So Franklin was recently describing some of his recent purchases from library sales in Boston. Some nice things, very nice, to be sure--but I think I have him beat. It's not exactly a fair contest--I had inside access to the book sale I went to before it was open to the public, and I'm afraid I spent more money than he likely did--but I still can't help but brag about the following:
The Glory of Byzantium. Wanted this one for a while--the catalog to the Met's magisterial exhibition of . . . more than ten years ago? How did that happen? This one was a steal, at any rate, at only $3.
Pieter Saenredam, The Utrecht Work. I'm not sure I would have bought this, as good as it looks, except it was a like-new hardcover and Saenredam had been on my mind, having been looking at a painting by him just the day before. Plus, I once spent a couple of pleasurable days in Utrecht, mostly in the churches he painted.
Art & Architecture of India: Buddhist-Hindu-Jain. An old Pelican, out of date, I'm sure, and in an area I know next to nothing about, but hey, it's got some pictures and is in hardcover. It was also very cheap (50 cents?), if I remember correctly.
The Embarrassment of Riches: An Interpretation of Dutch Culture in the Golden Age. The embarrassment of admitting I've never read this? The embarrassment of buying it? They had multiple copies, and it's probably entertaining. Also very cheap.
Art and Architecture in Italy, 1600-1750. An old, unrevised edition, but worthwhile nevertheless.
Along the Ancient Silk Routes: Central Asia Art from the West Berlin State Museums. Excited about this--very Black Narcissus. Since I read Foreign Devils on the Silk Road a few months back, it seemed like a natural.
Watteau, 1684-1721. National Gallery exhibition catalog, huge, not much more to be said. Only misgiving is that the binding is a little weak--have to be careful with it. Still, only $7.
Henri Matisse: The Early Years in Nice, 1916-1930. Really have no idea if this is any good, but it has a lot of really good color reproductions, and I realized that there was very little Matisse in my life or my book collection (only one book on him, and it's a tiny Elderfield essay.) At $3, why not?
There's more, including the stack of periodicals I mentioned in comments below, but the centerpiece has to be this: Agnes Mongan and Paul J. Sachs, Drawings in the Fogg Museum of Art: A Critical Catalogue. First edition, 1940, three huge fat volumes in very good condition (aside from the dust jackets, which are somewhat soiled, crinkled, with small tears, I'd say excellent condition.) I'm so excited, I took a bad cellphone photograph of them on my bookshelf. Damn, even in that bad photograph that doesn't do them justice, they look good. These did cost a bit of money, but far less than half of what Powells is selling them for (and their price is cheap compared to what I've seen it go for elsewhere.) Needless to say, I am very excited about this one. Now I just need the time to look at them.
There's some other stuff, but the one that excites me most is not an art book: The Selected Poems of Janet Lewis. I've been reading about her poetry for more than a decade, so it's a pleasure to finally read the work itself. More on that, I hope, to come. But if you'll excuse me now, I've got to spend some time on the couch in my office with a few good books.