A selection of the most delectable specimens. From the vivid green
oranges grown in Florida to the delicate yellow cherries found in
Michigan, the book provides a sumptuous journey of discovery.--Baya
Simmons "Financial Times"
Not only visually arresting, but botanically accurate.--Emily Gosling "Creative Boom"
That the U.S. Department of Agriculture and art could be on speaking terms seems astonishing. Yet from 1886 to 1942 the agency commissioned artists to document fruits and nuts grown in the United States, to record the varieties and help with identification at a time when the use of color photography was not widespread. The beautiful new book exhibits but a fraction of the 7,584 botanical watercolor paintings in the collection. Lively, informative text accompanies the illustrations.--Florence Fabricant "New York Times Cooking"
The pictures are virtuosic... you feel you could reach out and pick from it.--Sebastian Smee "Washington Post"
These artists were in the business of rivaling color photography, not yet widely used. More than a picture book, this is a survey of visual learning; prior to the orange's introduction in Europe during the Renaissance, Westerners went around calling the shade of the same name 'yellow-red.'--Lizzy Harding "Bookforum"
Because color photography was not yet reliable in the 1890s, the division relied on the meticulous observation and brushwork of Newton and her colleagues to record the bounty harvested from the continent's sprawling orchards and fields. Their stunning pictures of oranges and apples and strawberries and persimmons, which have long been a resource for specialists on the USDA website, have finally received the mainstream attention they deserve.--Jonathon Keats "Forbes"
The book's main attraction is its hundreds of lusciously detailed, full-color illustrations: the reader can almost taste and smell the bright, juicy fruits and nuts across its pages. But the catalogue's accompanying texts by Adam Leith Goliner, Jaqueline Landey, John McPhee, and Michael Pollan about each fruit's history and makeup -- which encompass elements of archaeology, anthropology, botany, and the arts -- are unexpectedly illuminating, and nearly as delightful.--Lauren Moya Ford "Hyperallergic"
The technical accuracy of these illustrations is a marvel, finding beauty even in the diseased and rotten...--Holly Black "Elephant"