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An American Celebration: The Art of Charles Wysocki Paperback – April 8, 2002

12 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Wysocki is a faux naif artist who lives in California but whose favorite territory for his art is homey old New England, with all its antiques, fall colors, snow scenes and picturesque barns. In an introductory note, he describes the production of a book of his workthis handsome collection has 200 of his pictures in full coloras the third stage in a career plan that began with calendars and moved on to the "limited edition fine print market." He adds that the essence of his work is nostalgia, and that he revels in "cleanliness, neatness, order." His sense of color is sophisticated, his designs are flat and repetitive; the whole effect is of a jazzed-up, acrylic Currier & Ives vision of the pasta Disney sort of America. Almost any one of these images, blown up a bit, would make an ideal Americana calendar picture (and that is in fact the name of his calendar series). If ever there was an artist for the time of Reagan, Wysocki is it. The pictures are well reproduced, and there is a sympathetic background text by Betty Ballantine. November
Copyright 1985 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

Charles Wysocki's paintings and prints are exhibited at GWS Galleries in Southport, Connecticut, and in Carmel, California, and his work can also be seen at the Conacher Galleries in San Francisco. He lives in Cedar Glen, California.


Betty Ballantine, a member of the publishing Hall of Fame, is co-editor of the Peacock Press series, which includes such illustrated books as Gnomes, Faeries, and Castles. She lives in Bearsville, New York.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Workman Publishing Company (April 8, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0761127844
  • ISBN-13: 978-0761127840
  • Product Dimensions: 10 x 0.6 x 10.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,473,495 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 1, 1999
Format: Hardcover
Wonderful illustrations of the artists' works and short, to-the-point descriptions make this an enjoyable book to leave out on a coffee table for anyone to peruse. Makes you wish you owned a real print of each and every picture.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on February 1, 1999
Format: Hardcover
I just received this book as a gift from my brother and is just wonderful. I've been collecting Charles' calendards sense the earlies 80's and I always look forward the next year to see his work!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Midwest Book Review on August 6, 2002
Format: Paperback
Over 200 paintings are reproduced in color in An American Celebration, a survey of American images done folk art style. Clambakes, quilting bees, and fairs are just some of Wysocki's subjects, celebrating the joys of early and traditional American gatherings and subjects.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Chrijeff VINE VOICE on January 21, 2011
Format: Hardcover
Self-described as "a proud American...[who stresses] the positive images of our country and its people," Charles Wysocki is probably familiar to anyone who goes shopping for calendars around the end of the year. This beautiful full-color book collects over 200 of his distinctive works, chiefly townscapes from localities ranging from his beloved New England to the Old West, along with occasional still lifes and primitive portraits. It's clear that among his primary influences were "Grandma" Moses and Jasper Hicks (originator of the "Peaceable Kingdom" variations): buildings have a charmingly naive two-dimensional look, waterfalls tumble ruler-straight, mountains look like paper cutouts across the horizon, roads drive straight up the depth of the painting and rag rugs lie flat across its breadth, and perspective is at best only suggested. And some of the pieces appear to be set in a never-never land (a pizza parlor in a town of horse-drawn vehicles), while others aren't quite clear as to when they're supposed to be set (ladies' skirts show ankles even as buggies and surries clatter by). Still, these winsome, charming pictures portray something of the real delights of country life and its strengths--holidays, maple-sugaring, hand craftsmanship, patriotism, and more. Wysocki's love of animals shines forth everywhere--not just the horses that draw his often delightfully-captioned delivery wagons, but curly-tailed cats and dogs (including three Siamese sprawling across the lap of a boardinghouse guest), the passengers boarding Noah's Ark, even an improbable pet buffalo. And though he specializes in traditional New England architecture, there are also at least three paintings full of lusciously ornate Victorians.Read more ›
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By MariaA37 on September 23, 2006
Format: Paperback
This is a wonderful book and a must have for any lover of Charles Wysocki's work. There are tons of pictures of his art and each page has a description of what life was like in the old days. If you love Charles Wysocki's work, you won't be disappointed with this book.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Cherezee on December 8, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
What a fun and interesting way to input some American history into our lives. The art/illustrations are colorful and somewhat whimsical with a yearning to know and see more Charles Wysocki's work
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