My Account

Loading...

Enthralling Reads: New Books on Art and Art History

Home 

Enthralling Reads: New Books on Art and Art History

new art books 2023

Humans have had a relationship with art, in one form or another, since time immemorial. Art history is a broad topic embracing almost all aspects of human history and society.

Here is a list of recent books on different facets of art and art history that offer insightful reading into the world of art and artists.  These are followed by recent biographies of painters as well as recent fiction titles set in the world of art.

another history of art

Another History Of Art by Anita Kunz

Kunz depicts the most iconic paintings in the history of art — as if they had been painted by women. Conceived with delicious wit, boundless humor, and an eye for the telling aesthetic detail, Kunz’s recreations are not only stunning paintings in their own right but a sly, revisionist social commentary on the male-dominated history of Western civilization. What would the same paintings everyone is so familiar with look like drawn by Renée Françoise Magritte, Fiona Bacon, Davina Hockney, Leona Da Vinci, Gertrude Klimt, Henrietta Matisse, Francesca Goya, Paola Picasso, Fernanda Victoria Eugenia Delacroix, Wilhelmina Ottilia Dix, and over 50 other artists (let us not forget Vincenza Van Gogh)?

Art Day By Day : 366 Brushes With History

Presents snapshots of the most exciting, unusual and noteworthy art events from around the world and throughout history through direct testimonies, eyewitness accounts and contemporary chroniclers. Each day has its own section, starting with an extended quote giving artists, critics and commentators their voice to speak directly to us, followed by a brief explanatory text, and ending with other important events in art on that day e.g. births, deaths and exhibition openings. Not every entry is momentous, but all are significant. Yes, there are thefts, murders, artistic mishaps and eureka moments, but there are also more relatable episodes such as President Theodore Roosevelt’s doodles, Michelangelo writing to his nephew about his kidney stones and Monet getting the green light for his water garden.

ART = : Discovering Infinite Connections In Art History

An entirely new approach to exploring global art history, presented through the lens of one of the world’s leading art museums. Featuring more than 800 artworks from the collection of The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, this groundbreaking book – organized by thematic keywords rather than the usual chronological or geographical categories, and drawing upon analytics from The Met’s online Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History – offers fresh, unconventional ways of engaging with visual culture. Beyond the wealth of illustration, more than 160 engaging curatorial essays place the works in wider contexts, while a foldout, detachable timeline offers further perspective. Published to coincide with The Met’s 150th anniversary celebrations in 2020.

Art : Explained : 100 Masterpieces And What They Mean by Susie Hodge

Why did Michelangelo paint the Sistine Chapel, or Rembrandt obsess over painting his own image? What’s the secret behind the Terracotta Army, or Andy Warhol’s soup cans? Art: Explained offers straightforward and satisfying answers to 100 of these fascinating questions. If you’ve ever looked at an art masterpiece in awe, but wondered just what it means, here is your guide.

The Art Thief: A True Story Of Love, Crime, And A Dangerous Obsession by Michael Finkel

 For centuries, works of art have been stolen in countless ways from all over the world, but no one has been quite as successful at it as the master thief Stéphane Breitwieser. Carrying out more than two hundred heists over nearly ten years–in museums and cathedrals all over Europe–Breitwieser, along with his girlfriend who worked as his lookout, stole more than three hundred objects, until it all fell apart in spectacular fashion. Unlike most thieves, he never stole for money, keeping all his treasures in a single room where he could admire them to his heart’s content. Possessed of remarkable athleticism and an innate ability to assess practically any security system, Breitwieser managed to pull off a breathtaking number of audacious thefts. Yet these strange talents bred a growing disregard for risk and an addict’s need to score, leading Breitwieser to ignore his girlfriend’s pleas to stop–until one final act of hubris brought everything crashing down.

Artifacts : Fascinating Facts About Art, Artists, And The Art World

An immensely interesting collection of discoveries about art, artists, and the art world, including: whose artwork is stolen most often? Which artists were rejected or expelled from art school? Who named their dogs Giotto and Goya? What is the average length of time museum goers spend looking at art? Which contemporary artist once worked as a janitor, mailman, and morgue assistant? And hundreds of other surprising and unforgettable facts, figures, and stories. 

black art

Black Art : A Cultural History by Richard J. Powell

The African diaspora – a direct result of the transatlantic slave trade and Western colonialism – has generated a wide array of artistic achievements, from blues and reggae, to the paintings of the pioneering African American artist Henry Ossawa Tanner and video creations of contemporary hip-hop artists. This book concentrates on how these works, often created during times of major social upheaval and transformation, use black culture both as a subject and as context. From musings on “the souls of black folk” in late nineteenth-century art, to questions of racial and cultural identities in performance, media, and computer-assisted arts in the twenty-first century, it examines the philosophical and social forces that have shaped a black presence in modern and contemporary visual culture.

Blk Art : The Audacious Legacy Of Black Artists And Models In Western Art by Zaria Ware

It’s clear that modern day museums can no longer exist without change–and without recognizing that Black people have been a part of the Western art world since its beginnings. Quietly held within museums and private collections around the world are hundreds of faces of Black men and women, many of their stories unknown. From paintings of majestic kings to a portrait of a young girl named Isabella in Amsterdam, these models lived diverse lives while helping shape the art world along the way. Then, after hundreds of years of Black faces cast as only the subject of the white gaze, a small group of trailblazing Black American painters and sculptors reached national and international fame, setting the stage for the flourishing of Black art in the 1920s and beyond. Captivating and informative, this is an essential work that elevates a globally dismissed legacy to its proper place in the mainstream art canon.

Cultured Donuts : Take A Bite Out Of Art History by Chloe Tyler

Tyler explores the art styles of master artists from da Vinci to Basquiat in this tasty book for art lovers of all ages. Each pink frosted donut was created to show the techniques used by the artist and explore how artists have influenced each other over time. Every donut is paired with information about the artist, their art style, and what makes them unique. Tyler includes tips on how to try recreating the art styles of each artist and a glossary with defined terms. 

Fabric : The Hidden History Of The Material World by Victoria Finlay

From our earliest ancestors to babies born today, fabric is a necessary part of our everyday lives, but it’s also an opportunity for creativity, symbolism, culture and connection. Traveling across the world and bringing history to life, Finlay investigates how and why people have made and used cloth. A century ago in Wales, women would sew their own funeral clothes over tea with friends. In Papua New Guinea, bark is stripped from trees and beaten into cloth. Harris Tweed has a particular smell, while Guatemalan weavers use dazzling colors. Uncovering the stories of the fabrics people wear and use from sacking to silk, this book combines science, history, tradition and art in a captivating exploration of how we live, work, craft and care.

Fragile Cargo : The World War II Race To Save The Treasures Of China’s Forbidden City by Adam Brookes

The gripping true story of the bold and determined museum curators who saved the priceless treasures of China’s Forbidden City in the years leading up to World War II and beyond.

Look At This If You Love Great Art : A Critical Curation Of 100 Essential Artworks by Chloe Ashby

Featuring 100 of the best artworks ever produced, inside is a collection of insightful summaries on just what it is that makes each one so vital. Art writer Ashby talks you through the pieces that resonate with her, revealing the fascinating stories behind them and offering her considered take on why each work should be regarded as a pinnacle of artistic endeavor. With entries curated to offer a unique juxtaposition of styles, mediums and schools of art, expect a contemporary take on classic artworks, where titans of art history cross paths with under-appreciated examples from outside the traditional canon, and where rebellious visionaries blaze trails that still influence today’s cutting-edge artists.

The Mirror And The Palette : Rebellion, Revolution, And Resilience, Five Hundred Years Of Women’s Self Portraits by Jennifer Higgie

Until the twentieth century, art history was, in the main, written by white men who tended to write about other white men. The idea that women in the West have always made art was rarely cited as a possibility. Yet they have – and, of course, continue to do so – often against tremendous odds, from laws and religion to the pressures of family and public disapproval. Higgie introduces us to a cross-section of women artists who embody the fact that there is more than one way to understand our planet, more than one way to live in it and more than one way to make art about it. Spanning 500 years, biography and cultural history intertwine in a narrative packed with tales of rebellion, adventure, revolution, travel and tragedy enacted by women who turned their back on convention and lived lives of great resilience, creativity and bravery.

Muse : Uncovering The Hidden Figures Behind Art History’s Masterpieces by Ruth Millington

The fascinating true stories of thirty incredible muses-and their role in some of art history’s most well-known masterpieces.

Biographies

dali legacy

The Dalí Legacy : How An Eccentric Genius Changed The Art World And Created A Lasting Legacy by Christopher Heath Brown

In this stunning volume, rich with more than 150 full-color images, noted art historians discuss the historical, social, and political conditions that shaped Dalí’s work, identify the impact of Modern as well as Old Master art, and present an unflinching view of the master’s personal relationships and motivations. With their deeply compelling narrative, Isbouts and Brown uncover how Dalí’s visual wit and enduring cult of personality still impacts fashion, literature, and art, from Andy Warhol to Lady Gaga, and seeks to answer why, in an age of shock and awe, Dalí’s art still manages to distress, perplex, and entertain.

In Search Of Van Gogh : Capturing The Life Of The Artist Through Photographs And Paintings by Gloria Fossi

Follow in the footsteps of Vincent Van Gogh, from his birthplace in Zundert, Netherlands, to his last days in Auvers-sur-Oise, France, and explore the hidden inspirations behind the world-renowned artist’s most famous paintings in this beautiful art book and travelog, illustrated with more than 250 black-and-white and full-color images throughout.

John Constable : A Portrait by James Hamilton

John Constable, the revolutionary nineteenth-century painter of the landscapes and skies of southern England, is Britain’s best-loved but perhaps least understood artist. His paintings reflect visions of landscape that shocked and perplexed his contemporaries: attentive to detail, spontaneous in gesture, brave in their use of color. What we learn from his landscapes is that Constable had sharp local knowledge of Suffolk, a clarity of expression of the skyscapes above Hampstead, an understanding of the human tides in London and Brighton, and a rare ability in his late paintings of Salisbury Cathedral to transform silent suppressed passion into paint. Yet Constable was also an active and energetic correspondent. His letters and diaries – there are over one thousand letters from and to him – reveal a man of passion, opinion and discord, while his character and personality is concealed behind the high shimmering color of his paintings. 

Picasso The Foreigner : An Artist In France, 1900-1973 by Annie Cohen-Solal

A groundbreaking new study of Pablo Picasso that reveals how the artist fought to overcome the stigma he faced as a foreigner in France.

Winslow Homer : American Passage by William R. Cross

In this compelling biography, Cross chronicles the life story of the great painter and illustrator Winslow Homer (1836-1910), who captured America in the crucible of the Civil War and contributed to shaping American identity to this day.

Fiction

art of the decoy

The Art Of The Decoy by Trish Esden

When a waterfowl decoy collection goes missing after her appraisal, fine art and antiques expert Edie Brown is accused of the crime and must race against time to expose the real culprits before the FBI’s Art Crime Team or the ruthless thieves catch up with her.

Artfully Yours by Joanna Lowell

Nina Finch isn’t suited for a life of crime. Raised by her art-forger brother, she can paint like Botticelli. But she’d so much rather be baking gooseberry tarts. She finally has the money she needs to open her own bakery. Unfortunately, her brother’s carelessness lands her—and their forgeries—directly under the nose of London’s most discerning art critic, Alan De’Ath. De’Ath knows the paintings are fake. He doesn’t know that Nina had a hand in their creation. In fact, he offers her a job in his household. Accepting it is the most dangerous thing she has ever done….

Attribution : A Novel by Linda Moore

When art historian Cate Adamson leaves her troubled family to complete her doctorate in New York, she finds herself dismissed by her sexist advisor and becomes increasingly desperate to salvage her career. When she finds a hidden painting in a university basement, possibly a seventeenth-century masterpiece, she takes the painting to Spain, against her better judgment. There she meets Antonio, an impoverished nobleman struggling to restore his family’s legacy. They join forces to prove who painted the mysterious artwork as Cate fights to understand the past–and unlock her future.

Fake by Erica Katz

She’s a forger, an artist who specializes in nineteenth-century paintings. But she isn’t a criminal; her copies are commissioned by museums and ultra-wealthy collectors protecting their investments. Emma’s more than mastered a Gauguin brushstroke and a van Gogh wheat field, but her work is sometimes a painful reminder of the artistic dreams she once chased for herself, when she was younger and before her family and her world fell apart.When oligarch art collector Leonard Sobetsky unexpectedly appears with an invitation, Emma sees a way out—a new job, a new path for herself, and access to the kind of money she needs to support her unstable and recently widowed mother.But every invitation incurs an obligation . . . and Emma isn’t prepared for what’s to come. As she’s pulled further into Leonard’s opulent scene, she will discover what’s lurking beneath the glitz and glamor.

Johanna Porter Is Not Sorry by Sara Read

Twenty years ago, Johanna Porter was a rising star in the art world. Now she’s an unknown soccer mom. When an invitation arrives for an elite gallery opening for her former lover, the great Nestor Pinedo, Johanna wants to throw it in the trash where it belongs. But with some styling help from her daughter, she makes an appearance and comes face-to-face with the woman she was before the powerful and jealous Nestor ruined her. La Rosa Blanca is a portrait of Johanna herself, young and fierce and fearless–a masterwork with a price tag to match. When she cuts it out of its frame, rolls it up and walks out, Johanna is only taking back what was stolen from her. Hiding out with La Rosa Blanca in a shack on the Chesapeake Bay, Johanna digs into the raw work of reviving her own skills while battling novice-thief paranoia, impostor syndrome and mom guilt. But Johanna doesn’t just want the painting–she wants to paint again. To harness her powerful talent, she must defy everyone’s expectations–most of all her own–for what a woman like her should be.

metropolitan affair

The Metropolitan Affair by Jocelyn Green

With a notorious forger preying on New York’s high society, Metropolitan Museum of Art curator Lauren Westlake is just the expert needed to track down the criminal. As she and Detective Joe Caravello search for the truth, the closer they get to discovering the forger’s identity, the more entangled they become in a web of deception…

The Paris Deception by Bryn Turnbull

While working at the Jeu de Paume Museum, Sophie, who fled Germany after witnessing the government-sanctioned burning of modern, “degenerate” art, steals looted masterpieces from the Nazis, replacing them with forgeries with the help of her sister-in-law, risking more than her life to keep these.

The Trackers by Charles Frazier

Hurtling past the downtrodden communities of Depression-era America, painter Val Welch travels westward to the rural town of Dawes, Wyoming. He’s landed a New Deal assignment to create a mural representing the region for their new Post Office. A wealthy art lover named John Long and his wife Eve have agreed to host Val at their sprawling ranch. One day, Eve flees home with a valuable painting in tow, and Long recruits Val to hit the road with a mission of tracking her down. Journeying from ramshackle Hoovervilles to San Francisco nightclubs to the swamps of Florida, Val’s search for Eve narrows, and he soon turns up secrets that could spark formidable changes for all of them.

Woman on Fire by Lisa Barr

After talking her way into a job with Dan Mansfield, the leading investigative reporter in Chicago, rising young journalist Jules Roth is given an unusual—and very secret—assignment. Dan needs her to locate a painting stolen by the Nazis more than 75 years earlier: legendary Expressionist artist Ernst Engel’s most famous work, Woman on Fire. World-renowned shoe designer Ellis Baum wants this portrait of a beautiful, mysterious woman for deeply personal reasons, and has enlisted Dan’s help to find it. But Jules doesn’t have much time; the famous designer is dying.Meanwhile, in Europe, provocative and powerful Margaux de Laurent also searches for the painting. Heir to her art collector family’s millions, Margaux is a cunning gallerist who gets everything she wants. The only thing standing in her way is Jules. Yet the passionate and determined Jules has unexpected resources of her own, including Adam Baum, Ellis’s grandson. A recovering addict and brilliant artist in his own right, Adam was once in Margaux’s clutches. He knows how ruthless she is, and he’ll do anything to help Jules locate the painting before Margaux gets to it first.

Archana Chiplunkar, Adult Services & Acquisitions Librarian

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Subscribe

Stay in the loop and never miss out! Our weekly newsletter is the best way to stay informed on all things Library!
What are you waiting for?
Subscribe
26 May 2024
Livingston Library Community,  Join us this June as we celebrate Pride Month at the Livingston Public...
Read More
24 May 2024
Memorial Day Weekend is upon us, and it is time to commemorate those who made the ultimate sacrifice...
Read More
23 May 2024
Ollie and Fiji had a wonderful time when they visited Livingston Library for our Paws to Read program! ...
Read More
23 May 2024
In addition to being one of the best TV shows of the year, Netflix’s Ripley has put a fresh spin on one...
Read More
22 May 2024
Celebrate Pride Month with a Pride Take Home Craft and some stories Marley’s Pride Rainbow a First...
Read More
22 May 2024
Combining riveting backstories with enchanting performances, these music documentaries (currently available...
Read More
21 May 2024
For 75 years now, May has been designated by Mental Health America (MHA) as Mental Health Awareness Month....
Read More
20 May 2024
Livingston Library Community, “Adventure Begins at Your Library” and so does summer fun! We invite you...
Read More
20 May 2024
Did you know that with your Livingston Library card you can listen to full albums by popular artists...
Read More
19 May 2024
Livingston Library Community,  True crime is one of the most popular genres at the library and it shows...
Read More
The library will be closed Sunday, 5/26 and Monday, 5/27 in observance of Memorial Day.
The library will be closed Sunday, 5/26 and Monday, 5/27 in observance of Memorial Day.