Posted January 20, 2001
Davenport's Art Reference & Price Guide, 2001/2002
Davenport's Art Reference & Price Guide, 2001/2002 continues to be the best and most comprehensive artist index available anywhere-- including over the internet. This eleventh edition contains basic biographical and price information on over 225,000 artists-- 25,000 more artists than in the previous edition. Each artist listing includes data, subject to availability, such as the artist's full name, birth and death dates (when applicable), nationality, specialties (painter, sculptor, etc.), subject matters, auction prices, price ranges, notations of specific auctions where the artist's art has sold, references to books with additional biographical information, and approximate sizes of listings in those books.
The great advantage of Davenport's over other art reference books and online databases is that you can find out almost instantly whether an artist is known and whether or not his or her work has sold at auction. Davenport's is like the compass that points the way when all you have to go on is an artist's name and nothing else. Without Davenport's, you would have to repeatedly look up the artist in multiple art reference books and price resources hoping to find information; with Davenport's, you find the name fast and find out exactly where to go next. The best part about the index is that it provides data on numerous obscure and minor artists, many of whom are listed nowhere else.
Although the number of artists in Davenport's continues to increase with each edition, the price information related to many of those artists has, in some cases, become outdated, and, in other cases, is approximated with price ranges rather than documented with actual auction results. These problems have become serious enough to impact the book's standing as a price guide. With respect to outdated prices, the final notation at the end of most artist entries is a date in brackets like . A bracketed date indicates the most recent year in which a listing was updated. While an artist's basic biographical information changes little or not at all from year to year, his or her price information often does. In extreme instances, some artist listings in Davenport's have not been updated in over ten years while, at the same time, hundreds of pieces of their art have been sold at auctions.
As for the price ranges found in a number of artist listings, these are used when no auction sales data is available and can be even more misleading than outdated auction record information. All price ranges are approximated by the editors of Davenport's and are, at best, educated guesses as to the value of particular artists' art. In some cases these ranges have not been updated for years. In other cases, outdated ranges can now be replaced with actual auction records, but the editors have not yet gotten around to doing it. According to Davenport's publisher, Larry Marin, artist price information is gradually being updated, but due to the huge number of artists in the index, this process is expected to take several years.
In spite of its weaknesses, Davenport's is still the most frequently used artist reference in my library-- and I've got just about every artist dictionary, encyclopedia, index, price guide, who's who, CD-ROM, and online database at my fingertips. When someone asks me a question about an artist whose name I'm not familiar with, Davenport's is the first book that I check. I've said it before and I'll say it again: If you can afford to buy only one art reference book, make it Davenport's.
Davenport's Art Reference & Price Guide, 2001/2002 edited by Lisa Reinhardt, Gordon's Art Reference, Inc., Phoenix, AZ, 2000, hardbound, 2050 pages, 9 by 11 1/4 inches, $195.
Available from Gordon's Art Reference, Inc., 306 West Coronado Rd., Phoenix, AZ 85003-1147 or call 1-800-892-4622 or order directly from the Gordon's Art Reference website.
Techniques for Digital Artists
Bert Monroy, Photorealistic Techniques with Photoshop & Illustrator by Bert Monroy is one of the "Digital Masters" series of instructional manuals for digital artists published by New Riders press. A pioneer of digital art, Monroy shows, step-by-step, how he conceives and creates photorealistic digital works of art that look real, but do not exist in real life. In addition to the instructional texts, the book contains numerous examples of Monroy's digital art creations dating from the 1980's through the present. Whether you're a professional digital artist or illustrator, an art student, or an amateur who likes to make art on the computer, this book has something for you. From simple product illustrations to elaborate architectural scenes, Bert Monroy reveals his techniques and explains how anyone can create quality photorealistic digital works of art.
Bert Monroy, Photorealistic Techniques with Photoshop & Illustrator by Bert Monroy. New Riders, Indianapolis, 2000, softbound, illustrated, 10 by 10 inches, 261 pages, $49.99.
Available from New Riders, 201 West 103rd St., Indianapolis, IN 46290 or call toll-free 1-800-545-5914. Also available at the New Riders website.