If you're interested in rare books, notable bibliophiles, awesome women, or African-American history, I recommend reading Heidi Ardizzone's biography of Belle da Costa Greene.
As a big fan of 19th-century African-American and Native-American sculptor Edmonia Lewis, I was excited to find out that she's now the subject of a new graphic novel, Seen: Edmonia Lewis. Thanks to publisher BOOM! Studios, I was able to read and review an advanced digital copy ahead of its September 2020 release.
Irving Stone's The Agony and the Ecstasy is a 1961 biographical novel about Michelangelo Buonarroti (1475-1564). I'm glad that people kept pushing me towards this book until I couldn't resist anymore; I enjoyed it greatly and recommend it highly. Here's why.
Here are fifteen entertaining, informative, and highly readable art-related books that I have personally read and loved.
Christine Coulson's Metropolitan Stories: A Novel is a set of vignettes about life at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. It's a beautiful, whimsical poetic ode to one of the world's most significant art museums.
I just finished reading Thomas Hoving's King of the Confessors, which is about Hoving's adventures in acquiring what's now called The Cloisters Cross. Thanks to him, this English Romanesque carved ivory cross is one of the highlights of the Met Cloisters. The story is wild, and I couldn't put it down.
James Hall's The Self-Portrait: A Cultural History (London: Thames & Hudson, Ltd., 2014) is a really interesting assessment of self-portrait painting as a cultural phenomenon. It's well thought-out, researched, and written, and I greatly appreciated it.
I just finished reading a book that told a wild, but true story about a work of art. Laura Cumming's The Vanishing Velasquez: A 19th-Century Bookseller's Obsession with a Lost Masterpiece tells the story of an English bookseller who believed that he owned a lost masterpiece by Spanish artist Diego Velasquez. It ends with a huge, still-unsolved mystery.
A few words about Victoria Finlay's Color: A Natural History of the Palette. Finlay travelled all across the world to research historical sources of color pigments. Her book is full of surprising and sometimes alarming facts.
My review of a fascinating book, Rogue's Gallery, about the history of art dealers. As it turns out, it's not just the artists who have big personalities, and art dealers have affected art history a lot. A fun and informative book.