Cover image for Encyclopedia of American art before 1914
Encyclopedia of American art before 1914
Turner, Jane Shoaf.
Publication Information:
New York : Grove's Dictionaries, [2000]

Physical Description:
xxiii, 688 pages : illustrations (some color) ; 26 cm.
Added Author:

Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
N6507 .E53 2000 Adult Non-Fiction Reference material

On Order



A one-volume work covering all the major artistic developments in the USA from the Colonial period until 1914. From pioneering artists, such as John White, who recorded the native flora, fauna, and peoples of the early Virginia and North Carolina settlements, to the pivotal 1913 Armory Show,the entries chart the evolution of artistic traditions in the emerging American nation. The book features 500 biographies of such well-known figures as John Singleton Copley, Benjamin West, Thomas Cole, and Paul Revere; it also includes some 30 new biographies of late 19th century and early 20thcentury Californian artists, who have frequently been overlooked in previous literature.

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

The epic Dictionary of Art [RBB D 15 96] has spawned several new series of art encyclopedias. Encyclopedia of American Art before 1914 and Encyclopedia of Latin American and Caribbean Art are the first titles in the Grove Encyclopedias of the Arts in America series. Five other series are planned and will focus on ancient, Asian, African, Australasian, and European art. The aim is to offer smaller, more accessible (and affordable) one-to three-volume encyclopedias, using an arrangement similar to that of the larger set. The original authors of articles in Dictionary of Art were contacted for these works, and many revised and updated their contributions. Bibliographies have also been updated, and numerous black-and-white and color illustrations have been added. The 835 entries in American Art before 1914 cover photographers, painters, architects, sculptors, collectors, engravers, furniture makers, and more. There are articles on major cities (e.g., Chicago, New York, and San Francisco) and their art and architecture and major art movements and styles (e.g., Arts and Crafts Movement, Greek revival, Hudson River school). One criticism of the earlier set was an apparent neglect of West Coast artists, and that has been remedied in this work. Even more useful is Latin American and Caribbean Art, because it explores less-familiar ground. There are 1,296 entries covering individuals (with 25 new biographies of contemporary artists), cities, forms, and movements and schools in Central and South American and the Caribbean, from the European conquest to the present day. Lengthy survey articles examine the artistic development of each nation. There is also an entry on Latin American artists of the USA, which discusses the contributions of U.S. artists of Chicano, Puerto Rican, and Cuban heritage. In both volumes, the signed entries are arranged alphabetically with main headings in bold type. Cross-references guide the reader to other related entries, and each article includes a brief bibliography and often listings of unpublished sources. Crisp black-and-white illustrations punctuate the double columns of text, and the center of the book features 40 pages of sharp color illustrations. Biographical entries provide complete birth and death dates (and often places), always a welcome feature in a reference work. An appendix lists the locations of each of the works of art reproduced. Another appendix lists the full titles of periodicals referred to in abbreviated form in the bibliographies. For collections in need of a solid, well-researched sourcebook on American art before the modern period, or on the art of Latin America and the Caribbean, these works fit the bill, particularly for those libraries unable to afford the "mother" set.

Library Journal Review

Turner, the award-winning editor of the indispensable Grove's Dictionary of Art (DOA), has masterfully created a concise and focused series of art historical encyclopedias. The same high caliber, these publications offer and option for libraries unable to afford that substantial 34-volume set. The Encyclopedia of American Art Before 1914 has 835 entries, signed by a host of impressive contributors. Many of those derived from the DOA have been updated with the latest research, while other essays are unique to this volume. Entries cover subjects and styles as well as individuals. Ranging from George Caleb Bingham to Federal style to print clubs, for example. With 500 illustrations including 90 in a color insert section, this volume vibrantly reveals the liveliness of the arts in America from Colonial times up to the 1913 Armory Show in New York and the advent of World War I. Perhaps the most wonderful aspect of this series is that libraries can purchase in specific areas of interest. Scholarly, comprehensive, detailed, and full of lavish illustrations, this series is sure to be a staple in all art and art history reference collections. Highly recommended for all libraries that did not buy DOA.-Jennifer L.S. Moldwin, Detroit Inst. of Arts (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Choice Review

Grove offers the first volume in a set to be called "Encyclopedias of the Art of the Americas," and plans to publish five other one-to-three volume sets covering Ancient, Asian, African, Australian, and European art. These sets will reissue information from the scholarly 34-volume Dictionary of Art (34v., CH, Jan'97) in "more accessible and affordable one-to-three volume encyclopedias." In some cases the material has been rewritten to reflect recent research, and completely new entries cover a few previously neglected areas (most notably here, entries for 30 additional West Coast artists.) One hundred color illustrations occupy a separate center segment. This superb work can be purchased individually without having to buy the entire set (much of which may not be relevant or necessary for smaller libraries), and it contains material of the same high quality as the Dictionary of Art itself. Like the parent set, this volume (and the related series) offers primarily biographical entries, although additional entries are provided on patrons, collectors, writers, and genres. Each entry ends with a well-researched bibliography. Highly recommended for libraries that need to update their art reference collections or lack adequate reference materials for this period of American art. A. M. Weiler; SUNY College of Agriculture and Technology at Morrisville