Central Park NYC: New book shows the most beautiful and most beloved features from the park
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Central Park NYC: New book shows the most beautiful and most beloved features from the park
© Central Park NYC by Andrew Zega and Bernd H. Dams, Rizzoli New York, 2013.

NEW YORK, NY.- Frederick Law Olmsted’s Central Park is famed for its naturalistic design and the beauty and diversity of its landscape features. The rich body of sculpture and architecture in this National Historic Landmark is a cherished element of New York City’s cultural heritage and includes pavilions; memorials and monuments; sculptures, bridges, and arches; gates and rustic shelters; gardens, lakes, and meers; and even a 3,500-year-old Egyptian obelisk. Surprisingly few of the park’s features stand today as they were originally designed: a large number have been altered, too many have been demolished, and yet others were never realized. But here, after years of meticulous research, authors Andrew Zega and Bernd H. Dams present in CENTRAL PARK NYC the most beautiful and most beloved features from the park’s 160-year history—as well as exceptional unrealized projects, evocative ornamental details, and surprising discoveries.

Whether depicted as originally designed or in contemporary portraits, Central Park’s architectural and ornamental highlights are delineated in ravishing watercolors rendered in exquisite detail. The authors explore the beautiful details of the legendary park—from Bethesda Fountain to the USS Maine Memorial, the Obelisk to the Mall, and everything in between—by means of artful watercolor illustrations, never previously published. With chapters firmly grounded by extensive research and informed by a broad knowledge of architectural and social history—complemented by numerous contemporary and archival photographs, as well as maps of the park—the authors examine the actors, intentions and ideas guiding the creation and evolution of this national treasure and delve into its many extraordinary details, offering us a fresh vision of New York’s beloved Central Park.

Celebrated for their luminous and exacting watercolors of historic garden architecture, the Parisbased team of Andrew Zega and Bernd H. Dams are gifted polymaths, combining an encyclopædic knowledge of architecture, gardens and design with exceptional artistic skill. Their authoritative restitutions of historic buildings are rendered in a highly realistic watercolor technique that has become their trademark. Their complementary training and skills as architects, historians, watercolorists and writers has ensured that each of their investigative projects has been rich in interpretive discoveries, as well as producing often-revelatory drawings. The authors began their careers in New York City and in 1995 established their partnership, Architectural Watercolors, in Paris, France. They have co-authored and co-illustrated seven previous books, including Palaces of the Sun King: Versailles, Trianon, Marly (Rizzoli 2002) and Chinoiseries (Rizzoli 2008).

Their exquisite watercolors are prized for their realist technique and historical accuracy. Their work has been featured in leading periodicals worldwide and has been exhibited regularly at Didier Aaron, Inc. in Manhattan, as well as in galleries and museums in the United States, England, France, Germany and Switzerland. Their watercolors are held in the foremost public and private collections, including those of the New-York Historical Society, the Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum, the Louvre's Musée des Arts-décoratifs, the Museum of the Île-de-France, Princeton University and the Getty Center's artist's books collection.

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(1941 - 2019)
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Writer: Ofelia Zurbia Betancourt

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