Lifestyle and Culture

Antiquespeak

A Guide to the Styles, Techniques, and Materials of the Decorative Arts, from the Renaissance to Art Deco

By

Continuing the popular and illuminating "Speak" series, this handsomely designed volume offers a user-friendly lexicon of the decorative arts.

Understanding antiques requires knowledge of a specialized vocabulary that tells initiates what something is, where it came from, and when it was made. AntiqueSpeak provides this essential information in concise but illuminating essays that cover almost a millennium of styles (such as Baroque and Art Deco), materials (glass, ivory), types of objects (furniture, toys and games), specialized areas of collecting (folk art, Judaica), and concerns involved with acquiring and caring for antiques (auctions, condition, marks and signatures).

In addition, the book includes a handy one-page StyleChart; a section of color plates (one for each major style); an album of ornaments and classical orders, represented by line drawings; labeled drawings of selected furniture types; an introduction that explains how to use the book; and an invaluable index that provides dates and nationalities for all the designers, craftsmen, artists, and others discussed in the entries.

Read more

Maya Color

The Painted Villages of Mesoamerica

By

A tour-de-force photographic voyage into the living world of the Maya, where color is not merely a matter of preference but a powerful statement of belief.

Color-and the symbolic ways that the Maya of Mexico and Central America paint their homes, places of worship, and dwellings for their dead-is the focus of this breathtakingly beautiful and achingly poignant new book. No one who picks up this volume will ever again think of the region solely for its sunny beaches and ancient ruins, nor picture the Maya as a vanished people of the distant past. Through dazzling photographs, vivid travel tales, and the Maya's own poetic voices, readers will come to know the modern Maya as remarkable survivors who continue to sow their deified corn, commune with their gods, and paint life into their color-drenched village walls.

Nearly a decade ago Jeffrey Becom (author and photographer of Mediterranean Color) turned his attention from the Old World to the New and together with his wife, Sally Jean Aberg, discovered a realm where color is not merely a matter of preference but a powerful statement of belief. Come along as the pair trek through a steamy jungle in search of ancient murals, join a highland shaman giving birth to the soul of a house, and crisscross the parched Yucatán Peninsula as villagers celebrate the Days of the Dead with dynamite, incense, flowers, rum, prayers, and paint. In the process they discover that the colors of a corn yellow house, a blood red altar, and a jade green tomb serve as a connective cord stretching back to the painted pyramids. Maya Color is a visual and verbal feast.

New York Times critic Paul Goldberger calls Becom's images "poised between the making of art and the documentation of architecture. . . . He takes a tiny swath of the vernacular landscape and makes of it a composition with the brilliance and intensity of an abstract painting."

Read more

Private Hong Kong

By

An exclusive look behind the closed doors of Hong Kongs most extravagant and unusual homes, this elegant photographic book reveals the interior style that has given the island its reputation for excess, exoticism, and masterful application of East-Meets-West aesthetics.

Few places on earth match the island of Hong Kong for visual drama. Its setting is stunning, and its architecture of contrasts is irresistible-a melding of authentic Chinese elements, colonial charm and tiger economy. Nowhere is this stylistic mix more evident than in the homes of Hong Kongs most influential and colorful personalities.

In addition the book includes a special "Visitors Guide" section, listing the places to see and be seen while staying in the city, and a Chinese Decorative chapter which will be of interest to all readers, and will inspire even the most knowledgeable of collectors.

Read more

Big League Dreams

By

The captivating new novel by the author of Small Worlds chronicles the loves and unbounded dreams of the villagers from Krimsk, now thriving in America.

In St. Louis, it is the summer of 1920 and the day is the Sabbath, but there is little rest for the Jews from Krimsk and less reverence for the wondrous Krimsker Rebbe, who led them to the New World seventeen years before. The rebbe's former hasidim have embraced America to discover that the vision of "gold in the streets" evokes larceny in the heart. Matti Sternweiss, the ungainly, studious child wonder in Krimsk, now the cerebral catcher for the St. Louis Browns, is scheming to fix Saturday's game against the pennant-contending Detroit Tigers.

It is an American Sabbath: Prohibition, bookies, the criminal syndicate, the Hiberian fellowship of the police brass, hometown blondes, a bootlegging rabbi, and big league baseball. It is also Krimsk in America: Boruch Levi, the successful junkman, confiscates his zany, crippled brother-in-law Barasch's sizable bets; Barasch's lusty wife, Malka, has her own connubial reasons for wanting to stop the gambling; the chief of police fatefully inspires his loyal disciple, Boruch Levi, to bring Matti before the Krimsker Rebbe on the Sabbath in order to preserve the purity of the national pastime.

Recluse and wonder-worker, messianist and pragmatist, the Krimsker Rebbe navigates the muddy Mississippi River, haunted by a recurring prophetic vision of Pharaoh's blood-red Nile. In the final, decisive innings, with Matti crouched behind home plate, it will come down to Ty Cobb versus the kabbalah.

Richly imagined, populated with robust, complex characters, Big League Dreams is a profoundly original, inspiring, and comic creation. It is the second volume in the series Small Worlds, which follows the people of Krimsk and their descendants in America, Russia, Poland, and Israel. In each volume Allen Hoffman draws on his deep knowledge of Jewish religion and history to evoke the finite yet infinite "small worlds" his characters inhabit.

Read more

Pottery by American Indian Women

The Legacy of Generations

By

This book provides a very personal look at three generations of American Indian women who made--and are still making--the 20th century's most beautiful and important traditional pottery.

Primarily a women's art, American Indian pottery reflects a heritage of powerful social, religious, and aesthetic values. Even now, modern American Indian women use the clay, paint, and fire of pottery making to express themselves, creating designs that range from dutifully traditional to strikingly original. This book--written in conjunction with one of the most important exhibitions of American Indian pottery ever mounted--provides an in-depth look at a unique North American art form.

The text and lavish illustrations focus on the American Indian women who have maintained and expanded the art in the twentieth century: the craft's six well-known matriarchs (including Lucy M. Lewis and Maria Martinez), family members who followed in their footsteps, and women working in the avant-garde. The author-herself a potter, with longstanding personal ties to the century's most important American Indian clay artists-personally introduces these remarkable women. In informal interviews, they explain their working methods and their aesthetic visions, allowing rare and surprisingly intimate glimpses into the fulfillment they gain from working the stuff of the earth into beautiful new forms.

Featuring specially commissioned color photographs of the exhibition works and the contemporary artists, as well as archival photo-graphs of ancient pots and potters now lost to us, this book is sheer delight. With its thorough discussion of the cultural history of Indian pottery and a detailed explanation of traditional pottery-making processes, it is an indispensable reference for anyone interested in the vibrant (and still-flourishing) tradition of American Indian pottery.

Read more

Home Spa

Recipes and Techniques to Restore and Refresh

By

Whether you have five minutes or several days, this book has just the right recipe or technique for pampering yourself from head to toe.

Healthy, balanced living begins with the right attention to your body and mind. Although most of us know this is true, we ignore the need to treat ourselves well in the face of hectic schedules and daily responsibilities. Home Spa is a secret weapon against the drudgery of home and office routine, offering a variety of ways to relax and to look and feel better — from softening skin and removing toxins to improving circulation and lowering blood pressure.

By using simple, natural ingredients that are readily available it's possible to recreate easily and inexpensively the formulas and techniques found in luxurious spas. Sesame yogurt face masks, almond-and-honey moisturizers, and simple self-massages are only a few of the many recipes provided that you can use to revitalize yourself in your own home. By taking the time to take care of yourself, you can ease life's pressures, clear your minds, and create a new sense of calm.

Read more

Gargoyles Postcard Book

Thirty mischievous gargoyles have been captured in these delightful and frightfully amusing postcards.

From their lofty perches they spit, stick their tongues out, threaten, and even laugh at us. Ugly and grotesque, gargoyles may have once been used to terrify all those who came near them. Today, however, their entertaining expressions and often bawdy behavior are frightfully amusing. Thirty of these mischievous devils are presented here in these delightful postcards from Abbeville Press.Inspired by the Abbeville Press book Holy Terrors: Gargoyles on Medieval Buildings.

Read more

Rorstrand Porcelain

Art Nouveau Masterpieces

By

The first definitive study of the Art Nouveau masterpieces of the Swedish Rörstrand porcelain factory.

The artists of the influential Rörstrand porcelain factory in Sweden created some of the most beautiful decorative objects of the Art Nouveau style. In his fascinating and authoritative text, Bengt Nyström focuses on the Rörstrand factory's designers and their revolutionary forms during the period 1865 to 1915, when the firm successfully competed artistically with Tiffany and Gallé in the great international expositions that showcased and helped to propagate the Art Nouveau style.

Inspired by late 19th-century crafts movements fathered by William Morris, the artists of the Rörstrand factory took nationalistic pride in incorporating their indigenous flora and fauna into their exquisite designs, transforming wintry berry springs and northern sea creatures into elegant three-dimensional works of art that appealed to a sophisticated European clientele.

Illustrated with objects from Robert Schreiber's outstanding collection, supplemented with craftsmen's drawings and archival documents, Nyström's thoroughly researched text includes engaging glimpses of the culture surrounding Rörstrand (a former castle), especially the close-knit community of insightful administrators, talented designers and inventors, and artisans. The book chronicles not only the company's artistic achievements but the day-to-day personalities and decisions behind the emergence of this once-utilitarian factory as the birthplace of some of Sweden's most beautiful decorative objects.

Read more

Hieroglyphics

The Language of Ancient Egypt

By

A complete handbook revealing the secrets of the hieroglyphic writing of the Nile Valley, which provides a still-vivid snapshot of the gods, the people, and the everyday life of the Ancient Egyptians.

Both literal and highly lyrical, hieroglyphics bring alive a distant world, with descriptions of the natural environment, the art, the society, the religious beliefs, and even the philosophical basis of a culture that flourished 5,000 years ago. Presenting and explaining almost 600 of the figures used in the classic phase of Egypt's "sacred writing," this fascinating volume traces the origins and the meaning of each sign, as well as its graphic stylization.

An opening essay reveals the secrets of the hieroglyphic system, including its development and its structural characteristics, and emphasizes the sacred, evocative, even magical power of the form, which — unlike our own abstract alphabet — is immediate and expressive. Concluding the book are a complete glossary, a bibliography, and an index, designed to make this book invaluable to the casual reader as well as the student and specialist.

Read more

Small Worlds

By

Classic in its vision and generosity, this extraordinary novel follows the lives and loves of the villagers of Krimsk, a small Hasidic settlement in Eastern Europe, in 1903.

A selection of the Jewish Book Club

The Russians called it Krimsk; the Poles called it Kromsk, but it was mainly the Jews who lived there. They called it whatever their hosts preferred. Krimsk-so it was called in 1903-had hills and valleys, forests not far from town, pastures and Welds close by . . .

In the little town of Krimsk the Jews are about to celebrate Tisha B'Av, the day of mourning marking the destruction of the holy Temple in Jerusalem. The teacher has instructed the young pupils in his primary class. And the Krimskers' beloved rebbe, who has secluded himself in his study for the past five years, has suddenly, mysteriously emerged on the eve of the holiday. But the joy of his congregants at seeing him is to be shortlived. For this Tisha B'Av will be a time of strange and momentous events, a time that will change their lives forever.

Across the river is the Polish town of Krimichak, where dwells the rebbe's rival for power, Grannie Zara. The women of Krimsk have always secretly crossed the river to consult her, and even on this fateful night, one determined woman and one small boy from the primary class unwisely feel the need to visit her. There have been pogroms nearby, and the relationship between the people of the two towns, always uneasy, is in danger of igniting.

On this night, too, the rebbe and his wife are discussing a groom for their only daughter, who has reached the age to stand under the wedding canopy. The rebbe summons to their home the man he has chosen. In another part of town, a different young man, a stranger swept up in the revolutionary ferment stirring all of Russia, stops for a while at the Angel of Death, the empty new synagogue. It is he who will face the angry mob from Krimichak as it crosses the bridge into Krimsk-with consequences that will affect and astonish everyone.

Small Worlds is the first in a series of novels concerning the people of Krimsk and their descendants in America, Poland, Russia, and Israel. In each volume Allen Hoffman draws on his deep knowledge of Jewish religion and history to evoke the "small worlds" his characters inhabit.

Echoes of Jewish literary tradition can be heard in Small Worlds, especially the mystical realism of Isaac Bashevis Singer and the poignant humor of Sholom Aleichem, on whose tales Fiddler on the Roof is based.

Read more

Color Style

How to Identify the Colors That Are Right for Your Home

By

Discover the "Living with Color" concept, a way to create your unique, personal color scheme, developed by Carolyn Warrender, a celebrated interior designer.

Learn how to identify and use shades of color that are tailored for you. Share the author's secrets and shortcuts to designing stylish and comfortable rooms. Decorate your traditional or modern home successfully with skill and confidence.

Decorating a home is a major investment and we all want to be sure that our choice of paints, wallpapers, and fabrics is the right one. This practical, informative illustrated guide to understanding and using color enables you to create a stylish home that reflects your individual taste and is a pleasure to live in. Based on a pioneering color system called "Living with Color," this approach will both simplify and refine all of your decorating and furnishing decisions. The "Living with Color" system divides the color spectrum into six clearly defined palettes — Air, Wind, Water, Fire, Earth, and Mineral — in addition to a range of Naturals. Each palette is then subdivided into warm and cool shades. Inspiring color photographs show how these palettes can be combined beautifully in interior decoration.

The book then addresses the entire home, room by room, offering practical, straightforward, and economical advice on using different color palettes to achieve particular styles and effects. A superb selection of color photographs illustrates color schemes for both contemporary and traditional kitchens, living rooms, dining rooms, halls, bedrooms, bathrooms, children's rooms, and home offices. Carolyn Warrender demonstrates the practical use of color with step-by-step advice on how to make your own sample board, and with easy-to-follow decorating projects, each showing the use of special paint effects or other color-based techniques. These projects are brought to life by specially commissioned artworks and by the author's own tips for personal finishing touches.

Finally, a questionnaire and a series of checklists enable you to create a personalized portfolio of colors. Once you've identified the colors that you most enjoy, you will be able to create a home that is a true reflection of your personal taste and lifestyle.

Read more

In Times of War and Peace

By

As photojournalists since the early 1980s, the Turnleys have covered most of the great conflicts of the past fifteen years, and have been published in the best-known newspapers and magazines. Very often, one of their photographs becomes the iconic representation of the event. This is a result of their spending extended periods in the regions they cover, getting to know the people and the way of life.

During the three years David lived in South Africa, he showed apartheid as the prevailing system, its subsequent destruction, and the first elections of the new democratic state. Peter has pursued his interest in documenting the world's fourteen million refugees, and also photographed the fall of Communism in Russia and Eastern Europe. Together they photographed student dissidents in the months leading up to the Tiananmen Square massacre; their photographs of the massacre itself are among their most recognizable. Shining through all the photographs is the strength of individual character and hope against powerful social and political conflict.

Read more

The Heart's Journey

By

An inspiring tale of the resilience and triumph of the human heart.

The Heart’s Journey is a universal story of love, loss, and the growing process that leads to greater self-knowledge. The tale of a heart that encounters pain and suffering only to be healed by the power and security of love, this story transcends language and speaks directly to our emotions. Artist Judy Pelikan’s heartfelt and lovingly rendered illustrations depict the human heart’s strength and capacity for love so eloquently and persuasively that words are hardly needed.

An inspiration and a joy to anyone who has encountered emotional hardship and who knows, or will know, that the heart is a resilient muscle, The Heart’s Journey is the perfect gift for somebody who needs to remember that the heart always emerges triumphant.

 

Read more

American Bar

The Artistry of Mixing Drinks

By

This "bar bible" provides recipes for mixing the perfect drink, classical or exotic, and offers tips on serving it correctly.

-- WINNER of the New York Book Show Award

Whether you're celebrating a special occasion or just relaxing with a cocktail, let world-renowned bartender Charles Schumann be your guide to mixing masterful libations. American Bar—the most authoritative cocktail book ever published—provides all the information the cocktail lover or professional bartender needs to serve up the perfect drink.

Inside American Bar you'll find

  • Recipes for more than 500 drinks, listed alphabetically
  • An easy-to-use drink index arranged by drink categories
  • The fascinating history and names of leading brands of all the major cocktail components
  • A handy guide to bartending equipment
  • A glossary of international bar terms and measurements

Illustrated with hundreds of delightful 1930s-style line drawings by Günter Mattei, this exceptionally handsome book is an indispensable companion to home or professional entertaining.

Read more

Natural Decorating

By

Ideas and projects for creating simple, natural interiors in traditional or contemporary rooms from materials like muslin, linen, wood, and terra-cotta.

Authentic, robust, practical, and refreshing, natural decorating is not so much a style as a way of life, a preference for relaxed simplicity after the overdesigned interiors of the eighties. Natural decorating takes the long-term view--incorporating materials that age well and improve with the years, furnishings that bring comfort, simplicity, and practicality to the forefront. The richness of chalky colors and earth tones, the easygoing sympathy of wood, stone, and terra-cotta, the refined simplicity of linen and calico, muslin and raffia--all of these ingredients work together in effortless combinations for a natural sophistication and understated elegance that transcend the fickly whims of fashion.

Natural Decorating is a practical guide to bringing natural style to every feature in an interior. Treatments for walls range from whitewash to organic stains to natural brickwork; floor finishes range from natural fibers to polished stone and limed wood; windows and doors receive curtains made of muslin, ticking, or parachute silk and feature wood blinds or etched glass panels; furnishings are a mix of styles and materials and covered in natural fabrics; display objects bring nature indoors to create simple finishing touches. All the projects provide essential information so that readers can assemble the look they want with ease. Supplementing the projects is a resource section that includes a guide to environmentally friendly products and a directory of suppliers.

Read more

The Bedroom

By

Sumptuously illustrated and overflowing with dreamy design ideas, this book is a complete guide to decorating the most private and special room in the house.

The Bedroom explores every aspect of decorating this most personal and intimate of places, from the basics, such as what style of bedstead to choose and how to maximize storage space, to the aesthetics, including countless ways to dress the bed, accessorize the vanity, and transform the walls, ceiling, and floor into the room of your dreams. Whether you prefer the regality of a canopy bed swathed in a luxurious fabric, the coziness of chintz-covered walls and country furniture, the cool repose of recessed lighting and a sleek contemporary bed dressed in tightly wrapped linens, or the sweetness of airy tulle curtains and daintily embroidered pillowcases, the book abounds with tips and suggestions for achieving just the look you want, no matter what your budget.

Illustrated with Fritz von der Schulenburg's extraordinary photographs of bedrooms all over the world, including those of Bill Blass, Karl Lagerfeld, and Valentino, and complete with an international list of sources, The Bedroom will give 1,001 nights' worth of ideas to everyone who hankers for a room that can truly be called one's own.

Read more

Martha's Vineyard

An Affectionate Memoir

By

The legendary island of Martha's Vineyard is revealed as never before through inspiring paintings by Ray Ellis and a captivating history by Ralph Graves.

Martha's Vineyard is a celebrated vacation haven equally captivating summer residents and daytrippers. Among the Island's ardent admirers are Ray Ellis, whose paintings created over a 25-year period depict his love of the Vineyard, and Ralph Graves, whose lively, affectionate history spans 400 years.Offering great natural beauty, the Vineyard, separated from Cape Cod by a seven-mile stretch of ocean, is a perfect place for a summer vacation. The Island's devotees have included public people who value their privacy, Jacqueline Onassis, Princess Diana and President Clinton, to name a few, as well as ordinary folks who are seeking a special holiday.Featuring 100 of Ray Ellis's luminescent oils and watercolors, this book provides a unique appreciation of the Island's delights. Here is a wide range of scenes from quiet landscapes to such beloved annual events as the county fair. In addition to vignettes of sunny months Ray Ellis salutes the Vineyard at other times of the year-the glorious arrival of fall, the sedate pace of winter and the inaugural of springtime.Rounding out this marvelous pictorial album is a fascinating text by Ralph Graves. He has written a concise history from its discovery in 1602 to its present-day active conservation efforts. The memoir also includes interviews with five long-time residents who provide insightful, firsthand accounts of their special connection to the Island. This book is an ideal gift for anyone who has ever felt the lure of the Vineyard as well as for those who have yet to fall in love with this extraordinary Island.

Read more