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Collecting Stories: 400 Paintings. 400 Stories. A Collection of American Paintings Hardcover – December 12, 2007


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 360 pages
  • Publisher: Laynfaroh (December 12, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0975978314
  • ISBN-13: 978-0975978313
  • Product Dimensions: 9.9 x 1.2 x 12.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.7 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,115,610 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

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First, the most important thing is there is excellent color.
Sara Elaine Shepard
This is an ideal book for the art collector; it's full of stories about one individual's art collection.
Carol Eberle
Occasionally, the author will write briefly on techniques of a particular work.
Henry Berry

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Henry Berry on December 21, 2007
Format: Hardcover
The avid collector of American art for 40 years Davies relates stories on 236 artists whose works he has collected. Going with each artist are fine color reproductions of paintings of his or hers Davies has acquired. Including illustrations in introductory material and some details of paintings, there are in all 420 color illustrations.

Davies' stories are multifaceted vignettes from a couple of hundred to a few hundred words. The collecting experiences he relates as parts of the vignettes include variously his original exposure to an artist, what attracted the author to him or her, typical subject matter, and characteristics of style. Vignettes additionally mention Davies' contact with the particular artist or relationship with dealers or representatives. The author came upon paintings in antique shops as well as art galleries. In some cases he had to wait for years before he was able to acquire an artist's painting at an auction. Occasionally, the author will write briefly on techniques of a particular work. His comments on what he saw about an artist's work which prompted him to collect the artist offer plain, reliable advise to would-be or beginning collectors.

Personal, wide-ranging, and brief in its commentaries, Davies' art book is nonetheless a commendable educational resources for newer art collectors. There's top names as Davies was able to acquire these--Albert Bierstadt, Edward Moran, N. C. Wyeth, Childe Hassam, and Fredric Remington, for a few. But the particular value for new collectors and even some veteran ones is the inclusion of many secondary artists and also regional artists (e. g., Western, New England) and others such as Maxfield Parrish whose subjects and mediums (e. g., prints, illustrations) limited their appeal and market value.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Sara Elaine Shepard on February 8, 2008
Format: Hardcover
Davies' book is a unique document, a mix of art history and personal stories. First, the most important thing is there is excellent color. Without that, truly many art books, with their fancy essays and guest writers, fail on that most basic level. But the color richness is excellent here.

The most refreshing elements are all the humorous anecdotes Tom Davies includes. They include stories on how and where he bought particular paintings (and then trying to hide them from his wife as he brought them in the house!), the eccentricities of the art dealers or his relationship to the galleries he was in, and even sometimes his own experiences when meeting the artists themselves. Davies seems to have begun collecting at a special time (the early 1960's) that allowed him as a very young man to have met many great American painters at the very last years of their lives.

There is great Western work here, Impressionists, numerous examples from the Brandywine artists, the Cape Ann School, the New Hope School, etc. I am certainly envious of all Davies has acquired. But this book was certainly not cheap to produce, so I am grateful that someone picked up the check to fund this beautiful book. Considering the astounding number of color images, it is a very reasonable price.

Davies seems to be very down to earth, as a collector and a person. I own many art books made up of the work of private collectors - always wealthy white men. And there is often something snooty in the books themselves - mostly because it was obvious the collectors always "outsourced" everything - hiring outside writers and researchers to do all the work. But Tom Davies does all the writing himself and speaks to the reader like two people talking about life over a cocktail (or a cup of coffee.....
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By EMF on February 20, 2009
Format: Hardcover
On the strength of Laynfaroh's first book, "The Orientalists," I bought "Collecting Stories." The layout of "Collecting Stories" is tasteful and exacting, and the content is gorgeous. "Collecting Stories" is written in a very personal tone, because the heart of the book reflects the author's 40-year relationship with and collection of American art. The book covers an array of multiple genres of impressionist and representational art from the 19th and 20th centuries. Some of these artists I knew of, such as N.C. Wyeth, but there were many with whom I was unfamiliar. "Collecting Stories" is informative, witty, and intimate. I could not be more pleased with this book. I would buy "Collecting Stories" as a gift for friends.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By J. Mitchell on January 17, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
As a neophyte art collector, it would be hard to overpraise this book. It's pricey, but well worth it, for the detailed comments on each collecting acquisition and also all the "fun of the chase." I might add that the quality of the images is very high, as well as the binding, paper, etc.
Highly recommended.
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