Gift ideas -- arts, literature, books for children; For fans of Milton Avery; Milton Avery, by Barbara Haskell. New York: Whitney Museum of Art/Harper & Row. 224 pp. $29.95.

No reproductions can fully convey the richness or the nuances of Milton Avery's color - but a number of the color illustrations in this book come very close. And that alone makes it more than worth its price.

But there's more, including an excellent text that is scholarly, affectionate , and clearly intended to be understood by all. There also are many black-and-white illustrations that detail Avery's life and art from his early days as a struggling student and artist to his final years as one of the elder statesmen of American art. I recommend this book highly - both to those who saw Avery's recent retrospective and to those who didn't.

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