The latest in Phaidon's series of gorgeous oversized books is The American Art Book. In alphabetical order from Berenice Abbott's 1930s gelatin silver print of Manhattan at night to William Zorach's primitive-looking 1951 stone sculpture of a sleeping woman, there are 500 artists and works in this book. The breadth permits an impressive panorama of the artistic urge in America, from the continental days to the end of the millennium. Every time you turn a page, you find something wonderful photorealistic painters Ralph Goings and Richard Estes, photographers Nan Goldin and Cindy Sherman, landscape painters Frederick Church and Thomas Cole. The book is worth the price just for Horace Pippin's classic 1946 oil Man on a Bench. You'll also find a helpful glossary and a directory of museums and galleries.

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