New Books: Art. Architecture. Photography.

Whistler’s Mother; Portrait of an Extraordinary Life by Daniel Sutherland & Georgia Toutzinari. Yale University Press, 2018. The title ‘Arrangement in Gray and Black No. 1 (1871)’ doesn’t quite describe the old lady in James McNeill Whistler’s portrait. Neither does ‘Whistler’s Mother.’ Born in the slaveholding South and raised in Brooklyn, this “old lady” resided for many years in both Russia and Great Britain, while managing her son’s career.

Whistler; A Life for Art’s Sake by Daniel Sutherland. Yale University Press, 2018 paper. Introspective haunted by an unquenchable thirst for perfection.

Medieval Monsters; Terrors, Aliens, Wonders by Sherry Lindquist & Asa Mitttman. Giles, 2018. Illuminated manuscripts from the Morgan Library.

City Green; Public Gardens of New York by Jane Garmey. Monacelli, 2018. A celebration of urban green spaces, still disappearing to the advocates of greater urban densities.

High-Risers; Cabrini-Green and the Fate of American Public Housing by Ben Austen. Harper 2018. A housing project built for low income housing that disintegrated even faster than did its neighborhood.

Uelsmann [Untitled]; A Retrospective by Jerry Uelsmann & Carol McCuskier intro. University of Florida Press, 2018. Uelsmann has sought to transform photography, with less emphasis on its function as documentation, liberating it as a medium capable of re-imagining the real.

Leonardo da Vinci by Walter Isaacson. Simon & Schuster, 2018. His inquisitiveness set him apart from his contemporaries but also distracted him from competing in big commissions.

Mr. Flagler’s Saint. Augustine by Thomas Graham. University of Florida Press, 2018. In the late 1800s Flagler walked away from Standard Oil, leaving it in the hands of J.D. Rockefeller and headed for Florida in pursuit of other possibilities.

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