Latest book reviews

Book Review: Picasso 1932

Watch the wonderful book vlogger Victoria Sadler bring to life the 'truly great' Picasso 1932 catalogue in her informative review video. If you are not already following Victoria, do take a look at her blog which is a treasure trove of incisive reviews of art exhibitions, plays and books and is required reading for any culture vulture.   Buy a copy of the book

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Book Review: Night Vision: Nocturnes in American Art 1860-1960

'The nightHath been to me a more familiar faceThan that of man; and in her starry shadeOf dim and solitary lovelinessI learned the language of another world.' (Byron) For centuries, artists, writers and musicians have found the night a compelling subject - a time of terror, reflection and transformation. It is a time when our imaginations become less constrained by the 'sharp edges of the visible' (p157). Night Vision: Noctures in American Art 1860 -1960, the exhibition catalogue for a show held at the Bowdoin College Museum of Art in 2015, explores the varied and changing artistic expressions of the experience of seeing...

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Book Review : The British Museum Haiku Animals

I am always impressed by the imaginative ways that museums showcase their collections through their publication. Take the British Museum. They have some 30,000 objects in their collections that relate to Japan ranging from samurai swords, kimonos to woodblock prints. Alongside exhibition catalogues, the British Museum has produced a series of books that pair haikus with Japanese prints and paintings from their collections. The British Museum Haiku Animals edited by Mavis Pilbeam is one of this series of books and is a gem. The book pairs the poetic meditations of Japanese masters including Bashō, Buson and Issa with exquisite woodblock prints and paintings...

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Book Review: Ocean Liners - the exhibition catalogue for the V&A's show

Think ocean liners and you will most likely conjure up images of a glamorous world peopled by society beauties and actors playing deck quoits by day and elegantly sipping cocktails in art deco wood-panelled bars by night.  Ocean Liner: Speed and Style  Ocean Liners is the companion book to an exhibition at the V&A and the Peabody Essex Museum and as its name suggests is a glorious celebration of the ocean liner. Brimful of crisp reproductions, the book immerses its readers in a life of glamour and carefree fun. Dip into the book and you will find  Elizabeth Taylor and Marlene Dietrich resplendent in...

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Book Review : Modern Masters and the Gurlitt Status

To mark the opening of the exhibition, the Gurlitt Status Report: Nazi Art Theft and Its Consequences at the Kunstmuseum Bern, art historian and founder of germanmodernism.org, Jean Marie Carey PhD reviews two recent catalogues exploring the Gurlitt acquisition by the Kunstmuseum Bern. Claudia Blank, Matthias Frehner, and Daniel Spanke; eds., with many contributing authors. Modern Masters “Degenerate” Art at the Kunstmuseum Bern. Prestel: Munich, 2016; 376 pages with many color illustrations and photographs. Andrea Baresel-Brand, Meike Hopp, Agnieszka Magdalena Lulińska, eds., with many contributing authors. Gurlitt Status Report: – Confiscated and Sold, Kunstmuseum Bern - Nazi Art Theft and Its Consequences, Art and...

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