Mathematics and Art
A Cultural History
Princeton University Press 2015
Today I’m talking with Lynn Gamwell about Mathematics and Art: A Cultural History (Princeton University Press, 2015). This book is a breathtaking combination of scholarship and beauty, tracing the interplay of mathematics and art throughout mankind’s history, East and West. Gamwell is a lecturer in the history of mathematics and science at the School of Visual Arts in New York, and thus she is uniquely positioned to write a book that brings together the two disparate cultures described by C.P. Snow in his 1959 essay. Snow would have appreciated how the author communicates the depth, passion, and beauty that characterize each culture, while describing how each inspires the other. The in-depth discussion is brought to life by 440 stunning artworks and 102 crystal-clear math diagrams. This is a big, beautifully produced book that you will want to place on your coffee table.