Thursday, July 28, 2016

Menzel Book Now Available

I'm pleased to announce that my new book on Adolph Menzel is now available, and you can get a signed copy today.

This art book collects the best of his drawings, watercolors, pastels, and gouaches, many of which have never been published before.

Adolph Menzel (1815-1905) exhibited tremendous powers of observation and an interest in a wide range of subjects.

Bildnis Friederike Arnold [Portrait of Friederike Arnold]. 1847.
Pastel, highlighted with Chinese white on brown paper. 45.2 x 24.5 cm. [17.8 x 13.6 in.] GSS
Menzel drew and painted everything—people, animals, architecture, and landscapes. His drawings and watercolors were revered by contemporary realists for their truth to nature and technical accomplishment.

He was also a master of historical illustration, and this collection includes some of the best examples of his imaginative realism.
Halberstadt, Dom: Blick auf das Chorgestühl. [Halberstadt, Cathedral: view of the choir stalls].
1850/1864. Pencil and watercolor. 20.3 x 11.5 cm [8 x 4.5 in.] KK.
Copyright © bpk/ Kupferstichkabinett/SMB
The book has been over four years in the making. It took a long time to get the rights cleared.

I selected the drawings and paintings in this volume from vast archives of his work (he was extremely prolific), and I also wrote the introduction. I was lucky to have the help of my Berlin friend Christian Schlierkamp, who, along with Christoph Heuer, interviewed top Menzel scholars, translated journals and letters, and went to the museums there to locate unusual works that hadn't been published before.

The book also includes two short essays by leading Menzel scholars Claudia Czok and Claude Keisch, who describes Menzel's studio in detail.

The publisher is Dover, and they did a fine job reproducing the art from high resolution files taken from the original art.

The result is a labor of love that we are very proud of. This is the finest collection in print of the drawings and watercolors of an unjustly overlooked artist. It contains 130 images, including 32 pages of color. Note: the listing on Amazon shows the incorrect cover.

Here's the link if you'd like to order a signed copy from my website store (USA only, sorry). Adolph Menzel: Drawings and Paintings, Introduction by James Gurney, and signed by the Editor. The first 30 copies ordered will be signed by both me and my co-editor Christian Schlierkamp.

Edit: Here's a well-illustrated video biography with German voiceover (link to YouTube) Thanks, Vanessa!

I'll share excerpts from my introduction over the next week or so.


Chris said...

I ordered this book way back when you first announced it, but got sick of waiting and cancelled. Another two or so years on and it finally exists. Yay. Now i have to wait for it to become available at the online sellers so i can get it in Australia. I am interested to know how many full page images are in the book, obviously not all.

Cheers, Chris

James Gurney said...

Chris, sorry for the delays and the inconvenience of getting these overseas. The introduction and essays from the Menzel scholars and notes run 27 pages. The remaining 116 pages include all full page repros, with 32 pages in color. The last 10 pages have reproductionss of his early engraved illustrations, and those are reproduced 2 per page.

Vanessa Dippel said...

Here is an awesome and realy infomative film about him. Unfortunately only in German. But the film shows, that Menzel was a big urban sketcher. He had a coat with 8 pockets for pencils and sketchbooks. He sketched everywhere. He was only 140 cm tall (4,6 feet tall), I think, that's the reason, why his sketches have a perspective like a child. Often, it`s a bottom-view. Sorry for my bad English...

Vanessa Dippel said...

When can I buy this book in Germany?

Keith Patton said...

I saw an unfinished Menzel recently at the Met Breuer. It looked like he windowshaded (or as you call it, area by area painting). The painting on the cover looks the same way.

I'll check it out soon enough.

Rich said...

He's just wonderful!
Menzel is quoted to have said (trying to translate):

"All art is handcraft as well, which has to be bitterly learned: The more one's fitted fort art, the more acrid the handcraft."

Well, his results look neither bitter, nor acrid;-)

Warren JB said...

Nice! It looks like a must-have.

"USA only, sorry"

Oh well. :) I wonder if it'll show up in the UK Dover Bookshop? Time for an email.

MoStarkey said...

Amazon does have them, right? I ordered my through them.
I'm getting excited to see all the images.