5 Cool Book Clubs for Artists

Photo caption: Reading books allows artists to deepen their knowledge of art techniques, art history and the heroes of art. Image by Pexels from Pixabay.

Wise artists are always endeavoring to expand their knowledge about the world in which they work, whether that be mastering physical skills or collecting knowledge about their predecessors. 

Art books are a great way for both practicing artists and art lovers to dive deeper into this world. They allow art lovers of all kinds see how famous artists have grappled with the things in life that trouble us all and allowed readers to see how those artists have persevered in the face of adversity. 

But good art books don’t just teach us about how artists have courageously transcended their difficulties. Rather, they have offered artists a chance to develop their skills and to gain mastery over the challenges that could sideline their art careers.

As such, wise artists are constantly reading, constantly learning, constantly growing, and art book clubs are a great way to do this alongside the artist community. The following five art book clubs offer students of art some of the most interesting and relevant books on art.

1. Columbus Museum of Art  

This book club’s 2021 book selections include books that look at the life and career of Georgia O’Keeffe (and in novelized form no less). The museum also leads readers through adventures in lost art, as well as offering them a chance to dive deeper into the life of artist Artemisia Gentileschi.

2. Attleboro Arts Museum

Launched in 2010, the Attleboro Arts Museum has featured books about Pablo Picasso and art by John James Audubon. Other books have allowed readers to learn more about Frida Kahlo, Claude Monet and Leonardo da Vinci.

3. Museum of Pop Culture Book Club

One of Seattle’s coolest art institutions naturally has one of its coolest book clubs. Books on this club’s list grapple with some of life’s big challenges. The books also offer artsy types a look at a variety of art media, including song.

4. New Orleans Museum of Art

This museum’s book club discusses both fiction and non-fiction books. While the book club does meet in person, there is no reason that artsy book lovers can’t read along with museum patrons, even if they don’t live in New Orleans. Books on their list include Ninth Street Women, Louis Armstrong in His Own Words,  and The Last Leonardo, a book about the great artist’s painting, Salvator Mundi

5. Toledo Museum of Art

The Toledo Museum’s book club highlights books that allow museum lovers to learn more about the subject of its exhibits and special collections. Books on its list (past and present) include Art & Artists: Poems, Broad Strokes: 15 Women Who Made Art and Made History (in that Order), Stories of Art and Artists edited by Diana Secker Tesdell and A Year in the Life of William Shakespeare: 1599 by James Shapiro.

Final Thoughts on Book Clubs for Artists

According to Fine Books & Collections, museum book clubs have become quite popular in recent years, with many of them following a path similar to the one that the Toledo Museum of Art follows. 

That is to say that their art club books are meant to highlight some aspect of their exhibitions and collections. However, they also give art and book lovers a chance to make connections with one another and with their favorite artists or periods of art history.

Dive Deeper in Art History With These Posts

The Top 5 Reasons Why You Should Study Art History

The Top 10 Virtual Museum Tours 

Art Fun Facts: 3 Times When Artists Knew More Than Scientists

More Articles

Get useful articles every other week!