It isn’t all academic…

by the Editorial Team

January 31, 2016

As much as everyone loves a good theoretical text, I’m sure my fellow graduate students will agree that sometimes it is nice to venture into the relaxing and rewarding world of fiction (or at least non-academic writing) for a break.

But, just because we need a break from theory and academic writing doesn’t mean we’re over art history. Nor does it mean that we are free from the guilt associated with procrastination.

photo of desk and books

Check out these art history-related books for your bedside table, study breaks and productive procrastination:

Mary Coin by Marissa Silver

Silver weaves together fiction and non-fiction in this imaginative tale about the subject and photographer of the real-life Dorothea Lange’s Migrant Mother.

Girl with a Pearl Earing by Tracy Chevalier

A classic of the art-historical fiction genre, Chevalier’s Girl with a Pearl Earing imagines the life of the young woman who inspired one of Vermeer’s most iconic paintings.

Seven Days in the Art World by Sarah Thornton

While not fiction, Thornton’s book delves into the intricacies of the contemporary art world. For those art historians concerned more with the past than the present, Thornton offers a glimpse into the realities of the contemporary art market. For those specializing in contemporary art, Thornton’s book offers a fascinating ethnography of the culture and subcultures of contemporary art.

The Swan Thieves by Elizabeth Kostova

Kostova imagines compels a renowned painter to attack a canvas at the National Gallery of Art, taking the reader on a journey through time and disciplines.

The Paper Garden: Mrs. Delaney Begins Her Life’s Work at 72 by Molly Peacock

Peacock rediscovers the real life of Mary Delaney, the founder of the mixed-media collage whose strikingly accurate botanical collages are now displayed at the British Museum. A poet herself, Peacock weaves elements of her own life in with the life of Delaney–a fellow creative spirit.