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Art History

Art History Book List

Cover of 'Modernist Art in Ethiopia'

Modernist Art in Ethiopia
By Elizabeth W. Giorgis

If modernism initially came to Africa through colonial contact, what does Ethiopia’s inimitable historical condition—its independence save for five years under Italian occupation—mean for its own modernist tradition?

Cover of 'Claes Oldenburg and Coosje van Bruggen, Cleveland’s Free Stamp'

Claes Oldenburg and Coosje van Bruggen, Cleveland’s Free Stamp
By Edward J. Olszewski

In 1985, the Sohio oil company commissioned Claes Oldenburg and Coosje van Bruggen to design and construct a large outdoor sculpture for its new corporate headquarters in Cleveland, Ohio. The result was Free Stamp, a bold and distinctive installation that captured both a Pop Art sensibility and a connection to the city’s industrial past. Sohio executives approved the design, and work was already underway, when British Petroleum acquired the company.

Cover of 'Drawing on the Victorians'

Drawing on the Victorians
The Palimpsest of Victorian and Neo-Victorian Graphic Texts
Edited by Anna Maria Jones and Rebecca N. Mitchell
· Afterword by Kate Flint

Late nineteenth-century Britain experienced an unprecedented explosion of visual print culture and a simultaneous rise in literacy across social classes. New printing technologies facilitated quick and cheap dissemination of images—illustrated books, periodicals, cartoons, comics, and ephemera—to a mass readership. This Victorian visual turn prefigured the present-day impact of the Internet on how images are produced and shared, both driving and reflecting the visual culture of its time.

Cover of 'The Art of Life in South Africa'

The Art of Life in South Africa
By Daniel Magaziner

From 1952 to 1981, South Africa’s apartheid government ran an art school for the training of African art teachers at Indaleni, in what is today KwaZulu-Natal. The Art of Life in South Africa is the story of the students, teachers, art, and politics that circulated through a small school, housed in a remote former mission station.

Cover of 'Winold Reiss and the Cincinnati Union Terminal'

Winold Reiss and the Cincinnati Union Terminal
Fanfare for the Common Man
By Gretchen Garner

After designing and installing the massive murals for the Cincinnati Union Terminal in the 1930s, German immigrant artist Winold Reiss fell into relative obscurity, despite the vibrancy and boldness of his meticulous mosaic works. Art historian Garner pays this early modernist his due, putting him in the context of his international peers and the art movements that continue to invigorate our aesthetic landscape today.

Cover of 'The Illustrated Letters of Richard Doyle to His Father, 1842–1843'

The Illustrated Letters of Richard Doyle to His Father, 1842–1843
By Richard Doyle
· Edited by Grant F. Scott

Before he joined the staff of Punch and designed its iconic front cover, illustrator Richard “Dicky” Doyle was a young man whose father (political caricaturist John Doyle) charged him with sending a weekly letter, even though they lived under the same roof. This volume collects the fifty-three illustrated missives in their entirety for the first time and provides an uncommon peek into the intimate but expansive observations of a precocious social commentator and artist.

Cover of 'A Stitch in Time'

A Stitch in Time
The Needlework of Aging Women in Antebellum America
By Aimee E. Newell

Drawing from 167 examples of decorative needlework — primarily samplers and quilts from 114 collections across the United States — made by individual women aged forty years and over between 1820 and 1860, this exquisitely illustrated book explores how women experienced social and cultural change in antebellum America.

Cover of 'San Rock Art'

San Rock Art
By J.D. Lewis-Williams

San rock paintings, scattered over the range of southern Africa, are considered by many to be the very earliest examples of representational art. There are as many as 15,000 known rock art sites, created over the course of thousands of years up until the nineteenth century. There are possibly just as many still awaiting discovery.

Cover of 'The Engraving Trade in Early Cincinnati'

The Engraving Trade in Early Cincinnati
With a Brief Account of the Beginning of the Lithographic Trade
By Donald C. O'Brien

Examines the vibrant engraving industry that helped fuel the growth of the “Queen City” and established its influence as the midwestern center for the print and engraving trade.

Cover of 'Irish People, Irish Linen'

Irish People, Irish Linen
By Kathleen Curtis Wilson

The story of Irish linen is a story of the Irish people. Many thousands of men and women made Irish linen a global product and an international brand. It is also a story of innovation and opportunity. Irish linen has served its makers as sail cloth of incredible strength and durability for world exploration and trade; it has functioned as watertight containers for farmers and firemen; it has soothed the brows of royalty and absorbed the sweat of the working class.

Cover of 'Midwest Modern'

Midwest Modern
The Color Woodcuts of Mabel Hewit
Edited by Jane Glaubinger

The first book to showcase the work of this Ohio artist and important modernist printmaker.

Cover of 'Philena’s Friendship Quilt'

Philena’s Friendship Quilt
A Quaker Farewell to Ohio
By Lynda Salter Chenoweth

Chenoweth’s research to discover the story behind a Quaker signature quilt made in Columbiana County, Ohio, in 1853 revealed not only the identity of the quilt recipient and details of her life and community, but also a striking feature of the quilt itself—a “hidden” design element created by the deliberate placement of names on the quilt’s surface.

Cover of 'Incidental Architect'

Incidental Architect
William Thornton and the Cultural Life of Early Washington, D.C., 1794–1828
By Gordon S. Brown

While the majority of scholarship on early Washington focuses on its political and physical development, in Incidental Architect Gordon S. Brown describes the intellectual and social scene of the 1790s and early 1800s through the lives of a prominent couple whose cultural aspirations served as both model and mirror for the city’s own. When William and Anna Maria Thornton arrived in Washington, D.C., in 1794, the new nation’s capital was little more than a raw village.

Cover of 'Bessie Potter Vonnoh'

Bessie Potter Vonnoh
Sculptor of Women
By Julie Aronson

In the Gilded Age, when most sculptors aspired to produce monu­ments, Bessie Potter Vonnoh (1872–1955) made significant contributions to small bronze sculpture and garden statuary designed for the embellishment of the home. Her work commanded admiration for her fluid and suggestive modeling, graceful lines, and sculptural form. In 1904 Bessie Potter Vonnoh won the gold medal for sculpture at the St.

Cover of 'Rookwood and the American Indian'

Rookwood and the American Indian
Masterpieces of American Art Pottery from the James J. Gardner Collection
By Anita J. Ellis and Susan Labry Meyn
· Foreword by George P. Horse Capture

Rookwood and the American Indian blends anthropology with art history to reveal the relationships between the white settlers and the Native Americans in general, between Cincinnati and the American Indian in particular, and ultimately between Rookwood artists and their Indian friends.