By Matthew Baigell
This clear, thorough, and reliable survey of American painting and sculpture from colonial times to the present day covers the major artists and their works, outlines the social and cultural backgrounds of each period, and includes 409 illustrations integrated with the text. The book begins with a discussion of seventeenth-century art along the eastern seaboard and ends with sections on current realistic process and technological art. The eight chapters are arranged chronologically and each generally follows the same organizational sequence. From time to time the author suggests continuities of themes, ideas, and images; and contrasts or comparisons are made between artists of the same or different centuries to show continuities or discontinuities. Some determining factors in American art are considered, but Baigell views the rich and diverse achievements of American art as the result of the efforts and talents of pluralistic society rather than as fitting into a particular mold. This edition includes corrections and revisions to the text, an updated bibliography, and thirteen new illustrations.