Hot Off The Press: June 2021 Publications

From grand gardens to quietly radical quilts, the four titles below cover a wide range of decorative arts related subjects. Images and descriptions are taken from the publisher or distributor websites, linked with each title.

An image of a book cover featuring a statue of a figure in a long dress holding a piece of fabric in an arc over their head.

1900 ~ The Year of Art Nouveau: Paris ~ Copenhagen · Copenhagen ~ Paris

A fully illustrated collection of the Designmuseum Danmark’s contribution to the 1900 World Exhibition in Paris.

At the height of the dynamic “new” style’s popularity, the 1900 World Exhibition in Paris offered a platform to the world’s recently established museums of decorative arts to celebrate the Art Nouveau on an unprecedented stage. 1900 ~ The Year of Art Nouveau describes how the fledgling Designmuseum Danmark (formerly the Danish Museum of Art & Design) acquired a substantial international collection prior to the festival, with special attention to the local Danish works exhibited in Paris.

A picture of a book cover with an image of an elaborate space defined by columns and arches.

Architecture, Theater, and Fantasy: Bibiena Drawings from the Jules Fisher Collection

This exhibition catalog explores the remarkable theatrical designs of Italy’s influential Bibiena family in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries.

For nearly a century, members of three generations of the Bibiena family were the most highly sought theater designers in Europe. Their elaborate stage designs were used for operas, festivals, and courtly performances across Europe, from their native Italy to cities as far afield as Vienna, Prague, Stockholm, St. Petersburg, and Lisbon. Beyond these performances, the distinctive Bibiena style survives through their remarkable drawings.

Architecture, Theater, and Fantasy commemorates a group of Bibiena drawings from the collection of Jules Fisher, the Tony Award–winning lighting designer, gifted to the Morgan Library and Museum in New York. Accompanying the first US exhibition of these works in more than thirty years, these drawings demonstrate the range of the Bibienas’ output, from energetic sketches to detailed watercolors. Representations of imagined palace interiors and lavish illusionistic architecture illuminate the visual splendor of the Baroque period.

A book cover featuring an image of white, red, and yellow tulips on a light brown background.

England’s Magnificent Gardens: How a Billion-Dollar Industry Transformed a Nation, from Charles II to Today

An altogether different kind of book on English gardens—the first of its kind—a look at the history of England’s magnificent gardens as a history of Britain itself, from the seventeenth-century gardens of Charles II to those of Prince Charles today.

In this rich, revelatory history, Sir Roderick Floud, one of Britain’s preeminent economic historians, writes that gardens have been created in Britain since Roman times but that their true growth began in the seventeenth century; by the eighteenth century, nurseries in London took up 100 acres, with ten million plants (!) that were worth more than all of the nurseries in France combined.

Floud’s book takes us through more than three centuries of English history as he writes of the kings, queens, and princes whose garden obsessions changed the landscape of England itself, from Stuart, Georgian, and Victorian England to today’s Windsors.

A book cover featuring a quilted image six Black figures wearing matching outfits on a teal and black polka dot background.

Fabric of a Nation: American Quilt Stories

A mother stitches a few lines of prayer into a bedcover for her son serving in the Union army during the Civil War. A formerly enslaved African American woman creates a quilt populated by Biblical figures alongside celestial events. A quilted Lady Liberty, George Washington and Abraham Lincoln mark the resignation of Richard Nixon. These are just a few of the diverse and sometimes hidden stories of the American experience told by quilts and bedcovers from the collection of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.

Spanning more than 400 years, the 58 works of textile art in this book express the personal narratives of their makers and owners and connect to broader stories of global trade, immigration, industry, marginalization, and territorial and cultural expansion. Made by Americans of European, African, Native and Hispanic heritage, these quilts and bedcovers range from family heirlooms to acts of political protest, each with its own story to tell.

If you know of other decorative arts-related titles published in June 2021, please be in touch!