Black Velvet Masterpieces

By Caren Anderson and Carl Baldwin

Though beloved by millions around the world, black velvet paintings have too long been relegated to the shadowy backrooms of art history. Black Velvet Masterpieces celebrates the best and worst of this kitschy yet sought-after artform, showcasing the most mind-blowing paintings from the Velveteria museum, home to a rotating collection of more than 1,200 crying Elvises, troubling clowns, naked ladies, dogs playing poker, celebrity and presidential portraits, black light psych-outs, and the just plain weird. Complementing 300 reproductions of these tactile masterpieces are a unique history of the medium tracing its roots from ancient China and Japan through Victorian England, the South Seas, Southeast Asia, and the Americas, and a step-by-step exploration of the tricky art of painting on this luxurious fabric.

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