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Forthcoming

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America’s National Gallery of Art
Philip Kopper et al.

Seventy-five years ago, on the brink of World War II, the National Gallery of Art opened in Washington, DC. Founded by Andrew W. Mellon and accepted by President Franklin D. Roosevelt on behalf of the nation, the museum and art collection Mellon gave have since been enhanced by magnificent gifts of art and funds. This volume tells the history of the National Gallery in lively prose and a lush, cinematic sequence of images.

The East Building opened in 1978, followed by the Sculpture Garden in 1999. In 2014, the Gallery’s historic agreement to accept stewardship of the Corcoran Collection presented even more new opportunities and responsibilities. The Gallery’s current director, Earl A. Powell III—only the fourth in its history—has overseen the museum’s further dramatic transformation in the past 25 years. The art collection and exhibitions remain a highest priority, along with the Gallery’s incomparable buildings and grounds. Technological advances have also revolutionized conservation, communication, security, the art, and nearly every aspect of the museum’s activities. Updating an earlier history published in 1992, this book will also provide readers with a first look at the East Building’s exciting new rooftop sculpture terrace and tower galleries, opened in 2016.

408 Pages with gatefold | 730 illustrations | 10.25 x 11.75 inches

Coming November 2016

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East of the Mississippi: Nineteenth-Century American Landscape Photography
Diane Waggoner et al.

Pictures of the American West have up to now dominated the canon of nineteenth-century American landscape photography. Although many photographers worked in the eastern half of the United States, their pictures have received little scholarly attention with the exception of Civil War images. East of the Mississippi: Nineteenth-Century American Landscape Photography will be the first book to focus on this vivid chapter.

Eastern landscape photographs are both visually arresting and revealing of the American nation in ways that differ from western counterparts. Created for multiple purposes, these photographs express a diverse set of aesthetic, moral, topographic, and instrumental concerns. This book will include approximately 175 photographs and several paintings ranging from 1840 to 1900 and featuring a rich variety of media such as daguerreotypes, salted paper prints, tintypes, cyanotypes, albumen prints, stereo cards, and photograph albums. These photographs helped shape evolving mythologies of the American wilderness, revealed the impact of the Civil War on the physical landscape, and played an important role in both industrialization and environmental preservation.

This book shines a light on both esteemed and little-known photographers, highlighting their practices and concerns. Sections will consider the earliest daguerreotypes and paper prints of prime eastern sites like Niagara Falls and the White Mountains; the close ties between many painters and photographers, such as the Bierstadt and Moran brothers; altered landscapes from before, during, and after the Civil War; and photographers who forged new ideas concerning the preservation of the American wilderness.

256 pages | 210 illustrations | 9 x 11 inches

Coming March 2017

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America Collects Eighteenth-Century French Painting
Yuriko Jackall et al.

In 1815, Joseph, elder brother of Napoleon Bonaparte, arrived in America. Fleeing anti-Bonapartist sentiment in Europe, he brought with him his vast and exquisite collection of eighteenth-century French paintings. They caused a sensation when they were placed on public view at his estate at Bordentown, New Jersey. Most Americans had never seen anything matching the artistry and quality of Bonaparte’s canvases. A new American taste for eighteenth-century French painting was born. In the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, wealthy collectors furnished their mansions with alluring decorations by the rococo artists Boucher and Fragonard. In more recent times, the lure of eighteenth-century French painting continues to grow, particularly in appreciation for neoclassical representations of Greek heroes by Jacques-Louis David and his disciples — works that convey stern lessons about democracy, ethics, and moral choices.

America Collects Eighteenth-Century French Painting brings together some seventy French paintings that represent some of the best and most unusual examples of this type of art that American museums have to offer — and tells their stories on a national stage. Who were the collectors, curators, museum directors, and dealers responsible for bringing eighteenth-century French painting to America? Where are the paintings now? The exhibition highlights smaller museum collections, less well-known paintings, and locations as diverse as Pittsburgh, Oberlin, Louisville, Jacksonville, and Portland. It considers America’s very real fascination with France in the eighteenth century — a staunch ally in the Revolutionary wars, a cultural and intellectual model for Franklin, Jefferson, and other Americans abroad — but also the way in which the cultural ideal of eighteenth-century France has continued to endure in the American imagination.

384 pages | 275 illustrations | 9.5 x 12.25 inches

Coming May 2017

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Fragonard’s Fantasy Figures
Yuriko Jackall, John Delaney, Michael Swicklik et al.

Jean-Honoré Fragonard’s Young Girl Reading, given to the National Gallery of Art by Ailsa Mellon Bruce in memory of her father, Andrew W. Mellon, remains one of the most widely beloved examples of the artist’s virtuosic style. In 2012 a newly discovered drawing by Fragonard further confirmed its rarity. The drawing was covered with a series of rapidly executed, thumbnail sized sketches, identifiable with a group of paintings by Fragonard known as his “fantasy figures” — quickly painted, vibrantly colored portraits of identical dimensions, each showing its model in extravagant fancy costume. All but four of the thumbnails can be matched to known paintings in private and public collections around the world.

At the National Gallery, the discovery of the drawing prompted a two-year collaborative study of Young Girl Reading by members of the curatorial, conservation, and scientific research departments. The team’s findings, published in the spring 2015 issue of Burlington Magazine, enabled them to establish Young Girl Reading as a fully fledged member of the fantasy figure series and also to shed light upon Fragonard’s approach to the ensemble as a whole.

The exhibition and catalog will bring together all of the known fantasy figures with the newly found drawing. The exhibition will mark the first time these paintings have been in the same setting in more than a generation. Situated at the intersection of social history, fashion history, and new scientific technologies, this unique project and its accompanying catalog will serve as an important compendium of information on Fragonard’s fantasy figures.

160 pages | 190 illustrations | 8 x 10.5 inches

Coming September 2017

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Facture: Conservation, Science, Art History
Volume 3: Degas

Edited by Daphne Barbour and Suzanne Quillen Lomax

Facture, a biennial journal presenting peer-reviewed scholarly articles, addresses issues from conservation treatment and technical art history to scientific research, fostering a dialogue among art historians, scientists, and conservators in the international community. Volume 3 is devoted to the corpus of Edgar Degas. Articles focus on finish in his paintings; analysis of his posthumous bronze casts; and his unconventional use of materials, including tracing paper for a late pastel, wax for his sculpture, and the degree to which he pushed traditional techniques beyond conventional boundaries. Two shorter pieces explore Degas’s soft ground etchings and his sonnet on the contribution to interdisciplinary scholarship on art.

200 pages | 150 illustrations | 8 x 11 inches

Coming 2017