September 03, 1979 12:00 PM

by Milton W. Brown, Sam Hunter, John Jacobus, Naomi Rosenblum, David M. Sokol

Readers might understandably feel as if they’re going to be quizzed after finishing this weighty—10 pounds—tome. It is essentially a textbook, useful and well-researched, comprising all the basics about native painting, sculpture, architecture, photography and the decorative arts from Colonial times to the present day. The coffee table crowd, though, may be disappointed in the 752 illustrations—many are small and only 104 are in color. And one searches in vain for probably the most famous American work, Arrangement in Grey and Black (“Whistler’s Mother”). (Abrams, $40. An edition for college bookstores—on lighter paper stock—can be had for $18.95)

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