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[ 300 ] . BOOK REVIEWS annoying necessity of turning pages to match picture and text. It is an extremely valuable survey of our artifactual past, and its attractive format and distinguished scholarship deserve the attention of colonial historians. The theme of the book, however, never emerges distinctly, and it is the absence of any controlling set of arguments that makes it somewhat disappointing and, occasionally, a little dull. The difficulty no doubt is caused by the ambiguous status of its reading audience, so difficult is it to satisfy both specialists and intelligent laymen. Since the illustrations and information are available in other places, specialists might have appreciated more sprightliness and originality, while the public itself could have enjoyed a more provocative text with as much propriety as the present sober one. Along with synthesis, then, should have come some guidelines on which readers could organize their conceptions of colonial creativity. Despite Mr. Wright's summary, these guidelines never emerge. Professor Tatum's essay on colonial architecture does offer the best effort. His narrative yields a sense of development, although a few of his eighty-nine illustrations might have depicted some contemporary European buildings, to give readers a better sense of comparative scale. But Professor Tatum is both suggestive and precise, mixing together in wise portions comments on the status of the American architect, the social functions of the buildings he created, and the stylistic repertoire his customers enjoyed. The other essays are less interesting. Professor McCoubrey's attempt to summarize colonial painting is marred by an excessive concentration on the few most important eighteenth-century painters, and a dismissal of less distinguished portraitists like Joseph Badger and Joseph Blackburn. More commentary on the social significance of the seventeenth-century tradition and the journeymen painters who perpetuated it would have been helpful. Nonetheless Professor McCoubrey scatters a number of perceptive and stimulating remarks within his commentary and possesses the gift of bringing a subject to life in just three or four sentences. His comparison of two Copley portraits—Epes Sargent and Isaac Smith—is pointed and memorable. The section on colonial furniture and silver is the most difficult to absorb, and this may have been caused by reliance on a generally unf amiliar technical vocabulary. Had Professor Smith spent less time describing the objects he chose to illustrate and more on the social context surrounding the colonial artisan, the essay might have been more enticing. No effort, for example, is made to connect stylistic change to the nature of colonial apprenticeship and the prevailing labor shortage. And the interesting regional variations that marked the decorative arts might also have occasioned some expanded comment, but, beyond referring to them constandy, Professor Smith offers no suggestions on why Philadelphia and Newport became the centers of such distinctive styles.