Since 1940, when it was originally published, The Artist's Handbook has been indispensable for thousands of practicing artists and art students. The book has remained continuously in print through many editions and has some more than a quarter of a million copies. It is, as American Artist Magazine calls it, the "artist's bible," an invaluable reference for the painter, sculptor, and printmaker. During the past few years, however, new art movements and new research have led to many changes in the technology of artist's materials. With the assistance of Mayer's widow, Bena, and his colleagues, Viking and Steven Sheehan, Director of the Ralph Mayer Center at Yale University, have prepared this latest revision of the book, which is now completely updated and expanded.
The Handbook does retain its original, user-friendly format. Mayer intended that this encyclopedic volume be referred to frequently, and he therefore gave specific, practical advice on every aspect of his subject. In addition, he compiled valuable lists for the artist: retail sources for materials, a pigment catalog, a bibliography, and an extensive appendix. And the detailed index makes all of this information immediately accessible.
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Ralph Mayer (1895-1979) was a painter and art conservator. Educated as a chemical engineer, he worked in paint manufacture and studied painting at the Art Students League of New York before going on to teach at Columbia University. He founded the Artists Technical Research Institute in 1959. He is best known as the author of The Artist's Handbook of Materials and Techniques (1940), which is still a point of reference for artists today, and he also wrote The Painter's Craft (1948) and A Dictionary of Art Terms and Techniques (1969).
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