Here is a list of some of my favorite “art” reading books, take a break from doing art and read under a tree!
Mrs. C’s reading list for adults! Learn about the fascinating arts or enjoy a great fiction read in the arts area
Adult/family Technique Books
“Teach Your Child to Draw” By Mia Johnson This is a great book to use with your whole family. It has easy to follow drawing projects to do with items around the house. Each chapter focuses on a different skill or concept in drawing. It has good illustrations and photos for each chapter.
“Color a Natural History of the Palette” By Victoria Finley This book is an interesting history of color. Each chapter focuses on a single color. It discusses where each individual color comes from. Fun facts and stories about colors to share with other artists.
“Mary Colter- Architect of the Southwest” By Arnold Berk This book tells about one of the first successful women architect Mary Colter. She worked with the Santa Fe railroad and designed hotels and even interior furnishings. Some of her most famous work is at the rim of the Grand Canyon and is now part of the park.
“Making the Mummies Dance- inside the Metropolitan Museum of Art” By Thomas Hoving. Thomas was the former Director of the Metropolitan for many years. It is a great look at how museum purchases are made and the many areas of a big museum.
“False Impressions- The hunt for big time art fakes” By Thomas Hoving. Another book by the former director of the Metropolitan Art Museum which is a fascinating look at the world of art fakes.
“The Painter’s Chair, George Washington and the Making of American Art” By Hugh Howard. This book describes how Washington helped create and support the beginnings of American art mostly because of his willingness to sit for various portrait painters. Interesting discussion on how artists’ developed in our young country.
“One Women’s West The life of Mary-Russell Ferrell Colton” By Richard K. and Sherry G. Mangum. This is the story of Mary-Russell F. Colton artist and philanthropist. In 1928 with her husband she led to the creation of the Museum of N. Arizona and the revival of native Hopi and Navajo art.
“The Private Lives of the Impressionists” By Sue Roe. This is a great story about the how the Impressionists lived and interacted with each other. (Highly recommended )
“Becoming Mona Lisa” By Donald Sassoon. This is about the fascination about the Mona Lisa and theories on why she is so famous among Old Master painting. This book can get a little slow at times but it is still in interesting read.
“Eiffel’s Tower” By Jill Jonnes. This book is a history of the building of the Eiffel Tower for the world’s fair. Many people were not very thrilled about it in the planning and building stages. It was quite an engineering accomplishment. After the fair people loved it so much it stayed. Intertwined in the story is another story of how artists’ of the day also used the fair to display and promote their work.
“The Monuments Men-Allied heroes ,Nazi Thieves, and the greatest treasure hunt in history” By Robert M. Edsel This book is one of my all time favorites- art adventure, intrigue and a fascinating piece of history. We owe a lot to the Monuments Men who saved thousands of irreplaceable art masterpieces. Also check out the next book which documents this with photos.
“Rescuing Da Vinci” By Robert M.Edsel This book uses actual photographs to tell the story of the Monuments Men and has accompanying text. Highly recommended also.
“Matisse, Picasso, Miro- As I knew them” By Rosamond Bernier This book is a peak into the actual lives of these famous artists’. It also has great photographs of their art and their lives.
“A Whole New Mind” By Daniel H. Pink This is a different look at why the arts and creativity at important in our lives today. It particularly looks at how the lack of creative thinking effects business and industry and the future of our country. A very modern idea book.
“The Forger’s Spell” By Edward Dolnick A true story of Vermeer,Nazis, and the greatest art hoax of the 20th century. This is in interesting story about how the war created the conditions that were ripe for forgery to happen.
“Vanished Smile – The Mysterious Theft of Mona Lisa” By R.A. Scott It has been awhile since I have read this but it tells about when the Mona Lisa was stolen from the famous Louvre Museum in Paris. (Before it’s current glass enclosed security of today). Interesting discussion on the world and Paris and the general public reaction to this event.
“The Medici Conspiracy- The illicit journey of looted antiquities, from Italy’s tomb raiders to the world’s greatest museums” By Peter Watson and Cecilla Todeschini This is a fairly recent book and there are issues here that are ongoing in the museum world. I was shocked at the amount of antiquities that are disappearing to private collectors through illegal means. It also brings in the importance of museums having experts in their field to distinguish between stolen art and art with proper provenience. Great book
Two books about famous art and architecture- both easy quick reads but interesting- by the same author.
“Brunelleschi’s Dome- How a Renaissance Genius Reinvented Architecture By Ross King
“Michelangelo and the Pope’s Ceiling” By Ross King