In celebration of art galleries reopening to the public from 17th May onwards, Yale University Press London staff chose their favourite exhibition catalogues to share with our blog readers. Read on for reflections on their picks and to learn which exhibitions (both in the UK and further afield) they’re looking forward to attending.
May Staff Pick
Managing Director, Heather McCallum recommends Hidden London: Discovering the Forgotten Underground by David Bownes, Chris Nix, Siddy Holloway and Sam Mullins, Alice Neel: People Come First by Kelly Baum, Randall Griffey, and Joan Mitchell by Sarah Roberts and Katy Siegel.
I am a frequent and grateful visitor to exhibitions, but I have never worked on a catalogue directly. Yale University Press publishes and distributes so many jewels by so many museum and gallery partners that it is very hard to choose one or even two or three. So, I won’t. Hidden London from the Transport Museum thrilled me because it was so very much more than I expected. Who doesn’t like the tube and, even more, abandoned stations? However, I felt so richly informed about sites I walk over and around before I’d even got through twenty pages. It’s a wonderful book, a deserved hit and brilliantly edited and produced by the YUPL team.
Alice Neel from the Met and Joan Mitchell from SFMA showcase magnificent modern American artists and bring them to entirely new audiences… and their works, for me, are simply gorgeous and enticing as well as being politically resonant. They were relatively unfamiliar to me, I admit, and such an introduction to their art, albeit remotely, has been a privilege. The subtitle of Alice Neel is, quite simply, People Come First.
Find out more about Hidden London: Discovering the Forgotten Underground, Alice Neel: People Come First and Joan Mitchell.
Alice Neel: People Come First will be running at the The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York (22nd March – 1st August, 2021), the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao (17th September, 2021 – 30th January, 2022) and the de Young Museum, San Francisco (12th March – 10th July, 2022).
Joan Mitchell will be running at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (4th September, 2021 – 17th January, 2022), the Baltimore Museum of Art (6th March – 14th August, 2022) and the Fondation Louis Vuitton (5th October, 2022 – 27th February, 2023).
Acquisitions Editor, Art and Architecture, Sophie Neve recommends Henry Scott Tuke by Cicely Robinson.
Henry Scott Tuke opens at the Watts Gallery in June, exploring the complex and intriguing figure of Henry Scott Tuke – an Edwardian artist who enjoyed huge popularity in his time but has been somewhat overlooked since – and the accompanying book is published by Yale.
The book and exhibition celebrate Tuke and showcase his beautiful paintings, but also explore the complexities of his life and art. Tuke’s paintings of young, nude boys have been variously interpreted as voyeuristic and erotic; pastoral and nostalgic; technically innovative; traditional and outmoded.
The exhibition and book brilliantly tease out these seeming contradictions and shine a light on this fascinating period of British art history.
Find out more about Henry Scott Tuke.
International Sales Representative, Uwe Lüdemann recommends Dürer’s Journeys: Travels of a Renaissance Artist by Susan Foister and Peter van den Brink.
Already the cover, with a cutout of Dürer’s copper engraving of Saint Eustace, depicting a castle on a hill, attracts readers and represents well the fascinating subject of Dürer’s Journeys.
The reproduction of images is, as always, excellent and all five subjects of the catalogue, written by specialists in their field, offer us a deeper look into Dürer’s extensive journeys to the north and south of Europe. It also shines a light on those whom he was influenced by as well as his influence on other artists. Of great interest to me personally, are the parts about his entrepreneurship during and after his trips.
At the end of the catalogue there is map of his trip and a tabular synopsis of Dürer’s life and times.
I look forward to seeing the exhibition as it will give me the chance to look more carefully at the original paintings, etchings and drawings. These etchings and drawings, collected in Europe and the US, are rarely shown in exhibitions as they are light-sensitive.
Unfortunately, the show at the National Gallery has been postponed until November 2021, but this will also give me some more time to read the catalogue before I go and see the art.
Find out more about Dürer’s Journey: Travels of a Renaissance Artist.
Dürer’s Journeys: Travels of a Renaissance Artist will be running at The National Gallery, London (20 November, 2021 – 27 February, 2022).
Publicity Executive, Art and Architecture, Rebecca Reading recommends Golden Prospects: Daguerreotypes of the California Gold Rush by Jane L. Aspinwall and Keith F. Davis.
This book accompanied an exhibition at The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, Kansas City. It’s really cool, and as the Museum says in this video: ‘The California Gold Rush, I mean, who doesn’t love that?’.
Find out more about Golden Prospects: Daguerreotypes of the California Gold Rush.
Publishing Assistant, Ffion Jones recommends Dandy Style: 250 Years of British Men’s Fashion by Shaun Cole and Miles Lambert.
After the rise of loungewear over the past year, I’m excited to see some slightly more lavish garments in the Dandy Style exhibition at Manchester Art Gallery next October.
Dandy Style: 250 Years of British Men’s Fashion will be running at Manchester Art Gallery (8th October, 2022 – 1st May, 2023).
This month, we also ran an online poll to determine the most popular catalogue amongst our staff. Artemisia, published in 2020 by the National Gallery London to accompany the show of the same name, came out on top with just under sixty percent of staff members casting a vote for it as one of their favourites!
Artemisia Gentileschi (1593–1654 or later) is the most celebrated woman artist of the baroque period in Italy. This beautiful book includes essays on her life and career, as well as an an overview of the wide range of approaches to Artemisia’s work since her rediscovery by Feminist art historians more than 50 years ago.
Find out more about Artemisia.