I’m optimistic that 2013 will be a better year! Instead of my normal resolutions (lose weight, live healthier, etc), this year my number one resolution is going to be “listen better”. How does this relate to John Bennett?

Almost 10 years ago I heard about a book that sounded like it would have good information about John Bennett. The book was expensive (for regular folks), so I looked to other, more affordable sources for information. As I’ve mentioned before, more and more museums are developing accessible data bases on line and more information is becoming available about John Bennett. I told myself that I would go to the library to find the book but that was successful as the losing weight resolution.

Last year a collector/friend from New York mentioned to me that I should read this book. Time passed and for a year I had not read the book.

Over the holidays I reviewed a copy of the book. My estimate is the information about John Bennett that was in this book was equal to about 5 years of my research! Had I read the book earlier I could have saved myself many hours of reading, web surfing and note taking. Lessons learned: Stop procrastinating and listen better! The book was incredible! It is well written, organized and comprehensive with John Bennett information. It also has a trail of reference materials that will keep me busy for some time. I looked online to see if the price had dropped on the book. It had not. On Amazon.com the book could be found for $74.85 (used) or $2,217.54 (new)! I jumped over to Barnes and Noble.com and the book listed form various locations in the range of $229.50 – $325.47.

Here is the information about this incredible book:

Title: In Pursuit of Beauty: Americans and the Aesthetic Movement

Author: Burke, Doreen Bolger

Contributor: Metropolitan Museum of Art (New York, N.Y.)

Publisher: Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1986

Length: 511 pages


The book is also available for the great price of FREE! I initially found the book at Google books. The book can be read but it currently states that an ebook is not available for downloading. To review the book, click here.

Then I found it again for FREE! The electronic version is now available from the Metropolitan Museum! The book is out of print and currently not available for purchase, but can be downloaded as a PDF! To download the book, visit MetPublications here.


To the right of the picture of the book are tab buttons which you can click to “Read online” or “Download pdf”

The book is as beautiful as it is informative. Now I have it on my iPad. It is awesome to read the book during breaks and to have the references used to write the book. Even if you have read the book, it’s great to have in your collection. The good thing about having it electronically is that it is searchable. Being searchable, makes this book valuable as a reference tool, not only for John Bennett but the other artists which contributed to the Aesthetic Movement. If you’re interested in the Aesthetic Movement, you will love this book.

Truthfully, I did not read the entire 511 page book. I did read more than just the John Bennett portions. John Bennett is discussed on pages: 20, 216-220, 231, 326, 426, 452 and 402-403

The book is comprehensive with John Bennett history, information about those that he was influenced by and his contribution to America and the Aesthetic Movement. The pictures are stunning examples of John Bennett pottery and reflect the quality and importance of the Metropolitan’s Decorative Arts collection. It also references other prestigious museums which have John Bennett work in their collection.

I would like to thank Doreen Bolger Burke for writing the book, my friend Robert for recommending it and the Metropolitan Museum for making the book available electronically. I encourage everyone to visit the museum and to support the efforts of the Metropolitan Museum. For more information about the museum, click here.