"Myer Myers" by David L.              Barquist

Myer Myers Jewish Silversmith in Colonial New York David L. Barquist

Format:
Hardback
Publication date:
10 Sep 2001
ISBN:
9780300090574
Imprint:
Yale University Art Gallery
Dimensions:
336 pages: 279 x 241mm
Illustrations:
135 b-w + 160 color illus.

Categories:

Myer Myers, a Jewish silversmith in colonial America, created outstanding works for leading members of the New York elite, and the objects made in his workshop have long been regarded as among the most important American statements of the Rococo style. These works are also valuable for the information they provide about craftsmanship, patronage, colonial Judaism, and changing cultural values in pre- and post-Revolutionary America.

This stunning catalogue presents works from Myers’s workshop in conjunction with essays by eminent authorities on his life and times, all of which shed light on significant themes and events in American culture and history. Myers’s lifelong membership in the New York Jewish community, for example, reveals much about the role of religious minorities and social toleration in eighteenth-century America, and the artifacts he created for his family and religious community provide a vivid picture of colonial Jewish life. At the same time, Myers’s career as a silversmith offers insights into the complexities of preindustrial craftsmanship in America, showing that silversmiths were less autonomous than has previously been assumed. Catalogue entries provide a chronological survey of Myers’s career, highlighting his finest work, situating it within his routine shop production, and focusing on key objects to evoke the interplay of influences that shaped individual works of American art.

David L. Barquist is associate curator of American decorative arts at the Yale University Art Gallery. Jon Butler is William Robertson Coe Professor of American History and professor of religious studies and history at Yale University. Jonathan D. Sarna is Joseph H. and Belle R. Braun Professor of American Jewish History and professor of Judaic studies at Brandeis University.

?Handsomely designed and printed. . . . The book, bound to remain the standard reference work on Myers for a long time, includes introductory essays by John Butler on 18th-century New York and Jonathan Sarna on Judaism in Colonial America. Myers?s biography, his oeuvre, and the patronage of his art are examined in detail. The heart of the book is a descriptive catalog of objects produced by Myers, related works from London and New York, portraits and other records, and two appendixes with documentary and technical data.??Choice


"An artisan?s life work is celebrated in Myer Myers. . . . This admirable book, including nearly 200 photographs of rich rococo silverwork of the first order, is the catalogue to a Yale exhibition curated by Barquist, and delivers a fascinating scholarly look at a previously obscure aspect of pre-revolutionary America."?Publishers Weekly


?Mr. Barquist spent six years tracking the complex story of Myer Myers. His research has produced a greater understanding of Myers?s business than had been known, exploding forever the myth that every craftsman in the period worked by himself in a small workshop.??Rita Reif, New York Times


?In a monumental effort, [Barquist] seems to have gathered every scrap of information one can excavate from old documents and papers, and put it all into the exhibition?s first-rate catalog.??Owen McNally, Hartford Courant


?Myer Myers presents works from Myers? workshop in conjunction with essays by eminent authorities on his life and times, all of which shed light on significant themes and events in American culture and history. . . The text provides a chronological survey of Myers? career, highlighting his finest work, situating within his routine shop production, and focusing on key objects to evoke the interplay of influences that shaped individual works of American art.??New England Antiques Journal


?This is both a well-researched contribution on the work and life of the Jewish silversmith Myer Myers and an examination of the society in which he lived. . . . Of interest to historians and art historians, this book boasts a clear and concise style that will make it appealing to the general public as well. Recommended for public as well as academic libraries and especially for collections dedicated to Judaica.??Library Journal


?In meticulously researched essays [the authors] place Myers in the context of his trade, his community and his times. . . . Indispensable to connoisseurs of Americana, Judaica and rococo-style silver.??Jewish Chronicle


?This stunning catalogue presents works from Myers?s workshop in conjunction with essays by eminent authorities on his life and times, all of which shed light on significant themes and events in American culture and history.??Antique Dealer & Collectors Guide