American Drawings and Watercolors in The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Volume 1: A Catalogue of Works by Artists Born before 1835

Kevin J. Avery; With an essay by Marjorie Shelley and contributions by Claire A. Conway; Catalogue entries by Kevin J. Avery, Carrie Rebora Barratt, Elliot Bostwick Davis, Tracie Felker, Stephanie L. Herdrich, and Karl Kusserow

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The Metropolitan Museum of Art began acquiring American drawings in 1880 and has since amassed a spectacular collection of more than 1,400 works in watercolor, pastel, ink, graphite, chalk, and charcoal. This beautifully produced catalogue, the first volume in a series devoted to the museum’s rich holdings, presents works by artists born before 1835, including such great American artists as John Singleton Copley, Thomas Cole, George Inness, and James Abbott McNeill Whistler.

In his introduction, Kevin J. Avery describes the acquisitions history of American drawings at the Metropolitan from 1880 to the present day. Marjorie Shelley writes on the materials and techniques used by American draftsmen from the eighteenth century until about 1875. The catalogue section of the book features 106 of the Museum’s choicest drawings and watercolors, discussed in detail and reproduced in color. A checklist follows of the museum’s complete collection of early works on paper, with black-and-white illustrations of 430 additional works and brief artist biographies.

Kevin J. Avery is Associate Curator and Claire A. Conway is Research Assistant in the Department of American Paintings and Sculpture at The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Marjorie Shelley is Sherman Fairchild Conservator in Charge, Sherman Fairchild Center for Works on Paper and Photograph Conservation at The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

"Many years in the making, this impressive work on early American drawings and watercolors in the Metropolitan Museum of Art collection can finally take its place in the museum’s remarkable list of collection catalogs. . . . Extremely well written and chock-full of information. . . . A collection catalog as well made and as important as this one deserves to be on the shelves of all larger libraries, and academic and museum libraries in particular would be embarrassed not to have it in their collections."—Library Journal

"As befits a great museum, The Metropolitan Museum of Art has produced a great study about a little-attended subject. . . . This volume is clearly essential to all American art study collections."—Choice

Selected by Choice Magazine as an Outstanding Academic Title for 2003
ISBN: 9780300093728
Publication Date: September 10, 2002
Co-publisher: Published in association with The Metropolitan Museum of Art
424 pages, 8 1/2 x 11
453 b/w + 128 color illus.
Frederic Church

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