Raymond Starr, Book Review Editor
The Decoration of the California Missions.
By Norman Neuerburg. Santa Barbara: Bellerophon Books, 1987. Illustrations. Notes. 78 Pages. $5.95 Paperback.
The person most knowledgeable about the decoration of the California missions is clearly Dr. Norman Neuerburg. He has researched and worked on Mission decoration for decades, and his work is on display at many sites in the state. Dr. Neuerburg has now made his extensive knowledge more accessible to the rest of us through a new Bellerophon Book, The Decoration of the California Missions. This is a large (81/2′ x 11″) format book with many drawings by the author, plus both black and white and color photographs. The brief but readable text introduces such subjects as the antecedents of the mission decorations, materials and techniques, design sources, the artists (Indian, missionary and military), styles and motifs and decorations by decorative element. There is also a short description of the decorations of each of the California missions. This is a highly recommended volume for those interested in California missions, Hispanic or Indian culture, or the art of the early West.