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Frederic Church (Published by the Metropolitan Museum of Art) Hardcover – 18 Oct 2005

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Product Description


'A handsome and generously illustrated book.' -- Burlington Magazine, September 2006

About the Author

John K. Howat is Curator Emeritus at The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 8 reviews
30 of 31 people found the following review helpful
Here is the most comprehensive comparision/review, of the ONLY 2 books on Frederick Church! 16 Feb. 2007
By G. Chandler - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase

Book #1: By Franklin Kelly - National Gallery of Art, Smithsonian Press (1989)

Book #2: By John K. Howat - Yale University Press (2005)

(All numbers given, are for the numbered reproductions in Book #2.)

Paintings in Book #2 (in Color), that are NOT in Book #1 -

#1, 9, 10, 13, 15, 18, 24, 25, 27, 29, 40, 41, 42, 48, 53, 60, 66, 67, 68, 70, 73, 74, 75, 81, 82, 86, 94, 95, 96, 97, 114, 115, 120, 131, 132, 133, 135, 136, 140, 142, 145, 146, 147, 148, 149, 150, 154, 155, 156, 157, 158, 169, 182, 190, 191, 192, 193, 194, 195

Paintings in Color in Book #2, that are ONLY in Black & White in Book #1 -

#16, 21, 117, 124, 126, 134, 177, 181, 185, 189

(I didn't include any of the details, drawings, sketches, or photographs.)

I made comparisons of every reproduction, where both books had the same paintings. Here is a simplified overview, of which book had the best reproduction:


#22, 26, 46, 53, 65, 72, 92, 118, 137, 175


#17, 28, 31, 33, 34, 38, 41, 47, 49, 50, 51, 69, 71, 83, 113, 116, 125, 128, 168, 178, 180

The others were either EQUAL, or there was just a slight preference between the two.

Overall, the printing and the paper stock, is better in Book #2.

The main fault of the reproductions in Book #2 (that are better in Book #1), is they are too dark. And the main fault of the reproductions in Book #1, is that many of the reproductions are too yellow (or red, etc.).

The TITLES were different (most likely wrong in Book #1) for these paintings -

#49 (!), 53, 134, 179 (!), 185

#160 is CROPPED in Book #2! (The entire bottom, and the right-hand side).

There were many differences in the SIZE of the reproductions - too many to mention.

(Overall, Book #1 had larger reproductions, but of course had fewer paintings.)

Book #1: "FREDERICK EDWIN CHURCH" - 205 illustrations, 75 in color - 211 pages

Book #2: "FREDERICK CHURCH" - 198 illustrations, 154 in color - 213 pages

Geoffrey Chandler - February 15, 2007 - San Francisco, California

P.S. The guy who wrote the earlier review was dead wrong. This is NOT "pricey", it's a bargain!
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
Frederic Church by John K. Howat 12 May 2007
By Robert Reynolds - Published on
Format: Hardcover
Terrific book. One of the best biographies of an artist that I have read and stunning reproductions of his work. Church seemed to be an anomaly of his time because his talent and painting skills were so "over the top" that he dwarfed other painters of his time. Even the highly esteemed English artists of the 1800's were amazed by his paintings and British art critic John Ruskin praised his work. Church's output and work ethic was amazing and Howat does a great job describing his life and painting techniques. I certainly recommend this book.

Robert Reynolds
16 of 19 people found the following review helpful
so many sunsets 5 April 2006
By Concord - Published on
Format: Hardcover
A strikingly pretty book. The text is informative, but not at all challenging to read. Unlike many art books, this really is a straightforward informative biography with lots of well-done, accurate reproductions. It's pricey, but you get what you pay for with the prints. One might want a bit more criical an appraisal of the artist and his choice of subject matter, but maybe you just want the art.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Breath taking 27 Oct. 2007
By D. lane - Published on
Format: Hardcover
This book is a must have if you love Fredric Church and want to find out more about his life and career. The paintings are breath taking. For admirers of the Hudson River School and American landscapes this is a must.
Excellent book about an excellent artist 30 April 2012
By dc_x - Published on
Format: Hardcover
Living in Washington DC, I developed an interest in American artists by visiting the National Gallery and the Smithsonian American Art museum. I especially like the landscape painters, and in particular those that created the huge, spectacular canvases in the 1800s (Church, Bierstadt, Cole, Moran). I found this book about Frederic Church in my local library and I intended to just use it to browse his famous works, which are reproduced beautifully. However, I got to reading the text and I became engrossed in reading about Church's life and how a successful artist got by in 19th century America. It's very interesting to read about his travels to South America, Europe and the Middle East, and how he mounted exhibitions of his work. It's interesting to find out that even artists had to have some entrepeneurial spirit in the USA of the 1800s!

Although I've seen such famous works as the Niagara Falls (Corcoran Gallery, DC) and The Heart of the Andes (Met, NY), this book made me eager to seek out some of the others, so if I find myself in Dallas in the future I'll be sure to check out his spectacular Iceberg painting.

The only negative I have about the book is that it didn't say much about the scenes that were painted by Church. For example, there's a whole chapter about The Heart of the Andes but it wasn't made clear if this was an actual real landscape that had been painted or whether it was a creation of Church that was based on sketches of different locations.

Finally, after enjoying the book so much I thought it would be nice to buy it, but it seems to be out of print now and the prices of the Amazon sellers are rather high. Hopefully the publisher will reprint it.
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