Audubon’s Aviary: The Original Watercolors for the Birds Of America edited by Roberta J.M. Olson (Skira Rizzoli, $85.) This gorgeous edition is a must-have for lovers of birds, art or Americana. All 435 of the great naturalist’s original sketches are included. This book reproduces the entire collection of the New York Historical Society’s sketches, which were acquired from the artist’s widow and are an important part of that institution’s holdings.
Egon Schiele’s Women by Jane Kallir (Prestel, $85). Gallerist Jane Kallir is an undisputed expert in the field of Viennese art. This new book details some of the hundreds of drawings, watercolors, and oil paintings of women this artist created during his brief but prolific lifetime. His work is generally regarded as expressionistic, emotional, autobiographical, and highly sexual. In this elegant and beautifully illustrated book, Jane Kallir draws from the latest research as well as her own familiarity with Schiele’s entire career. His portraits of his mother, his sisters, his lover, his wife and his sister-in-law all parallel his growth and evolution as an artist.
Long Island Modernism by Caroline Zaleski (W.W. Norton, $80) is an extensive study of the Modernist movement based on a survey done by the Long Island Society for the Preservation of Antiquities (SPLIA). Some 300 archival photographs, along with new photos and original plans from the 1930’s to the present, document both the exterior and interior work of 25 major architects and designers, including Philip Johnson, I.M. Pei, Richard Neutra, Frank Lloyd Wright, Edward Durell Stone, Mies van der Rohe, Marcel Breuer and others.
The Richard Burton Diaries Edited by Chris Williams (Yale University Press, $35). Who knew? It turns out that Burton was not only one of the greatest actors of his century but also an intriguing and compelling diarist. The Burton in this book is a family man, father and husband. The book explores the actor’s childhood in the mining valleys of South Wales, his climb to fame, and his marriages. These intimate diaries are a must-read for fans of theatre and cinema. It reveals the private world of this most public of men.
A Kind of Archeology by Elizabeth Stillinger (University of Massachusetts Press, $65). A beautiful and scholarly look at 100 years of folk-art collecting in America, this book chronicles the discovery, the early collectors, and the very invention of the field. From weathervanes to decoys, cigar-store Indians to naive portraits, this book explores the art of who we are—and where we have been. Women and immigrants, bohemians and oddballs—these were the people who first began to collect these original examples of our material culture, who defined the parameters of the field and ushered folk art and the collecting of folk art into the mainstream.
Georgia O’Keeffe and her Houses: Ghost Ranch and Abiquiu by Barbara Buhler Lynes and Agapita Judy Lopez (Abrams, $50). Arguably, no American artist has ever been so firmly rooted in her place as O’Keeffe was to New Mexico. The region totally informs and shapes her greatest works. This new volume explores the importance of her homes, their views and their profound influence on her work. Her sensibilities were inseparable from her homes, which overlooked her beloved mountains and their ever-changing light. Each of these Pueblo Revival houses provides a key to the mystery of what makes O”Keeffe so great.
SOROLLA: The Masterworks by Blanca Pons-Sorolla (Skira Rizzoli, $50).Spanish artist Joaquín Sorolla (1863–1923) was a master plein-air painter and portraitist. He created four thousand works of art during his forty -year career, won numerous awards, and had many successful exhibitions. He was well known for his dazzling use of bright colors and his keen eye for light and shadow, which made his works so easily approachable and widely appreciated. This beautifully designed and produced volume brings together one hundred of Sorolla’s major paintings, selected by his great-granddaughter Blanca Pons-Sorolla, who is the foremost authority on the artist, his life, his work, and his international legacy.
The Scottish Country House by James Knox (Vendome Press. $50). This book, filled with lavish photography by James Fennel, profiles ten outstanding Scottish castles and mansions, from sprawling, Walter Scott-type baronial spreads to elegant neoclassical, Adam-designed treasure houses. Fascinatingly, most of these are still lived in by descendants of the original families. This book makes one want to get on the next plane for Edinburgh.
Sourcebook of Scandinavian Design by Judith Gura (Norton, $60). A rich compendium of pieces from all the Nordic countries by a professor at the New York School of Interior Design who directs the design history program, this book focuses on the iconic designs of such major masters as Saarinen, Wegner, Aalto, Jacobsen and many others. With the inclusion of a useful CD-rom, this book demonstrates that the spare, modernist designs of the last century translate perfectly for the homes of this one.