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22gigantes.com - Originally published in 1883 to 1884, Artistic Houses comprised more than 200 photographs of the interiors of the homes of the well-to-do, with commentary on the woodwork, wall coverings, color schemes, and other aspects of interior décor. Today, historians consider Artistic Houses the best source of information and illustrations for private houses in major Eastern cities in the early 1880s. Although its authorship is not certain, the text is generally attributed to noted author and art critic George William Sheldon.This volume retains all of the photographs from the original two-volume work; the text, however, has been replaced with a version specially written for this edition. In addition to an introductory essay on the period's social and esthetic trends, extensive captions for each plate include most of the valuable information from Sheldon's descriptions plus biographical comments on the homeowners and their families, comments on paintings and sculptures, present condition of the houses, and locations.Over 200 photographs of 97 grand buildings include rare photographs of the New York homes of Hamilton Fish and Ulysses S. Grant; multiple views of the Henry Villard house, now part of the Helmsley Palace Hotel in Manhattan; rooms from William H. Vanderbilt's Fifth Avenue residence; interiors from J. Pierpont Morgan's Madison Avenue home; the Marshall Field house in Chicago, and many others. Here are richly paneled rooms that rivaled the baronial halls of European castles, miniature art galleries, magnificent tapestries, plush draperies, and brilliant chandeliers. With its thorough scholarship and wealth of detail, this impressive survey offers not only inside views of the homes of the rich and powerful families during the Gilded Age but also fascinating insights into the social history and architectural development of the United States.
Best Review of The Opulent Interiors Of The Gilded Age: All 203 Photographs From "artistic Houses," With New Text (dover Architecture):
Most helpful customer reviews 25 of 26 people found the following review helpful. Another of Arnold Lewis' photo books on homes of THE GILDED AGE By Angie2 I purchased this book as a companion to another book that I enjoyed very much by Arnold Lewis called : "American Country Houses of the Gilded Age: Sheldon's "Artistic Country-Seats". I do not regret this purchase in the least, though I must say that I preferred Arnold Lewis' "AMERICAN COUNTRY HOUSES,etc" slightly more.I give this book four stars for the following reasons: (+) The plus points:1) The size of this book is large (approximately 12 X 9 inches) and therefore the photos are also quite large and detailed.2) The Introduction is marvelous, just as the Introduction to Lewis' other books are just as informative (eg: in "American Country Houses, etc").As I recommended in my review to Lewis' other book called "American Country Houses of the Gilded Age: Sheldon's "Artistic Country-Seats", I would recommend reading the Introduction to this book before jumping-in and looking at all the photos first. The reason I say this is because the Introduction explains the backgrounds to the wealthy homeowners, and the Architects, and the builders, and more inmportantly, it gives an excellent background to the GILDED AGE, in general.To better understand why the homeowners chose to decorate their lavish homes as such, a reader would need a background as to the Economic and Social trends important to the Gilded Age. I feel that Lewis' Introduction lays an excellent foundation to this book, & this nice Introduction will help the reader to better understand the photographs (12 X 9 inches).3) The paper quality is excellent. The authors did not skimp on paper and binding, especially considering that this is a large paperback book. (-) The minus point:1) As even the authors stated, the 203 photos from THE ARTISTIC HOUSES, showed mostly the "public spaces" in each homes. Even though this book showed a few Victorian bedrooms, however, this book did not show photos of what would have been extremely valuable Victorian spaces, such as: the bathrooms, or the servants' quarters, or the kitchens.I understand that Lewis was limited as to the photos he could show, since this book was focusing mainly on the 203 photos from ARTISTIC HOMES, however I so wished that there had been photos (ANY photos would do, if even from other sources) of the non-public spaces.This point is the only minus I could find in this book, and therfore I gave this book 4 stars rather than five. However, if a reader has some supplemental books on Victorian interiors showing the non-public spaces, then those supplements can complete the picture, as they say, of what the lavish homes of the 1880's-1890's must have looked like. 24 of 26 people found the following review helpful. INSIDE THE GILDED AGE By Shannon Deason The interiors of these homes are just spectacular, the B&W period images are crisp and clean; impressive considering their age. It is a tragedy that so many of these rooms represented in these photos are gone along with the houses that possessed them. The craftsmanship of these rooms cannot be dublicated today and the estates are irreplaceable, at least a few where saved to give us an idea of how people really once lived and what an art true craftmanship was, but you can't help but be sickened at how easily they were demolished and the inferior buildings that replaced them...that are now themselves being replaced...sic transic gloria. 18 of 20 people found the following review helpful. Wonderful window . . . By Karen This book is a wonderful 'window' into a lifestyle long since gone. It's photographs show beautiful rooms that represent the craftsmanship that is almost nonexistent today. It is sad to know that many of the homes represented here have been demolished and replaces by greatly inferior buildings or even worse, parking lots and such!!If you love the Victorian era, and want a peek into that era's homes, then you will truly enjoy this book. See all 14 customer reviews...
From Publishers Weekly This collection of 203 black-and-white photographs of the interiors of late 19th century mansions originally appeared as Artistic Houses, a book published in 1883. Reprinted here, the pictures are accompanied by a new text and new captions, which give detailed information about the families these houses were built for and about the history of the structures in the past 100 years. Most of these 97 homes were located in the Northeast, and some of themand their ownersare instantly recognizable. For example, there are shots of the interior of the Henry Villard house, now a part of New York City's Helmsley Palace Hotel, that show the landmark building in its original splendor. Sadly, many of the other structures are gone, and their charm and ostentation can be enjoyed only through photographs. Copyright 1987 Reed Business Information, Inc. About the Author James Turner started making comics as soon as he was first able to hold a pencil, and has been spouting a nonsensical whirlwind of monsters, robots and talking vegetables ever since. His acclaimed web comic The Unfeasible Adventures of Beaver and Steve won tens of thousands of followers online, and his anthropomorphic crime fighting team "The Super Animal Adventure Squad" appeared weekly in the pages of the children's comic the DFC. He has sworn that he will not stop making comics until every bizarre character, every unfeasible adventure, and every terrible pun has been uncovered. But he might stop for a bit if someone offers him a biscuit.Jorge Monlongo's natural habitat is Madrid, Spain. He eats all sorts of things and likes to sleep late. He can sometimes be seen drawing comic books, illustrating books or painting, but usually it just likes hanging out and being lazy. Gemma Correll is a freelance illustrator, coffee drinker, and sometime ukelele player, based in deepest, darkest England. She has exhibited her work in galleries and shop windows around the world and her artwork has been reproduced on everything from placemats to t-shirts to umbrellas. She has also had her work published in various books, annuals and magazines. Gemma dreams of one day owning a house somewhere warm, with a mezzanine, pretty curtains and space for several small squishy-faced dogs and a few fluffy kitties.Turner is professor of History at the University of Michigan.
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