Matisse in the Barnes Foundation（Book Design）
Among its extraordinary masterworks of Post-Impressionist and early Modernist art, the Barnes Foundation contains one of the most significant holdings of Matisse in the world. The museum played a pivotal role in the artist’s career: Dr. Albert C. Barnes, the founder of the Barnes, was Matisse’s most serious American collector and in 1932 commissioned the painter to create the mural “The Dance” for the Foundation’s main gallery, leading to an important new phase of work. Abbott Miller and his team have designed “Matisse in the Barnes Foundation,” a landmark three-volume set that is the first authoritative publication to document this remarkable collection in full.
The massive 894-page book was a major undertaking by the Foundation. Edited by the art historian Yve-Alain Bois, a noted Matisse expert, it encompasses every piece by the artist in the museum’s collection—59 works from every stage of his career—each represented with a full-color image of the work, a photograph of the piece installed in the museum, and detailed interpretive analysis that tell the story of its acquisition and critical reception. The book also features essays on what Barnes thought of Matisse, how and why he collected his work, and the latest findings on Matisse’s techniques.
Color was essential to Matisse’s art, and Miller’s design utilizes a brilliant palette inspired by the artist to create a lively and engaging framework for a work of serious scholarship. To accommodate the size of the collection, the book has been divided into three volumes housed together in a slipcase. The hardcovers and the slipcase are each a different color, taken from Matisse’s “Le Bonheur de vivre,” an important Fauve painting at the Barnes. The fore-edges of the books are also printed with color, and inside, select pages are printed on the full spectrum of Favini Italian papers.