Nature

Ansel Adams

The National Park Service Photographs

By

This tiny treasure is a glorious tribute to Ansel Adams and to the vanishing landscape he loved.

In 1941 Ansel Adams was hired by the United States Department of the Interior to photograph America's national parks for a series of murals that would celebrate the country's natural heritage. Because of the escalation of World War II, the project was suspended after less than a year, but not before Adams had produced this group of breathtaking images, which illustrate both his early innovations and the shape of his later, legendary career as America's foremost landscape photographer.

The invitation to photograph the nation's parklands was the perfect assignment for Adams, as it allowed him to express his deepest convictions as artist, conservationist, and citizen. These stunning photographs of the natural geysers and terraces in Yellowstone, the rocks and ravines in the Grand Canyon, the winding rivers and majestic mountains in Glacier and Grand Teton national parks, the mysterious Carlsbad Caverns, the architecture of ancient Indian villages, and many other evocative views of the American West demonstrate the genius of Adams' technical and aesthetic inventiveness.

In these glorious, seminal images we see the inspired reverence for the wilderness that has made Ansel Adams' work an enduring influence on the intertwining spirits of art and environmentalism, both so necessary for the preservation of our natural world.

Read more

The Trees of North America

Michaux and Redouté's American Masterpiece

By

A remarkable selection of American forest trees surveyed by François-André Michaux and Thomas Nuttall from The North American Sylva, held in the LuEsther T. Mertz Library of The New York Botanical Garden, featuring illustrations by celebrated botanical artists such as Pierre-Joseph Redouté and Pancrace Bessa, with an afterword by natural history artist David Allen Sibley

François-André Michaux (1770–1855) was a French botanist whose work on the trees of North America gave the world’s first illustrated account of American trees east of the Mississippi. From 1841 to 1849 Thomas Nuttall (1786–1859), an English botanist and one of the greatest plant explorers of North America, prepared supplementary volumes to Michaux’s landmark work, The North American Sylva.

Full-color reproductions of all of the more than 270 plates are now included in a single volume for the first time. Mirroring Abbeville’s best-selling National Audubon Society Birds of America, the book includes capsule summaries of every tree species featured, written by New York Botanical Garden staff, along with reference illustrations by David Allen Sibley.

Garden President Gregory Long looks at the book in the context of the New York Botanical Garden; NYBG Library Director Susan M. Fraser examines this landmark of American botanical history; award-winning garden writer Marta McDowell recounts the two botanist-explorers uncovering the continent’s arboreal riches; and best-selling ornithologist and natural history artist David Allen Sibley offers an aesthetic appreciation.

Beautifully illustrated and extensively researched, The Trees of North America will entice gardeners, art connoisseurs, and nature lovers alike.

 

The New York Botanical Garden hosts more than one million annual visitors to its 250-acre National Historic Landmark site, which features over one million living specimens, as well as one of the world’s preeminent plant research and conservation programs. Founded in 1899, the Garden’s Mertz Library is one of the largest, most comprehensive botanical libraries in the world.

David Allen Sibley is one of the world’s best-known natural history illustrators and the author of acclaimed field guides, including The Sibley Guide to Trees, which have sold more than one million copies.

Gregory Long is Chief Executive Officer and The William C. Steere Sr. President of The New York Botanical Garden.

Susan M. Fraser is Vice President and Director of the LuEsther T. Mertz Library at The New York Botanical Garden.

Marta McDowell is a gardener, lecturer, and horticultural writer. Her books include All the Presidents’ Gardens (2016) and Beatrix Potter’s Gardening Life (2013), winner of the Gold Award from the Garden Writers Association.

Read more

Ancient Trees

Portraits of Time

By

Thanks for visiting Abbeville.  Unfortunately, we are temporarily out of stock for this title.  You can order it from our retail partners. Links to purchase Ancient Trees: Portraits of Time at Amazon and Barnes & Noble are below.

Beth Moon's newest book Ancient Skies, Ancient Tress is available.  Beth revisits the world’s oldest trees in the darkest places on earth, using color photography to capture vibrant nighttime skies.  You can see the details here.

 ______________________________________________________________________________________________

 

Mesmerizing black-and-white photographs of the world’s most majestic ancient trees.

Holiday Gift Guide Selection -- San Francisco Chronicle

Beth Moon’s fourteen-year quest to photograph ancient trees has taken her across the United States, Europe, Asia, the Middle East, and Africa. Some of her subjects grow in isolation, on remote mountainsides, private estates, or nature preserves; others maintain a proud, though often precarious, existence in the midst of civilization. All, however, share a mysterious beauty perfected by age and the power to connect us to a sense of time and nature much greater than ourselves. It is this beauty, and this power, that Moon captures in her remarkable photographs.

This handsome volume presents sixty of Moon’s finest tree portraits as full-page duotone plates. The pictured trees include the tangled, hollow-trunked yews—some more than a thousand years old—that grow in English churchyards; the baobabs of Madagascar, called “upside-down trees” because of the curious disproportion of their giant trunks and modest branches; and the fantastical dragon’s-blood trees, red-sapped and umbrella-shaped, that grow only on the island of Socotra, off the Horn of Africa.

Moon’s narrative captions describe the natural and cultural history of each individual tree, while Todd Forrest, vice president for horticulture and living collections at the New York Botanical Garden, provides a concise introduction to the biology and preservation of ancient trees. An essay by the critic Steven Brown defines Moon’s unique place in a tradition of tree photography extending from William Henry Fox Talbot to Sally Mann, and explores the challenges and potential of the tree as a subject for art. 

Read more

Ancient Skies, Ancient Trees

By

Photographer Beth Moon revisits the world’s oldest trees in the darkest places on earth, using color photography to capture vibrant nighttime skies

Throughout much of the world, night skies are growing increasingly brighter, but the force that protects the remaining naturally dark sky, unpolluted by artificial light, is the same that saves its ancient trees—isolation. Staking out some of the world’s last dark places, photographer Beth Moon uses a digital camera to reveal constellations, nebulae, and the Milky Way, in rich hues that are often too faint to be seen by the naked eye. As in her acclaimed first volume, Ancient Trees: Portraits of Time, these magnificent images encounter great arboreal specimens, including baobabs, olive trees, and redwoods, in such places as South Africa, England, and California.

In her artist’s statement, Beth Moon describes the experience of shooting at night in these remote places. An essay by Jana Grcevich, postdoctoral fellow of astrophysics at the American Museum of Natural History, provides the perspective of a scientist racing to study the stars in a world growing increasingly brighter. Clark Strand, the author of Waking Up to the Dark: Ancient Wisdom for a Sleepless Age, takes a different tack, illuminating the inherent spirituality of trees.

Read more

Audubon's Birds of America

By

Abbeville's magnificent volume on John James Audubon's world famous ornithological engravings.

This marvelous edition of Audubon's Birds of America displays all 435 of Audubon's brilliant handcolored engravings in exquisite reproductions taken from the original plates of the Audubon Society's archival copy of the rare Double Elephant Folio. Although many attempts have been made to re-create the magnificent illustrations in Audubon's masterpiece, nothing equals the level of fidelity or scale achieved in this high-quality edition.

Organized and annotated by Roger Tory Peterson, America’s best-known ornithologist, and issued with the full endorsement and cooperation of the Audubon Society, this magnificent volume is as thorough in scientific classification as it is beautiful. Peterson's fascinating introduction places Audubon in the context of the history of American ornithological art and also reproduces a wide sampling of the work of Audubon's notable predecessors and disciples, including Peterson's own justly famous paintings.

This new systematic arrangement of the prints, complete with informative commentaries about each bird, made it possible to correct many of the problems or errors in Audubon's original edition revealed by later scholarship. The colorful captions in the back provide fascinating commentaries on each featured bird.

Read more

Walking the World's Natural Wonders

By

A lively tour of the most spectacular walking routes on earth, accompanied by detailed maps and stunning photography.

On every continent, in every age, people have marveled at the wonders of the natural world. Unlike vehicular transportation, walking allows the traveler to experience these wonders on a vivid sensuous level, enjoying all the sights, sounds, and smells of a beautiful landscape. In Walking the World’s Natural Wonders, traveler Jon Sparks takes readers on a guided tour across 34 such landscapes, profiling the world’s most magnificent walking routes from the mountains of Hawaii to England’s Jurassic Coast.

Accompanied by stunning photography from around the globe, Sparks’s vibrant text will appeal to anyone with a sense of adventure. Each of the 34 profiles also contains a regional map and a facts and figures box detailing route distance and altitude, optimal travel season, accommodation options, and more. Covering six continents and some of the world’s most gorgeous scenery, Walking the World’s Natural Wonders is the perfect inspiration for your next walking adventure.

Read more

Botanica Magnifica

Portraits of the World's Most Extraordinary Flowers and Plants

By

Botanica Magnifica features two hundred and fifty stunning photographs of rare and exotic plants and flowers by Hasselblad Laureate Award winner Jonathan Singer.

Botanica Magnifica features two hundred and fifty stunning photographs by Hasselblad Laureate Award winner Jonathan Singer, representing—in the words of an ARTnews critic—rare or exotic plants and flowers “in large scale and exquisite detail, emerging from the shadows in a manner evocative of Old Master paintings.”

The original edition of Botanica Magnifica, consisting of five lavishly hand-bound volumes, was limited to just ten copies, the first of which was recently donated to the Smithsonian Institution. The extra-large “double-elephant” format of that edition was chosen in homage to the famous double-elephant folio of The Birds of America, and indeed, Botanica Magnifica is one of the few works of natural history ever to rival Audubon’s magnum opus in its scope and artistry. In praise of the double-elephant folio of Botanica Magnifica, the Smithsonian’s Chairman of Botany attested, “Everyone who has seen the photographs . . . has been tremendously impressed with the power, scale, and depth of the work.”

Now Singer’s remarkable images are available to the public for the first time in this baby-elephant folio of Botanica Magnifica. Like the larger edition, this volume is organized into five alphabetically arranged sections, each introduced by a gatefold page that displays one extraordinary plant at a luxurious size. Each pictured plant is accompanied by a clear and accessible description of its botany, geography, folklore, history, and conservation.

With its marvelous reproductions and fascinating text, the baby-elephant folio of Botanica Magnifica is one of the most impressive volumes of natural history ever published. This volume is also available in a leatherbound, slipcased edition.

Read more

Southern Light

Images from Antarctica

By

A beautifully printed photographic journey, in both color and black-and-white, through the awe-inspiring landscapes of the frozen continent.

Between 1990 and 2009, veteran wilderness photographer David Neilson made six journeys to Antarctica and the subantarctic, in a quest to capture the exquisite light of these southernmost lands. This oversized volume presents the spectacular results of his efforts; its 130 color and 100 duotone plates portray the dramatic topography of the Antarctic Peninsula; the icebound expanses of East Antarctica; the Ross Sea region, which witnessed the heroic age of Antarctic exploration; and the subantarctic islands of South Georgia and Macquarie, with their profusion of wildlife.

Many of the landscape photographs were taken with a large-format view camera for maximum detail and tonal subtlety, and several are reproduced as panoramic gatefolds, showing the true vastness of this great southern realm. The images of wildlife, many of them remarkable close-ups, include emperor, king, Adélie, gentoo, chinstrap, royal, and macaroni penguins; wandering, royal, and grey-headed albatross; and crabeater and fur seals. Accompanying the photographs are a narrative of Neilson’s Antarctic journeys, essays on conservation and climate change, and five full-page maps.

Southern Light is an excellent gift for anyone who has visited Antarctica personally, as well as for those who prefer to admire its frozen beauty from a more temperate clime.

Distributed for Snowgum Press

Read more

The Grand Cascapedia River Volume 1

A History

By

Volume One of a magnificent two-volume history of the legendary salmon river, replete with tales of remarkable fish—and remarkable personalities

Originating in two rocky torrents in the Shick-Shock Mountains, the Grand Cascapedia River cuts across the forested wilderness of Quebec’s Gaspé Peninsula and empties into Chaleur Bay. Just as exceptional as the river’s natural beauty are the giant salmon that return there each summer to spawn. Known to the local Micmac Indians from time immemorial, these outsize fish have attracted wealthy and well-connected sportsmen—including captains of industry and U.S. presidents—since the mid-nineteenth century. Now, in these exhaustively researched and superbly written volumes, veteran angler Hoagy B. Carmichael reveals the eventful history of this most exclusive salmon river.

The first volume of The Grand Cascapedia River recounts the discovery of the river’s salmon by adventurous outdoorsmen in the 1840s; the assignment of fishing rights on the river to successive Governors General of Canada, as a curious perk of office; and—in a fascinating encounter between the Gilded Age and the northern wilds—the subsequent purchase of those rights by a small group of American millionaires, the “Old Club.”

The second volume begins with the dissolution of the Old Club in the depths of the Great Depression and traces the development of the private camps, each with its own character and lore, that are found along the river today. It also explores the management of the river’s natural resources and the present-day division of fishing rights between the camps, the Micmacs, and the public.

Both volumes are illustrated with hundreds of rare archival photographs, as well as original maps and drawings. The Grand Cascapedia River represents an important contribution not only to the annals of sport, but also to social history and wildlife conservation and management.

Read more

The Grand Cascapedia River Volume 2

A History

By

Volume Two of a magnificent two-volume history of the legendary salmon river, replete with tales of remarkable fish—and remarkable personalities

Originating in two rocky torrents in the Shick-Shock Mountains, the Grand Cascapedia River cuts across the forested wilderness of Quebec’s Gaspé Peninsula and empties into Chaleur Bay. Just as exceptional as the river’s natural beauty are the giant salmon that return there each summer to spawn. Known to the local Micmac Indians from time immemorial, these outsize fish have attracted wealthy and well-connected sportsmen—including captains of industry and U.S. presidents—since the mid-nineteenth century. Now, in these exhaustively researched and superbly written volumes, veteran angler Hoagy B. Carmichael reveals the eventful history of this most exclusive salmon river.

The first volume of The Grand Cascapedia River recounts the discovery of the river’s salmon by adventurous outdoorsmen in the 1840s; the assignment of fishing rights on the river to successive Governors General of Canada, as a curious perk of office; and—in a fascinating encounter between the Gilded Age and the northern wilds—the subsequent purchase of those rights by a small group of American millionaires, the “Old Club.”

The second volume begins with the dissolution of the Old Club in the depths of the Great Depression and traces the development of the private camps, each with its own character and lore, that are found along the river today. It also explores the management of the river’s natural resources and the present-day division of fishing rights between the camps, the Micmacs, and the public.

Both volumes are illustrated with hundreds of rare archival photographs, as well as original maps and drawings. The Grand Cascapedia River represents an important contribution not only to the annals of sport, but also to social history and wildlife conservation and management.

Read more

Spirit Stones

The Ancient Art of the Scholar's Rock

By

Renowned photographer Jonathan M. Singer presents his striking black-and-white images of Chinese ornamental rocks from a leading collection.

Shaped by nature and selected by man, scholars’ rocks, or gongshi, have been prized by Chinese intellectuals since the Tang dynasty, and are now sought after by Western collectors as well. They are a natural subject for the photographer Jonathan M. Singer, most recently acclaimed for his images of those other remarkable hybrids of art and nature, Japanese bonsai.

Here Singer turns his lens on some 140 fine gongshi, ancient and modern, from the world-class collection of Kemin Hu, a recognized authority on this art form. In his photographs, Singer captures the spiritual qualities of these stones as never thought possible in two dimensions. He shows us that scholars’ rocks truly are, in Hu’s words, “condensations of the vital essence and energy of heaven and earth.”

Hu contributes an introductory essay on the history and aesthetics of scholars’ rocks, explaining the traditional terms of stone appreciation, such as shou (thin), zhou (wrinkled), lou (channels), and tou (holes). She also provides a narrative caption for each stone, describing its history and characteristics.

Spirit Stones forms a trilogy with Singer’s two previous books, Botanica Magnifica and Fine Bonsai. In these volumes, he has established a new style of photography that blends the tonal richness and chiaroscuro of Old Master painting with a scientific clarity of detail; they represent a lasting achievement.

Read more

Fine Bonsai

Art & Nature

By

In this luxurious volume, renowned botanical photographer Jonathan Singer presents his breathtaking images of the world's most notable bonsai.

The practice of cultivating bonsai may be traced back some two thousand years, to the earliest representations of potted trees in Chinese art, and is thought to have reached Japan in the Heian period (AD 794–1185), a time of rich cultural exchange. This unique branch of horticulture attained its maturity, and received its present name, in Japan’s Edo period (1603–1868), and many fine bonsai are recorded in the woodblock prints of that era. As Japan broadened its trade and diplomatic contacts after the Meiji Restoration, bonsai became a matter of international interest, and today bonsai masters around the world have learned to grow hundreds of varieties of trees and shrubs in miniature, training them into living sculptures. Their exquisite creations, which change with the passage of the years and the cycle of the seasons, exemplify the connection between man and nature, life and art.

In Fine Bonsai: Art & Nature, the finest extant achievements in the art of bonsai are seen together for the first time, through the lens of renowned botanical photographer Jonathan Singer. This magnificent volume is the result of an ambitious photographic campaign, in the course of which Singer was granted unprecedented access to the most respected public and private collections in Japan and the United States, including the mecca of bonsai, the Omiya Bonsai Village of Saitama, Japan, where photography is normally prohibited. Three hundred stunning full-page images and four lavish gatefolds present bonsai of all types, from quiet representations of nature to colorful fall foliage to bold sculptural forms. The horticultural and aesthetic characteristics of each bonsai are concisely and authoritatively described in the narrative captions by William N. Valavanis, head of the International Bonsai Arboretum in Rochester, New York. And because the container is considered an integral part of any bonsai—indeed, the literal meaning of “bonsai” is “tray plant”—the book also includes some twenty-five photographs of traditional bonsai containers, with descriptions. A further sequence of twenty-five photographs is devoted to the related art of suiseki, or miniature stone landscapes displayed in the same manner, and often alongside, bonsai.

With his groundbreaking first book, Botanica Magnifica, Jonathan Singer established a new style of botanical photography, characterized by an exceptional clarity of detail and richness of color, as well as a painterly chiaroscuro. These qualities are just as evident in the present volume; Singer photographs each bonsai with an artist’s—one might even say a portraitist’s—eye, capturing its individual character, and in some cases revealing qualities hitherto unsuspected even by those who tended it daily. Fine Bonsai not only documents the masterpieces of an ancient horticultural art, but also is a masterpiece in itself. A portion of the proceeds will go to the Japanese Red Cross Society.

Read more

Celestial Realm

The Yellow Mountains of China

By

A lavishly produced volume featuring stunning duotone images of China’s fabled Yellow Mountains by the celebrated photographer Wang Wusheng.

 For more than three decades, Wang Wusheng has been captivated by the beauty of Mount Huangshan, also known as the Yellow Mountains. Located in the southern part of the Anhui province in northern China, Mount Huangshan has often been described as the world’s most beautiful and enchanting mountain. Over the centuries this mountain with its seventy-two peaks has been the subject of Chinese landscape painters, whose singular works are so haunting it seems impossible that these mountains exist in nature.

Inspired by the legacy of these paintings, Wang Wusheng has sought to portray this scenic wonder. As shown in the collection of ninety photographs in this extraordinary volume, here are mist-shrouded, granite peaks emerging from an ever-changing veil of clouds, sculptural craggy rocks on lofty cliffs, and weathered, oddly-shaped pine trees, depicted in all seasons and at various times of day. Wang Wusheng’s images are so exceptional that they look like paintings.

Accompanying the photographs are two fascinating essays about the art history and natural history of the Yellow Mountains. Art historian Wu Hung provides an eloquent, comprehensive survey of the region’s artistic, literary, and photographic tradition, relating how Wang Wusheng’s work is an important part of this notable legacy.

In a second essay, Damian Harper presents an authoritative account of the geology, geography, and natural history of this legendary place.

In addition, there is an introduction by the Japanese critic Seigo Matsuoka, who contributes an insightful appraisal of Wang Wusheng’s work.

CONTRIBUTORS

Born in the province of Anhui, Wang Wusheng has been photographing the Yellow Mountains since 1974. He has contributed his work to books published in China, Japan, and Austria, and his photographs have been in collected and widely exhibited by museums and galleries, including the Museum of Chinese Art in Peking. He lives in Tokyo.

Wu Hung was educated in China and earned his Ph.D. at Harvard University, where he was a professor. He is now a professor of Chinese art history at the University of Chicago and the director of the Center for the Art of East Asia. His books, including Three Thousand Years of Chinese Painting, have received a number of important awards.

Damian Harper lives in Shanghai and is the author of numerous books, among them National Geographic Traveler’s China.

Seigo Matsuoka, who lives in Tokyo, teaches at Tezukama University. He was the editor- in-chief of YU magazine and has written many books and articles.

Read more