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ART BOOKS

1.
Carol Belanger Grafton
Victorian Imagery and Design: The Essential Reference

Richly detailed, authentic, and engrossing, this compendium draws upon Dover’s archives to present a pictorial survey of the Victorian world. Sources include historical periodicals such as Harper’s Weekly,The Illustrated London News, and Punch as well as printers’ and trade catalogs, architectural graphics, and patterns for fabric and wall decoration by William Morris, Christopher Dresser, and other designers. Hundreds of color and black-and-white images offer glimpses of social history from the great book illustrators of the era as well as ordinary and extraordinary everyday objects, including displays of glassware, furniture, needlework, and stained glass windows from the famous Crystal Palace Exhibition of 1851.
Detailed bibliographical information concerning every source ― including biographical details of each artist ― makes this collection a vital reference tool as well as a stunning compendium of Victorian graphic and pictorial art and illustration. Students of graphic art, typography, and illustration as well as graphic designers and advertising professionals will prize this remarkable resource.

2.
Barb Rosenstock, Mary GrandPre
The Noisy Paint Box: The Colors and Sounds of Kandinsky’s Abstract Art

A Caldecott Honor Book

Vasya Kandinsky was a proper little boy: he studied math and history, he practiced the piano, he sat up straight and was perfectly polite. And when his family sent him to art classes, they expected him to paint pretty houses and flowers—like a proper artist.

But as Vasya opened his paint box and began mixing the reds, the yellows, the blues, he heard a strange sound—the swirling colors trilled like an orchestra tuning up for a symphony! And as he grew older, he continued to hear brilliant colors singing and see vibrant sounds dancing. But was Vasya brave enough to put aside his proper still lifes and portraits and paint . . . music?

In this exuberant celebration of creativity, Barb Rosenstock and Mary GrandPré tell the fascinating story of Vasily Kandinsky, one of the very first painters of abstract art. Throughout his life, Kandinsky experienced colors as sounds, and sounds as colors—and bold, groundbreaking works burst forth from his noisy paint box.

Backmatter includes four paintings by Kandinsky, an author’s note, sources, links to websites on synesthesia and abstract art.

3.
The Ajanta Caves: Artistic Wonder of Ancient Buddhist India

4.
Ellen Dissanayake
Art and Intimacy: How the Arts Began

To Ellen Dissanayake, the arts are biologically evolved propensities of human nature: their fundamental features helped early humans adapt to their environment and reproduce themselves successfully over generations. In Art and Intimacy she argues for the joint evolutionary origin of art and intimacy, what we commonly call love.It all begins with the human trait of birthing immature and helpless infants. To ensure that mothers find their demanding babies worth caring for, humans evolved to be lovable and to attune themselves to others from the moment of birth. The ways in which mother and infant respond to each other are rhythmically patterned vocalizations and exaggerated face and body movements that Dissanayake calls rhythms and sensory modes.Rhythms and modes also give rise to the arts. Because humans are born predisposed to respond to and use rhythmic-modal signals, societies everywhere have elaborated them further as music, mime, dance, and display, in rituals which instill and reinforce valued cultural beliefs. Just as rhythms and modes coordinate and unify the mother-infant pair, in ceremonies they coordinate and unify members of a group.Today we humans live in environments very different from those of our ancestors. They used ceremonies (the arts) to address matters of serious concern, such as health, prosperity, and fecundity, that affected their survival. Now we tend to dismiss the arts, to see them as superfluous, only for an elite. But if we are biologically predisposed to participate in artlike behavior, then we actually need the arts. Even – or perhaps especially – in our fast-paced, sophisticated modern lives, the arts encourage us to show that we care about important things.

5.
The Art and Architecture of the Ancient Orient

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