Central Park : an American masterpiece text and photographs by Sara Cedar Miller

    Review by:  Linda J.

Title:  Central Park : an American masterpiece

Author:  text and photographs by Sara Cedar Miller

Collection:  Adult Non-Fiction

Sara Cedar Miller has been the photographer for the Central Park Conservancy since 1984 and the historian since 1989.

As the Conservancy’s historian, she appears on radio and television as a Park spokesperson, conducts specialized tours, and lectures.

As the Conservancy’s photographer, Sara has shot thousands of photographs of Central Park, from its dark days in the 1980s through its 25-year renaissance. She documents the Conservancy’s milestones and events, and keeps a stock library of Park photographs, many of which have been published in magazines and newspapers around the world. She also manages the publication of the Conservancy’s annual report.

A national authority on Central Park, Sara has written a book, Central Park, An American Masterpiece, published by Henry N. Abrams, Inc. in 2003, which explores the Park’s history and facets of its art and design.

Every time I visit my daughter in NYC, we visit Central Park, so when I saw this book I checked it out.  I have only seen a small fraction of the park.  There is so much more to enjoy.  This book was full of beautiful pictures and history from the contest for the design of the park to the latest memorials such as Strawberry Fields.  The creation of Central Park marked a new art form-America’s first earthwork.  Many people think the park was created by leaving nature alone, but the park took twenty years to construct.  The codesigners of the park, Frederick Law Olmsted and Calvert Vaux, considered themselves to be artists and their works to be equal to landscape painting.
The pictures of the park span decades.  As the park evolved, some elements stayed the same while some changed.  There are no longer goats and sheep grazing the fields, but the area they inhabited is still called the Sheep Meadow.  The author also included some pictures taken of the same area a century apart.
I can’t wait to go back to New York and see Central Park from a whole new perspective.

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