The Pennsylvania State University

Art History Publishing

“A few months ago I was sent a remarkable catalogue for what must have been a remarkable exhibition. Part Object Part Sculpture was conceived by Helen Molesworth, the curator of the exhibition, and held at the Wexner Center for the Arts, among the most innovative venues for advanced art. That must mean that Penn State Press is among the most innovative of publishing houses, for I noticed its imprint. As a critic, I see a lot of catalogues and rely on them of necessity as well. They are mainly graceless volumes, gracelessly written. This, by contrast, was as clever as the show, with classy illustrations and smart essays. If it embodies the spirit of Penn State Press, it speaks for the latter’s entire list—edgy and authoritative, living where intellect itself lives. I share in celebrating its fiftieth year!”

—Arthur C. Danto, Columbia University

Art History, Architecture, Photography

Art books from Penn State Press present exemplary scholarship and introduce art of extravagant imagination. Painstakingly edited, designed, and produced, they can be counted on to please the eye and engage the intellect.

Penn State Press began to develop the collaboration essential to fine art publishing in 1963, after deciding to expand its range to a monograph on the Baroque painter Baciccio. The efforts of the Press staff, especially the members of the design and production department, are evident throughout this elegant book. Its “ample footnotes, fine bibliography, useful index, catalogue raisonné, and excellent black-and-white illustrations, including details of some of the major fresco cycles never before adequately photographed,” won immediate praise in Choice.

Books on architecture and art became a major part of the Press’s program thereafter. One of the most notable publications in the early years was the Corpus Palladianum series in architecture, a series devoted to Palladio’s major buildings. The first title, The Rotonda of Andrea Palladio, appeared in 1968 and featured seventy-five black-and-white plates, two color plates, and sixteen fold-out drawings. Others soon followed, treating the Convento della Carità in Venice, the Loggia del Capitaniato, and the Chiesa del Redentore, among others. Chris Kentera gave a further boost to the program after he became director in 1973 and initiated series in art from two prestigious organizations: the Monograph Series of the College Art Association, and the Memoir Series and Papers and Monographs Series from the American Academy in Rome. Monographs in these series helped raise the Press’s profile nationally and internationally, and they continued to be a central element of the Press’s program until 1994.

The Press has published a number of studies on major figures—including, for example, Artemisia Gentileschi and the Authority of Art (1998), by Ward Bissell, and Giammaria Mosca Called Padovano: A Renaissance Sculptor in Italy and Poland (1998), by Anne Markham Schulz—as well as works analyzing the art of a particular school or period. Notable titles in this area range from Painting in the Age of Giotto: A Historical Reevaluation (1997), by Hayden Maginnis, and Painting in Bruges at the Close of the Middle Ages (1997), by Jean Wilson, to Le tumulte noir: Modernist Art and Popular Entertainment in Jazz-Age Paris, 1900–1930 (1999), by Jody Blake.

Many Penn State Press books have their foundations in both art history and another discipline. Linda Safran’s Heaven on Earth: Art and the Church in Byzantium (1997), for instance, combines the fields of art history and religion, as do Margherita of Cortona and the Lorenzetti: Sienese Art and the Cult of a Holy Woman in Medieval Tuscany (1998), by Joanna Cannon and André Vauchez, and Dreams of Subversion in Medieval Jewish Art and Literature (1997), by Marc Michael Epstein. David Carrier’s The Aesthetics of Comics (2000) and Joseph Margolis’s What, After All, Is a Work of Art? (1999) meld art history and philosophy. And the disciplines of history and art history merge in books such as Cathedrals Under Siege: Cathedrals in English Society, 1600–1700 (1996), by Stanford E. Lehmberg, and Creating the Musée d’Orsay (1998), by Andrea Kupfer Schneider.

Aside from art history and architecture, the Press also has developed along the way a small but distinguished list of books in photography. The credit here is partly due to the Press’s long-standing relationship with the late Heinz Henisch (founding editor of the journal History of Photography) and his wife, Bridget, whose outstanding personal collection of historically valuable photographs is now housed in Pattee Library at Penn State. Their trio of books, beginning with the magisterial The Photographic Experience, 1839–1914 (1994), laid a strong base on which to build. Recent additions have included books featuring the photography of Nan Goldin (Fantastic Tales, 2005) and Margaret Morton (Glass House, 2004). Steve Edwards’s The Making of English Photography: Allegories (2006) further enriches the Press’s photography list.

As with any part of the editorial program, success in art publishing ultimately depends on the talents of the acquisitions editors assigned to handle it. From 1984 to his retirement in 1998, that duty fell to Philip Winsor, who ably kept the momentum of the program going. Among authors he worked closely with on more than one book were Paul Barolsky, David Carrier, Creighton Gilbert, John Lowden, and Hayden Maginnis. In 1999 Gloria Kury, a former art history professor at Yale, arrived with fresh ideas and a strong network of academic and museum contacts to build on existing strengths and take the program in some new directions.

Kury deepened the Press’s relationships with major museums, such as the Baltimore Museum of Art, Philadelphia Museum of Art, and the Walters Art Musuem, and she also fostered a close collaboration with the Palmer Museum of Art at Penn State, all of which resulted in co-publications and other arrangements with these institutional partners. Among the titles that emerged from these cooperative ventures were Painted Prints (with Baltimore, 2002), Edvard Munch’s “Mermaid” (with Philadelphia, 2005), A Lost Art Rediscovered: The Architectural Ceramics of Byzantium (with the Walters, 2001), and Picturing the Banjo (with Palmer, 2005).

Several of Kury’s projects reflected the vast changes in outlook and methodology associated with postmodern thought. For instance, monographs on the cultural politics of Napoleonic France engaged rising concern with the ongoing impact of nineteenth-century imperialism. And three museum co-publications—SlideShow (2005), Work Ethic (2003), and Part Object Part Sculpture (2005)—demonstrated the increasing significance accorded contemporary art in the wake of expanding notions of the nature of art and its societal function. Kury launched two bold new series as well: Buildings, Landscapes, and Societies and Refiguring Modernism. The former series was inaugurated by Dianne Harris’s The Nature of Authority: Villa Culture, Landscape, and Representation in Eighteenth-Century Lombardy (2002), quickly followed by studies on the international Romanesque revival, Sufism’s effect on urban space in medieval Anatolia, and the Fascist “restoration” of Italy’s medieval and Renaissance heritage. The Refiguring Modernism: Arts, Literatures, Sciences series, honored by a substantial grant from the Getty Foundation in 2005, seeks to bring disciplines and methodologies into intimate dialogue. David Peters Corbett’s The World in Paint: Modern Art and Visuality in England, 1848–1914 (2004), served as its inaugural volume. Subsequent series titles, including Barbara Larson’s The Dark Side of Nature: Science, Society, and the Fantastic in the Work of Odilon Redon (2005), Jordana Mendelson’s Documenting Spain: Artists, Exhibition Culture, and the Modern Nation, 1929–1939 (2005), and The Social and the Real: Political Art of the 1930s in the Western Hemisphere (2006), edited by Alejandro Anreus, Diana L. Linden, and Jonathan Weinberg, also offer expanded approaches to art-historical subjects.

Even as the Press responds to critical shifts in attitude and practice among scholars and curators, it adheres to its core commitment to the publication of substantive histories of art. A forthcoming book offers the first comprehensive account of the Psalter of Saint Louis, one of the treasures of thirteenth-century France. And an anthology on the historiography of the roles assigned Bernini will have, as its pendant, a new edition of Baldinucci’s life of the Baroque polymath, first published by the Press in 1966.

With the hiring of Eleanor Goodman as Art and Humanities Editor in 2006, Penn State Press enters a new era of publishing in art, architecture, and photography. These fields face special challenges posed by the digital revolution in printing and publishing, and the Press looks forward to meeting those challenges as it advances truly exemplary art-historical scholarship.

“It’s a pleasure to salute Penn State Press for having had the vision and the daring to bring out some of the most important (also beautifully made) books in the history of art of the past decade. More and more, one thinks of the Press as one of the field’s most important resources.”

—Michael Fried, The Johns Hopkins University

Choice Outstanding Academic Books

Jürgen Schulz, The New Palaces of Medieval Venice (2005)

Philip Jacks and William Caferro, The Spinelli of Florence: Fortunes of a Renaissance Merchant Family (2001)

Anne Summerscale, Malvasia’s Life of the Carracci: Commentary and Translation (2000)

Heinz K. Henisch and Bridget A. Henisch, The Photographic Experience, 1839–1914: Images and Attitudes (1994)

Carol F. Lewine, The Sistine Chapel Walls and the Roman Liturgy (1993)

Howard Saalman, Filippo Brunelleschi: The Buildings (1993)

Leo Allatios, The Newer Temples of the Greeks (1969)

Book Prizes

Dianne Harris, The Nature of Authority: Villa Culture, Landscape, and Representation in Eighteenth-Century Lombardy (2006 Elizabeth Blair MacDougall Award, Society of Architectural Historians)

Jordana Mendelson, Documenting Spain: Artists, Exhibition Culture, and the Modern Nation, 1929–1939 (2006 Modernist Studies Book Award [finalist])

Kathleen Curran, The Romanesque Revival: Religion, Politics, and Transnational Exchange (2005 Henry-Russell Hitchcock Book Award, The Victorian Society in America)

Randall C. Griffin, Homer, Eakins, and Anshutz: The Search for American Identity in the Gilded Age (2005 Vasari Award, Dallas Museum of Art)

D. Medina Lasansky, The Renaissance Perfected: Architecture, Spectacle, and Tourism in Fascist Italy (2005 Henry Paolucci/Walter Bagehot Book Award, Intercollegiate Studies Institute; 2006 Longman–History Today Book of the Year Award [2nd place]; 2006 Charles Rufus Morey Book Award [finalist], College Art Association)

Oscar Vásquez, Inventing the Art Collection: Patrons, Markets, and the State in Nineteenth-Century Spain (2003 Eleanor Tufts Award, American Society for Hispanic Art Historical Studies)

John Lowden, The Making of the Bibles Moralisées (2002 Otto Gründler Prize, The Medieval Institute)

D. Fairchild Ruggles, Landscapes, Gardens, and Vision in the Palaces of Islamic Spain (2002 Eleanor Tufts Award, American Society for Hispanic Art Historical Studies)

Lynette M. F. Bosch, Art, Liturgy, and Legend in Renaissance Toledo: The Mendoza and the Iglesia Primada (2001 Eleanor Tufts Award, American Society for Hispanic Art Historical Studies)

Daniel D. Reiff, Houses from Books: Treatises, Pattern Books, and Catalogues in American Architecture, 1738–1950: A History and Guide (2001 Historic Preservation Prize, Center for Historic Preservation, Mary Washington College)

Whitney Davis, Archaeology, Art History, Psychoanalysis (1998 Gradiva Award, National Association for the Advancement of Psychoanalysis)

Samuel Terrien, The Iconography of Job Through the Centuries: Artists as Interpreters (1997 Best Book Relating to the Old Testament, Biblical Archaeological Society)

Heinz K. Henisch and Bridget A. Henisch, The Photographic Experience, 1839–1914: Images and Attitudes (1994 Honorable Mention, Best Book in Arts, Literature, and Language, Professional and Scholarly Publishing Division, Association of American Publishers; 1997 Rudolph and Hertha Benjamin Book Award, American Photographic Historical Society)

Paul Barolsky, Giotto’s Father and the Family of Vasari’s Lives; Michelangelo’s Nose; Why Mona Lisa Smiles and Other Tales (1993 Honorable Mention, Phi Beta Kappa Book Award)

C. Edson Armi, Masons and Sculptors in Romanesque Burgundy: The New Aesthetic of Cluny III (1983 Book Prize, Confédération Internationale des Négociants en Oeuvres d’Art)

Thomas F. Mathews, The Early Churches of Constantinople: Architecture and Liturgy (1973 Alice David Hitchcock Book Award, Society of Architectural Historians)

Best Sellers

Ascanio Condivi, The Life of Michelangelo, trans. Hellmut Wohl and Alice Sedgwick Wohl (1999): 4,500+

David Carrier, Principles of Art History Writing (1991): 4,000+

Linda Safran, ed., Heaven on Earth (1997): 3,500+

Helen Molesworth et al., Work Ethic (2003): 3,500+

Susan Dackerman, Painted Prints (2002): 3,000+

John Cech, Angels and Wild Things (1996): 3,000+

Darsie Alexander, ed., SlideShow (2005): 3,000+

Jay M. Fisher, William R. Johnston, Kimberly Schenck, and Cheryl K. Snay, The Essence of Line (2004): 2,500+

R. Ward Bissell, Artemisia Gentileschi and the Authority of Art (1998): 2,500+

Helen Molesworth et al., Part Object Part Sculpture (2005): 2,500+

Thomas F. Mathews, The Early Churches of Constantinople (1972): 2,500+

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For a complete list of all of our in print books, click for a PDF copy of our most recent Books in Print catalog.