Index to Reproductions of American Paintings: A Guide to Pictures Occurring in More Than Eight Hundred Books

By Isabel Stevenson Monro; Kate M. Monro | Go to book overview
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PREFACE

This index to reproductions of paintings lists the work of artists of the United States occurring in 520 books and in more than 300 catalogs of annual exhibitions held by art museums. The paintings are entered (1) under name of the artist, followed by his dates when obtainable, by title of the picture, and by an abbreviated entry for the book in which the reproduction may be found; (2) under titles; and (3) in some cases under subjects. Locations of pictures in permanent collections have also been included whenever this information was available.

A full list of books and catalogs indexed, with abbreviations used for them, will be found on pages preceding the index itself. Before deciding on these books, a list was compiled and sent to 60 libraries and museums. From the titles checked as satisfactory on this list, from additional titles suggested and from a personal review of the books, the compilers made the final selection. Although the original idea of this work was to make available the source in which a reproduction might be seen, a somewhat wider aspect developed as the work progressed. This index, it seemed, might also serve as supplementary material for a survey of American art by listing pictures by well-known artists that appeared in exhibition catalogs although possibly not reproduced in books, by listing pictures of artists whose work is attracting more attention today than in their earlier years, and by bringing out the work of obscure artists or of new artists for whose record one sometimes searches in vain. For these reasons, in addition to books, the illustrated catalogs of annual art exhibitions of several museums have been indexed. Although the compilers realize that these catalogs are not accessible in many smaller libraries or even in many museums, the record of the work of artists is surely of value and the catalogs themselves may be borrowed through inter-library loan or a reproduction may be obtained. Although this index is confined to the work of artists of the United States, some names occur that might be considered as belonging to other countries. The compilers have included such persons when the book or catalog indexed listed them as Americans and have not attempted to establish their nationality.

The titles of the pictures have been a source of concern to the compilers as many have been changed since they were originally exhibited and as different books supply various titles for the same picture. In general, the title given in a book written by the artist himself has been selected as the definitive one, or, if there is no such authority, the title used by the museum owning the picture has been chosen. In each case, however, the alternative title has been given in parentheses following the one selected and a reference has been made from it to the one used. Under Ryder, for example, the title Death on a pale horse is followed by ( Race track) the title by which the painting is sometimes listed. A reference is also made under Ryder, therefore, from Race track to Death on a pale horse. Both titles are also listed in their alphabetical places in the index, followed by the name of the painter. All reproductions indexed under the name of the painter follow the title selected as the definitive one.

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