Acquired Tastes. 200 Years of Collecting for the Boston Athenaeum.

Boston: Boston Athenaeum, 2007,

First Edition. quarto, cloth in dust jacket. 388 pp. Boston Athenaeum, Item #17649

This book celebrates the 200th anniversary of the historic Boston Athenæum, one of this country’s earliest and most prestigious repositories of books, paintings, sculpture, engravings, maps, photographs, manuscripts, decorative arts, and other artifacts of history and design. Acquired Tastes is the first in-depth, scholarly study of the Boston Athenæum’s collections and the manner in which they were gathered from the early nineteenth to the early twenty-first centuries. These topics are expanded and brought into sharper focus in fully-illustrated catalogue entries on a wide variety of objects that represent the breadth of the Athenæum’s holdings. From its founding in 1807, the Boston Athenæum’s primary mission has been to provide collections that stimulate study, discussion, and debate on all topics of interest to the enquiring mind. In the Enlightenment of the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries—the historic period that saw the founding of the Boston Athenæum and similar organizations—it was believed that intellectual endeavors more easily germinated and thrived in an atmosphere that was spacious, comfortable, quiet, and aesthetically pleasing. Here, books and manuscripts could be preserved, logically organized, and made accessible, and utilitarian objects could be logically grouped with didactic ones for comparison and discussion. In this setting, too, fine examples of paintings, sculpture, drawings, and engravings fulfilled their traditional purposes of education and inspiration and—together with those from the world of science—stimulated imaginations, im proved morals, and refined aesthetic tastes. Celebrate the Boston Athenæum’s 2007 bi-centennial with this lavish tribute, published in conjunction with one of the most ambitious Athenæum exhibitions ever mounted. 164 color illus, 71 black and white illustrations. New.

Price: $65.00 save 40% $39.00