Published on the 30th anniversary of the Lilliane and David M. Stewart Collection, The Century of Modern Design (Flammarion, $49.95), edited by David A. Hanks, contains an international array of iconic furniture, ceramics, textiles, graphic art, jewelry and objects of daily life—as well as unique masterpieces—from the 1930’s to the present. The text chronicles how this widely admired collection developed with a focused mission, guided by the discerning advice of an international roster of authorities in the field. Intended as a teaching tool, the volume is also directed to the general public, incorporating narrative introductions to each decade and 500 color and black-and-white illustrations.
Couldn’t make it to the fifth exposition of the Renwick Gallery’s celebrated craft invitational series this year? You can still see the work of the four extraordinary selected artists—fourth-generation silversmith Ubaldo Vitali; neurosurgeon-turned-porcelain artist Cliff Lee; innovative furniture maker Matthias Pliessnig; and stained glass artist Judith Schaechter—in History in the Making: Renwick Craft Invitational 2011 (Scala Publishers, $24.95). Authored by exhibition curator Nicholas R. Bell, Ulysses Dietz and Andrew Wagner, the illustrated volume explores the roots of contemporary American craft and decorative arts, and includes biographies of each artist.
Collecting Matisse and Modern Masters: The Cone Sisters of Baltimore (Yale University Press, $20), by Karen Levitov, celebrates two visionary American collectors who believed art could indeed transform everyday life. Released in connection with the exhibition on view at the Jewish Museum in New York through Sept. 25, the illustrated volume gathers 47 art works from the internationally renowned collection including paintings, sculpture and works on paper by Matisse, Picasso, Cezanne, Renoir, Gauguin, van Gogh and others. Levitov also recounts the story of the Cone sisters, and discusses what distinguished their connoisseurship from their contemporaries.
For more than three decades, the biennial Quilt National exhibit at the Dairy Barn Arts Center in Athens, Ohio, has showcased the best and most exciting contemporary quilts being created around the world. Published to accompany the world-class 17th biennial international juried show, Quilt National 2011: The Best of Contemporary Quilts (Lark Crafts, $27.95) presents spectacular photography of the 2011 winners, accompanied by the artists’ descriptions of their pieces and reflections about their work These extraordinary textile designs reflect the development and growth of the medium, and suggest where it may be heading tomorrow.