I have a collection of art books that I’ve enjoyed building up throughout my career. If you are at the start of your art teaching career, the following 5 books would be a good start to your art library. I’ve turned to these books again and again.
I remember the first time I saw the artwork of Hundertwasser in a book. I was mesmerised by his flowing landscapes and cityscapes that melted with faces and lollipop trees. If you want to teach an unusual portrait project, a landscape or cityscape project or encourage discussions about green issues, or get your students to write their own art or architecture manifesto, Hundertwasser is a good artist to know. You’ll love this book.
My next ‘must-have’ art teacher book is Ernst Haeckel’s ‘Art Forms in Nature’. Haeckel was a German biologist, naturalist, philosopher, physician, professor, marine biologist, and artist who discovered, described and named thousands of new species. His images are all over the internet but I’m still glad I’ve got the book to easily put my hands on all of them and give students a wide choice.
I couldn’t not include a book on Georgia O’Keeffe. This is my personal favorite which I’ve referred to and shown students again and again. This contains big colour images and includes ones that you just don’t find on the internet. It includes a wide range of her paintings and so is useful for still-life, flower, skull and cityscape art projects. Super-useful and beautiful!
This ‘Leonardo Anatomy’ book breaks the body down into its component parts. Page after page of beautiful drawings are there to delight you. Mix up some coffee, stain some paper and get your art students drawing! You can use this for themes such as ‘The body’, ‘Anatomy’, ‘Surfaces’, ‘Inside Out’, ‘Skulls and Bones’ and ‘Art and Words’. It’s an art teacher resource you can’t be without!
Lastly, I’m including ‘Prints and Drawings of Kathe Kollwitz’, a German artist, who worked with painting, printmaking and sculpture. This is great for portrait, monoprint and lino projects. Additionally, you can use it for projects that deal with poverty, war, social issues and human emotion. Like the artists above, she ticks lots of boxes.
I hope you’ve been inspired by this selection. If you have any favourite art books that you’ve used again and again in your art teaching, please comment below.
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