Note: Our limited edition books—An Architectural Alphabet,
Chinoiseries, and Versailles—are available for purchase online at our
Architectural Notecards boutique.
An Architectural Alphabet(Connaissance et Mémoires, 2008)
An Architectural Alphabet is an exhibition and book project that comprises 26 small-format watercolors incorporating the letters of the alphabet in architectural or garden-themed vignettes. Taking their inspiration from Ancien Régime France and the Grand Tour, the watercolors evoke the playfulness and exoticism that inspired the architects and garden designers of the period.
The small-format volume (7 x 8½ in., 96 pages) presents the alphabet in a collector's edition of exceptional quality and is prefaced by Charlotte Moss, the Manhattan-based interior designer (the Marquis de Breteuil, proprietor of the Château de Breteuil, prefaces the French edition). The book is limited to 400 copies in each language, and is signed and numbered and bound in grey silk, in the Chinese fashion, and slipcased. Please use the Notecards link to inquire or to order.
Versailles(Connaissance et Mémoires, 2007)
VERSAILLES: The Château and Its Satellites is a sumptuous, limited-edition artist's book reproducing sixty watercolors of the extraordinary chateaux, pavilions, unbuilt projects, and architectural and garden ornaments of the seat of French kings. The book is an unrivaled example of the binder's art and employs printing techniques of exceptional fidelity and precision.
280 pages, format 10 x 13 ½ in. 60 color illustrations and 21 multi-page spreads, superbly reproduced using state-of-the-art techniques on uncoated Curtis 200 g. vellum paper. Bicolor texts. Hand assembled and bound in white silk and slipcased.
Available in English and French editions, signed and numbered and limited to 400 copies in each language. Publication price: €1000 (≅$1490 at current exchange rates). Please use the Notecards link to inquire or to order.
Chinoiseries(Connaissance et Mémoires, 2005)
Chinoiseries presents fifty exacting restitutions of Western pagodas and Chinoiserie garden follies. The volume is prefaced by Hubert de Givenchy and includes an illustrated introductory essay, "The Architecture of Joy."
260 pages, format 10 x 13 in., with fifty full-page color illustrations, superbly reproduced using state-of-the-art printing techniques on Curtis 280 g. vellum paper, and with 170 g. paper for texts. Hand assembled and bound in the Chinese fashion with silk-covered boards and slipcased.
Available in English and French editions, signed and numbered and limited to 300 copies in each language. Publication price: €800 (≅$1200 at current exchange rates). Please use the Notecards link to inquire or to order.
Palaces of the Sun King: Versailles, Trianon, Marly, The Châteaux of Louis XIV(Rizzoli, 2002)
Prefaced by Vicomte Olivier de Rohan, President of the Société des Amis de Versailles, and published with the support of Classical America.
"...the pleasure of the book is not only in the lightness with which it wears its considerable scholarship, but in the liveliness with which the personalities of Versailles' creators is rendered. Accessible for the amateur, revelatory for the expert, Palaces of the Sun King is, no less than the buildings it describes, a dazzling delight."
—The Art Newspaper, March 2003
Garden Vases/Vases de jardin(Alain de Gourcuff Editeur, 1999)
With an introduction by Gérard Mabille, Curator of French Decorative Arts, the Louvre.
Pleasure Pavilions and Follies/La folie de bâtir(Flammarion, 1995)
With a preface by Charles Ryskamp, Director, The Frick Collection.
"This book is far more than an architectural history. Through a collection of magnificently illustrated essays, Bernd H. Dams and Andrew Zega open up a world of social excess and wanton extravagance that leaves the reader amazed."
—The Times Literary Supplement (England), November 1995.
Publishing is an integral, indeed essential, part of our work. Our exhibitions are conceived thematically, with the goal of publication foremost in mind. Our education and training as both architects and historians, combined with the intensive process of creating the watercolors themselves, offers us a unique dual perspective on the buildings we study—in essence, we retrace the design steps of the original architects. Our approach is far different from that of other authors (who usually treat architectural analysis using their training as art historians) and affords us unique insights into the buildings we study.
Though obvious to the layman, it bears repeating that buildings are commissioned, designed and constructed by human beings. We believe the personalities and motivations of these actors are as important to understanding a building and its place in history as the traditional concerns of architectural historians. Thus personal and social histories animated our first book, Pleasure Pavilions and Follies, and were a major impetus in writing Palaces of the Sun King, a fundamental reappraisal of the architecture of the reign of Louis XIV.
Some Reviews"...it is a joy to be able to admire afresh the conception of their work and its particular elegance. These precious documents retrace an epoch when taste, extravagance and a sense of fantasy were an essential part of the way in which parks and gardens were embellished, by perfectly inscribing them in nature, then furnishing them with dreams. The continuing research of these two great artists enchants me as much as the perfection of their precious drawings."
—Hubert de Givenchy, from his preface to Chinoiseries
"The immense artistic—and I dare say, intellectual—value of the œuvre of MM. Zega and Dams has always dazzled me. After serious reflection, I must say that I am also very impressed by the text that accompanies Versailles. Being myself a historian of the 17th and 18th centuries, and having enormously meditated on that period, I must note the abiding impression of complete innovation that struck me... when reading the immensely rich introduction to this great and magnificent work."
—Emmanuel Le Roy Ladurie, Director Emeritus, La Bibliothèque Nationale de France
"The authors [of Pleasure Pavilions and Follies] have done—one must stress—a remarkable work of research. Their culture is immense and abundant, permitting them not only to evoke these charming constructions, but also their commissioners, their builders and their users."
—Un Livre Un Jour, France 3 Television, 3 December 1995