What the Art Teachers Are Reading This Summer


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You know you can just feel summer around the corner. The time of warm water, swimming and ice ream. The time of the year when you can disconnect with the computer and reconnect with your local library, or bookstore. Well, dust off your library card and find those reading glasses because we have asked art teachers what art related summer fiction they recommend and we hope your next read is in the list below!


  1. The Art of Rivalry: Four Friendships, Betrayals, and Breakthroughs In Modern Art by Sebastian Smee
    The fascinating story of four pairs of artists—Manet and Degas, Picasso and Matisse, Pollock and de Kooning, Freud and Bacon—whose fraught, competitive friendships spurred them to new creative heights.
  2.  Blood Water Paint by Joy McCullough
    A debut novel based on the true story of the iconic painter, Artemisia Gentileschi. Her mother died when she was twelve, and suddenly Artemisia Gentileschi had a stark choice: a life as a nun in a convent or a life grinding pigment for her father’s paint.
  3. The Italian Teacher by Tom Rachman
    A poignant, touching tale about living in the shadow of a brazen artistic genius.
  4. Madame Picasso by Anne Girard
    The mesmerizing and untold story of Eva Gouel, the unforgettable woman who stole the heart of the greatest artist of our time.
  5. Georgia O’Keeffe: The Poetry of Things by Elizabeth Hutton Turner
    A celebration of Georgia O’Keeffe’s contribution to still-life painting. It discusses the formative influence of Arthur Wesley Dow and compares her invention in still life to academic practices and traditional models in Western art.
  6. The Most Beautiful Woman in Florence: A Story of Botticelli by Alyssa Palombo
  7. The Tattoo Artist by Jill Ciment
    In 1970, Sara Ehrenreich boards a small plane and returns to New York City with much fanfare; she will be featured in Life magazine. She has not left Ta’un’uu–the South Seas island upon which she and her husband, Philip, were marooned during a storm–in more than thirty years. Sara doesn’t know that man has landed on the moon. She has never seen a ballpoint pen. Her body is covered, head to toe, in tattoos.
  8. The Last Painting of Sara de Vos by Dominic Smith
    A dazzling and mesmerizing story that charts the collision course between a rare landscape by a female Dutch painter of the golden age, an inheritor of the work in 1950s Manhattan, and a celebrated art historian who painted a forgery of it in her youth. A literary novel of breathtaking scope, ambition and achievement.
  9. The Underpainter by Jane Urquhart
    The story is about 75-year-old painter Austin Fraser as he creates a new series of paintings, and is set between upstate New York and the northern Canadian shores of Lake Ontario and Lake Superior. It’s a sad but beautiful novel about the power of landscape and geography, and a man who devotes his life to art but is unable to connect to those around him.
  10. The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt
    13-year-old Theodore Decker, survives a terrorist bombing at an art museum where his mother is killed. While staggering through the debris, he takes with him a small Dutch Golden Age painting called The Goldfinch. Abandoned by his father, Theo is taken in by the family of a wealthy friend. Bewildered by his strange new home on Park Avenue, disturbed by schoolmates who don’t know how to talk to him, and tormented above all by his unbearable longing for his mother, he clings to one thing that reminds him of her: a small, mysteriously captivating painting that ultimately draws Theo into the underworld of art.
  11. Clara and Mr. Tiffany by Susan Vreeland
    This book novelizes the life of Clara Driscoll, employee and creator at Louis Comfort Tiffany’s glass factory. While Tiffany’s works are collected around the world, this work shares her own contributions, creating many of the most famous lamps in the Tiffany collection. The book focuses on her efforts to find her own space as an artist and designer despite the pressures against her.
  12. Vincent and Theo: The Van Gogh Brothers by Deborah Heiligman
    The deep and enduring friendship between Vincent and Theo Van Gogh shaped both brothers’ lives. Confidant, champion, sympathizer, friend – Theo supported Vincent as he struggled to find his path in life. They shared everything, swapping stories of lovers and friends, successes and disappointments, dreams and ambitions.
  13. Rodin’s Lover By Heather Webb
    This work tells the tale of Camille Claudel, who becomes the muse and apprentice of famous sculptor Auguste Rodin. It’s about the struggle of women artists to find their way in the world and find their own success while they see their partners achieve stardom.
  14. Call me By Your Name by Andre Aciman
    A story that centers on the blossoming romantic relationship between an intellectually precocious and curious 17-year-old American-Italian Jewish boy named Elio Perlman and a visiting 24-year-old American Jewish scholar named Oliver in 1980s Italy. The novel chronicles their summer romance and the 20 years that follow.
  15. An Object of Beauty by Steve Martin
    Lacey Yeager is young, captivating, and ambitious enough to take the NYC art world by storm. Groomed at Sotheby’s and hungry to keep climbing the social and career ladders put before her, Lacey charms men and women, old and young, rich and even richer with her magnetic charisma and liveliness. Her ascension to the highest tiers of the city parallel the soaring heights–and, at times, the dark lows–of the art world and the country from the late 1990s through today.