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Time Life Library of Art - Complete Set of 28 Books Hardcover – 1967
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Near Fine/Very Good slipcases; All 28 books were examined individually, all are near new, some new having never been opened, issued without dustjackets and set in very good slipcases that have varying degrees of moderate shelfwear and age related tanning at the edges. The books have an "old book" smell, vaguely reminiscent of pipe tobacco.
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Complete set is the following:
1. "The World of Watteau",
2. "The World of Giotto",
3. "The World of Bernini",
4. "The World of Velazquez",
5. "The World of Whistler",
6. "The World of Marcel Duchamp",
7. "The World of Bruegel",
8. "The World of Matisse",
9. "The World of Picasso",
10. "The World of Vermeer",
11. "The World of Rubens",
12. "The World of Cezanne",
13. "The World of Leonardo",
14. "The World of Copley",
15. "The World of Rembrandt",
16. "The World of Durer",
17. "The World of Van Gogh",
18. "The World of Turner",
19. "The World of Delacroix",
20. "The World of Titian",
21. "The World of Goya",
22. "The World of Manet",
23. "The World of Winslow Homer",
24. "The World of Rodin",
25. "The World of Michelangelo",
26. "The World of Gainsborough",
27. "American Painting, 1900 - 1970" and "
28. Seven Centuries of Art, Survey and Index".
If you're starting to discover that you understand and enjoy art, the greatest way to educate yourself about art is to buy volumes in the Time Life World of Art series. These volumes now cost about three dollars, plus shipping; and they're masterpieces.
This was a Sixties masterpiece of American publishing from the Luce empire (publishers of TIME and LIFE). The books once cost the equivalent of 25 contemporary dollars. You signed up for the whole series, and they were shipped to you as they were created. They're boxed in illustrated slipcases, with beautiful illustrations, large hardbacks printed on thick, slick paper, about two and a half pounds each. It took the giant existing Time Life staff to do something like that project.
The series ended triumphantly with a volume on American art replacing Paris as the center of the art world. That was the Sixties. We were proud of Pop. Henry Luce, the series' publisher, was the man who had proclaimed the 20th century to be "The American Century." After World War II, his conservative magazines had, amazingly, promoted the ultra avant garde art of Jackson Pollock, the splashes and drips on canvas. Luce had discovered that Jackson Pollock was something like the new heavyweight champion of the avant garde world, unseating Picasso, and he loved the idea of an American capturing that title from a European.
Today, the art book series is as forgotten as Life Magazine which, before color TV, Americans homes received every week, with the news in beautiful pictures. The series is beautiful too. The slipcases kept them fresh. When you open them, you still smell that fine, clean paper.
Time Life went out and simply hired some of the finest art critics in the world and let them make educational masterpieces. The World of Duchamp, for instance, was by Pierre Cabanne, a major Dada authority. As a result, the content hasn't dated, and the interdisciplinary approach is distinctly contemporary.
The World of Michelangelo is a masterpiece of publishing; the World of Bruegel includes Bosch. Great pix, and it's the place you'll want to start if you're new to art. Instant enjoyment. The slides I show in class sometimes I had made from this book, when I came here.
It's not just the pix, it's the text and the approach that is so important about the series. Notice "the world of" in the titles-- The World of Bruegel. The World of Bernini. The World of Van Gogh. The mandate was, to relate the art to everything happening in history and culture, the extremely contemporary method of Interdisciplinary Humanities. They use one painter's biography to tell the story of his whole era. The World of Watteau has all the great rococo artists like Boucher and Fragonard and the stories about them. There's no culture wars, no politics, no anti-eurocentric spin.
God knows what it would cost to produce volumes like this now. A great value.