Dad of Divas' Reviews: Book Review - Frederick Stuart Church: A Brush with Imagination

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Book Review - Frederick Stuart Church: A Brush with Imagination

About the Book

Frederick Stuart Church (1842–1924): born in Grand Rapids, MI, his formative teens in Chicago, on the front lines of the Union Army during the Civil War and to New York to become an artist at the age of 28. A popular illustrator, he took up painting in watercolors and oils and became a major presence in American art. 

Frederick Stuart Church: A Brush with Imagination is the first book devoted to this remarkable man and his art. 

Bringing together all of Church's activities; illustration, painting, etching, and writing, the authors present a comprehensive review of his creative expression that, combined with details of his life provides the basis for a new and fuller appreciation of the man and his art. 

The completely documented text supported by 256 illustrations (71 in full color) and more than 800 references is the result of 20 years of intensive research by the authors.  Few stones remain unturned. 

This book is an important contribution to late nineteenth century American art and illustration and will be the definitive work on the artist for a long time. 

About the Artist
Frederick Stuart Church achieved many successes as an artist/illustrator in New York City from 1870 to 1924.  He enjoyed the patronage of wealthy clients, held influential positions with major art associations, and maintained close friendships with many of America's important artists of the period. 

With ancestral roots in the Mayflower, born and raised in the western frontier, battle tested on the Union front lines of the Civil War, and never having set foot outside the borders of the U.S.A. till the age of 64; it would be hard to find a more American artist.  Little wonder that his contemporaries considered him a major contributor to American art and that his works were included in the major collections of American art of his day. 

A hard worker, he published nearly one thousand illustrations in newspapers, magazines and books, created hundreds of paintings in watercolor and oil, was active in the American painter/etcher movement and even wrote several short stories.  In spite of these achievements his works are little known and appreciated today.

My Take on the Book

This book was so complete! What I loved was that I have seen this artist's work up close and from afar. I lived in Grand Rapids for 6 years and you can see his artwork in the city. This book is a testament to his work and it is beautifully put together and his work displayed for all to read and enjoy. 

I have not seen a book on Church in the past and when I looked I came up with very little. This book, I believe, will soon become the main text for all individuals who appreciate Church's work. The research that went into the production of this text was apparent and anyone who knows and loves Church's works will love this book. Yet, in a broader sense any art lover will appreciate the text as it takes 40 years of work and makes then tangible for any reader.

Overall, this was a very well written book and one that will spark a new group of art lovers to find Church and renew his life's work in a new generation! 

All opinions expressed in this review are my own and not influenced in any way by the company.  Any product claim, statistic, quote or other representation about a product or service should be verified with the manufacturer or provider. Please refer to this site's Disclaimer  for more information. I have been compensated or given a product free of charge, but that does not impact my views or opinions.
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