10 Last-Minute Book Ideas for Anyone On Your List

December 14, 2015

With the holiday season in full swing, SVA Close Up offers 10 critically acclaimed books by faculty members and alumni that are sure to suit anyone on your gift-buying list.

For the activist: 

march200March: Book Two (Top Shelf Production, 2015) written by Congressman John Lewis and Andrew Aydin, and illustrated Nate Powell (BFA 2000 Cartooning): “Heroism and steadiness of purpose continue to light up Lewis’s frank, harrowing account of the civil rights movement’s climactic days… Powell’s dark, monochrome ink-and-wash scenes add further drama to already-dramatic events.” – Kirkus

For the artist: 

fig200Inside the Artist’s Studio (Princeton Architectural Press, 2015) by Joe Fig (BFA 1991 Fine Arts, MFA 2002 Fine Arts): “In this follow-up to his Inside the Painter’s Studio, he asks 24 painters, video and mixed-media artists, sculptors, and photographers the personal questions that matter most to artists looking for guidance and commiseration in their search to exist as an artist… we are given a glimpse into the everyday studio practices of some of the most engaging contemporary artists today.” – Artslant

For the biography lover:

agnesagain200Agnes Martin: Her Life and Art (Thames & Hudson, 2015) by MFA Art Writing faculty member Nancy Princenthal: “Doggedly researched and gracefully written. . . . [Princenthal] shines in describing Martin’s earthy good humor and dedication to her art and in capturing the atmosphere in which the artist came of age. It’s the best life we have of this remarkable woman, and it will remain definitive for a long good while.” – The Wall Street Journal

For the dog owner:

dog200Beloved Dog (Penguin Press, 2015) by MFA Design faculty member Maira Kalman: “Beloved Dog is the story of Pete, and a little bit the story of Tibor, too, told through lovely, deeply personal new paintings that Kalman captions with brief, memoiristic passages… And Kalman uses Pete’s story to bookend a compilation of all the other dogs who have popped up over the years in her paintings.” – Vogue

For the Francophile: 

graphique200Graphique de la Rue (Princeton Architectural Press, 2015) by MFA Design and BFA Design faculty member Louise Fili: “Fili’s book comes at an important time, when such original signs are being replaced by their cheaper, poorly designed, and mass-produced versions… Fili’s book is a ‘typographic love letter to Paris,’ one that will both immortalize these signs and inspire the imaginations of designers and travelers alike.” – Beautiful/Decay

For the kids: 

yardsale200Yard Sale (Candlewick, 2015) written by Eve Bunting and illustrated by Lauren Castillo (MFA 2005 Illustration as Visual Essay): “Castillo’s (Nana in the City) gentle scenes soften the family’s sadness…. Bunting captures the way loss can take a family’s possessions while leaving their love for each other intact.” – Publishers Weekly

walrus200Where’s Walrus? And Penguin? (Scholastic Press, 2015) by Stephen Savage (MFA 1996 Illustration as Visual Essay): “Walrus escapes again, this time with pal Penguin, but their day on the town takes an unexpected turn for the fun-loving pinniped of Where’s Walrus?… Clever, cheeky, and endearing—a wordless achievement.” – Kirkus

For the sci-fi fan: 

dune200Dune (Folio Society, 2015) written by Frank Herbert and illustrated by Sam Weber (MFA 2005 Illustration as Visual Essay): “The 50th anniversary deluxe edition comes in a beautiful metallic printed slipcover case…and it’s bound in ‘metallic buckram, printed and blocked with a design by Sam Weber.’ It has 576 pages, with a frontispiece and 11 color illustrations inside, including three double-page spreads and a number of black-and-white chapter-head illustrations… It also includes an introduction by Pulitzer Prize-winning critic Michael Dirda… But the biggest selling point is all the gorgeous illustrations by Weber.” – io9

For the urbanites: 

kill200Kill City: Lower East Side Squatters 1992 – 2000 (powerhouse Books, 2015) by Ash Thayer (BFA 1997 Photography): “…Ash Thayer captured the last remnants of Bohemian life in Manhattan through a remarkable series of images capturing squatters who occupied various abandoned buildings on the LES… Thayer’s pictures document a poignant divide between then and now, depicting a New York that’s unimaginable today.” – Time Out New York

lunch200Lunchtime (Damiani, 2015) by MFA Photography, Video and Related Media Chair Charles Traub: “Lunchtime is a comprehensive collection of shots Traub took between 1977 and 1980 while venturing on to the streets principally of Chicago… and New York during his lunch breaks… From their colourful clothes to their colourful expressions, his subjects reveals themselves to the camera in a series of portraits that are thoroughly personal…” – The Independent

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