The Smithsonian American Art Museum's Donald W. Reynolds Center in Washington, D.C. has been closed for over six years as the building has been renovated. In conjunction with its reopening on July 1, 2006, it has released a huge book showing masterworks in its collection, including paintings, photographs, sculptures, and other objects. While America's Art: Smithsonian American Art Museum by Theresa J. Slowik is attractive, it is a little short on content. The text says nearly nothing about the art work included. Instead the book seems to be a history of the United States with some discussion of the context within which artists worked. There are many beautiful but unexplained illustrations.
If students come wanting images of American art, this is their book. If they need any background information of the art works and the artists, they must look elsewhere.
A nice book if you have plenty of funds.
Slowik, Theresa J. America's Art: Smithsonian American Art Museum. New York: Abrams, 2006 ISBN 0810955326