WRITING thirty years after the original publication of his two-volume "History of American Art," Sadakichi Hartmann says, "Most of the men I believed in in my younger days have made good, and proportionately to the space and number of paragraphs I allotted them"; this statement to some extent sums up the work.
The greatest value of the present edition to contemporary readers is to be found in the last two chapters which deal with art in America since the nineties. But even here the pages are crowded with accounts of artists who are already forgotten. Mr. Hartmann is obviously sceptical of the more recent trends. Impressionism he is willing to accept with reservations: but of the radical manifestations of the twenties he is more sceptical. "The young artists . . . are sitting at the feet of Nobody," he eclaims, and that in his eyes is condemnation enough.
Except for the addition of these two chapters, little revising of the 1901 edition of the work is apparent. Even minor facts such as Whistler's death are left unrecorded. But certainly the two volumes are more than adequate for reference work; and for general interest, far from nugatory.