COLLECTIONS | INSTITUTIONAL HISTORIES

PUBLISHER
DelMonico Books/The Frick Collection

BOOK FORMAT
Hardcover, 7.25 x 9.5 in. / 168 pgs / 122 color.

PUBLISHING STATUS
Pub Date
Active

DISTRIBUTION
D.A.P. Exclusive
Catalog: SPRING 2021 p. 3   

PRODUCT DETAILS
ISBN 9781942884798 TRADE
List Price: $29.95 CDN $41.95 GBP £27.00

AVAILABILITY
In stock

Exquisitely produced, this jacketed, linen-bound hardcover with red velvet bookmark is like a personal tour of one of the world's greatest and most beloved small museums—with 61 of the world's most interesting figures in contemporary culture commenting. A mini-masterpiece in book form.

Artists include: Bastiani, Bronzino, Bellini, Chardin, Clodion, Duccio di Buoninsegna, Corot, Fragonard, Gainsborough, Goya, Greuze, Holbin, Houdon, Ingres, Liotard, Sir Thomas Lawrence, Manet, Meissen Porcelain Manufactory, Rembrandt, Piero dela Francesca, George Romney, Titian, Tiepolo, Turner, Van Dck, Velázquez, Vermeer, Watteau, Whistler, Circle of Konrad Wirtz

"More was our favorite, More was sublime. I was into science fiction and knew he’d written Utopia. Whatever it was. And More had that outlandish beard stubble, the weird 'S-S-S' necklace, and, above all, the velvet sleeve. The sleeve was ecstasy, the sleeve should be illegal, the sleeve was Utopia. We fell into the sleeve. If you look close, we’re still in there, falling."
—Jonathan Lethem on Sir Thomas More (1527) by Hans Holbein the younger.

  

DELMONICO BOOKS/THE FRICK COLLECTION

The Sleeve Should Be Illegal

& Other Reflections on Art at the Frick

Edited by Michaelyn Mitchell. Foreword by Adam Gopnik. Preface by Ian Wardropper.

Featured image is reproduced from 'The Sleeve Should Be Illegal.'

Explore the treasures of The Frick Collection through the eyes of a diverse group of contemporary writers, artists and other cultural figures, from George Condo, Lydia Davis and Julie Mehretu to Abbi Jacobson and Edmund White

A cultural haven for museumgoers in New York and beyond, The Frick Collection holds masterpieces by some of the most celebrated artists in the Western tradition—among them Bellini, Gainsborough, Goya, Rembrandt, Vermeer and Whistler—installed in a Gilded Age mansion on Fifth Avenue.

This book includes 61 reflections on the Frick’s preeminent collection, with the contributors writing about an artwork that has personal significance, sharing how it has moved, challenged, puzzled or inspired them. Each text is accompanied by an illustration of the artwork. For example, writer Jonathan Lethem tells how he started going to the Frick as a teenager, to gaze at Hans Holbein’s portraits of Thomas Cromwell and Sir Thomas More. Historian Simon Schama revels in Turner’s Mortlake Terrace: Early Summer Morning, which reminds him of his own childhood growing up next to the River Thames. This engaging anthology attests to the inspirational power of art and reminds us that there is no one way to look.

Authors include: André Aciman, Ida Applebroog, Firelei Báez, Victoria Beckham, Tom Bianchi, Carter Brey, Rosanne Cash, Jerome Charyn, Roz Chast, George Condo, Gregory Crewdson, Joan K. Davidson, Lydia Davis, Edmund de Waal, Rineke Dijkstra, Mark Doty, Lena Dunham, Stephen Ellcock, Donald Fagen, Rachel Feinstein and John Currin, Teresita Fernández, Bryan Ferry, Michael Frank, Moeko Fujii, Adam Gopnik, Vivian Gornick, Agnes Gund, Carolina Herrera, Alexandra Horowitz, Abbi Jacobson, Bill T. Jones, Maira Kalman, Nina Katchadourian, Susanna Kaysen, Jonathan Lethem, Kate D. Levin, David Masello, Julie Mehretu, Daniel Mendelsohn, Rick Meyerowitz, Duane Michals, Susan Minot, Mark Morris, Nico Muhly, Vik Muniz, Wangechi Mutu, Catherine Opie, Jed Perl, Taylor M. Polites, Diana Rigg, Jenny Saville, Simon Schama, Lloyd Schwartz, Annabelle Selldorf, Arlene Shechet, Judith Thurman, Colm Tóibín, Chris Ware, Darren Waterston, Edmund White and Robert Wilson.


Featured image is reproduced from 'The Sleeve Should Be Illegal.'

PRAISE AND REVIEWS

Art Newspaper

Gareth Harris

Exclusive extracts ...bringing together texts by 62 cultural figures describing their preferred works in the Frick Collection

Midwest Book Review

James Cox

This engaging anthology attests to the inspirational power of art and reminds us that there is no one way to look.

New Yorker

Peter Schjeldahl

Some of the most appealing contributions are from thunderstruck amateurs. This is a charm of the book. Though now a grizzled professional, I still identify with them in spirit. [...] The works may be old, but our experience of them is strictly up to date. More than one contributor to “The Sleeve Should Be Illegal” invokes a sensation of walking on air after a visit to the Frick, a payoff of renewed faith in the powers of art and a forgivable pride in our own perhaps untrained and underused capacities to comprehend the aesthetic and spiritual stakes of a timeless game.

New York Review of Books

Colin B. Bailey

Satisfying, elegant, thoughtful, and respectful at every turn.

The Sleeve Should Be Illegal

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FROM THE BOOK
André Aciman on "Ville-d’Avray" (ca. 1860) by Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot

On a late November morning years ago, we crossed Central Park. I remember the bare trees along the way and the glacial air and the sodden earth underfoot, and I remember unleashed dogs scampering about in the mist with steam rising from their snouts while their owners stood jittering, rubbing their palms. When we reached Fifth Avenue, we scraped the mud off our shoes, entered The Frick Collection, and before we knew it, were facing Corot’s Ville-d’Avray and moments later Corot’s Boatman of Mortefontaine followed by Corot’s Pond. I had seen the paintings several times before, but this time, perhaps because of the weather, I realized something I’d never considered. I was about to tell my friend that Corot had captured Central Park perfectly, that looking at the boatmen in the paintings reminded me of the scene we’d just left behind by the deserted Boat Basin on 72nd Street, when I realized that I had gotten things entirely in reverse. It was not that Corot reminded me of the park, but that if the park meant anything to me now it was because it bore the inflection of Corot’s subdued melancholy. Central Park suddenly felt more real to me and was more stirring, more lyrical, and more beautiful because of a French painter who’d never even set foot in Manhattan. I liked the cold weather more now, the dogs, the scrawny trees, the damp and barren landscape that no longer felt late autumnal but that was starting to glow with peculiar reminders of early spring. New York as I’d never seen it before.

But just as I was about to explain this reversal, I began to see something else. I remembered the Ville-d’Avray I had visited as a young man, years earlier in France, and how I’d been struck by its beauty, not because of the town and its natural environs but because of Serge Bourguignon’s depiction of it in his 1962 film Les dimanches de Ville-D’Avray (a.k.a. Sundays and Cybèle). Now, the film too was imposing itself on Corot and on New York, and Corot himself was being projected back on the film. Only then did I realize that what truly attracted me to the paintings was something I’d never observed before and which explains why—despite all these mirrorings and reversals and despite the sky verging on the gray and the untended landscape over which hovered Corot’s muted lyricism—what I loved in each painting and what had suddenly buoyed my mood was something I’d never noticed before: a mirthy spot of red on the boatman’s hat. That hat caught my attention like an epiphany on a gloomy day in the country. Now it’s what I come to see each time I’m at the Frick and why I love Corot. It’s the tiny coin in the King Cake, like a subtle hint of lipstick on a stunning face, like an unforeseen afterthought, the mark of genius that reminds me each time that I like to see other than what I see until I notice what’s right before me.

FROM THE ARTBOOK BLOG

CORY REYNOLDS | DATE 3/20/2021

Lena Dunham on "Madame Baptiste aîné" in 'The Sleeve Should Be Illegal'

Lena Dunham on "Madame Baptiste aîné" in 'The Sleeve Should Be Illegal'

Jean-Baptiste Greuze's "Madame Baptiste aîné" (c. 1790) is reproduced from The Sleeve Should Be Illegal: & Other Reflections on Art at the Frick, published to accompany the opening of Frick Madison and containing 61 texts on works in the collection by leading voices in contemporary culture. Of this work, Lena Dunham writes, "'Madame Baptiste aîné' is drawn in 'pastel on cream paper,' a combination that makes it nearly impossible to remember that she has a face. In the Frick’s Handbook of Paintings, the commentary for Greuze’s portrait of the little-known wife of a celebrated male actress (they’re all actresses, darling) tells us that after a promising start on the stage, Madame Baptiste received roles of less and less import. You see, 'She had a terrible fault, which consisted of not allowing to be heard a single verse that she delivered.'⁠ … Ten years ago, I went to San Francisco, breaking the $500 limit on my first credit card so I could kiss on the trolley and eat ravioli in bed and snort Adderall off of Nan Goldin books. The boy I was visiting took a Polaroid of me in bed (oatmeal dress, oatmeal skin, greasy hair), and he watched as it developed, saying, 'Look, she’s a Renaissance maid!' I believed him, there in my nightgown. And I believed our love, and my body, would always be this strong and this good and that nobody forgets about strong and good things. I wasn’t right and I wasn’t wrong, but I also imagined people would keep their word and reality wouldn’t be a fight. I would look, every morning, like I had when I was freshly in love and caught on Polaroid. We all know how that goes. Especially Greuze. Especially Madame Baptiste.⁠ If I were being drawn in pastels by Greuze, I probably wouldn’t have the heart to interrupt and demand that my features be divisible from each other and my dress just a little less sheer, you know, to reflect the reality of being a working mother. I wouldn’t even say, 'Hey, I’m not that sad, Greuze—lighten up that smile!' I’d just purse my lips and nod my head, and that night, when my husband dragged me onstage… just to prove we were still the dream in action, well I, too, would whisper."⁠ continue to blog


FROM THE ARTBOOK BLOG

CORY REYNOLDS | DATE 1/26/2021

'The Sleeve Should Be Illegal' is a new release this week!

'The Sleeve Should Be Illegal' is a new release this week!

Featured image, Giovanni Bellini's St. Francis in the Desert (ca. 1476–78), is reproduced from The Frick Collection's superb new release, The Sleeve Should Be Illegal, co-published with DelMonico Books. A book like no other on our list, this highly anticipated hardcover collects 61 reflections on works in the Frick’s preeminent collection by some of today's most riveting cultural luminaries, spanning from André Aciman to Roz Chast, Abbi Jacobson to Bryan Ferry, and Jonathan Lethem (whose text inspired the title) to Julie Mehretu, Susan Minot, Wangechi Mutu and Edmund White, to name just a few, with an Introduction by Adam Gopnik. "The evocations of pictures contained in this book remind us of the astonishing truth that the timelier art is, the more timeless it becomes," Gopnik writes, "the more lodged in one window, the more available now. Gallery going is the only reliable form of time travel we possess. You are here, the limited map in the mall explains to us. You are everywhere, the pictures at the Frick insist. And we are." continue to blog


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