Monday, November 24, 2008

The Art History Reading Challenge

There are so many reading challenges floating around out there, and I have been tempted to join a few of them. Sometimes I even make a list of books to read for a particular challenge, but in the end I always decide that I don't want to feel obligated to a list. I tend to pick my next book based on my mood and how intellectual I am feeling at the time - and there is a certain freedom involved in plucking anything I want from my library pile or my overflowing bookshelves.

But, there is one subject I am always interested in, and want to read more of. Since leaving art history grad school last year, I feel myself slipping farther and farther away from the subject. Every month more art history books are published, and while I dutifully add them to my "to-read" list on goodreads, they tend to slip away because my library does not own most of them and I usually don't spend money on books.

So, in 2009 I've decided to host The Art History Reading Challenge. (Click on the link to sign up!) I am going to challenge myself to read at least 6 art history books next year, and whoever wants to is free to join me. This does not mean you have to slog through academic texts - there are plenty of fiction and popular nonfiction titles on the subject. So click on over and join me!

I hope to update the challenge site throughout the year with reviews, new publications on the subject, and works of art featuring readers. Here is my list I will read from next year:

1. Stealing Athena - Karen Essex
2. Luncheon of the Boating Party - Susan Vreeland
3. Making the Mummies Dance - Thomas Hoving
4. Art Held Hostage - John Anderson
5. Seven Days in the Art World - Sarah Thornton
6. The Bernini Bust - Iain Pears
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