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Designs on the Heart: The Homemade Art of Grandma Moses Hardcover – June 28, 2006


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Harvard University Press; 1ST edition (June 28, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0674022262
  • ISBN-13: 978-0674022263
  • Product Dimensions: 1 x 8.2 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,153,193 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

Karal Ann Marling has long provided astute and sympathetic commentary on diverse facets of American popular culture. Designs on the Heart continues in this vein: a great read full of interesting insights about an American artist that we all really 'know' but really don't know much about. Grandma Moses remains an icon of American art today, and Karal Ann Marling's new book helps explain why. (Erika Doss, Professor of Art History, the University of Colorado and author of Spirit Poles and Flying Pigs: Public Art and Cultural Democracy in American Communities)

It is no mean feat to re-cast a national icon in a new light, but Karal Ann Marling manages to do so. Marling's text is a provocative delight--lively, insightful, and mercifully free of jargon. It is an important contribution to the appreciation of a singular artistic personality; equally significant, it provides new illumination to a telling episode in American taste. Students of both art history and American Studies--as well as the legions of Grandma Moses' admirers--should find it a valuable addition to the literature. This is the way art history ought to be written. Another Marling triumph. (Charles C. Eldredge, Hall Distinguished Professor of American Art and Culture, University of Kansas and author of Georgia O'Keeffe: American and Modern)

How Grandma Moses was discovered in the village of Hoosick Falls, New York, and how she went on to become a worldwide cultural phenomenon are questions answered in an extraordinary and compelling story revealed in Karal Ann Marling's new book, Designs on the Heart: The Homemade Art of Grandma Moses. (Peter McLaughlin Berkshire Living 2006-05-01)

To most Americans [Grandma Moses's] art was real art, the genuine, accessible thing, as opposed to the Abstract Expressionist painting being promoted in certain quarters as the internationalist face of American culture in the 1950's. It's a little startling to revisit the art wars waged in the popular press of that era, as one can do in Designs on the Heart...Public battles over "highbrow" versus "lowbrow" had a heated, personal urgency rarely inspired by art today. (Holland Cotter New York Times)

Delightful, Marling's book is neither a straight biography nor a coffeetable picture book. Rather, it is an affectionate analysis of the 'Grandma' phenomenon, albeit laced with plenty of photos, biographical stories and images of Moses' art. (Mary Abbe Minneapolis Star Tribune 2006-12-08)

Asking Karal Ann Marling to write a catalogue for a museum exhibition...is a little like asking Jamie Oliver to fix a snack. That you will get anything less than a feast is unimaginable...Marling [is] a stunningly astute observer of American visual culture...Like the best works of cultural criticism, Designs on the Heart will leave the reader saying 'Of course! How could I not have thought of this before, it's so self-evidently true? And yet, I would never have asked these questions or connected these dots myself.' And, like the best works of historical scholarship, it will leave readers asking new questions about our own cultural icons. (Lauren F. Winner Books and Culture 2006-11-01)

In Designs on the Heart: The Homemade Art of Grandma Moses, Karal Ann Marling sets out to explain Grandma Moses' continuing status as an American icon and her art's eternal popularity. The book contains photos of Moses and her environs, as well as plenty of color plates of her work. (Jay Strafford Richmond Times-Dispatch)

About the Author

Karal Ann Marling is Professor of Art History at the University of Minnesota.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Silverfox on November 13, 2008
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is a well written biographical book containing information about Grandma Moses that anyone who loves
her and her art will get many hours of enjoyment from reading. Many reasons not to let any grass grow under
your rocking chair are contained with in this book. Enjoy!
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8 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Caroline on March 8, 2007
Format: Hardcover
Interesting and lovingly written by Karal Ann Marling on the life of Grandma Moses...Viewing the numerous pictures throughout were a treasure to me. This book will have a special place in my home library.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I was hoping for some paintings I had not seen--no such luck. Also hoping for high-quality repros--mostly not. Finally the text: if you believe any bio-analysis of an artist must start from his/her work, you will be disappointed. Many of Moses' best works are not reproduced, e.g. 'a storm is on the waters now' (or almost any of the other fine storm paintings), and 'night is coming'--would have been nice to read arguments pro and con of authorship (it is unsigned). Instead, we get a lot of Americana-style tittle tattle. Harvard Press used to do better. Stick with J Kallir and W Ketchum.
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By PATRICIA ALVAREZ on August 22, 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The book was in excellent condition for being used. I do love it.
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