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The House of Barnes: The Man, The Collection, The Controversy (Memoir Vol. 266) Optical Magic in the Late Renaissance: Giambattista Della Porta's De Refractione of 1593: Transactions, APS (Vol. 107, Part 1)
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The House of Barnes Optical Magic in the Late Renaissance:
The House of Barnes: The Man, The Collection, The Controversy is a beautifully written study of the extraordinary art collector and volatile personality Albert C. Barnes.  The book places him in the context of his own era, shedding new light on the ideas and movements (about art collecting, education, and aesthetics) that shaped so much of his thinking.

The Barnes’ major holdings of largely post-impressionist art include more than 800 paintings, with a strong focus on Renoir (181 canvases), Cézanne (69), Matisse (59), and Picasso (46 paintings and drawings). In its entirety, it is the greatest single collection of such art that has remained intact.  

The last chapters of the book address the controversial events surrounding the Barnes Foundation’s move to Philadelphia, including vehement opposition—as well as strong support. There is an analysis of the Foundation’s financial plight, a review of the major court cases over the decades, and a characterization of the fervent reactions following the court’s decision to allow the move to take place.

The monograph is recommended for a broad audience, including those interested in art and art collecting, the role of art in education, and the development of cultural institutions.
Some Architects’ Portraits in Nineteenth-Century America: Personifying the Evolving Profession: Transactions, APS (Volume 103, Part 4) The Cabinetmaker’s Account: John Head’s Record of Craft and Commerce in Colonial Philadelphia, 1718-1753 (Memoir 271)
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Some Architects’ Portraits in Nineteenth-Century America The Cabinetmaker’s Account
This is the first study devoted to the portraits of nineteenth-century American architects. It is an examination of the way the iconography of such images changed over time to reflect the changing social status of the architect as the profession evolved during the century. Portraits in oil on canvas, drawings, and photography in the text range from Charles Willson Peale’s image of William Buckland in the late eighteenth century to John Singer Sargent’s portrait of Richard Morris Hunt in the late 1890s. The book has been praised as “a unique use of visual resources, supported by formidable primary research and a thorough analysis of secondary literature.” Illustrations. English joiner John Head (1688–1754) immigrated to Philadelphia in 1717 and became one of its most successful artisans and merchants. However, his prominence was lost to history until the discovery of his account book at the Library of the American Philosophical Society.
Transformational Journeys: An Ethnologist’s Memoir: Transactions, APS (Vol. 106, Part 5) Against Time: Letters from Nazi Germany, 1938-1939 (Transactions 105, Part 1)
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Transformational Journeys: An Ethnologist’s Memoir: Transactions, APS (Vol. 106, Part 5) Against Time: Letters from Nazi Germany, 1938-1939
This is the professional memoir of an ethnologist, who studies the cultures and languages of ethnic groups, in the present and in the past. Victoria R. Bricker’s journeys -- from Hong Kong to Shanghai during World War II, to the U.S. after the war, to Germany, Harvard, southeastern Mexico, and eventually to New Orleans -- influenced her choice of ethnology as a career and shaped that career over 50 years. Ethnology served as the stepping stone for intellectual forays into other related fields, such as linguistics, ethnohistory, epigraphy, and astronomy, all focused on the Maya people of southern Mexico and Central America. Bricker, a Professor Emerita who holds several other positions, is the author, with her husband, Harvey M. Bricker (1940-2017), of “Astronomy in the Maya Codices.” Illus.

Johannes Höber left Nazi Germany for America in November 1938. His wife Elfriede was unable to leave for another year, after the outbreak of World War II. Fifty years later, their son discovered the letters this brilliant couple exchanged during the tumultuous months they were separated. Against Time: Letters from Nazi Germany, 1938-1939 collects those letters with an introduction, notes and an epilogue that set the letters in the context of their time. Together, the letters portray the intense relationship of a fascinating couple in a critical period in world history.




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Other Presidency: Thomas Jefferson

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Other Presidency: Thomas Jefferson
The Other Presidency: Thomas Jefferson and the American Philosophical Society, by Patrick Spero, With research assistance by Abigail Shelton and John Kenney.


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