Joslin Hall Rare Books

Curious, Unusual, Interesting & Occasionally Useful Books of the 16th-20th Centuries exploring the skills, trades, lives and ways of other times...

 Saturday, December 16, 2017

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Dunlap, William.
History of the Rise and Progress of the Arts of Design in the United States.

New York George P. Scott and Co.: 1834.

There is not much need to pontificate at length upon the extreme importance of Dunlap's book -it remains an invaluable reference for the student of American painters, sculptors and miniaturists, and is the granddaddy of all other historical surveys of the American arts, and in many ways the foundation upon which all subsequent studies have been based. If Dunlap had not recorded this information much, if not most, of it would have been irretrievably lost before other researchers got around to caring about the subject at the end of the nineteenth century. A much-revised and very useful second edition was edited by Frank W. Bayley and Charles Goodspeed in 1918 which contained a large amount of new material but in which the editors also, regrettably, deleted much of the original material. As Bayley & Goodspeed note in their 1918 preface- "The peculiar nature of Dunlap's work -its' faulty composition, irregular orthography, duplications, irrelevancies and prolixity- have made the editors' office a difficult one", and in their late-Edwardian fit of "purification" they deleted such things as "extraneous anecdotes of Stuart and Jarvis, verses by Allston, a technical treatise on miniature painting by Cummings, and various notes of small value or ephemeral interest". Well, one man's "irrelevancy" is another's bread and butter, and their deletions guaranteed that there will always be a place for the original 1834 edition on the art historian's bookshelf.

Hardcover. 2 volumes. 6.25"x9.75", 433 + viii + 480 pages. Original board covers with patterned cloth spines covers with moderate wear including some soil spine heads and bases chipped tips rounded outer cloth on Vol. 1 spine splitting slightly shaken moderate internal foxing, as is so often the case.

Inventory #: 31060
Price: $ 650.00      

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