappled with race and grief in modern America, conceived by the great curator Okwui Enwezor
Featuring works by more than 30 artists and writings by leading scholars and art historians, this book — and its accompanying exhibition, both conceived by the late, legendary curator Okwui Enwezor — gives voice to artists addressing concepts of mourning, commemoration, and loss and considers their engagement with the social movements, from Civil Rights to Black Lives Matter, that black grief has galvanized.
Artists included: Terry Adkins, Jean-Michel Basquiat, Kevin Beasley, Dawoud Bey, Mark Bradford, Garrett Bradley, Melvin Edwards, LaToya Ruby Frazier, Charles Gaines, Theaster Gates, Ellen Gallagher, Arthur Jafa, Daniel LaRue Johnson, Rashid Johnson, Jennie C. Jones, Kahlil Joseph, Deana Lawson, Simone Leigh, Glenn Ligon, Kerry James Marshall, Julie Mehretu, Tiona Nekkia McClodden, Okwui Okpokwasili, Adam Pendleton, Julia Phillips, Howardena Pindell, Cameron Rowland, Lorna Simpson, Sable Elyse Smith, Tyshawn Sorey, Diamond Stingily, Henry Taylor, Hank Willis Thomas, Kara Walker, Nari Ward, Carrie Mae Weems, and Jack Whitten.
Essays by Elizabeth Alexander, Naomi Beckwith, Judith Butler, Ta-Nehisi Coates, Massimiliano Gioni, Saidiya Hartman, Juliet Hooker, Glenn Ligon, Mark Nash, Claudia Rankine, and Christina Sharpe264 pages
This beautiful publication celebrates a unique collaboration between two of London’s greatest cultural institutions. Together The Royal Ballet and the National Gallery commissioned three acclaimed contemporary artists – Chris Ofili, Conrad Shawcross and Mark Wallinger – to work with international choreographers and composers to create three new ballets inspired by the Titian paintings Diana and Callisto, Diana and Actaeon and The Death of Actaeon. As well as designing all the sets and costumes, the artists also produced new works in response to Titian’s masterpieces for a show at the National Gallery.
The book tells the story of this extraordinary, complex project from conception to stage and gallery. The artists’ notebooks, sketches and other material from the studio are reproduced to show how they evolved their initial ideas into working designs. Numerous views of the dancers’ rehearsals, the creation of the sets and the gallery installations, as well as dozens of unseen photographs of the performances themselves, take the reader behind the scenes to see the many processes and people involved in transforming the artists’ vision into a finished production.
All three creative teams offer their own reflections on the project and on working with very different art forms. An introduction by National Gallery curator and originator of the project, Dr. Minna Moore Ede, explains how the collaboration came to fruition and unfolded. A foreword by Dame Monica Mason, outgoing director of The Royal Ballet, completes this stunning volume.Edited and with introduction by Minna Moore Ede. Foreword by Monica Mason.
Felon tells the story of the effects of incarceration in fierce, dazzling poems—canvassing a wide range of emotions and experiences through homelessness, underemployment, love, drug abuse, domestic violence, fatherhood, and grace—and, in doing so, creates a travelogue for an imagined life. Reginald Dwayne Betts confronts the funk of post-incarceration existence and examines prison not as a static space, but as a force that enacts pressure throughout a person’s life.
The poems move between traditional and newfound forms with power and agility—from revolutionary found poems created by redacting court documents to the astonishing crown of sonnets that serves as the volume’s radiant conclusion. Drawing inspiration from lawsuits filed on behalf of the incarcerated, the redaction poems focus on the ways we exploit and erase the poor and imprisoned from public consciousness. Traditionally, redaction erases what is top secret; in Felon, Betts redacts what is superfluous, bringing into focus the profound failures of the criminal justice system and the inadequacy of the labels it generates.
Challenging the complexities of language, Betts animates what it means to be a "felon."Written by Reginald Dwayne Betts
Four decades of multimedia exploits in race, art politics and subjectivity: a long-overdue survey on conceptual performance artist Lorraine O’Grady
Conceptual performance artist Lorraine O'Grady burst into the contemporary art world in 1980 dressed in a gown made of 180 pairs of white gloves and wielding a chrysanthemum-studded whip. For the next three years, O’Grady documented her exploits as this incendiary fictional persona, visiting gallery openings and providing critiques of the racial politics at play in the New York art scene. The resulting series, Mlle Bourgeoise Noire, was merely the beginning of a long career of avant-garde work that would continue to build upon O’Grady’s conceptions of self and subjectivity as seen from the perspective of a Black woman artist. This survey of O’Grady’s work spans four decades of her career and features nearly all of her major projects, as well as Announcement, the opening series of a new performance piece seven years in the making. Contextualized by an extensive timeline with letters, journal entries and interviews, Both/And provides a long-overdue close examination of O’Grady’s artistic and intellectual ambitions.
Before she became an artist at the age of 45, Lorraine O’Grady (born 1934) worked as an intelligence analyst for the United States government, a translator, and a rock music critic for the Village Voice and Rolling Stone. O’Grady’s unique life experiences, as well as her identity as a diasporic subject, have informed her multidisciplinary practice across live performance, video, photomontage, public art and cultural criticism. She is represented by Alexander Gray Associates, New York.
“Uneasy Dancer” is an expression Saar has used to define both herself and her artistic practice: “my work moves in a creative spiral with the concepts of passage, crossroads, death and rebirth, along with the underlying elements of race and gender.” Through her use of found objects, personal memorabilia and derogatory images that evoke denied or distorted narratives, Saar developed a powerful social critique that challenges racial and sexist stereotypes deeply rooted in American culture.Edited with text by Mario Mainetti, Chiara Costa, Elvira Dyangani Ose. Foreword by Miuccia Prada, Patrizio Bertelli. Text by Richard J. Powell, Deborah Willis, Kellie E. Jones.
Painting by Numbers presents a groundbreaking blend of art historical and social scientific methods to chart, for the first time, the sheer scale of nineteenth-century artistic production. With new quantitative evidence for more than five hundred thousand works of art, Diana Seave Greenwald provides fresh insights into the nineteenth century, and the extent to which art historians have focused on a limited—and potentially biased—sample of artwork from that time. She addresses long-standing questions about the effects of industrialization, gender, and empire on the art world, and she models more expansive approaches for studying art history in the age of the digital humanities.
Examining art in France, the United States, and the United Kingdom, Greenwald features datasets created from indices and exhibition catalogs that—to date—have been used primarily as finding aids. From this body of information, she reveals the importance of access to the countryside for painters showing images of nature at the Paris Salon, the ways in which time-consuming domestic responsibilities pushed women artists in the United States to work in lower-prestige genres, and how images of empire were largely absent from the walls of London’s Royal Academy at the height of British imperial power. Ultimately, Greenwald considers how many works may have been excluded from art historical inquiry and shows how data can help reintegrate them into the history of art, even after such pieces have disappeared or faded into obscurity.
Upending traditional perspectives on the art historical canon, Painting by Numbers offers an innovative look at the nineteenth-century art world and its legacy.
Dubbed “a mighty poet” by American author Henry James, Titian remains one of the most celebrated painters in Western art. Since his death in 1576, the artist’s reputation has never waned. In Gilded Age America, Titian paintings became the peerless prizes of leading collectors and quickly rose to the top of Isabella Stewart Gardner’s wish list. In 1896, she landed his masterpiece, The Rape of Europa. It became the sole example of his celebrated cycle of poesie outside of Europe, inspired an entire gallery in her newly built museum, and contributed to England’s national outcry over the loss of its art treasures. This book – the first dedicated to Europa – tells the painting’s story in Gardner’s time, in Titian’s, and offers rare insights into the artist’s virtuoso technique.
Published here for the first time, dramatically enlarged details of the composition demonstrate Titian’s deft touch and dazzlingly technical accomplishment. These bravura passages recently revealed by the painting’s comprehensive cleaning – the first since its arrival in America – are accompanied by commentary from the conservator, Gianfranco Pocobene, who returned Europa to its original glory.
This book accompanies the Gardner Museum exhibition, Titian: Women, Myth, and Power, reuniting his poesie series in the United States for the first time. Gift at the Gardner also carries a hardcover title, Titian: Love, Desire, Death, which is the National Gallery’s exhibition catalogue for the same suite of paintings.
Edited by Nathaniel Silver
Published by Paul Holberton Publishing, 2020
9.3 x 7.6 inches
The bright and insightful guide to birthday colors is back with an all-new cover inspired by the iconic Pantone color system. Discover every vibrant aspect of your personality with Colorstrology, a fascinating blend of astrology, numerology, and color theory that offers exciting new insights about our lives and relationships. Written by renowned astrologer Michele Bernhardt using the numbers and color schemes of Pantone, Inc., the global authority on color, the system features 366 “birthday colors” that illustrate who we are and how we behave. Using Colorstrology, you’ll quickly understand how to enhance your best personality traits with your birthday color. This full-color book features detailed profiles of everyone you know, plus 366 perforated swatches so you can take your birthday color wherever you go.Written by Michele Bernhardt
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