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$31.50 list($50.00)
1. Chanel and Her World
$31.50 list($50.00)
2. Steinberg at the New Yorker
$16.47 $11.74 list($24.95)
3. Everything About Me Is Fake .
$23.10 list($35.00)
4. Elephant House: Or, The Home of
$26.40 $17.00 list($40.00)
5. Eakins Revealed: The Secret Life
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6. It Seemed Important at the Time
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7. The Lives of the Artists (Oxford
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8. Lost Splendor: The Amazing Memoirs
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9. Arts Unknown : The LifeArt of
10. Alphonse Maria Mucha: His Life
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11. The Sisters: The Saga of the Mitford
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12. The Seuss, the Whole Seuss and
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13. I and Eye: Pictures of My Generation
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14. Diary of Frida Kahlo
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15. Frida : A Biography of Frida Kahlo
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16. Great Artists: The Lives of 50
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17. Contemporary Jewellery in Australia
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18. Designing Disney: Imagineering
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19. Confessions of a Window Dresser:
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20. De Kooning : An American Master

1. Chanel and Her World
by Edmonde Charles-Roux
list price: $50.00
our price: $31.50
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0865651590
Catlog: Book (2005-03-09)
Publisher: Vendome Press
Sales Rank: 1062
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Gabrielle "Coco" Chanel (1883-1971) is a fashion icon unlike any other. She invented modern clothing for women: at the height of the Belle Époque, she stripped women of their corsets and feathers, bobbed their hair, put them in bathing suits, and sent them out to get tanned in the sun. She introduced slacks, costume jewelry, and the exquisitely comfortable suit. She made the first couture perfume-No. 5-which remains the most popular scent ever created.

In this beautiful volume, the glorious life of the incomparable Coco Chanel shines again through hundreds of illustrations and the lively prose of Edmonde Charles-Roux, her official biographer and close friend. Chanel knew and collaborated with the likes of Picasso, Diaghilev, Stravinsky, Cocteau, Jean Renoir, and Visconti-even as she matched their modernist innovations by liberating women from the prison of 19th-century fashion and introducing a whole new concept of elegance. The staggering collection of photographs amassed by the over decades of friendship with Chanel sheds new light on one of the great stories of the modern age. AUTHOR BIO: Edmonde Charles-Roux began her journalistic career at Elle and ultimately became editor-in-chief of French Vogue. She has published three novels, among them To Forget Palermo (Oublier Palerme), which won the Prix Goncourt in 1966.
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Reviews (3)

5-0 out of 5 stars Coco Chanel - The Originator of Modern Women's Fashion
I am so glad this book is back in print.Written by the Senior Editor of French Vogue, who was also a close friend and biographer of Chanel, this is a must have for fashionistas.I own the original version which has all black and white photos.This new version, published 25 years after the original has new color photos and illustrations added.The book has also been revamped with all the new additions, but retains the original text.If you only get one book about Chanel, get this one.It is worth every penny.

5-0 out of 5 stars The Big Beautiful World of Chanel
Visually pleasing and well-written, here is a book that would surely please Mademoiselle Chanel if she were still with us.

Fans of Chanel and "Fashionistas" alike will undoubtedly be delighted with this big, beautiful book and its vast number of Chanel photos, which document Coco's personal world of fashion.

Linda Painchaud-Steinman, Park Edge Books

5-0 out of 5 stars Please bring this book back!
*Chanel and Her World* is a great document of a great woman!I've neverseen another Chanel book with so many pictures, and that's what it's allabout when it comes to one of the century's most important style-makers. It's a CRIME that it's out of print, because I MUST OWN IT. ... Read more

2. Steinberg at the New Yorker
by Joel Smith
list price: $50.00
our price: $31.50
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Asin: 0810959011
Catlog: Book (2005-02-08)
Publisher: Harry N Abrams
Sales Rank: 152751
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Book Description

For six decades, Saul Steinberg's covers, cartoons, features, and illustrations were a defining presence at The New Yorker. As the magazine became a standard-bearer of taste and intelligence in American letters, Steinberg's drawings emerged as its visual epitome. This richly illustrated book, featuring Joel Smith's astute text and a captivating introduction by the artist's friend and colleague Ian Frazier, explores the remarkable range and unceasing evolution of a major American modernist-one whose art reached a grateful public not from museum walls but from the pages of the periodical he called "my refuge, patria, and safety net."

All Steinberg's New Yorker covers appear here in full color, along with over 130 examples of inside art, from black-line drawings to elaborate color portfolios. Also included are Steinberg's most beloved, intuitive, and brilliant inspirations, among them a New York populated with stoical cats, precocious children, puzzled couples, and a menagerie of vivid grotesques. A vibrant celebration of one of the most original and engaging artists of the 20th century, Steinberg at The New Yorker brings alive a genius, a magazine, and an era. AUTHOR BIO: Joel Smith has been the Fisher Curator at the Frances Lehman Loeb Art Center at Vassar College since 1999. He is the author of Edward Steichen: The Early Years. Ian Frazier is a frequent contributor to The New Yorker. His previous books include the national bestseller Great Plains.
... Read more

3. Everything About Me Is Fake . . . And I'm Perfect
by Janice Dickinson
list price: $24.95
our price: $16.47
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Asin: 006055469X
Catlog: Book (2004-04)
Publisher: Regan Books
Sales Rank: 23449
Average Customer Review: 3.11 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

In Everything About Me Is Fake…and I'm Perfect, the hilarious and candid follow-up to the national bestseller No Lifeguard on Duty, Janice Dickinson tackles our society's unattainable standards of beauty and reveals the secrets behind her own lifelong struggle to achieve perfection -- from her bra-stuffing days as a flat-chested teenager through her career as the world's first supermodel to her ultimate comeback as a bestselling author and television star on the top-rated reality television hit America's Next Top Model.

most men don't seem to care about my age either. Once you hit the supermodel level, your numerical time spent on Earth doesn't matter to men.

Even as she graced the glossy pages of Vogue and Cosmo, Janice had to struggle to keep up the image of brazen self-confidence and bravado that became her trademark. Behind every smile and pose was a sea of self-doubt and insecurities. Now, after years of experience as a supermodel -- being stitched into clothing, starving herself, and undergoing cosmetic surgery -- Janice debunks the beauty myths and breaks down what's real and what's not. Drawing on her vast knowledge of fashion, beauty care, and fitness, Janice offers no-nonsense advice and tips on how to look and feel your best on your own terms.

you see on the magazine pages starve themselves for weeks on end, smoke up a storm, and scarf down enough diuretics to blast out the Pacific Ocean.

No one tells a story like the world's first supermodel, and Janice's eagerly awaited follow-up is filled with outrageous anecdotes from her personal life, including how she stole Donald Trump's heart after jacking his limo, her steamy date with JFK Jr., and the wonders and pitfalls of going under the knife. In a fabulous fashion that only Janice can deliver, she tells all about her bumpy and unpredictable road to a healthy self-image and pulls back the curtain on the modeling industry, as well as her own life, proving why, as Janice explains: "Everything about me is fake . . . and I'm perfect."

I think it's best to treat most men like they're pets. Treat 'em mean and you'll keep 'em keen.”
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Reviews (18)

4-0 out of 5 stars Janice does it again!!
If you read her first book, No Lifeguard on Duty, this will be just as much of a treat. She delivers advice and details about her life in her typical blunt, ballsy, take-no-prisoners style. You'll laugh more reading this book than her last, because her first was more soul-searching through the most painful moments of her life, this book takes a more light-hearted look at how her life has been since the first one, how being a judge on America's Next Top Model has affected her, and how being a full-time mother and supermodel hasn't slowed her down one bit.
She truly speaks from the heart and from experience. Janice gives it to you straight, whether you like it or not. No apologies. Yet she lets her vulnerable side shine through, like when she talks about her children, her family, etc.
She also gives good advice to women about how the fashion industry is selling us all lies with their airbrushed and digitally enhanced images of perfection(not a shock, right?). She really helps put it all in perspective.
If you're looking for a warts-and-all look at how a supermodel's life REALLY is, this is the book. Also read her first book, once you try Janice, you've GOT to go back for more!

5-0 out of 5 stars I'm ADDICTED to PLASTIC!
I have to say that this is a great read! It's funny, has TONS of gossip about celebrities, and shockingly a BIG HEART! You may know Janice from the TOP MODEL show on UPN, or as a fashion model ... but the biggest shock is underneath her hard exterior is a woman who really cares. She tells things like they are, and she makes no apologies for some of her bad behavior! But she also lets you know that PERFECTION can be a disease, and she lets you in on how to fight that.

I love this book! It's not a literary masterpiece in conventional terms ... more like a gab session with one of your wildest friends. Definitely funny! Definitely shocking! And so much fun you don't want it to end.

I don't care if her modeling advice is suspect (as one reviewer noted), or if she's seen as just another washed up model. She's a courageous woman who deserves to be celebrated. I admire her for being who she is ... the super model with the SUPER MOUTH! :-)

2-0 out of 5 stars Janice is scary...
Janice is really a sad babe. Abused as a child, she grew up, it seems hating everything and everyone. In this book Janice gives advise to women on how to get and keep their man, shares celebrity stories, and talks about how she manages to stay looking good.
The cover of the book is creative with Janice set up to look like a Barbie doll but the content of the book is weak. Janice shares good information in the beginning of the book when she explains in depth how artificial the looks we see in magazines are. Though real women compare themselves to models in magazines, these images are false as the models have been computer enhanced and in true life are most likely staying slender in unhealthy ways. The book goes downhill from there.
She rips apart fellow models for their wrongdoings like Christie Brinkley who moved in with Janice's boyfriend soon after they broke up. But then in typical Janice double standard fashion she sees nothing wrong with sharing her bed with other men who are already taken.
Janice does her best to treat the reader like they are her best buds and baring her soul but her rough, abrasive personality, and foul language permeate the book and its just not pretty. Her egotistical, "I am so hot and beautiful" nature is immature and becomes old quickly. Her photos reflect this too.
I really feel sorry for the worlds first self- professed "supermodel" a fact she reminds you of constantly throughout the book, and I feel sad that she bases her self worth on how many men desire her. Hopefully one day she will find true inner beauty and peace.
Meantime skip the book or borrow it.

5-0 out of 5 stars Honest and Funny
I liked this book better than her first one, because she is more of herself in the writing. Although she does get carried away sometimes with the beauty tips and work out tips. Nonetheless, it is a page turner. I wonder what she is going to write for her third and last book in this trilogy, i am sure it's going to be funny. This one is a lot more lighter and her delirious personality shines through the series of her honest biographical anecdotes. I think in a way we can all relate to Janice and her insecurity. What it matters is how we deal with it and reading about her story helps.

2-0 out of 5 stars Well I liked her first book....
I have to say that I was looking forward to this book. Boy was I disappointed! Her first book was filled with her life story, gossipy tidbits, and more. This new book of hers barely skims the surface. There's a few good modeling anecdotes about her's and other's experiences in that oh-so-glamorously-drugged-up-world, but most of the book seems to be her reapeating the same phrase in different ways over and over and over again just to fill up space! She repeatedly contradicts herself, and even her wit doesn't compensate for that. It's as if she was trying to write a self-help/mini-autobiography (unfortunately, it went terribly!). Basically, it was like a really long and really bad diary entry. So if you were looking for a great follow up to, No Lifeguard on Duty, you will be very disappointed. Also, Janice doesn't even come across as that super confident tough girl who she claims she fact she comes across as terribly insecure and pathetic (her incestent rambling about how she is so confident makes this even more evident). ... Read more

4. Elephant House: Or, The Home of Edward Gorey
by Kevin McDermott, Edward Gorey
list price: $35.00
our price: $23.10
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0764924958
Catlog: Book (2003-09)
Publisher: Pomegranate Communications
Sales Rank: 32473
Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

An intimate photographic journey through Edward Gorey's home. ... Read more

Reviews (9)

5-0 out of 5 stars A specialty item for the true Gorey collector
Even dedicated fans of Edward Gorey will probably know very little about his personal life: he was an enigmatic recluse and few were permitted past his front door. Photographer Kevin McDermott's Elephant House will delight students of architecture and photography, providing rich duotone works of Gorey's intriguing home and its contents. A specialty item for the true Gorey collector, Elephant House is an impressive photographic showcase and a welcome addition to both architectural studies and photographic studies reference collections.

5-0 out of 5 stars Fruitful Coursework
M. McDermott's luxuriant photos admirably capture the subversive hermeneutics of desire at work in every compartment of Edward Gorey's capacious mind. To judge from these photos, at home as much as in his work Gorey enacted a subaltern erotics of duplicity and dialectic: the precise, almost fussy, arrangements of salt shakers and stones, frog spectators and secret guests which echo the Edwardian-styled detail of his famous books and their ecstatic decodification of heterosexual longing into a polysemous weave of interleaved multitextuality illuminate a life's work spent dancing on a metacritical pin. Queer and gender theorists take note: Elephant House will reinvigorate your every critique -- about Edward Gorey and his work, and of course, the texts his prism redacts.

5-0 out of 5 stars At Home With Edward Gorey
Kevin McDermott's Elephant House is an impressive new photography book. The photographs, taken only days after Edward Gorey's death, afford us an intimate portrait of the man as he lived. The book contains insightful photographs that capture the fine details of the way Edward lived and worked in his own space. Gorey clearly had a fascination with light and texture. He scattered a massive array of objects all about his home with a nearly curatorial eye. McDermott's well composed photos not only capture this aspect of Gorey but illustrate a common thread between these two artists: texture. One photograph depicts groups of small stones as they congregate idly on the rough wood of the porch. The cityscape of salt and pepper shakers and a plate of gourd-like, spherical shapes are beautiful studies in the texture and form of ordinary objects abstracted from their normal contexts, while many others are still lives made of the house's windows and the eclectically arranged objects in front of them. The blue bottles in a few images glow like stained glass as the washed-out light of a cloudy day streams in through them. What makes many of the color images so interesting is the spare, nearly monochromatic palette of colors in the rooms which are offset by only the blue luminosity of bottles or the green leaves of spring showing in the background. These are beautiful photographs independent of their connection to Edward Gorey, but serve also to enhance our understanding of him. The text is an entertaining and candid glimpse of Gorey as a friend knew him, and provides a nicely guided tour through each room. This book is handsomely crafted and thoughtfully designed, and I highly recommend it to anyone with an interest in photography or Edward Gorey.

5-0 out of 5 stars Elephant House or the home of Edward Gorey
Edward Gorey was a mysterious personage. His works often leave one thinking "what next?". Elephant House by Kevin McDermott helps relieve much of this worry. Mr. McDermott has captured through his photographs and text what it was like to spend time with the elusive Mr. Gorey. This is a personal and moving tribute to a friend that never feels intrusive, but rather illuminates Mr. Gorey and the daily world he invented and inhabited. For those of us who have made Mr. Gorey a part of our own daily lives, Elephant House lets us spend some quality time with the man through his surroundings. A gem and a gift.

5-0 out of 5 stars Elephant House, Or the Home of Edward Gorey
This Fabulous book gives us a photographic incite into Edward Gorey, the man. It enlightens the reader with an increased knowledge of the sources of the characters and whimsy of the Groey books. The personal anecdotes of McDermott, made you wish you could have known the man in real life. Gorey would have been pleased with his friend's understanding of who he was. The photographers eye, saw the "art" of Gorey in his everyday surroundings. It was like walking in Gorey's shoes from room to room. A must have book for every Gorey fan. ... Read more

5. Eakins Revealed: The Secret Life of an American Artist
by Henry Adams
list price: $40.00
our price: $26.40
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Asin: 0195156684
Catlog: Book (2005-05-01)
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Sales Rank: 29373
Average Customer Review: 1.0 out of 5 stars
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For generations, Thomas Eakins--whose famous paintings include "The Gross Clinic" and "The Champion Single Sculls"--has been regarded as a 19th-century American hero. In Eakins Revealed: The Secret Life of an American Artist, art historian Henry Adams offers a radically different view that allows us to better understand "the intensity and emotional desperation of Eakins' art." Eakins' brush with scandal--he was dismissed from his teaching post at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts in 1886 for removing the loincloth from a male model posing for a class of women students--is generally described by admiring art historians as a brave attempt to modernize stuffy old rules. Adams reveals that the artist was a life-long exhibitionist who appears to have preyed on vulnerable young women. Drawing on the Bregler papers, a cache of revealing documents from Eakins' studio that surfaced in the mid-1980s, Adams describes a man whose sense of masculine identity was thwarted by a deep identification with his mentally ill mother and an inability to please his father. Reviewing the major Eakins studies, beginning with the landmark monograph by Lloyd Goodrich, Adams finds that many aspects of the artist's life were suppressed to establish him as an all-American hero.

Adams presents his case with the mesmerizing power of a star attorney-at-law, painting a detailed picture of the artist's troubled personal life before launching into correspondences between the life and the art. Although readers may question some of Adams' interpretations--whether of Freudian theory or the emotional effect of a specific painting--the author's direct, probing style makes Eakins Revealed as riveting as a courtroom drama. In his concluding arguments, Adams proposes that the subjects of Eakins' late portraits, almost uniformly pensive and hollow-eyed, are in fact multiple versions of the brooding artist himself. Ultimately, the author's new assessments endow Eakins' work with an anxiety about the body and gender roles--issues that preoccupy many artists of our own time. Readers new to Eakins may be disappointed to find only small, black-and-white reproductions of the works in this book, and a few of the works discussed (such as "Crucifixion") are not illustrated at all. But skeptical specialists will be pleased to see that Adams includes copious (and often fascinating) notes and a full bibliography. —-Cathy Curtis ... Read more

Reviews (3)

1-0 out of 5 stars a very strange book
I have long been fascinated by Thomas Eakins's life and career.Over the years I have enjoyed Lloyd Goodrich's two volume biography and Elizabeth Johns's book about his art.This book by Adams has left me thoroughly confused.

1-0 out of 5 stars Twisted Freudian Interpretation of An American Icon
If a reader were to believe the many ludicrous claims that Adams makes about Thomas Eakins, one would think that the artist was homosexual, heterosexual, bisexual, and a pedophile, exhibitionist, voyeur, sadist, and masochist; and further, that he practiced incest and bestiality (all of which, Adams suggests, was driven by a desire to posses his own mother).Take your pick!Adams covers all the bases. Eakins is not so much "revealed" in this book as he is "concealed."He seems to ignore altogether, what to my mind, are the most fascinating things about this remarkable man: that he studied logarithms for fun, that science, not art, was his first love, that he was conversant in five languages, and that he found beauty where others saw ugliness.Among the more humorous assertions that Adams makes about Eakins is that the artist painted while sitting on the floor (he used an easel), that he shot his sister's cat for fun (Adams conveniently leaves out the fact that Eakins' father ordered him to do so because the animal was rabid), and that he painted clergymen because they wore dresses, which supposedly reminded Eakins of outfits his dead mother wore.After reading this dreadful book I came to actually like it as a study of how inbred (dare I say incestuous?) that some members of our academic community have become.Even if you are convinced, or want to believe that Abraham Lincoln was homosexual, you will still have difficulty making the creative leaps necessary to take this book seriously.

1-0 out of 5 stars Riddled with Errors
This book is so riddled with errors and exaggerations that it is a wonder why Oxford University Press would publish it. ... Read more

6. It Seemed Important at the Time : A Romance Memoir
by Gloria Vanderbilt
list price: $22.00
our price: $14.96
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Asin: 0743264800
Catlog: Book (2004-10-05)
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Sales Rank: 1526
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Book Description

An elegant, witty, frank, touching, and deeply personal account of the loves both great and fleeting in the life of one of America's most celebrated and fabled women.

Born to great wealth yet kept a virtual prisoner by the custody battle that raged between her proper aunt and her self-absorbed, beautiful mother, Gloria Vanderbilt grew up in a special world. Stunningly beautiful herself, yet insecure and with a touch of wildness, she set out at a very early age to find romance. And find it she did. There were love affairs with Howard Hughes, Bill Paley, and Frank Sinatra, to name a few, and one-night stands, which she writes about with delicacy and humor, including one with the young Marlon Brando. There were marriages to men as diverse as Pat De Cicco, who abused her; the legendary conductor Leopold Stokowski, who kept his innermost secrets from her; film director Sidney Lumet; and finally writer Wyatt Cooper, the love of her life.

Now, in an irresistible memoir that is at once ruthlessly forthright, supremely stylish, full of fascinating details, and deeply touching, Gloria Vanderbilt writes at last about the subject on which she has hitherto been silent: the men in her life, why she loved them, and what each affair or marriage meant to her. This is the candid and captivating account of a life that has kept gossip writers speculating for years, as well as Gloria's own intimate description of growing up, living, marrying, and loving in the glare of the limelight and becoming, despite a family as famous and wealthy as America has ever produced, not only her own person but an artist, a designer, a businesswoman, and a writer of rare distinction. ... Read more

7. The Lives of the Artists (Oxford World's Classics)
by Giorgio Vasari, Julia Conaway Bondanella, Peter Bondanella, Peter E. Bondanella
list price: $11.95
our price: $8.96
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Asin: 019283410X
Catlog: Book (1998-05-01)
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Sales Rank: 27781
Average Customer Review: 4.67 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

These biographies of the great quattrocento artists have long been considered among the most important of contemporary sources on Italian Renaissance art.Vasari, who invented the term "Renaissance," was the first to outline the influential theory of Renaissance art that traces a progression through Giotto,Brunelleschi, and finally the titanic figures of Michaelangelo, Da Vinci, and Raphael.This new translation, specially commisioned for the World's Classics series, contains thirty-six of the most important lives and is fully annotated. ... Read more

Reviews (12)

5-0 out of 5 stars Better than many Modern Art History Books
If you were to read a modern art history book of the high Renaissance, chances are the author of the book drew at least some of his information from this book written by Giorgio Vasari. Giorgio Vasari was an Italian Renaissance artist who also wrote about the various artists of his time. A contemporary of Michangelo, Georgi Vasari's book reads like a Who's Who of Renaissance artists. For a book more than four hundred years old, the style is amazingly modern and interesting.
Vasari has an artist's eye for critiquing another artist's work. His writing style is not boring, whereas many would be reduced to general descriptions like "beautiful" and "amateurish", he dissects the artist's work between strong and weak points, pigments and flesh tones or landscapes vs. portraits or the use of light and perspective. He states the reason why some art or one artist is renowned and others ignored. His judgments have generally stood the test of time. Vasari also weaves in some interesting tidbits and anecdotes of the Artist's life. I found this book more interesting than many modern day Art History books.

4-0 out of 5 stars Necessary for art historians and college students
Vasari's prose is effusive but easy to follow because it says the same things over and over about each artist. If you have any interest in the Italian artists this book is a crucial and reliable source of information. Artists lives with an emphasis on their contemporaries and their development are lavishly detailed in this book. It's a crucial source for a college-level art history report. Art historians respect Vasari's analyses of the artists' lives.

Vasari LOVES the High Renaissance artists, especially Michelangelo and Raphael, so you'll find that those chapters are especially long and informative. At times the praise of these artists, and others of the Renaissance, seems exaggerated and excessive. But you get the general gist of things, and find yourself itching to see the paintings that he tells stories about after you read about each artist.

4-0 out of 5 stars Some hard work, ultimately worth it.
Slogging a little bit, because it's difficult to read even interesting prose descriptions of paintings and also painfully aware that I lacked a lot of the technical understanding of what he was discussing-- my history of art knowledge has huge holes in it. I turned frequently to the Internet to find the paintings Vasari was discussing and that helped a great deal.

I read the George Bull translation and it felt really clunky, although it's a plus that the footnotes are at the bottom of the pages rather than at the rear of the book. If I'm going to go on to read Volume 2 then I have to say that I'd choose another translator.

I knew in an intellectual way that a lot of the Renaissance was about reclaiming lost arts and sciences, but reading Vasari gave me a much better gut level feel about that really meant about the development of the arts. Connects real people to the history lesson, albeit in a gossipy and occasionally too-flowery way.

3-0 out of 5 stars In the Land of the Blind . . .
This is badly-written, badly-structured, gossipy, confused, misleading, and in too many places downright dishonest. Nevertheless it remians our main source of biographical information on the great artists of the Renaissance and Mannerist periods.

Most of these geniuses were considered so unimportant in their own lifetimes that the details of their lives weren't thought worthy to be recorded. It is telling therefore that it was Vasari, himself a rather vainglorious and self-important artist, who first conceived the notion of setting down the minutae of his own class. Unfortunately he was more a man of the brush than the pen and used his biographical duties to settle a few old scores and to pass on rumor and gossip.

Of course, the very ineptitude with which this work is written gives it an extra appeal in our own dumbed down age, but compared to great biographers of the past, like Plutarch, this is clearly inferior goods. Unfortunately, it's all we have to go on for most of the artists here. If it's a great work, it's a great work solely by default.

'In the land of the blind the one-eyed man is king.'

5-0 out of 5 stars Absolutely fascinating
I read this book in preparation for an upcoming trip to Florence. I am a big Michelangelo fan to begin with, and the idea of reading something written by a contemporary and aficionado of his was intriguing. I was well rewarded for my interests.

Vasari clearly idolized Michelangeo and Raphael. That is apparent, but as he did for every other artist's Life he covered, the level of personal detail and anecdotes is invaluable for someone like me looking for the story behind the artists. Artists from each phase of the Renaissance are covered with detail of both their personal and artistic lives. I can say I learned so much from each chapter that I will surely be taking this book with me for reference when I am in Florence.

One caveat, I think it would be helpful to have a book with photographs of the works Vasari discusses. Unless you are already up to speed on the major Renaissance works, it is more helpful to visualize them with the assistance of Vasari's descriptions. I found myself running to the internet often to see what he had been talking about.

Kick back and relax with this very easy to read and thoroughly enjoyable guide to some of the Renaissance's finest artists. ... Read more

8. Lost Splendor: The Amazing Memoirs of the Man Who Killed Rasputin
by Prince Felix Youssoupoff
list price: $21.95
our price: $14.93
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1885586582
Catlog: Book (2003-10)
Publisher: Helen Marx Books
Sales Rank: 21195
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

The fascinating first-person account of the cross-dressing prince who poisoned Rasputin with rose cream cakes laced with cyanide and spiked Madeira is now back in print. Originally published in France in 1952, during the years of Prince Youssoupoff's exile from Russia, Lost Splendor has all the excitement of a thriller. Born to great riches, lord of vast feudal estates and many palaces, Felix Youssoupoff led the life of a grand seigneur in the days before the Russian Revolution. Married to the niece of Czar Nicholas II, he could observe at close range the rampant corruption and intrigues of the imperial court, which culminated in the rise to power of the sinister monk Rasputin. Finally, impelled by patriotism and his love for the Romanoff dynasty, which he felt was in danger of destroying itself and Russia, he killed Rasputin in 1916 with the help of the Grand Duke Dimitri and others. More than any other single event, this deed helped to bring about the cataclysmic upheaval that ended in the advent of the Soviet regime.~The author describes the luxury and glamour of his upbringing, fantastic episodes at nightclubs and with the gypsies in St. Petersburg, grand tours of Europe, dabbling in spiritualism and occultism, and an occasional conscience-stricken attempt to alleviate the lot of the poor.~Prince Youssoupoff was an aristocrat of character. When the moment for action came, when the monk's evil influence over the czar and czarina became unbearable, he and his friends decided that they must get rid of the monster. He tells how Rasputin courted him and tried to hypnotize him, and how finally they decoyed him to the basement of the prince's palace. Prince perfectly objective, remarkably modern and as accurate as human fallibility allows. His book is therefore readable, of historical value and intimately tragic. It is as if Count Fersen had written a detailed account of the last years of Marie Antoinette.--Harold Nicholson, on the first English edition, 1955 By Prince Felix Youssoupoff. Hardcover, 5.25 x 8.25 in./300 pgs / 0 color 14 BW0 duotone 0 ~ Item D20143 ... Read more

Reviews (2)

4-0 out of 5 stars A Glimpse Into A Vanished World
Prince Felix Yousssoupoff is best known as one of the murderers of Gregory Rasputin just before the Russian Revolution. He was a member of one of Russia's most aristocratic families, and in this memoir, originally published in the 1950s, he gives us a glimpse of life for a nobleman in pre-Revolutionary Russia.

Life was certainly rich, if not always good, for Prince Felix. As a younger son, he was given very little education and basically allowed to do as he pleased during his formative years. Most of the time what he was pleased to do was to get into trouble. I lost count of the number of servants, governesses, and other retainers who quit with nervous breakdowns after trying to look after Felix. Under the influence of his elder brother, whom he adored, Felix had an early initiation into sexual and other kinds of debauchery. He enjoyed dressing as a woman and living the high life in St. Petersburg, London, and Paris. Felix was reticent about his sexuality, claiming several affairs with women but speaking more warmly about his men friends, including Grand Duke Dmitri, who helped him murder Rasputin. When Felix's brother was killed in a duel Felix became the heir to a vast fortune. He married Tsar Nicholas' niece Irina, whom he claimed to adore but otherwise said little about.

The most interesting parts of this book deal with Rasputin, whom Felix met several times. Typically, Felix hints that there was a sexual nature to these encounters, but divulges few details. Felix describes the murder and his subsequent exile, which saved him from being in St. Petersburg during the February Revolution in 1917, and his internment in the Crimea with other members of the Imperial Family from 1917 through 1919, when he escaped on a British warship.

This book is interesting but highly reticent. Felix never loses a chance to glamorize himself and his activities, with the result that some undeniably brave actions, like his several trips to St. Petersburg to rescue treasures while the Bolshevik terror was at its height, tend to get less attention than they deserve. A more open and informative biography of Prince Felix, The Man Who Killed Rasputin, by Greg King, was published several years ago and will help fill in the gaps left by Felix's own work.

5-0 out of 5 stars A historical treat
I first encountered this book as a teenager and was just enchanted with it, and I'm thrilled a new printing has come out. Of the many autobiographies of exiled Russian nobility, this one stood out. Perhaps because of the historical role he played. There are fascinating stories of eccentric personalities (how about getting a mountain for a birthday present, complete with sheep?). A complex personality, Felix was, admittedly, spoiled rotten, used to getting his way and yet, had admirable traits (it's not in this book but once in exile, he never turned down a request for help from another refugee). And then there is Rasputin and his part in that assasination. Of course, Felix leaves out some details about himself other historians have noted. However, the book is still an accurate picture of a lost world. If you enjoy this era, this book is worth having in your collection. ... Read more

9. Arts Unknown : The LifeArt of Lee Brown Coye
by Luis Ortiz
list price: $39.95
our price: $26.37
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1933065044
Catlog: Book (2005-02-15)
Publisher: Nonstop Press
Sales Rank: 179690
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Book Description

A graphic genius of phantasmagorical originality, Lee Brown Coyes pictures are the visual expression not only of his own emotional turbulence, but also the turbulence of his times. ARTS UNKNOWN is the first biography/art book on Coye (-), a uniquely macabre and eccentric artist, and it will surprise many people unaware of his fine art, non-genre book illustrations, cartoons, and sculpture credentials. ... Read more

10. Alphonse Maria Mucha: His Life and Art
by Jiri Mucha
list price: $75.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0847810194
Catlog: Book (1989-03-01)
Publisher: Rizzoli Intl Pubns
Sales Rank: 603461
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11. The Sisters: The Saga of the Mitford Family
by Mary S. Lovell
list price: $18.95
our price: $12.89
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0393324141
Catlog: Book (2003-03)
Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company
Sales Rank: 23309
Average Customer Review: 4.04 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

"The Mitford girls were probably the most spectacular sister act of thetwentieth century."—Vogue

This is the story of a close, loving family splintered by the violent ideologies of Europe between the wars. Jessica was a Communist; Debo became the Duchess of Devonshire; Nancy was one of the best-selling novelists of her day; the ethereally beautiful Diana was the most hated woman in England; and Unity Valkyrie, born in Swastika, Alaska, would become obsessed with Adolf Hitler. 24 b/w photographs. ... Read more

Reviews (27)

4-0 out of 5 stars Powerfully Engaging Story
Mary S. Lovell made a wise decision when she took up her pen and joined the Mitford industry. The Sisters (The Saga of the Mitford Family) is a truly fascinating and endlessly engaging book. And there was no way it could not be with those crazy Mitfords: Nancy, Jessica, Debo, Diana, Pam and, of course, the very tragic Unity Valkyrie, conceived at Swastika Canada and devoted friend of Hitler. The story of these sisters spans the twentienth century and travels all over the political spectrum. The author shows her own conservative bias clearly throughout and was obviousaly charmed by Diana Mosely (nee Mitford), the still living wife of Sir Oswald Mosley, leader of the British Fascists during the interwar years. But her prejudices and political naivete (the author's suggestion that World War II could possibly have been avoided if Diana just brought Hitler and Churchill, a relative of hers, together is quite silly and should have been edited out) are so apparent that one can enjoy the book regardless. The portrayal of the mother of the girls, Sydney, is the most interesting to come along of her. A wonderful, delightful read of six powerfully individual women.

5-0 out of 5 stars A readable and entertaining look at social history/biography
This carefully researched and constructed biography of the six Mitford sisters, Nancy, Pam, Diana, Unity, Jessica and Deborah, and their brother, Tom, is a fascinating look not only of their lives but at the time in which they lived. The reader is drawn into the world of minor British aristocracy and is treated to characters who, although somewhat eccentric at times, seem much like people we know: Parents are well-intentioned if somewhat misled, children are willful and spoiled. Life, however, is frivolous and carefree in an increasingly dangerous and threatening world. It's easy to understand where Nancy got her sense of humor and her ability to write social satire -- it was bred into the bone.

It's also understandable (and not at all uncommon) that the older siblings found some measure of success while the younger ones behaved like the over-indulged, spoiled children they were and never seemed to cease to be.

The reader who remembers (and the student of) the early- and mid-20th century will recognize the famous names that wander through these pages with the infamous family: Aly Khan, Winston Churchill, Katharine Graham, Diana Cooper, Evelyn Waugh and more -- it's a star-studded group of friends, relatives and acquaintances that touch and often seriously influence the lives of the Mitfords.

I loved this book. The story is fascinating and almost surreal as it unfolds through the girls' schooling, debutante years and various adult exploits played against the backdrop of the developing World War and its aftermath. Lovell has done a superb job of presenting the zeigeist of their era and their lives in a readable and entertaining text.

5-0 out of 5 stars A Good Familial Portrait of the Wacky Mitford Family
I first read Jessica Mitford's "A Fine Old Conflict" when it was published in the early 1970's. It remained in my bookcase and I recently re-read it and also read "Hons (Daughters) and Rebels" which whetted my appetite for more information on what the sisters came to label as the "Mitford Industry". I then purchased "The Sisters: The Saga of the Mitford Family".

I was not disappointed. I found The "Sisters" really enjoyable and well researched, and the photos excellent. There is much interesting information in the many footnotes, too.

Like Sydney said, "What a Set!"

4-0 out of 5 stars A Fascinating, Riveting Book
"The Sisters: The Saga of the Mitford Family" tells the (true) story of the Mitford sisters, six beautiful and talented aristocratic young women who came of age in the interwar period.(There was a brother Tom who died during WWII. He does not play a major role in this book nor does it seem in their lives.)

These women lived, for the most part, amazing (though not admirable in all cases) lives: Nancy, the oldest, became a best selling novelist; Pamela, the "least interesting" (to the biographer and her family, though not necessarily the reader), lived a country life after a marriage to a brilliant man who married compulsively (six total); Diana, the society beauty, who left her husband for the fascist Oswald Mosley and who befriended Hitler; Unity, who became obsessed with Hitler and met him 140 times during a short period before WWII; Jessica, the rebel, who eloped at 18, became a communist, moved to the states, and became a best selling author on such topis as the funeral home industry; and Deborah, the youngest, who made the most brilliant marriage, to the future Duke of Devonshire.

This book details the eccentric but loving childhood of these sisters (though the father had murderous rages that seemed to have a lifelong impact on the children) and the diverse set of political causes and men that both brought them together and drove them apart over the years. Any book that affords the reader glimpses of Churchill as an uncle, Hitler as a "friend", Maya Angelou as an honorary "sister", is worth its price. Lovell presents her material in a straightforward manner. The book is thoroughly researched.

However, there are flaws. Lovell could probe further than she does into the psyches of the sisters. Three of them became obsessed with men in ways that bordered on the unhealthy and bizarre (Nancy had a lifelong infatuation for a count that would never marry her, the beautiful Diana dedicated her life to the unfaithful Mosley, and Unity's fixation on Hitler was downright psychotic.) And she lets Diana off the hook a bit too easily for her fascist and pro-Hitler views (Diana never repented.) She seems somewhat bewitched by Diana's external beauty-she met her at the age of 90--and doesn't focuse on the fact that it was external. (As obituary writers did this past summer after her death in August.)
Still it is a great read particularly for those fascinated by the British upper classes between the two wars.

2-0 out of 5 stars A Very Flawed Masterpiece
To begin, the author has done an outstanding job of research, compilation, and organization. Quite a balancing act with multiple subjects, and the author has superbly achieved her feat. This said, the biography has too many serious flaws for it to be given the rave notices of most reviewers. I'm afraid most readers are too enchanted by the fascinating lives of these highly unusual women and, thus,have not critically approached the book. The author has provided us with a literary tea party with her subjects, but other than the superficial facts of their lives, she has provided us with only an elementary analysis or understanding of who and what they were, and more importantly, how and why they got that way. Perhaps a more thorough grounding in psychology could have benefited the writer in her profession. The unique characters of David and Sydney Mitford are the key to understanding their daughters. Both of them had troubled emotional lives that were fully transfered genetically and environmentally to their offspring. Sydney lost her mother at a very young age and emotionally "shut down" for the rest of her life. A paragon of virtue, totally devoted to her family, she was like a dead-pan, sonombalant iceberg. It must have been maddening to these six girls to have such an outwardly unfeeling, unaffectionate mother. Imagine how it must have felt to know that nothing you did, even threatening suicide by jumping off the manor roof, could ever do more than raise a polite and tranquil eyebrow of your mother and elicit only a supremely detached and blaise reaction. And the father - even as a boy it seems apparent that he had mental problems - just not eccentricity - but blind rages that alienated him from his boyhood family. As a father, David deeply loved his children but completely undermined them by his relentless volcanic fits of rage. His good side was his sharp, sarcastic humor which amused his children, but sadly taught them that it was the only acceptable vehicle for expressing their emotions. Thus, the four famous daughters adopted a sharp-tongued pose to hide their damaged emotions. There's way too much of these things to go into at any depth here. Suffice it to say, the author failed to give her subjects the psychological analysis and understanding that they were screaming for their entire lives. She also failed to give an objective view of the British caste system and way of life that helped create their attitudes, such as the emotional sterile childhoods of he upper classes that necessitates the life-long use of childish nicknames. Nicknames are almost a sub-theme of the book, but the author fails to note their importance in both helping to keep the users securely attached to their meager childhoods with their nannies in the nursery and also to perpetuate the upper class eliteness of having a private club with secret passwords - you know you belong because you use the ridiculous childhood nickname - thus today you could not be more upper class than if you referred to Her Majesty the Queen as "Lillibet". As for the technical, a good editor is screamed for here. The author has no gift for sentence construction or the usage of words. She loves introducing a sentence with a dependant clause that has nothing to do with the subject of the sentence. It is so often confusing and irritating - the reader has to skip back a few sentences to see what she's referring to. An example: "Indulging in these constant volcanic eruptions with loud shouts and dangerously flashing blue eyes, the house was not a pleasant place to be." Now, where's the editor? It's absurd that an author be allowed to drop or confuse her subject noun literally dozens of times in a book. And the sloppy choice of pronouns is also confusing and sometimes disastrous. When five or six women are previously mentioned by name, and then the author proceeds to refer back to one of them with the "she" pronoun, you have to almost disect the paragraph to figure out which she is being referred to. Like I said, a great researcher this author certainly is - a great organizer - but a very untalented writer, and, alas, a very mediocre biographer who lacks the skills of critical analysis and intellectual understanding to give these fascinating subjects the presentation that they truly deserve. But a worthy attempt. Once again, WHERE WAS THE COPY EDITOR?! ... Read more

12. The Seuss, the Whole Seuss and Nothing But the Seuss : A Visual Biography of Theodor Seuss Geisel
by Charles D. Cohen
list price: $35.00
our price: $23.10
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0375822488
Catlog: Book (2004-02-24)
Publisher: Random House Books for Young Readers
Sales Rank: 9213
Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars
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Theodor Seuss Geisel, aka Dr. Seuss, was one of the titans of 20th century American children's literature--a legacy that shows no sign of diminishing in the 21st. But such epochal fare as The Cat in the Hat and enduring, whimsical characters as Horton, The Grinch and Sam-I-Am represent but one corner of the late writer/artist's vast artistic universe. Other Geisel biographies have detailed his remarkable life and vibrant art, but Massachusetts dentist/Seussiana collector nonpareil Richard D. Cohen serves up a "visual biography" that's part lovingly illustrated coffee table book and part insightful analysis of a creative mind and the various historical and cultural forces that shaped it. Cohen richly illustrates his compelling tribute with key, telling artifacts from his own massive collection. No corner of the author/artist's life has escaped Cohen's obsessive collector's eye, including: turn-of the-century bottles of the Geisel family brewery, Geisel's teenage writings and illustrations, later work that spans careers in cartooning advertising (successful campaigns for Esso, Flit and others), wartime propaganda (including uncredited work on the Oscar-winning Hitler Lives!) and Hollywood (The 5000 Finger of Dr. T). Indeed, in Cohen's thoughtful, lavishly illustrated analysis, Geisel's latter-day incarnation as children's author supreme was but the logical distillation of a lifetime devoted to wit, wordplay and whimsical art.--Jerry McCulley ... Read more

Reviews (5)

5-0 out of 5 stars Yes I Love It, Sam-I-Am!
As we celebrate the centennial of Ted Geisel's birth, material is appearing that looks at the influence of Dr. Seuss on generations of American readers. Dr. Cohen brings us what is obviously a labor of love. Drawing inspiration on his extensive collection of Seussiana, he has produced one of the most lavishly illustrated and broadly scoped book on the life and works of the good doctor.

Cohen reaches back to Geisel's school days and illustrates the development of the artist's style and humor. Continually he will point out how pieces done at various points in Geisel's life can be traced as part of the development of what would become some of his trademark images and beloved characters, including the Grinch. Instead of focusing heavily on Seuss's books, he draws attention to the vast collection of other artwork that was drawn, mostly before the books even came into being. Seuss's work as a humorist, advertising artist, sculptor, and cartoonist (political and otherwise) are shown here as he continued to improve and hone his craft. The end results are the books that are so beloved to multitudes of people who were lucky enough to grow up with Seuss in the house.

The book would be worth it for the pictures alone, but the accompanying text helps get below the surface of many of the pieces, and to tie them together into a artist's whole output. Even if you only look at the pictures and read the captions to the pictures, you will get a whole new appreciation of Dr. Seuss's work over the years. If I any complaint, it is that in some ways the books almost get shorted too much in this narrative, and too often the captions for the illustrations are repetitive to the text. But these are minor quibbles that in no way detract from the glorious whole.

For the Seuss lover, and for the casual reader, this book brings the reader a whole new appreciation of a beloved illustrator's work and the genius that was Dr. Seuss.

4-0 out of 5 stars The many facets of Dr. Seuss
Since 2004 is the Seussentennial, or the hundredth anniversary of Dr. Seuss' birth, this is a great time to get to know more about one of America's most popular icons of children's literature. Ted Geisel, aka Dr. Seuss, was far more than an author and illustrator of children's books and movies. His career includes humorist, journalist, advertising genius, magazine and political cartoonist, creator of wartime training and propaganda films, president of a publishing company, and spokesman for children's education.

Author Charles Cohen, a dentist and avid collector of Seussiana, is well qualified to write this visual biography of Ted Geisel. Through lavish illustrations, many from his own collection, Cohen shows the many facets of Geisel's art and imagination. The reader is treated to Geisel's earliest works from long before his first published children's book. These include examples of his college newspaper cartoons and his many successful advertising campaigns that blended humor and salesmanship. These creations are juxtaposed with his later children's books to provide the reader a deeper understanding of how culture and history shaped the evolution of his ideas and whimsical bestiary, and to point out the same themes cropping up over and over again in his works.

Although this book provides a fascinating view into many unusual perspectives of Dr. Seuss the artist and innovator, there is little here about Ted Geisel the man. In the introduction, Cohen says that he neither met Geisel nor interviewed anyone who knew him. Instead he delved into Geisel's works to discover what made him tick. As a result, there are many facts missing about Geisel's personal life and friendships. The few personal facts that were thrown in, mostly towards the end of the book, came from out of nowhere and made me crave more details. It is for this reason, especially since this book is called a "visual biography," that I rated it four stars instead of five. It is more a visual exploration of Geisel's works than a biography. Nevertheless, I strongly recommend this book. It will open your eyes to a creatively obsessed man that you never realized existed. It will also rekindle your fond memories of the Dr. Seuss books you read as a child. Perhaps it will even shed a bit of light on why you loved those books so much.

Eileen Rieback

4-0 out of 5 stars A Grown-up Biography of a Children's Hero
With the awful, distorted, contrived pile of wasted film, conjured up in the form of Mike Myers' take on the "Cat in the Hat," it would be nice to know why, in the beginning of it all, Dr. Seuss was ever popular at all. He was a great writer and cartoonist before his famous cat's striped hat became chic fashion among post-grunge era teenagers.

In "The Seuss, the Whole Seuss and Nothing But the Seuss: A Visual Biography of Theodor Seuss Geisel" by Charles Cohen, we are shown the greatness of Seuss -- of Theodor Geisel, through drawings, paintings and text. We get to learn about his early days at Dartmouth, as he toyed with hybridic animals, wit and satire.

Not every idea worked. Seuss, an experimenter, evolved from being a talented but rustic styler of odd creatures into a sophisticated artist of odd, if not bizarre beasts that had genuine identity.

Before he write and drew books about green eggs, grinches, and elephants named Horton, he was an editorial cartoonist. His language in many of the cartoons was far from being politically correct, but his social commentary decrying racism was right on. He hard-handed racist thought with no evidence of his sweet children's characters kindness.

Cohen has produced an array of research. Samples of Seuss' art grace most pages. We also get a look at the vast merchandising, parodies, and unlicensed knock-offs.

This is not a children's book. Don't be fooled by the name of the publisher. It is for someone interested in reading a serious look at the history of one of America's beloved cartoonists.

I fully recommend "The Seuss, the Whole Seuss and Nothing But the Seuss: A Visual Biography of Theodor Seuss Geisel." by Charles D. Cohen.

Anthony Trendl

5-0 out of 5 stars Fabulous!
This book is not all about reiterating the Seuss stories we've already read, but instead an objective well researched pictoral and written account of the man so many love. Cohen does a great job researching the possible meanings of Geisel's cartoons and later texts. There are many, many Judge magazine and other political cartoons that are absolutely hilarious, and absolutely adult in nature (similar to alot of his "childrens" stories).

I highly recommend this book to anyone what likes to drop into a chapter then skip to another at an opposite end of the book because they are somewhat independent although chronological, it is easy to skip around to the parts you feel like reading for that day.

Also, at 400 pages full color, who can pass up the bargain?

f.y.i. This biography seems to coincide a lot with *In Search of Dr. Seuss* the movie that just came out in dvd

5-0 out of 5 stars Gorgeous book
Kudos to Dr. Cohen. The writing is insightful, the illustrations and pictures are outstanding, the sheer volume of content is overwhelming and of course, the dedication is tear-jerking. A must have for any Seuss fan. Read the inside jacket-I'm guessing someday there will be a Poem Repair Shop. ... Read more

13. I and Eye: Pictures of My Generation
by Peter Simon
list price: $45.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0821226452
Catlog: Book (2001-09-03)
Publisher: Bulfinch
Sales Rank: 491607
Average Customer Review: 4.14 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Love-ins and sit-ins, the "back to the earth" movement, nude beaches, the "New Age" quest for spirituality, reggae culture and The Grateful Dead, the New York Mets, and life on Martha's Vineyard-from an early age Peter Simon has delighted in documenting the world around him through photography. Here is his life's work thus far, an astonishing record of the far-ranging experiences of his generation, featuring many of the major figures, both in the mainstream and counter-culture, of the past 40 years. ... Read more

Reviews (7)

4-0 out of 5 stars If You Remember the '60's...
It's been said that if you remember the '60's you probably weren't really there. It's a good thing Peter had a camera because he probably would have been wondering himself what those days were like. Parts of his world, beautifully recorded, jar our memories. Whether these memories are painful or delightful, they are part of our collective story. Many '60's communes didn't allow photographs, so these may be rarer than one assumes. The book is worth looking at and reading.

1-0 out of 5 stars Uninspired photographs and more boomer self aggrandizement
I wanted to like this book, I really did, but I couldn't get past the amateurish tone as Simon retreads that well trod path that amounts to the sixties generation stations of the cross--wealthy childhood, discovering drugs and sex at college, dropping out and living off your parents on a commune, plugging into Eastern philosophies and, finally, capitalizing on "the good old days". I found the photographs mundane and the essays almost unbearable as Simon chronicles his constant drug taking and drifting from place to place. As another reviewer wrote, I don't think we would have seen this book printed if not for his name and his celebrity sister.

4-0 out of 5 stars Makes me wish I was born a few years earlier
Peter Simon is a talented photojournalist, and this book is the story of his life, with a definite emphasis on the 60's and early 70's counterculture years, which he lived to the fullest. It's all here: the protests, living on a commune, the eastern spiritual gurus, flirtations with nudism, the (impressive) series of hippy girlfriends, the rock stars (he's Carly Simon's brother).

I'm sure other members of his generation will find the book very nostalgic. As for me, it's almost enough to make we wish I'd been born 10 or 15 years sooner. I went to college during the early years of the Reagan administration. The 60's obviously weren't a very happy time, but it would be hard to imagine someone of my generation putting out a book like this: who would care?

The later chapters of the book are an odd lot of whatever he was shooting during those years of his life. Therefore we have some baseball coverage, some photos of landscapes and his celebrity friends on Martha's Vineyard and some coverage of Woodstock 1999. I'd judge these chapters as substantially less interesting than the early ones.

One thing this book does illustrate is the importance of connections in getting a book of photography published. I'm not saying it's not a worthy project: it certainly is. But a lot of worthy projects are never published, and it's hard to believe his sister's celebrity and his family's connections in the publishing industry ("Simon" is the "Simon" in "Simon & Schuster") weren't key factors, especially for a virtually unknown photographer.

5-0 out of 5 stars A Titillating Journey
Ah! From the intricacies of Tree Frog Farm to the open arms of MV's shores, the reader is webbed into every fiber of Peter's life through his descriptive words and vivid photographs - so much so, that he leaves you with a dream of being one of the free spirits on the beaches of Martha's Vineyard.Thank you, Peter, for the journey!

5-0 out of 5 stars A Great Retrospective from a Well-Timed and Well-Placed Man
In my humble opinion, the baby boomer generation lived through some of the most captivating days our world has seen. In their 57 years (and growing) life, these people have witnessed heroes rise and fall, movements come and go, events take place and gracefully (or not) assume their places in the books of time. Peter Simon seemed to always be at the right place at the right time with his ever-ready camera aimed in history's direction. His eyes, both literally and creatively speaking, have witnessed Jackie Robinson play at Ebbetts Field; they saw student unrest at Boston University in the late 1960s; they watched his generation live simply off the earth in nature-based communes in the 1970s; they traveled with Grateful Dead and Bob Marley; they captured the 1986 Mets' victory over the Red Sox in the World Series; and dearest to my heart, his eyes have seen Martha's Vineyard come of age along with he, himself. If you lived through these days, or if you wish you had, I and Eye is more than a wise choice. It is a chronicle of your greatest memories and imaginations - one that you will want to hold in the deepest space in your mind.
A fan,
Craig Sherman ... Read more

14. Diary of Frida Kahlo
by Carlos Fuentes
list price: $22.98
our price: $15.63
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0810981955
Catlog: Book (1998-03-01)
Publisher: Harry N Abrams
Sales Rank: 11027
Average Customer Review: 4.17 out of 5 stars
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Frida Kahlo's diary, like her art, is painted in breathtakingly vivid colors. It covers her tumultuous last decade and encompasses love letters, political musings on Communism, and resplendent paintings. The paintings, peopled with mythic figures, self-portraits, and monsters, articulate Kahlo's fantastic visions. One drawing melds a procession of crying faces onto an intertwined couple surrounded by body parts, only to dissolve into a mass of roots and dendrites.

In the introduction, Carlos Fuentes writes, "...a streetcar crashed into the fragile bus she was riding, broke her spinal column, her collarbone, her ribs, her pelvis.... The impact of the crash left Frida naked and bloodied, but covered with gold dust." Her paintings depict her bodily experience, from anguish to sensuality. Kahlo said, "I never painted dreams, I painted my own reality." This visionary ability earned her a place among the surrealists.

Kahlo's prose delves into the associations between images and words, feelings and thought. Her writings shed welcome light on her active intelligence and provide an outline of the events of her life. This Abradale edition features plates reproducing the pages of the diary, and essays by Carlos Fuentes and Sarah Lowe that place it in the context of Mexican art, politics, and history. It is a magical work that adds to an understanding not only of Kahlo's work, but of her interior world as well.--Madeline Crowley ... Read more

Reviews (6)

4-0 out of 5 stars If unique is what you seek
I was put off by this book for a few years before I got around to reading it because of the odd nature of Frida's drawings and doodlings, inks spillls morfing into "art" and in general the seemingly difficult text to follow. All this changed upon a recent trip to Mexico, amongst the tranquil backdrop of Mismaloya and unforgetable sunsets in this tropical paradise I was able to whip through this book. The serenity of the place helped me get through Frida's chaos. After reading her own insights and feelings about life I wanted more. Her bizarre life, filled with more theatre and characters than a Fellini film, more physical and mental agony than most humans can endure is one that deserves her own thoughts, although at times they are convoluted. Whether she was under the influence(many of her last years she was doped to mask the pain) or not is irrevelant because the text is spellbinding with illustrations that captivate the imagination, taking the reader along a surrealistic journey as only Frida can. It is a grotesquely beautiful book, rich in imagery , both literally as well as illustrated in the unique style of Frida Kahlo, reflective of the pain and suffering she lived, both self inflicted and her own fate. It is quite simply, Frida in her own words. The book is a handsome collection of thoughts and drawings by one of the greatest Latin American artists of the twentieth century. The author takes the liberty of interpreting each page, giving her perspective concerning the thoughts of Frida in a very helpful manner. The first part of the book is the diary, in writting and print and as colorful and bold as Frida was, whereas the second part is the type written text of the Frida's hallucianatory ramblings and drawings. This proves to a beneficail companion to reading each page, first by Frida followed by the clearer typed "translation" in thesecond part of the book. Without the type written text some sections are nearly impossible to decipher. The various sketches are shown in their embyonic stages and would later become part of her major works are truly amazing. If you are a lover of the works of Frida Kahlo this is a fine book to add to your collection of Kahlo memorabilia. This book is a perfect companion to Hayden Herrera's definitive biography. Incidently, my desire for more of Frida in her own words (this one is in Spanish mostly)was quenched recently by finding a book entitled "Escritura" by Frida Kahlo that is series of poems, letters and notes selected by Raquel Tibol. I highly suggest reading both if you are a Kahlophile.

4-0 out of 5 stars Intimate and hallucinatory
This very intimate book accomplishes what no bio can: show us inside Kahlo, via her own ramblings and disorganization and odd illustartions and ink spills and lines, and drawings, etc. It is a weird highway to the inner mind of the goddess of 20th century art.

With a movie in the works ..., Kahlo is sure to solidify her position as the top-of-the-art-food-chain Latin American artist of the century (Georgia O'Keefe considered her the best female artist of the 20th century) and make her iconic face even more famous.

Kahlo deserves this position because she painted honestly and brutally. She painted her memorable Jewish-Austrian-Spanish-Mexican face, single eyebrow and slim moustache in stark honesty; she had many lovers of both sexes (when such a course of sex exploits was practically unknown); she grabbed her Mexicanity with a fierce pride and ferocity that would not be in vogue until decades after her death (Kahlo was born in 1907 and died in 1954) and yet during her life she was just the wife of a very famous Mexican muralist and a champagne Communist who partied with the Fords and Rockefellers while marching with the workers down the wide avenues of Mexico City. It is thus ironic that it is Kahlo, whose astonishing life and unique paintings are now the subject of lawsuits between governments and collectors, has taken the limelight from her talented womanizer husband and is rightfully considered one of the best artists of the 20th century, period. This is a nice addition and a must read for Kahlophiles.

4-0 out of 5 stars Hallucinatory and lovely
This book gives an interesting view of the person who was Frida Kahlo, in her own very personal words and images. It is a bit sad that something so private has been made rather accessible, but it is good for lovers of Kahlo's art. The book is inspiring; it is quite creatively stimulating with the lush, free images and round scrawls in many colours. The introduction by Carlos Fuentes is well-written, and I especially liked his description of seeing Frida Kahlo at a Wagner opera. The essay by Sarah Lowe is likewise good. The reproductions of the diary pages look very good and clear (though since I haven't seen the originals, I'm just assuming they are accurate), the size of the pages is large enough, and the colours are all very vivid. The commentary is in a separate section from the diary reproduction, which is nice because you can look uninterrupted at the diary part, and not have to worry about what it all means. It does make for a lot of flipping back and forth when reading the commentary and referring back to the diary page, even though the page discussed is reproduced in black and white (very small) in the commentary. The commentary is rather sparse, and not all the pages of the diary are discussed. All in all a fascinating read.

4-0 out of 5 stars A Must Own for Frida Junkies
This is not a book that you read, per se. If you are looking for a biography or autobiography of Kahlo and want to find out about her life and times - this is Not the book.

If you already have a lot of knowledge of Kahlo then this diary is a fantastic addition. It provides you with an insight into her mind, dreams and pain. The beautiful color reproduction of her actual drawing and writing is accompanied by a type-set explanation of her words.

No scholar of Frida Kahlo should be without this amazing, gorgeous portfolio. It is inspiring on many levels.

5-0 out of 5 stars Graphically rich!
If you are expecting a standard diary, full of descriptions of what happened today, who visited for breakfast, and what Frida had for dinner - then don't order this book. Frida's diary is an amazing combination of text and paintings. She writes random comments with little consideration of form. In fact, many of the things she writes are random lists of words, or letters to loves that are never sent, or even descriptions of fantastic events that never occur outside of her imagination. It's like a huge and colorful experiment in free writing and unconscious expression. Combine these words with the sketches, paintings, and drawing scattered about - sometimes on pages of their own, sometimes in the midst of words that are written around the edges of the artwork - and you have an incredible and extremely unique diary. Personally, I found it inspiring to read and have incorporated many of the elements into my own journal. (If you are looking for a way to break out of writers block, or artists block, I would seriously consider getting a copy of this book and mimicking the technique. It's very freeing and has a way of generating ideas.) ... Read more

15. Frida : A Biography of Frida Kahlo
by Hayden Herrera
list price: $24.95
our price: $15.72
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0060085894
Catlog: Book (2002-10-01)
Publisher: Perennial
Sales Rank: 14150
Average Customer Review: 4.76 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Hailed by readers and critics across the country, this engrossing biography of Mexican painter Frida Kahlo reveals a woman of extreme magnetism and originality, an artist whose sensual vibrancy came straight from her own experiences: her childhood near Mexico City during the Mexican Revolution; a devastating accident at age eighteen that left her crippled and unable to bear children; her tempestuous marriage to muralist Diego Rivera and intermittent love affairs with men as diverse as Isamu Noguchi and Leon Trotsky; her association with the Communist Party; her absorption in Mexican folklore and culture; and her dramatic love of spectacle.

Here is the tumultuous life of an extraordinary twentieth-century woman -- with illustrations as rich and haunting as her legend.

... Read more

Reviews (21)

5-0 out of 5 stars The Best Book on Frida Kahlo
One cannot live in the modern world without regularly encountering self-portrait images of the beautiful and tragic Frida Kahlo. Whether on coffee mugs, t-shirts, posters, or Mexican artifacts, Frida's exquisite face with its darkly joined eyebrows and beribboned hair is immediately familiar to most observers, even if they do not know who she was. Yet Frida Kahlo's popularity in the twentieth century can be wholly attributed to her brilliance. Unlike the work of most modern artists, almost all of her 200 paintings depict realist, surrealist, and primitive self-portraits symbolizing the concerns and agonies of her life. Hayden Herrera's fine biography is still, seventeen years after its publication, the champion text on one of the most important, original, and phenomenal painters of our time.

Frida was born in 1910 (the year the Mexican Revolution began)to a Mexican mother and German father in the same cobalt blue house in Coyoacan, a suburb of Mexico City, where she later worked and shared her life with the great muralist Diego Rivera. Ironically, it is the house where her life also ended. Today it is a museum, open to the public and still festooned with her beautiful collections of retablos, pottery, and Mexican folk art. Frida's life was consumed by pain as a result of suffering polio at age 6 and a bus/trolley collision as a teenager when, thrown from the bus, she was gored by a steel rail. Frida spent most years of her life bedridden and in body casts (which she also painted)after some 30 surgeries meant to alleviate her suffering. Throughout her life,and even while prone in a bed with a mirrored canopy, she painted herself because of the focus created by chronic pain and said, "I paint self-portraits because I am so often alone." Her self-portraits suggest deep meanings as her face is always encircled with images derived from her physical and psychological life. The paintings are vibrant and, typical of many of her women contemporaries' works, tiny.

Hayden Herrera's book presents a comprehensive life study of the great artist, incorporating photographs, diaries, letters, painting reproductions, eye witness accounts, and local history and politics in the most readable, enjoyable, intelligent work available. An art historian, Ms. Herrera is thoroughly knowledgeable and writes beautifully, as well. One will be as engrossed by this book as by any great novel. Her work convincingly recreates the scenes from Frida's life and populates them with important contemporaries Frida knew and loved, including Andre Breton, Leon Trotsky, Tina Modotti, Pablo Picasso, and, of course, her own Diego Rivera who called her the greatest painter of our time.

There isn't a more engaging biography available about Frida Kahlo (in second place is Herrera's other text, Frida Kahlo:The Paintings), and one need not be an art student to be enthralled by this work. Ms. Herrera's compassionate, energetic account will capture anyone who wonders just what Frida Kahlo was like--her inspirations, occupations, and truly vivacious approach to her one very painful and amazingly productive life.

5-0 out of 5 stars Thanks to this book, I discovered Frida!
It was thanks to this wonderful book that I discovered Frida Kahlo, who is now my heroine. I have read many books about her, but this is absolutely the best one. It made me laugh - and weep, too, because I could really feel Frida`s pain in my own body...
Today I am probably Sweden`s biggest Frida - fan, and I drive everybody crazy talking about her all the time! Thanks to her, I have started to paint and draw a lot, I dare to wear crazy clothes - and I dare to be my self.
Thank you, Hayden Herrera, for writing such a great book...

5-0 out of 5 stars Complete and Complex Like Frida
Hayden Herrera has written an excellent portrait of the great artist Frida Kahlo, complete in thought and tender in describing a woman well lived.

Frida Kahlo is the ultimate survivor and represents women for their strength, tenderness, fierceness and suffering compassion. She lived during a time when women had few rights, especially Mexican women, she faced the dreadfulness of the Mexican Revolution in her early years, a bout with polio, a horrible bus accident that attempted to cripple her for life, an often unfaithful husband, criticism of her dreams, activism, accused Communism and many exciting adventures in life. She lived a true artistic life and her paintings represent the complicated nature of her inner soul. She loved hard and fought often, for her rights, her dreams and her man. While bed-ridden and suffering in the severest of agony she taught herself to paint, her body encased in a huge white cast, she painted to survive and reached the other end with a unique perspective on art. Her life and home were surrounded with color, a rainbow that never needed the promise of something golden at the end. She danced her own rhythm and never stopped walking her own path. This is a woman to be admired!

Herrera does an excellent job as the biographer of this phenomenally complicated woman. Her research is thorough and her suggestions entirely believable. You will be transported back in time into the life of a controversial woman who deserves every ounce of recognition that Herrera has given us.

4-0 out of 5 stars A thorough rendering of an artist's life
This biography is a complete, engaging 440-page effort of sheer reportage. Herrera, an art historian and curator, has also written a book on Kahlo's art, and books on Mary Frank and Matisse, and you can see evidence of her thoroughness on every page. The book traces Kahlo's life by setting up the lives of her parents (her father was an Austrian immigrant to Mexico) all the way to her death and funeral with great detail. As Herrera follows the path of Kahlo's life, she includes letters to and from Kahlo, Kahlo's journal excerpts (illustrations, words and poems) and explicates Kahlo's art as it becomes relevant to the storyline of her life, either because paintings were done around the time of narrative points or because they illustrate incidents or themes in Kahlo's life. There are two color-plate sections and two black-and-white photo/painting sections to which the reader may refer.

Frida's life is certainly compelling, and Herrera doesn't need to resort to emotional language or hyperbole to make her interesting -- and, thankfully, she doesn't. The narrative is quite matter-of-fact, and illustrated with the subjects' own words, one feels that one can get to know Frida, and her husband, Diego Rivera, pretty well, for being somewhat removed from them (at least I feel that way living in the twenty-first century in Arkansas). The book incorporates the commonly known facts of Frida's life -- her devastating tram accident as a high-schooler in which she was impaled on a shaft of metal handrail, her turbulent and deep connection with and TWO subsequent marriages to Diego Rivera, her Mexicanista loyalties and sensibilities, her affair with Trotsky, her personal flamboyance and her great talent -- with the over-arching idea of Frida's alegría -- or happiness, joy -- in the face of her many hardships. As one of her friends said, Frida was a woman who "lived dying." Her many health problems and her problematic and sometimes painful relationship with Rivera were great obstacles to her, but her flamboyant alegría appears throughout her life as a constant, a will to enjoy, to overcome.

I think what the book offers most is Frida's personality, explicated as carefully and well as the paintings, and the effort helps inform the viewer's assessment and response to her work. Using Kahlo's own words often, Herrera allows Frida to tell us herself her reactions to incidents, events, her successes, her health problems.

She writes to her dear friend and medical adviser, Dr. Eloesser, in the United States when she is struggling with the decision to amputate her increasingly problematic foot: "My dearest Doctorcito: [The doctors] are driving me crazy and making me desperate. What should I do? It is as if I am being turned into an idiot and I am very tired of this f---ing foot and I would like to be painting and not worrying about so many problems. But, it can't be helped, I have to be miserable until the situation is resolved..."

This passage is emblematic of Kahlo, mixing her crass language with her charming endearments to her friends, her concern for her health and her resignation to the situation, "it can't be helped..." She often curses, refers to her reader as "kid" and to money as "dough," in English.

Herrera points out points at which Kahlo is not completely forthcoming with truthful details, for instance her age, the length of time she spent hospitalized at various stages, and her changing view on whether she was a Surrealist painter or not. She also illustrates Kahlo's changes in terms of the political situation of the international Communist party, her views about Trotsky, and her public vs. private comments on Diego's never-ending philandering.

In a book on Kahlo, these life details are relevant to her art because her art is confessional and personal. She's a "Sylvia Plath" of painting and mines her life and emotions for subjects until the end. Not long before she died, she had resolved her priorities, telling a friend, "I only want three things in life: to live with Diego, to continue painting, and to belong to the Communist party."

The people around her were deeply important to Frida Kahlo, and to the end of her life, she adored her friends, wrote winning and charming, caring notes to them, and wanted them around her at the end. Her love of others plays itself out in her political beliefs; she toured the world as an artist, but she drew her subjects and methods from Mexicanista traditions, and popular as well as pre-Columbian culture. Her personal illustrations are appealing because of that understanding of others, and Herrera's sound biography renders Kahlo's work and life even more poignant and remarkable. It's a good book. I recommend it.

(I do wish that this book had Frida Kahlo's own art or a photo of her on the cover, rather than a photo of Salma Hayek as Frida Kahlo.)

5-0 out of 5 stars Frida Kahlo is Alive and Well
The greatest compliment one could offer a biographer is that she has brought to life her subject with honesty and insight. Well, I offer this compliment to Hayden Herrera. It is supreme understatement for me to observe that the Mexican artist, Frida Kahlo, was a complex person filled with great contradictions. Yet, through liberal use of Frida's letters coupled with Herrera's own insightful analysis of her painting, "Frida" brings this great artist to life for us to bask in her brilliance, energy and strength. "Frida" is one of the most remarkable, illuminating and fulfilling biographies I have ever read. I highly recommend this magnificent book. ... Read more

16. Great Artists: The Lives of 50 Painters Explored Through Their Work
by Robert Cumming
list price: $25.00
our price: $15.75
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 078942391X
Catlog: Book (1998-05-01)
Publisher: Dorling Kindersley Publishing
Sales Rank: 24839
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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A benchmark for intelligent, engaging nonfiction, this superbly designed book is written and illustrated with a lushness that takes the breath away. Robert Cumming is chairman of Christie's education department: he knows his art history.But he also knows how to seduce you with the sheer beauty of the material, and the well-placed pointer to telling details.Fifty double-page spreads cover artists from da Vinci and Rubens to Monet, Picasso, and Pollock. Each spread is a concentrated master-class on the life, the style, and the influence. Check out the luminous full-color reproductions of "Bacchus" and "The Conversion of St. Paul," then read the opening sentence above them--"One of the few great artists to have a criminal record, Caravaggio was violent, loutish, and frequently under arrest"--and see if you can resist the temptation to read on. Great Artists is a dream of a book that adults and their older children will fight over. (Ages 12 to adult) --Richard Farr ... Read more

Reviews (2)

5-0 out of 5 stars A gorgeous and informative book!
This oversized book has dovoted 2 pages to each important artist from the 1400's to Jackson Pollock. As with all D-K books, the reproductions are wonderful and the information is fascinating. The arthor gives a mixture of facts about the artist's life, painting of the period, key works of the painter, and other events happening in the world at the time. I love this book!

4-0 out of 5 stars Attractive Overview
Teachers commonly say that they learn more about a subject from teaching it than from being a student. In part this is because so much of what we practice is unspoken and intuitive, while teaching requires a certain explicitness and may be most effective when the essence of a subject is portrayed in a simple, impassioned, and powerful way. As a result, one can often learn a lot from brief, introductory overviews of a subject, as is the intention of this attractive, large-format picture book. Several years ago, the author (who is head of the education division at ChristieÕs) wrote Annotated Art (1994), a companion volume in which diagrams, close-ups, and marginal notes were used to analyze 45 key paintings; and, since then, a similar book was produced by the same publisher about the history of architecture (Neil Stevenson, Architecture (1997)). In this third volume in the series, 50 more paintings (different from those in the earlier book), are arranged chronologically, displayed, and discussed in annotations, using introductory paragraphs, marginal notes, biographical highlights, related works, quotes by and about the artists, and short lists of non-art concurrent events. While the result is necessarily superficial, it is also a welcoming, valuable way to be introduced to art history. (Review from Ballast Quarterly Review, Vol 14 No 2, Winter 1998-99) ... Read more

17. Contemporary Jewellery in Australia and New Zealand
by Patricia Anderson, Patricia Anderon
list price: $65.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 9057033712
Catlog: Book (1998-02)
Publisher: Craftsman House (AU)
Sales Rank: 579577
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (1)

4-0 out of 5 stars Contemporary Jewellery in Australia and New Zealand
This is a really thorough review of recent work in the two countries... with some familiar names and some lesser known artists. It's a nice change of pace from american and european jewelry. ... Read more

18. Designing Disney: Imagineering and the Art of the Show
by John Hench, Wendy Lefkon, Peggy Van Pelt
list price: $35.00
our price: $22.05
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0786854065
Catlog: Book (2003-10)
Publisher: Disney Editions
Sales Rank: 6311
Average Customer Review: 4.67 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Designing Disney sets into history and puts into context the extraordinary contributions of John Hench, who, at the age of 94, still comes into his office at Imagineering each day.His principles of theme park design, character design, and use of color have made him a legendary figure, not only for Disney fans but also for students and aficionados of architecture, engineering, and design.Designing Disney reveals the magic behind John's great discoveries and documents his groundbreaking work in several key areas, including the values, attitudes, aesthetics, and logic that went into the original design concepts for Disney theme parks.Hench details the essence and various meanings of colors and how they work in the parks, and lets the reader in on how and why of the Disney character's inherent popularity-their timeless human traits, archetypal shapes and gestures that suggest their qualities graphically, and their emotional resonance in our lives. ... Read more

Reviews (3)

5-0 out of 5 stars Getting in side Walt's head
This book is the Disney version of being John Malkavich. More than ANY living person, John Hench, knows Walt's history, philosophy and design theories. In fact, John Hench IS the artist behind much of the how and why of designing Disney theme parks from Disneyland (1955) to Disney's California Adventure (2002). More than just a book of inside trivia on why and how certain attractions look and work this is the observations of human behavior and understanding of all of us that Walt (and Hench) had, and used, to create these magically places we all love. As an Disney Imagineer I was fortunate to have known and worked with John Hench and co-author, Peggy Van Pelt. Herein they tell the real story behind how Disney's magic comes into being. As great as their words, John and Peggy have included lots and lots of John's stunning artwork--much of it never before published or show outside the Disney archives. Walt (and John Hench's) philosophy in this compact and rich book is applicable across the corporate spectrum. This book should set side-by-side with the larger (though less revealing) "Imagineering: A Behind the Dreams Look..." John Hench once told me, "I make all decisions with my heart." This book is for the heart and your head (left and right hemispheres) will enjoy it as well.

5-0 out of 5 stars The Art of the Show
At first glance I was thinking: A biography? Great photos? A retrospective? But my take is that the book is a sensitive professional retrospective that is highly visual with warm feelings shared by a wise master. John Hench was the person who had the talent and artistic vocabulary to fully articulate the design ideas from Walt Disney's creative explosions, much like Roy Disney had the financial genius to complete his brother's business dealings.

The linear progression of the book is interesting--starting with a general "ballpark", if you will, of show then moving into the mechanics of storytelling, then the individual pieces (character), and color (tone, detail, expression), and then leaving the reason for doing it all, Mickey, as an afterword. A nice, gentle touch and progression, that explains the insanely detailed and labor-intensive process of design that is digestible and awe inspiring at the same time. A great accomplishment by the authors. The visual format of the book is fantastic because it reflects the subtle nuances and character of the author without spelling everything out for the reader.

It should be noted that 90% of the book's illustrations were perspectives, not section or plan views. Perspective gives the feel of the place--plan and section just tell someone how to build an object. Again, another subtle and powerful detail built into the book that speaks volumes about how John Hench helped create the special feelings in his designs that make Disney work well.

In conclusion, a phenomenal read. A must-have for designers and artists as well as Disney enthusiasts. John's influence on modern design is pretty deep, and the book is an excellent reference for anyone involved in a creative venture to study the wonderful marriage of artistic excellence and public enjoyment.

4-0 out of 5 stars A nice addition (edition?) for the Disney fanatic
This is a pleasant little book authored by one of the original Imagineers, John Hench. We are treated to an inside look at the designing of the Disney parks, with an emphasis on the original Disneyland, although pretty much every park, including Animal Kingdom and DCA, gets some mention. There are plenty of color illustrations, mostly concept paintings and sketches, many of which I hadn't seen before.

This is not a book for the casual Disney fan, but if your interest in Disneyland borders on the obsessive, there are lots of nifty facts and anecdotes to be found here.

For example, when Space Mountain was being built, the author insisted the enormous steel T-beams be mounted backwards, to provide a smooth surface to project show effects; the Snow White wishing well was built next to Sleeping Beauty's Castle solely for the purpose of keeping guests from tossing coins in the nearby lake and waterfall; and a pond was built next to the long gone House of the Future to serve as a water supply for the attractions cooling system.

If minutiae like that is your bag, this is the book for you. It makes a nice companion peice to the book "Walt Disney's Imagineering." ... Read more

19. Confessions of a Window Dresser: Tales from the Life of Fashion
by Simon Doonan
list price: $29.95
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0141003626
Catlog: Book (2001-08-01)
Publisher: Viking Studio
Sales Rank: 306122
Average Customer Review: 4.45 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

The buzz created by the hardcover of this "engaging, tart, saucy, and very frank memoir" (Liz Smith) ran from a first serial in W to an "Absolut Doonan" ad to Hollywood film rights. For twenty years Simon Doonan, the creator of the hottest window displays in the world at Barney's New York, has collaborated with the biggest names in fashion and the most notorious names in art. Whether he's making fun of blondes, sending up Sigmund Freud, or creating caricatures of celebrities, his work has been fearless and entertaining kitsch. Confessions of a Window Dresser illustrates his work in glorious full-color photographs and wickedly witty commentary on the trends and people of the fashion and entertainment world. Here's a dazzling gift of glamour, laughter, and fashion history. ... Read more

Reviews (11)

5-0 out of 5 stars A great fun, fluffy and interesting book
This is an easy fun read, the photos are wonderful and Simon Doonan has such a great sense of humor.This is a one of a kind book which is interesting and comical to anyone, you do not have to be involved in the fashion or design industry to enjoy this.

5-0 out of 5 stars Wise advices by Doonan himself...
Fashion Marketing is everywhere, especially in Fashion Windows where's the retailer's most economical form of advertising; bring glamour, fun, theatre and art to the streets, while visibly expressing the store's image. Of his approach to visual merchandising, Simon Doonan brings a wealth of personal experince and insight to these window displays. The ones who are interested in Fashion Windows, Fashion Marketing and Fashion Advertising, must have this book. (P.S. I bought this book from Amazon and received it at the right time and with no harm. Thanks )

5-0 out of 5 stars A Fascinating & Colorful Memoir
I bought this book for a gift, but was so intrigued by Doonan's windows I had to read it myself. From the minimal and sometimes upsetting displays of his early years to the more recent, gaudy and pop-influenced windows of Barneys, Doonan's book shows and tells the craft, work, and often times controversy that went into his displays. An incredible glimpse of one man's work, and the importance of a store display to grab and interact with the customer. Never bores, never falters.

5-0 out of 5 stars "The Lucky Leprechaun"
Simon Doonan gives us a gift in this delectable bon-bon of a book! The self-professed "Lucky Leprechaun", Doonan proves it does indeed take more than luck-it takes talent, drive, and vision to become a success. Dispelling the myth that all "window dressers" are poisonous, bitter, queens, this insanely funny, engaging, and gorgeously illustrated biography is the perfect late summer book. A must read!

5-0 out of 5 stars fashion secrets revealed...very funny, too.
Mr. Doonan's personal od(d)yssey begins in dreary Reading, England turns violently into the ultra-chic dept. store of Maxfield's on the Sunset Strip, then veers off into the never-never land of Barney's. This is a visually stunning book, a great achievement in art direction, despite Doonan's persistent refusal to hold the management of Barney accountable for its heady fashion forward taj mahal nineties excesses. Nevertheless, Doonan understands his subjects (fashion and display) and imparts great wisdom for those who covet it. The appendix of useful words in the back is really great. I plan to pepper my conversations with such useful vocab as "big girl blouse" and "trag." (abbrev. form of tragic) Interestingly, Doonan never really comments (or dishes)on the deseigners themselves, but judging from the # of photos, he appears to have a soft spot for Azzedine Alaia (who doesn't?). I've also chanced upon his rather trenchant commentary... I appreciate the distinction he makes between fashion in terms of clothing and fashion in the abstract sense. ... Read more

20. De Kooning : An American Master
list price: $35.00
our price: $21.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1400041759
Catlog: Book (2004-11-09)
Publisher: Knopf
Sales Rank: 541
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