New art books

10:15 AM

I'd like to share my latest book purchases and maybe rationalize how on Earth I am supposed to finish all of them. I bought them on the same day and almost couldn't carry them home.

In my defense, they were bargains. (Isn't that always the defense?)

Paul Johnson's preface got me really excited: "It is therefore essential that society defend itself against cultural breakdown. The best way it can do this is by grasping the importance of art to the well-being of mankind: as many people as possible making it their business to examine art constantly, inform themselves about it and develop their faculties of understanding and loving it." 

Don't worry, Paul, I'm on it.

I usually begin checking the summary and flipping through the chapters. It always gets me down to see the first chapter is always about cave paintings. I want to skip it but can't bring myself to do so. It looks too much like cheating.

Usually Egyptian and Greek art come after, then I get a little motivated. But most times I want to cheat big time and start backwards, beginning with modernism (usually the chapter that mentions Turner).

I'm extremely suspicious about modern art but I love reading about it. It's like a sick curiosity: I want to see it where it all fell apart. Just kidding. Sort of.

This is probably why I like reading art books, it's like a roller coaster ride. You start very slow and with  great anticipation, then there's a lot of excitement and that Renaissance high, and in the end you get slightly Andy Warhol nauseous.  

Do you buy art books? About what artists or periods?

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  1. i have to read a lot of music books to school, and the chapters about greek music are so boring and pointless to me (greek music can't be restored, there are no registers of any kind) that i read then really quickly and not paying much attention to it. The book begins in the gregorian chant, but it gets really awesome with the classic and romantic period. but i never jump chapters... i do feel like cheating... shame on you, paula...

  2. Why don't they just begin books with the good stuff? lol

  3. Wait... these is You with those books? They have a size of a closet! :)

    I've got couple of art books which were gifts but I rather wanna spend money on different aquisitions... I can find enough about paintings or sculptures over the net.
    But I do collect some books about old photography, postcards, photochromes and architecture or practical decorative arts...
    But it's more to see the world that we have left behind, or some great ideas for a dream house, dream city etc... :)

    And I am not very much into cross-sectional books as you usually buy them just for it's small part and they trick a reader with favoring those parts that author prefers to write about :)
    Then again, we often do have to buy them to read anything about that stuff we like :)

  4. They are kind of big, but I'm glad to report I'm almost finishing... the first one! It's impossible to finish a book you can't carry with you.

    It's great you like buying photography books and postcards. Those are great places to find inspiration.

  5. yeah, it's not a TPB obiviously ;) but still You will probably look in them much more often ;)

    it's kind of ironic that books about art ( such as these ) can be used as art decoration actually :)
    are You gonna renovate them BTW? 'American art' cover looks little bit tatty ;)

  6. It does look worn out, the last two books are used books. But it's only the protective front cover, they are hard back, so I'm just going to leave them like that!


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