My Art Book Shelf

I’ve compiled a list of my art books. Many I’ve used as reference in my posts here, some I will in the future, and others still yet to be perused. Maybe these will be of use in your own art life.

This post contains affiliate links. But I got most of mine from used book stores, so check the shelves of your local stores and you might find something interesting.

Book cover of Alfred Stiegitz Camera Work
Alfred Stiegitz Camera Work

Pam Roberts, 1997

“For 50 issues, Stieglitz carefully gathered, composed, edited, and produced Camera Work, a journal dedicated to a medium more technically established than artistically recognized.”

Book cover of Art & Fear
Art & Fear

Dacid Bayles and Ted Orland, 2001

Art & Fear explores the way art gets made, the reasons it often doesn’t get made, and the nature of the difficulties that cause so many artists to give up along the way.”

Book cover of Camera Lucida Reflections on Photography
Camera Lucida Reflections on Photography

Roland Barthes, 1979

“Roland Barthes presents photography as being outside the codes of language or culture, acting on the body as much as on the mind, and rendering death and loss more acutely than any other medium. This groundbreaking approach established Camera Lucida as one of the most important books of theory on the subject”

Book cover of Classical Mythology
Classical Mythology

Mark P.O. Morford, 8th edition 2006

“Offers a comprehensive presentation of the principle myths of Greece and Rome and their relationship to actual history.”

Book cover of The Coming of the Fairies
The Coming of the Fairies

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, 1922

“Conan Doyle, as a spiritualist, was enthusiastic about the photographs [The Cottingly Fairies], and interpreted them as clear and visible evidence of psychic phenomena.”

Book cover of Death in the Air
Death in the Air

Wesley David Archer, 1933

“When first published it was considered the ultimate record of aerial combat, with extraordinary photographs showing men and machines apparently in their last moments…The introduction to this volume reveals the truth behind he hoax.”

Book cover of Edward Hopper Portraits of America
Edward Hopper Portraits of America

Wieland Schmied, reprint 2011

“Hopper’s talent for depicting multiple aspects of the post-war experience is the focus of this generously illustrated and engaging volume.”

Book cover of Fabrications

Anne H. Hoy, 1988

“Gathers examples of tableaux, portraits, still-life constructions, and photo-collages, and provides information about each photographer”

Book cover of Photography a Cultural History
Photography a Cultural History

Mary Warner Marian, 4th edition 2014

“see the historical and cultural contexts in which photographers lived and worked.”

Book cover of Classical Mythology
Classical Mythology

Marilyn Stockstad, 2nd edition 2018

“This book teaches the reader how to look at medieval art–which aspects of architecture, sculpture, or painting are important and for what reasons.”

Book cover of National Gallery Costume in Art
National Gallery Costume in Art

1988 – 2000

“Fine art and timeless literature combine to create this new series of beautifully illustrated books. Each gift book contains beautifully reproduced world famous artworks from internationally renowned artists with many more detailedhighlights of each work that are designed to bring readers into a greater intimacy with the painting.”

Book cover of The Nutshell Studies of Unexplained Death
The Nutshell Studies of Unexplained Death

Corinne May Botz, 2004

“Frances Glessner Lee, a wealthy grandmother, founded the Department of Legal Medicine at Harvard in 1936 and was later appointed captain in the New Hampshire police. In the 1940s and 1950s she built dollhouse crime scenes based on real cases in order to train detectives to assess visual evidence.”

Book cover of On Photography
On Photography

Susan Sontag, 1977

“a progress of essays about the meaning and career of photographs.”

Book cover of Photo Fakery
Photo Fakery

‘Dino A. Brugioni, 1999

“The first book on the history of all types of photographic fakery and manipulation, showing how to detect these increasingly common practices.”

Book cover of The Poetics of Space
The Poetics of Space

Gaston Bachelard, 1958

“No space is too vast or too small to be filled by our thoughts and our reveries.”


I also have these books digitally shelved on Goodreads here: art books. I do have some more that didn’t seem applicable, but I may add them in the future. I’ll also add more as I absorb more :)

Let me know if you check out any of these for yourself or if you have any book recommendations for me!

5 thoughts on “My Art Book Shelf

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  1. Nice collection of fascinating books! My grandmother was an hobbyist photographer though as I type that I feel that perhaps she would not like that description or use it for herself. I have some of her photography on the wall behind me. I also kept a bunch of her books about photography because I enjoy it as a hobby as well. Both she and my great-grandmother were great art lovers though our tastes mingle mostly in photography. That said I didn’t come across any of these books in their collections.

    But thanks to you I’ve added some that just sound really intriguing! :D Art & Fear, The Coming of Fairies and On Photography. Thanks so much for sharing!

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