The Library of Congress: The Art and Architecture of the Thomas Jefferson Building, a handsome, richly illustrated 320-page book exploring the history and sumptuous architecture and decoration of the Library's first building -- itself an American treasure -- has just been published by W.W. Norton & Co. in association with the Library.
Edited by John Y. Cole, director of the Library's Center for the Book, and architectural historian Henry Hope Reed, the volume features 185 full-color photographs of the recently renovated and reopened Jefferson Building, most of them taken by noted photographer Anne Day especially for this book. It also includes 95 black-and-white photographs taken over the course of the building's first 100 years. The book's designer is Robert L. Wiser of Archetype Press in Washington, D.C.
Published to commemorate the centennial of the Jefferson Building's opening, The Library of Congress: The Art and Architecture of the Thomas Jefferson Building is available in bookstores nationwide and in the Library of Congress Sales Shop; phone (202) 707-0204. The price is $60.
Following a preface by Dr. Billington and introductory essays by Daniel J. Boorstin, Librarian of Congress Emeritus, and writer Brendan Gill, the book includes seven illustrated essays that describe and, in some cases, present new information about the building's planning, construction, architecture, decoration, murals, sculpture and renovation.
The essays are: "Struggle for a Structure," by John Y. Cole; "The Thomas Jefferson Building as a Work of Art" by Pierce Rice; "Handbook of the New Library of Congress" by Herbert Small; "The Decorators" by Henry Hope Reed; "Painted Words" by Richard Murray; "The Sculptural Program for the Library of Congress" by Thomas P. Somma; and "Restoration and Renovation" by Barbara Wolanin.
Other features include a chapter illustrating souvenirs of the opening of the building; a full-color schematic diagram; illustrations of the building's architectural features; and an illustrated glossary of architectural and decorative terms.
The book was supported in part by the James Madison Council, a private-sector support group dedicated to helping the Library of Congress share its unique resources with the nation and the world.