I just received the New Books (Art and Architecture) catalog from the Yale University Press. It contains two new books that might be of possible interest to readers. Both are available for pre-order on Amazon.com.
1) Augustus Saint-Gaudens in The Metropolitan Museum of Art (Paperback) ISBN 978-0300151886.
2) Matthew Boulton: Selling What All the World Desires (Hardcover) ISBN 978-0300143584.
This book recounts the engaging story of a French-Irish immigrant who became the greatest American sculptor of his day. During his lifetime Saint-Gaudens (1848–1907) both contributed to exhibitions at the Metropolitan Museum and served as an advisor to its staff.
After his death the Museum continued steadily to acquire his sculptures. Today it owns 45 of the sculptor’s works, ranging from delicate cameos and medals to innovative painterly bas-reliefs to stirring statuettes and portrait busts after Civil War monuments for East Coast cities.
Thayer Tolles appraises Saint-Gaudens’s groundbreaking position in the history of late 19th-century American sculpture and the Aesthetic Movement, and she also addresses his role in advancing American art on the international stage.
Matthew Boulton was an 18th-century designer, inventor, and industrialist, a consummate businessman, and co-founder of the influential Lunar Society. Now, on the bicentenary of his death, this book surveys his life and extraordinarily varied achievements. The book explains how Boulton, a Birmingham ‘toy’-maker producing buttons, buckles, and silverware, went into business with James Watt and exported Boulton & Watt steam engines all over the world. Meanwhile his magnificent ormolu ornaments decorated aristocratic drawing rooms, and his determination to discourage counterfeiters led to a contract to manufacture British coinage and coins of other countries at his mint.
Boulton was leader of the campaign to establish the Birmingham Assay Office (still the busiest in the country), and also at the heart of the Lunar Society, a group of prominent industrialists, natural philosophers, and intellectuals interested in scientific and social change.
Known to Ben Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, Erasmus Darwin, Josiah Wedgwood, and many others, Boulton was a fascinating man, Britain’s leading Enlightenment entrepreneur.
Thanks for the advance word. E-Sylum readers are the best book scouts around. There are already a good number of books about both Boulton and Saint-Gaudens, but their genius has no bounds - there may always be new discoveries to be made. -Editor