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March 2019 Non-Fiction: Biography & Autobiography

Monument Man
The Life and Art of Daniel Chester French
By (author): Harold Holzer
9781616897536 Hardcover English General Trade BIOGRAPHY & AUTOBIOGRAPHY / Artists, Architects, Photographers Mar 05, 2019
$50.00 CAD
Active 6.25 x 9.25 x 1.25 in 368 pages Princeton Architectural Press
The artist who created the statue for the Lincoln Memorial, John Harvard in Harvard Yard, and The Minute Man in Concord, Massachusetts, Daniel Chester French (1850–1931) is America's best-known sculptor of public monuments Monument Man is the first comprehensive biography of this fascinating figure and his illustrious career. Full of rich detail and beautiful archival photographs, Monument Man is a nuanced study of a preeminent artist whose evolution ran parallel to, and deeply influenced, the development of American sculpture, iconography, and historical memory. Monument Man was specially commissioned by Chesterwood / National Trust for Historic Preservation. The release will coincide with the fiftieth anniversary of the opening of Chesterwood, his country home and studio, as a public site and with a major renovation of the Lincoln Memorial. The book includes a comprehensive geographical guide to French's public work.

Harold Holzer, winner of the 2015 Gilder Lehrman Lincoln Prize, is a Lincoln scholar and the author of numerous books on Civil War–era art and history. He currently serves as the director of the Roosevelt House Public Policy Institute at Hunter College, City University of New York. In 2008 he was awarded the National Humanities Medal.

"From French's New England upbringing to his death at his beloved Chesterwood estate and studio...Holzer leaves no stone unturned."

It's a conundrum: the most instantly recognizable sculpture by an American - the colossal marble "Abraham Lincoln" reigning over the Lincoln Memorial in Washington - was created by an artist few people can name. Harold Holzer's Monument Man: The Life and Art of Daniel Chester French aims to correct this art history deficit....As Holzer says, speaking of French's crowning masterpiece, the sculpture of Lincoln, "The artist, the subject, and the hour had met." The same might be said of Holzer....[His] scholarship is impeccable.
- The Christian Science Monitor

"[Monument Man] is a wonderful book, both an important chronicle of the moment when American sculpture reached its first maturity and a biography that brings the man, his art, and and his time vividly to life."
- The New Criterion

"[M]agisterial....Just as French was an apt scupltor for his famed subjects, we, as readers, are fortunate to have French's story told to us by Harold Holzer."
- Concord (Mass.) Journal

"This book will surely rank as the authoritative life od a man whose creations in stone and bronze have become inseparable parts of our historical emeory," - Ron Chernow

"This beautifully written, impeccably researched biography does much to resuscitate French's substantial contributions to American art."
- Kirkus Reviews

"Monument Man puts French's life in context and shows how he grew from an indifferent student to a world-renowned artist before his death in 1931."
- The Objective Standard

"It is a thing as rare as it is welcome-an authoritative book about a visual artist that is both well written and jargon free, and that seamlessly addresses a professional audience as well as the general reader. Just such a book is what the historian Harold Holzer has given us in "Monument Man: The Life and Art of Daniel Chester French."
- John Wilmerding, Wall Street Journal

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