Books on Reynolda

Learn more about the century-old estate and its collections with one of these Reynolda-affiliated books.

Comfort and Convenience: Early Technology at Reynolda, 1906-1924

In Barbara Babcock Millhouse’s book, Comfort and Convenience: Early Technology at Reynolda, 1906-1924, she shares details about Reynolda as an example of modernity never before explored. Chapters invite the reader to examine the importance of irrigation on the estate, the complexity of acquiring electricity for the farm and home, and the evolution of telephone communications. Rich with original photographs and blueprints, excerpts from interviews and reproductions of letters, and personal observations from Millhouse, the paperback is a unique complement to the library of books published about Reynolda over the years.

Comfort and Convenience is available for purchase online or at the Museum store.

Reynolda Her Muses Her Stories

Part chronicle, part memoir, Reynolda: Her Muses, Her Stories takes readers behind the scenes of the founding and development of the art museum often referred to today as “The Frick of the South.” 

Engaging backstories gathered by author Martha R. Severens illuminate the myriad ways that signature works of art came into the museum’s esteemed collection. Severens offers insights about the artists, donors, and most importantly, the museum’s founder Barbara Babcock Millhouse, granddaughter of R. J. and Katharine Reynolds. Millhouse is presented as sleuth, scholar, student, and even gambler when she set the course for acquiring American art at a time when it was not in favor. The book contains 80 personal stories, each of which is afforded a generous two-page layout with a full-page color image.

Reynolda Her Muses Her Stories is available for purchase online or at the Museum store.

American Wilderness: The Story of the Hudson River School of Painting

More than 40 full-color reproductions of some of their greatest paintings illustrate this historical overview of the Hudson River School of landscape painting and the lives and works of artists Thomas Cole, Frederic Church, Asher Durand, Sanford Gifford, Albert Bierstadt, Jasper Cropsey, Worthington Whittredge, William Merritt Chase, Martin Johnson Heade, John Frederick Kensett, George Inness, and other American landscape painters who created a new and quintessentially American style of art in the early and mid-19th century.

Inspired first by the pastoral Hudson River Valley and the rugged wilderness of the Catskill Mountains, many of these artists then ventured forth to capture unspoiled scenes of the American West, New England, or South America. This critical history and intimate look at the lives of the artists features a foreword by Kevin Avery, Associate Curator of American Paintings and Sculpture at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and is set in a beautifully designed oversized volume.

American Wilderness is available for purchase online or at the Museum store.

Katharine and R. J. Reynolds: Partners of Fortune in the Making of the New South

Separately they were formidable―together they were unstoppable. Despite their intriguing lives and the deep impact they had on their community and region, the story of Richard Joshua Reynolds (1850–1918) and Katharine Smith Reynolds (1880–1924) has never been fully told. Now Michele Gillespie provides a sweeping account of how R.J. and Katharine succeeded in realizing their American dreams.

Katharine and R. J. Reynolds reveals the broad economic, social, cultural, and political changes that were the backdrop to the Reynoldses’ lives. Portraying a New South shaped by tensions between rural poverty and industrial transformation, white working-class inferiority and deeply entrenched racism, and the solidification of a one-party political system, Gillespie offers a masterful life-and-times biography of these important North Carolinians.

Katharine and R. J. Reynolds is available for purchase online or at the Museum store.