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William Kent: Designing Georgian Britain (Bard Graduate Center for Studies in the Decorative Arts, Design & Culture) Hardcover – 3 Sep 2013


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Product details

  • Hardcover: 656 pages
  • Publisher: Yale University Press (3 Sep 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0300196180
  • ISBN-13: 978-0300196184
  • Product Dimensions: 5.7 x 26 x 31.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 87,888 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

"Published to coincide with a major exhibition at the Bard Graduate Center in New York, this grand volume provides a comprehensive survey of William Kent's work in fields as diverse as landscape architecture and book illustration. Sumptuously illustrated and consisting of essays by top international experts, this is the most thorough investigation to date of the designer who truly shaped the taste of 18th-century Britain."-Apollo Magazine Apollo "William Kent was one of the most extraordinary English artists of the first half of the 18th century ... The exhibition's catalogue ... will become a standard reference book for Kent as the foremost experts in the field - Julius Bryant, Geoffrey Beard, John Harris, John Dixon Hunt, Frank Salmon and David Watkin - have written the 21 essays."-Donald Lee, The Art Newspaper -- Donald Lee The Art Newspaper "William Kent: Designing Georgian Britain is a majestic addition to the literature on British design and is set to become the standard work on a great British innovator and creative genius."-Martin Levy, Apollo Magazine -- Martin Levy Apollo Magazine "What's impressive about William Kent, a great slab of multi-author scholarship, is that the architect appears equally adept designing a simple Baroque garden bench at Rousham as the coffered complexity of Holkham's Marble Hall."-Damien Thompson, World of Interiors Magazine -- Damien Thompson World of Interiors "At just short of 700 pages and with superb contributions from no fewer than 15 leading authorities, this is a mighty achievement devoted to a major figure...It will remain the definitive account of its subject for many a moon."-David Ekserdjian, The Spectator -- David Ekserdjian The Spectator "A massive ... but very readable catalog."-Karen Rosenberg, New York Times -- Karen Rosenberg New York Times "[A] quite stupendous book...The book is an astonishment of scholarship (and photography) and hoists Kent shoulder to shoulder with Robert Adam as one of the two great designers of the 18th century...William Kent is also a final gathering of a generation of distinguished scholars: it has the glee of a last heist by the silver foxes of architectural history."-Christopher Woodward, Literary Review -- Christopher Woodward Literary Review 'Best to visit this illuminating show or read the handsome book, and then go and see the gardens, buildings and interiors in the flesh. Then Kent - the Renaissance man, Palladian man and baroque man - comes to life.'-Harry Mount, The Sunday Telegraph -- Harry Mount The Sunday Telegraph '[It] is comprehensive beyond anything previously attempted, incorporates much new research...and will serve as a basis for all future studies.'-Simon Swynfen-Jervis, Burlington Magazine -- Simon Swynfen-Jervis Burlington Magazine

About the Author

Susan Weber is founder and director of the Bard Graduate Center.

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Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Tom Lovatt on 21 Dec 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Hard to imagine a more comprehensive study of Kent's work as an artist, decorator and architect. A well written, scrupulously annotated and lavishly illustrated examination of the man whose work embodies the political and cultural ambitions of British society in the 18th century.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Vitruvius Britannicus on 20 Jan 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is a collection of essays reassessing the creative contribution of Kent to Georgian design by major scholars, including John Harris. It shows Kent's stylistic versatility and inventiveness, which liberated him, and Britain, from an era constrained by purist Palladianism. According to Horace Walpole Kent was 'the father of modern gardening. This is little know, but Capability Brown's achievements followed in the footsteps of Kent's revolutionary 'natural' garden at Rousham ('the wilderness pleases' said by Burlington's mentor Lord Shaftesbury), which consisted of Arcadian set pieces punctuated by temples, cascades, grottoes and Palladian bridges. This near 700-page book is the catalogue to the upcoming exhibition at the V&A (22 March - 13 July 2014), which comes from the Bard Graduate Centre in New York, who are joint sponsors.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
A truly massive book containing a collection of very good and authoritative essays on this most influential of early 18th century designers.
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1 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Mrs. V. E. Hunt on 8 Jan 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
this is a ginormous tome and arrived by carrier and is really best suited to those visiting the exhibition it was made for.. Possibly also of interest to students?
I did buy the book which went with the Houghton paintings and found that fascinating but then we went to Houghton to see them.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 5 reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Thorough review of Kents life and works 10 Jun 2014
By E. Clarke - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
I just finished going through this book and found it quite fascinating as it covered many parts of his life and career that I was unaware of. The book is quite large physically and it packed full of photographs and documents on nearly every page. I felt like I got a better sense of his designs and work by the fact they were all seemingly carefully researched, photographed and otherwise documented throughout the chapters. It would be difficult to read this front to back due to the quantity of information, but is certainly a great reference for his career. I found myself reading some portions and browsing through the photographs of others. If you have a chance to spend some time with this book it will be time well spent.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
An Unbelievable Treasure 21 Feb 2014
By Mallory - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Exhibit in NYC was wonderful but the catalogue is beautifully researched, very complete and a needed reference book for anyone who loves architecture.
Five Stars 1 Oct 2014
By William E. Bellis - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Good reference book...
1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Five Stars 6 July 2014
By Matthew Enquist - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
Superb.
2 of 12 people found the following review helpful
Magnificent Book 1 Nov 2013
By Ann Chamberlain - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I have glanced at the book. I am amazed at the incredible amount of information included. Definitely something to find new each time I start to read it.
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