The American Art Book

An overview of the most influential American artists in A-Z format.

Conceived and edited by Phaidon Editors


Price: USD$11.95

This edition is temporarily out of stock

On its publication in 1999, The American Art Book immediately filled a critical gap in accessible yet authoritative surveys on American artists of the past three centuries. With an A to Z format that departs from the usual emphasis on genres and time periods, it offers an unparalleled overview of the most influential and best-loved American artists from the beginning of the colonial era to the present.

The American Art Book presents 500 artists and their works, ranging from Puritanist portraits to the luminous paintings of the Hudson River School and the American Impressionists, to the videos and digital works of today's most intriguing Conceptual artists. Its alphabetical format generates intriguing juxtapositions - Jenny Holzer faces Winslow Homer, and Richard Avedon sits next to Milton Avery - encouraging readers to contemplate the connections between American art, history and popular culture.

Each artist is represented by a full-page colour plate of a representative work and an informative, engaging text that places the artist and the image in the context of contemporary movements and preceding traditions. The book includes an easy-to-use glossary of artistic terms and movements, and an extensive directory of museums and public collections across the United States and around the world with important holdings in American art. Drawing together the research and works of a broad selection of curators, critics, artists and academics, and with its original format and fresh selections of artwork, this volume offers a stimulating way to approach this rich and varied subject.

This book is now available in this new mini version that presents the compelling content of the original edition in a highly portable format, which is both useful as a serious work of reference and fun for on-the-go art enthusiasts. The original hardback edition is also available from Phaidon.


Format: Paperback
Size: 163 x 123 mm (6 3/8 x 4 7/8 in)
Pages: 520 pp
Illustrations: 500 illustrations
ISBN: 9780714841199

This compilation draws together the research and works of a broad selection of curators, critics, artists, and academics.

'Embracing everything from Folk Art to Pop Art, this is a lavish glimpse not only into American Art, but into the history of the century as well.' (The Times)

'Well-produced and broad in its selection, ranging from Pollock and Sargent to Anna (Grandma) Moses, it is a highly comprehensive and thought-provoking publication.' (Good Book Guide)

'Avoids the obvious, evoking each artists best-known work with accessible alternates.' (US News World Report)

'The writers are a heavy-hitting group of critics and curators ... even the most casual art lovers will find inspiration and illumination.' (The Christian Science Monitor)

'Lends itself to surprising and stimulating visual juxtapositions.' (Folk Art)

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Painting Beyond Pollock
Silent Theater: The Art of Edward Hopper
Stephen Shore: American Surfaces