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ART TIMES June 2008

YALE UNIVERSITY PRESS: The Railway: Art in the Age of Steam by Ian Kennedy and Julian Treuherz. 288 pp.; 12 3/8 x 11 3/8; 258 Illus., 210 in Color; Timeline; Bibliography; Index; Checklist of Exhibition. $65.00 Hardcover. Published in conjunction with exhibitions at The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, Kansas City (thru Aug 10, ’08) and the Walker Art Gallery, National Museums Liverpool, The Railway offers a fascinating look into how deeply the railway and its “age of steam” have affected both culture and art in America and Europe. Handsomely produced and lavishly illustrated, the book includes the art of such artists as Turner, Monet, Pissarro, Sheeler, Hopper, and a great many more. Impressive. *****
Action/Abstraction: Pollock, de Kooning, and American Art by Norman L. Kleeblatt. 344 pp.; 10 1/8 x 12 ¼; 255 Illus., 166 in Color; Notes; Selected Bibliography; Index; Checklist of the Exhibition. $65.00 Hardcover. Published in conjunction with The Jewish Museum, NY, the St. Louis Art Museum and the Albright Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, each holding consecutive exhibitions, Action/Abstraction revisits the work and impact of the abstract expressionist movement as exemplified by Pollock and de Kooning. A major study. ****

PRESTEL: Museums in the 21st Century by Suzanne Greub and Thierry Greub. 232 pp.; 9 ½ x 11 ¾; 277 Illus., 202 in Color; Biographies; Bibliography. $60.00 Hardcover. Lavishly illustrated and well documented, Museums in the 21st Century features a round-up of nearly thirty museums around the world that have been either re- or newly-built. An ambitious, timely, and successful undertaking. ****

HARPER/COLLINS: The Sistine Secrets: Michelangelo’s Forbidden Messages in the Heart of the Vatican by Benjamin Blech and Roy Doliner. 320 pp.; 6 ¼ x 9 ¼; B/W & Color Illus.; Notes; Bibliography; Index. $26.95 Hardcover. Don’t let the title disarm you — this is a serious book that bears little resemblance to the ‘DaVinci Code’ hoopla. The Sistine Secrets is one of the most fascinating books I’ve read on both Michelangelo’s private life and masterpieces. This is a truly great read. *****

INTERLINK PUBLISHING GROUP, INC.: 100 Best Paintings in New York by Deanna MacDonald and Geoffrey Smith. 256 pp.; 5 1/16 x 9 3/16; Color Illus.; List of Paintings Included; Maps; Index. $22.00 Softcover.  Whether or not you agree with all of the one-hundred choices made by the authors, this is a handy little guide for the time-strapped tourist visiting New York. An excellent gift. ****