The New Naturalists: Inside the Homes of Creative Collectors

Thames & Hudson. May 2022. 224p. ISBN 9780500024003. $40. INTERIOR DESIGN
Bingham (“Modern Living” series) has created a visually lush book that is a tour of collections of natural objects (e.g., shells, plants, rocks). Part coffee table book, part guide to collecting, the book’s emphasis is on the gorgeous photographs of the collections. However, there is minimal to no explanation of the items themselves. Some are labelled as one item but are actually an overwhelming assortment, while other collections display a more coherent focus on a single chosen item. The collections and homes visited are mainly in the United States and the UK; there are no homes or collections outside the States or Europe. The textual sections of the book are uneven. The introduction is weak, with not enough reflection or explanatory detail on why people collect, and collect what they do. However, the collectors’ tips are useful for anyone contemplating starting their own collection of natural objects, and there are also useful resources and an index at the end.
VERDICT An optional purchase for libraries with collections of art books.
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