Bhanu Athaiya, “The Art of Costume Design” (HarperCollins, 2010)
Bollywood, the Hindustani film genre based in Mumbai (formerly Bombay), has long been known for its lavish costumes and sets. Now comes a sumptuous book from a master costume designer, and the first ever Indian to win an Oscar, Bhanu Rajopadhye Athaiya. Her The Art of Costume Design (New Delhi:... Read More
Benjamin Binstock, “Vermeer’s Family Secrets: Genius, Discovery, and the Unknown Apprentice” (Routledge, 2009)
Ben Binstock‘s Vermeer’s Family Secrets: Genius, Discovery, and the Unknown Apprentice (Routledge, 2009) is one of the most fascinating books I have ever read. It does what all good history books should do–tell you something you thought you knew but in fact don’t–but it does it ON EVERY PAGE. I... Read More
Kyra Hicks, “This I Accomplish: Harriet Powers’ Bible Quilt and Other Pieces” (Black Threads Press, 2009)
I’ll tell you something I’ve never really understood: the difference between “art” and “craft.” Yes, I get the sociological difference (“art” is made in New York and Paris; “craft” is made in Omaha and Wichita), but what about the substantive difference? One common way to differentiate the two is to... Read More
Greg Castillo, “Cold War on the Home Front: The Soft Power of Midcentury Design” (Minnesota UP, 2009)
If you grew up in the 1960s or 1970s in suburbia, you probably lived in a smallish ranch house that looked like this. That house probably had an “ultra modern” kitchen that probably looked like this. I grew up in such a house and it had such a kitchen. In... Read More