Legacy of Excellence

William Weaver, Author, II Richard Weaver, Author, David Morowitz, Photographer
William Weaver, Author, II Richard Weaver, Author, David Morowitz, Photographer ABRAMS $49.5 (152p) ISBN 978-0-8109-3587-7
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Bernard Berenson (1865-1959), who continues to be controversial into our day for purported shady art deals, was an outstanding figure in the world of art and intellect--the author of books on Italian painting, a connoisseur solicited by agents and collectors, a man of apparently boundless interests and a social magnet for such luminaries as Edith Wharton and Walter Lippman who visited I Tatti, the Berenson villa near Florence. Weaver (Marino Marini) traces the achievements of Berenson and his wife, Mary (who restored I Tatti's formal gardens), and, more innovatively, describes the villa's continuing life as the result of Berenson's bequest as the Harvard University Center for Renaissance Studies. Although the pictures of the villa and its people as portrayed here are attractive enough, they pale beside the Berenson collection of Italian Renaissance paintings reproduced throughout the book. (May)
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