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Accomplished in all departments of art - Hammatt Billings of Boston, 1818-1874.

O’Gorman, James F.

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ISBN 10: 1558491481 / ISBN 13: 9781558491489
Verlag: Amherst : University of Massachusetts Press, 1998, 1998
Gebraucht Hardcover
Verkäufer Steven Wolfe Books (Newton Centre, MA, USA)

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, xi, 291pp., very good dust-jacket, very good brown cloth, fresh copy Studies in print culture and the history of the book. Includes bibliography of books illustrated by Billings (such as Uncle Tom's Cabin) and buildings designed by him (including major structures such as the Customs Tower in Boston, enormous college halls at Wellesley college and elsewhere). ISBN 1558491481. Buchnummer des Verkäufers 28901

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Bibliografische Details

Titel: Accomplished in all departments of art - ...

Verlag: Amherst : University of Massachusetts Press, 1998

Erscheinungsdatum: 1998

Einband: Hardcover

Zustand des Schutzumschlags: Dust Jacket Included

Über diesen Titel


This book reconstructs the career of Hammatt Billings, one of the most prolific and versatile artists of the nineteenth century. Skilled in a wide range of media, Billings designed furniture, statuary, monuments, architecture, and public and private gardens. He was a painter in both oils and watercolors, a portraitist, and an illustrator whose drawings appeared in the original American editions of Uncle Tom's Cabin and Little Women.

Although Billings worked for many private patrons, he was also very much a public artist, giving visible form to the popular celebrations of his era. He designed fireworks displays for the Boston Common, decorated buildings in times of public celebration and mourning, laid out plans for a variety of fairs and festivals, and created floats for parades.

Extensively illustrated and meticulously researched, this book recovers the work of an enormously talented man and makes it clear that no discussion of nineteenth-century Boston or American culture can be complete without a consideration of Billings's contributions.


This book may well urge on the competitive natures of its readers: what it proves most forcefully is that even overlooked accomplishments are considerable. Often venerated in their own lifetime, artists are virtually forgotten by history unless they happened to be first in their field. Hammatt Billings is one such hapless soul. He was a prolific 19th-century illustrator and architect. His design scope ranged from organ cases to monuments--the National Monument to the Forefathers at Plymouth, Massachusetts is his. Billings was also the architect of the Boston Museum on Tremont Street, which was torn down in 1903, and the awe-inspiring center hall at Wellsley College that burned to the ground in 1914. He illustrated the first edition of Uncle Tom's Cabin in 1852, and also illuminated the writings of Nathaniel Hawthorne, Louisa May Alcott, and others. Of the 52 buildings he designed, not a one still stands--a fact that surely contributes to the anonymity that this once-celebrated artist enjoys today.

Art historian James O'Gorman's expert, if sometimes unevenly distributed, descriptions of Billings's works vividly revives them. Readers who are interested in American architecture, art history, or the story of the city of Boston during one of its most fertile and exciting periods should enjoy this book.

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