Lefevre James Cranstone: His Life and Art

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9781883911607: Lefevre James Cranstone: His Life and Art

Nineteenth-century artist Lefevre James Cranstone recorded the life and landscape of three continents. For the first time, Cranstone’s life and work in England, America and Australia are assembled into one volume. In Donald L. Smith’s book, we quickly discover a gifted artist whose work deserves world recognition. Cranstone’s watercolors, oils, crayon, pen and ink, lithographs, and engravings bring his subjects to vivid life and demonstrate his versatility with diverse media. Few painters of his time matched the immaculate detail of his sketches.

Smith’s book is a study of both art and history, as the artist’s work documents the cities, rural landscapes, and people of the time. Cranstone’s ten-month sojourn to America between 1859 and 1860 resulted in almost 300 detailed sketches which capture antebellum America, with its beautiful scenery and its cruel slave trade.

Lefevre James Cranstone: His Life and Art has received high praise from curators of museums of art and history, and by Cranstone art collector Senator John D. Rockefeller IV.

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About the Author:

Don Smith’s passion for research began during a high school summer job at the Arnold Arboretum of Harvard University located not far from his boyhood home in the Jamaica Plain section of Boston. This interest was nurtured at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst where he graduated Cum Laude with his B.S. and during his graduate studies at Cornell University where he earned his M.S. Following a career monitoring high tech issues, he settled in Williamsburg, Virginia, an area rich in history. It was here that he began his study of Lefevre Cranstone’s life and art and where he continues to pursue his lifelong interest in research.

Review:

"Don Smith has used his passion and knowledge to produce a remarkable tale of Cranstone’s life and art." -- Senator John D. Rockefeller IV, West Virginia

"Don Smith’s exhaustive search of primary source materials (fills) an important void in the history of nineteenth century America." -- Laura Pass Barry, Associate Curator of Prints, Maps, and Wallpaper, Colonial Williamsburg Foundation

"The refreshingly direct and informative qualities of Cranstone’s pictures are matched by Smith’s clear and straightforward text. . . . " -- Sue Welsh Reed, Curator of Prints and Drawings, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

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