Wertkin, Gerard C., ed. Encyclopedia of American Folk Art. Routledge, $125.
Choice: “Entries tend to be detailed, and in some cases, extensive. The work is heavily and usefully cross-referenced. Most entries end with brief bibliographies. Although not heavily illustrated, the work offers a number of interesting color and black-and-white illustrations keyed to specific items. A welcome addition to an area of art that is becoming increasingly important to American artistic culture. Highly recommended.” Booklist: “The editors state that this encyclopedia offers ‘quick and convenient access to a remarkably diverse body of information drawn from three centuries of American folk creativity’—and they are correct. One missing feature is references in the entry text to relevant plates, and vice versa—plate captions that refer readers to the appropriate entries. Otherwise, the entries have extensive cross-referencing. The editors give well-deserved praise to the 92 specialists who wrote the signed entries. This encyclopedia will be useful to collectors, students, scholars, and experts. It is an excellent value for the cost and a recommended purchase for academic and large public libraries.” Library Journal: “This unique and highly useful reference tool is essential for all art libraries. It is not only crammed with information but also easy to use, fun to browse through, and totally up to the minute. Highly recommended.” Reference and Research Book News: “excellent color plates.”