Museum Books



A Charmed Vision:
The Art of Carolyn Plochmann

1990, 9 ¾” x 10 ¼”

It is hoped that this book with its reproductions of forty-four paintings will serve as the window through which many more viewers will encounter the “charmed vision” of Carolyn Plochmann.  Intensely personal in its inspiration yet remarkably universal in its implications, Plochmann’s work delights the eye with its resonant color and richly painted surfaces and the introspective eye with its haunting iconography and the suggestive juxtaposition of its imagery.  Beneath the surface and encoded in the composition of these beautiful compelling works, the artist’s reflections about the complexity and diversity, the simplicity and the universality of the human condition lie waiting to be discovered by the discerning viewer.

Carolyn Gassan Plochmann was born in Toledo, Ohio, where she had her first one-person exhibition at the Toledo Museum of Art when she was fifteen years old.  After receiving her undergraduate degree at the University of Ohio, Plochmann received a Master of Fine Arts degree, as a George W. Stevens Fellow, at the State University of Iowa.  She then served as supervisor of art at Southern Illinois University at Carbondale, where she studied anatomy at the university’s medical school.  The artist lives, as she has for many years, in Boskydell, Illinois, a small town near Carbondale, with her husband, George Kimball Plochmann, a philosopher, writer, and editor.

In a career that spans more than four decades, Plochmann has received numerous awards and her work has been exhibited widely, exciting the praise and recognition of her peers and of critics.  During this time, while ignoring artistic trends and fashions, Plochmann has developed an art so positive and evocative that it prompted R. Buckminster Fuller to write: “She finds and now reports to us a message of home, of the possibilities of man’s regeneration in the universe.”

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Theodore Clement Steele:
An American Master of Light

1995, 9 ¾” x 10 ¼”

This landmark book, -- written by Williams Gerdts, the leading authority on American Impressionism, is the first major study of one of America’s eminent Impressionists.  It examines the life and work of Theodore Clement Steele (1847 – 1926).  Born in a “little log house in an orchard” near Gosport, Indiana, T.C. Steele had a lifelong love affair with the Indiana landscape, but the timeless universality of his picture-making provides his depictions of the midwestern landscape and cityscape with a welcoming familiarity that appeals to all lovers of art and nature.

The thirty-eight color paintings selected for this volume, many of which have never been reproduced before, celebrate not only the beauties of Indiana but those Steele observed in his travels to Germany and the Pacific Northwest.  The superb color reproductions, which capture the subtle interaction of form, color, and light in Steele’s poetic and masterfully executed images reveal the universality and “beauty, harmony and order” that have earned his art renewed critical attention in recent years.

A child prodigy, T.C. Steele entered Indiana’s Waveland Collegiate Institute at the age of twelve.  A year later he was teaching a drawing class.  In 1880 with the financial support of thirteen friends and patrons from Indiana, he enrolled in the Royal Academy in Munich.  Under the guidance of J. Frank Currier, he began painting landscapes in nearby Schlessheim.  After five years in Germany, unlike many of his American colleagues studying abroad, Steele returned to Indiana, where he lived and worked for the rest of his life, exhibiting his work regionally and nationally.

A member of the Hoosier School, which included fellow Munich-trained Indiana artists William Forsyth and John Ottis Adams, Steele promoted and sponsored midwestern art as a founder and director of the Indiana School of Art and founding member of the Society of Western Artists, as associate member of the National Academy of Design, and as a jury member for selections and awards for three world’s fair art exhibitions.  He received an honorary doctorate from Indiana University, Bloomington, where he also served as artist-in-residence.

In The Hoosier Group: Five American Painters, the author of this book wrote: “The mastery of light and dark along with the strength of the forms demonstrates Steele’s security in his art.”  This volume confirms Steele’s unique achievement and places him securely in the mainstream of American art.

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The Lyrical Constructivist:
Don Gummer Sculpture

2001, 9 ¾” x 10 ¼”

Through the insightful perspective of Peter Plagens, Art Critic for Newsweek Magazine, this publication traces the development – with photographs and prose – of the work of one of the country’s most original and inventive sculptors.

Don Gummer first came to the attention of the New York art scene in the late 1970s and early 1980s with his painted-wood wall reliefs – formally layered geometric arrangements with strong architectural influence.  He would later move from the wooden wall reliefs to metal “building” shapes of his own imagination.

Soon the pieces would become free-standing works of compelling strength and authority.  Whether whimsically employing cardboard boxes as forms for his more recent treelike stainless-steel and bronze sculptures, or creating monumental “skyscraper” shapes, Gummer’s unique style is characterized by a masterful attention to craftsmanship and detail.

Gummer is married to the actress, Meryl Streep.

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Objects of Desire: The Art of Frederick Carder
The Alan and Susan Shovers
Collection of Steuben Glass

2005, 8 ¾” x 11 1/8”

In just six years, Alan and Susan Shovers have brought together a collection that would rival any of its kind in private hands.  It explores with taste and discernment the work of one of the giants in the creation and development of art glass.

Frederick Carder, an Englishman who came to the United States in 1903, co-founded the celebrated American glasshouse known as the Steuben Glass Works.  In the ensuing years, his stunning and innovative artistic achievements would earn him a unique place in the annals of American Decorative Arts. 

This lavishly illustrated book, meticulously photographed and annotated by Alan Shovers, gives not only keen insights into the complex techniques and creative spirit of a master craftsman, but also reflects the zeal of a collector whose heart and imagination have been captured by objects that are, at once, supremely well-made and beautiful.

An invaluable reference and a visual delight, this book will complement the library of both the seasoned connoisseur and anyone who takes pleasure in the rare and exquisite object.

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Rituals ● Rites ● Celebrations:
Reaching Across Time

By Al Harding, Jr.

2006, 12 ¼” x 9 ¼”

It’s a story as old as time itself – a man’s basic need to create traditions.  In this remarkable new book, a color-drenched panoply of visual delight, a discerning photographer and intrepid traveler takes us on a journey that surprises and inspires us at every turn.

Having visited over 100 countries since 1973 with his wife and worthy traveling companion, Roberta, Al Harding presents us with a unique and compelling gift of rituals, filled to brimming with the treasures of new-found secrets and timeless truths. 

Here, the peoples of the world are deftly joined together by an artist who has come to understand the commonalities in human experience.

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Object Project
Five Objects · Fifteen Artists

2007, 8 ¾” x 11 1/8”

This fascinating collection of 28 works of art is the result of more than two years of creative industry by some of America’s leading proponents of Contemporary Realism.

16 Contemporary American Artists were challenged by the Museum to create two works of art that contained the same five objects:
         a ball of string
         a mirror
         a glass of water
         a bone
         a moth

In his spirited and insightful essay, M. Stephen Doherty, distinguished Editor-in-Chief of American Artist, Watercolor, Drawing & Workshop Magazines, chronicles with a discerning eye the journey that brought together ten men and five women from vastly different backgrounds and life experiences to lend their unique narrative visions to a compelling common goal.

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