The book is divided into three sections. Part I, ‘The Historical Overview’, explores subjects ranging from the Hudson River School to the art of the American West, American artists in Europe, American Impressionism, modernism, African American art, and the major artists John Sloan, Everett Shinn, Marsden Hartley, Stuart Davis, Arshile Gorky, John Graham, Willem de Kooning and Guy Pène du Bois.
Part II deals with ‘Connoisseurship and the Collector’, and covers such topics as developing an instinct for quality; dealing in fine art; conservation; choosing wisely in making a collection; researching paintings you may be considering acquiring; the role of qualified art advisers; the anatomy of an auction; and legal issues when buying and selling art. Featured in these discussions are prominent collectors who have contributed so greatly to the American art scene over many years.
Part III is devoted to ‘Changes in the Art Market’. Here the authors consider, among other subject matter, ways of connecting historical American art and the modern world; why galleries matter; and shifting tastes in American art.
Part II begins with Joel Rosenkranz' essay Embracing the Third Dimension: Some Guidelines on Collecting One Hundred Years of Figurative American Sculpture, 1840–1940.