Contact: Helen Dalrymple (202) 707-1940

October 8, 1997

New Book on the Jefferson Building's Art and Architecture To Be Published by W.W. Norton

The Library of Congress: The Art and Architecture of the Thomas Jefferson Building, a handsome, richly illustrated 320-page book exploring the history and sumptuous architecture and decoration of the Library's first building -- itself an American treasure -- will be published in November by W.W. Norton & Co. in association with the Library.

Edited by John Y. Cole, Director of the Library's Center for the Book, and architectural historian Henry Hope Reed, the volume features 185 full-color photographs of the recently renovated and reopened Jefferson Building, most of them taken by noted photographer Anne Day especially for this book. It also includes 95 black and white photographs taken over the course of the building's first one hundred years. The book's designer is Robert L. Wiser of Archetype Press, Washington, D.C.

Published to commemorate the centennial of the Jefferson Building's opening on Nov. 1, 1897, The Library of Congress: The Art and Architecture of the Thomas Jefferson Building will be available in bookstores across the country and in the Library of Congress Sales Shop. The price is $60.

Following a preface by Librarian of Congress James H. Billington and introductory essays by Daniel J. Boorstin, Librarian of Congress Emeritus, and writer Brendan Gill, the book includes seven illustrated essays that describe and, in some cases, present new information about the building's planning, construction, architecture, decoration, murals, sculpture, and renovation.

The essays are: "Struggle for a Structure," by John Y. Cole; "The Thomas Jefferson Building as a Work of Art," by Pierce Rice; "Handbook of the New Library of Congress," by Herbert Small (originally published in 1897); "The Decorators" by Henry Hope Reed; "Painted Words," by Richard Murray; "The Sculptural Program for the Library of Congress," by Thomas P. Somma; and "Restoration and Renovation," by Barbara Wolanin.

Other features include a chapter illustrating souvenirs of the opening of the building; a full-color schematic diagram; illustrations of the building's architectural features; and an illustrated glossary of architectural and decorative terms.

The book was supported in part by the James Madison Council, a national, private-sector advisory body dedicated to helping the Library of Congress share its unique resources with the nation and the world.

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PR 97-165
ISSN 0731-3527

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