With an extraordinary collection of works by great sculptors and architects reflecting America's history and aspirations, New York City itself is a magnificent museum of sculpture. The public parks and plazas of the city display statues of our heroes in war and peace; fabulous faades and fierce gargoyles decorate its great institutional and religious buildings; and commemorative monuments, bronze animals, and terra-cotta ornaments punctuate its boulevards and avenues. In Monuments and Masterpieces, art historian Donald Reynolds has created an authoritative guide to this unique collection. He surveys eighty examples of sculpture and architecture across the five boroughs, from Grant's Tomb and the U.S. Customs House in Manhattan to the fanciful gates of the Bronx Zoo, Brooklyn's Cadman Plaza war memorial, Staten Island's "Hiker" monument, and the American Architectural Terra-Cotta Company in Queens. Reynolds charts the rise and fall of styles, symbols, and techniques of public art, telling the fascinating stories that lie behind every work. In doing so, he deftly chronicles the fascinating and sometimes surprising social history of America, recorded in granite, bronze, and terra cotta.
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Donald Martin Reynolds has taught at City University, Columbia University, and Fairfield University. He is also the author of The Architecture of New York and a contributing author to the Macmillan Encyclopedia of Architects.From Library Journal:
Art historian Reynolds here surveys public sculpture in New York City from the mid-18th century to World War II. Organizing his work by sculpture type or theme, e.g., the equestrian monument, the war memorial, and architectural use of terra cotta, he does not attempt to create a comprehensive catalog or a walking tour like Ira J. Bach and Mary Gray's A Guide to Chicago's Public Sculpture (Univ. of Chicago Pr., 1983). Instead, Reynolds provides substantial commentary on the history and style of over 80 individual works and on their creators. The author's 240 original black-and-white photographs enhance the text, and the bibliography is extensive. This informed, insightful history is a highly recommended guide to New York City's exceptionally rich collection of public sculpture.
- Douglas G. Birdsall, North Dakota State Univ. Lib., Fargo
Copyright 1989 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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