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Artists/the arts; Pre-Columbian Art of Mexico, by Jill Leslie Furst and Peter T. Furst. New York: Abbeville Press. $25.

I have mixed feelings about this book, which contains an excellent introductory text and equally excellent explanatory notes by art historian Jill Leslie Furst and anthropologist Peter T. Furst, as well as some truly remarkable color photographs of pre-Columbian architectural sites, monumental figures, small figurines, pottery, frescoes, etc. I could never quite rid myself of the feeling that what I was reading was neither fish nor fowl: neither quite the gorgeous art book it could have been, nor quite the scholarly treatise. This lack of clear editorial purpose has, unfortunately, resulted in a book that will moderately please anyone interested in art or in pre-Columbian cultural history, but will excite no one.

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