For eons, humans have been creating art (think cave paintings) and building structures (think Stonehenge—and what about those pyramids?), and our fascination with construction, visual art, and the people who create beauty for all of us continues unabated.

Art, Architecture & Photography Top 10

The Battle for Home: The Memoir of a Syrian Architect

Marwa al-Sabouni. Thames & Hudson, May 16

This timely account offers an eyewitness perspective on Syria’s bitter conflict through the lens of architecture, showing how the built environment and its destruction hold up a mirror to the communities that inhabit it.

Jane Jacobs: The Last Interview and Other Conversations

Jane Jacobs. Melville House, Apr. 19

Published on the centenary of Jacobs’s birth, this is an indispensable collection of conversations with the influential urban critic and author of The Death and Life of Great American Cities.

The Lonely City: Adventures in the Art of Being Alone

Olivia Laing. Picador, Mar. 1

Following the success of 2014’s The Trip to Echo Spring, cultural critic Laing returns with a trip to Manhattan to study the lives of six artists.

The Newsstand: Independently Published Zines, Magazines, Journals, and Artist Books

Lele Saveri, Phil Aarons, and Ken Miller. Skira Rizzoli, Feb. 9

Designed in the style of a scrappy art zine, this book documents the prolific intersection of the contemporary art world and independent publishing.

One World Trade Center: Biography of the Building

Judith Dupré. Little, Brown, Apr. 26

This oversized book chronicles the rise of America’s most emotionally charged skyscraper with hundreds of photographs, drawings, and design plans.

The Story of Emoji

Gavin Lucas. Prestel, Apr. 1

This cultural history of the popular communication phenomenon known as the emoji also explores the design and conception of other nontext typefaces.

This Brutal World

Peter Chadwick. Phaidon, May 23

Based on the popular Twitter feed @BrutalHouse, this is an illustrated ode to brutalist architecture from the perspective of graphic designer/photographer Chadwick.

Till We Have Built Jerusalem: Architects of a New City

Adina Hoffman. Farrar, Straus and Giroux, Apr. 5

Hoffman’s portrait of three architects who helped build modern Jerusalem uncovers levels of the city’s buried history and explores the ways in which politics and aesthetics clash in a place of constant conflict.

Unfinished: Thoughts Left Visible

Kelly Baum, Andrea Bayer, and Sheena Wagstaff. Metropolitan Museum of Art, Mar. 7

The catalogue for the inaugural exhibit at N.Y.C.’s Met Breuer—the Metropolitan Museum’s new building dedicated to modern and contemporary art—examines a question critical to artistic practice: when is a work of art is finished?

The Vanishing Velázquez: A 19th Century Bookseller’s Obsession with a Lost Masterpiece

Laura Cumming. Scribner, Apr. 12

Art critic Cumming investigates the complex meaning of authenticity through the story of a Velázquez portrait that went missing and the 19th-century bookseller determined to prove he had found it.

Art, Architecture & Photography Listings


Women Who Read Are Dangerous by Stefan Bollman (Apr. 5, hardcover, $21.95, ISBN 978-0-7892-1256-6).

An elegant survey of more than 70 works of art featuring women reading throughout time, by such artists as Henri Matisse, Edward Hopper, Suzanne Valadon, August Sander, Rembrandt, and many more.


Domestic Scenes: The Art of Ramiro Gomez by Lawrence Weschler (Apr. 19, hardcover, $35, ISBN 978-1-4197-2069-7) explores the provocative art of the young Mexican-American artist Ramiro Gomez in the context of social equality and the chasms between cultures in America.

Draplin Design Co.: Pretty Much Everything by Aaron James Draplin (May 17, hardcover, $40, ISBN 978-1-4197-2017-8) depicts the mid-career of influential graphic designer Draplin, with insight into his process and observations on the contemporary design scene.

Bard Center

(dist. by Yale Univ.)

Artek and the Aaltos: Furnishing the World, edited by Nina Stritzler-Levine (June 28, hardcover, $75, ISBN 978-0-300-20967-9), is the first English-language survey to focus on the Finnish Modernist design company Artek and its founders, Alvar and Aino Aalto.


(dist. by Midpoint)

Garth Williams, American Illustrator: A Life by Elizabeth K. Wallace and James D. Wallace (May 1, hardcover, $24.95, ISBN 978-0-8253-0795-9) traces the life of Garth Williams, the illustrator of such classic children’s books as Charlotte’s Web, Stuart Little, and Little House on the Prairie, and includes 40 illustrations from Williams’s eclectic portfolio.

Black Dog & Leventhal

(dist. by Hachette)

Michelangelo’s Notebooks: The Poetry, Letters, and Art of the Great Master by Carolyn Vaughan (May 3, trade paper, $19.99, ISBN 978-1-57912-979-8) combines the Renaissance artist’s own words with his sketches and finished artwork to create an illustrated record of Michelangelo’s life and work.


Architecture’s Odd Couple: Frank Lloyd Wright and Philip Johnson by Hugh Howard (May 24, hardcover, $28, ISBN 978-1-62040-375-4) chronicles the volatile relationship between two of the 20th century’s most renowned architects and shows how their rivalry was also a fruitful artistic conversation that yielded new directions for both men.

Identity Unknown: Portraits of Forgotten Women Artists by Donna Seaman (June 7, hardcover, $30, ISBN 978-1-62040-758-5) focuses on the lives of seven 20th-century American women artists and reveals what drove them, how they worked, and how they were perceived by others in a world where women were subjects—not makers—of art.


Why Drag? by Magnus Hastings, foreword by Boy George (May 17, hardcover, $50, ISBN 978-1-4521-4897-7). For more than a decade, Hastings has been photographing drag superstars and asking each of them a simple question: why drag? The result is this volume in which the queens strut their stuff and reflect on their shared passion through a mixture of quips and philosophizing.

D. Giles

(dist. by Consortium)

Museum of Stones, edited by Dakin Hart (June 14, trade paper, $34.95, ISBN 978-1-907804-86-1). Inspired by the work of Japanese-American artist Isamu Noguchi, this volume looks at the various ways artists from across the world, and from different civilizations and cultures, have used rock and stone in their work.

Down East

Art of Acadia by David Little and Carl Little (June 1, hardcover, $50, ISBN 978-1-60893-474-4) looks at the Mount Desert Island and Acadia region of Maine through the artists who painted it.

Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Eye of the Sixties: Richard Bellamy and the Transformation of Modern Art by Judith Stein (July 12, hardcover, $27, ISBN 978-0-374-15132-4) relates the life of the founder and director of the Green Gallery on 57th Street. The witty, poetry-loving art lover became a legend of the avant-garde, showing the work of such artists as Mark di Suvero, Claes Oldenburg, James Rosenquist, Donald Judd, and others.

Till We Have Built Jerusalem: Architects of a New City by Adina Hoffman (Apr. 5, hardcover, $27, ISBN 978-0-374-28910-2) offers a prismatic view into one of the world’s most sacred and troubled cities through the lives of three architects who lived and worked there.


Her: Meditations on Being Female by Marjorie Salvaterra (Apr. 30, hardcover, $50, ISBN 978-1-943876-10-5) collects photographic portrayals of women, exploring, in the tradition of Cindy Sherman, the roles of women in the modern world.

The Malkovich Sessions by Sandro Miller (Feb. 22, hardcover, $95, ISBN 978-0-996293-03-7) results from a 20-year collaboration between actor John Malkovich and the photographer Sandro Miller, featuring a series of 32 images that recreate the emblematic works of photographers who inspired and influenced Miller.

Harper Design

F**k Ivy and Everything Else by Mark McNairy (Feb. 16, hardcover, $29.99, ISBN 978-0-06-237740-1), a style guide for traditionalists and hipsters alike, includes the views of menswear designer McNairy on dressing and behaving well.


Sam Maloof: 36 Views of a Master Woodworker by Fred Setterberg

(Apr. 4, trade paper, $20, ISBN 978-1-59714-333-2) weaves the words of family, friends, and associates to present 36 perspectives on a famous furniture maker, Sam Maloof, the first craftsman to receive a MacArthur Foundation “genius” grant.

J. Paul Getty Trust

Robert Mapplethorpe: The Archive by Frances Terpak and Michelle Brunnick (Mar. 1, hardcover, $49.95, ISBN 978-1-60606-470-2). With 400 illustrations, this volume sheds light on photographer Robert Mapplethorpe’s motivations, connections, business acumen, and talent as a curator and collector.


Who Shot Sports: A Photographic History, 1843 to the Present by Gail Buckland (July 5, hardcover, $45, ISBN 978-0-385-35223-9). The first book to show the range, cultural importance, and aesthetics of sports photography is from the creator/editor of Who Shot Rock and Roll.

Little, Brown

One World Trade Center: Biography of the Building by Judith Dupré

(Apr. 26, hardcover, $35, ISBN 978-0-316-33631-4) showcases the skyscraper’s groundbreaking design and engineering, from the initial excavation to the final placement of the spire.

Melville House

(dist. by Random)

Jane Jacobs: The Last Interview: and Other Conversations by Jane Jacobs (Apr. 19, trade paper, $15.95, ISBN 978-1-61219-534-6) is an indispensible collection of conversations with America’s most influential urban critic and an essential reminder of why Jacobs remains unrivaled in her analyses and her ability to cut through cant and received wisdom.

Metropolitan Museum of Art

Manus x Machina: Fashion in an Age of Technology by Andrew Bolton, photos by Nicholas Alan Cope (May 31, hardcover, $50, ISBN 978-1-58839-592-4). The complex and often ambiguous relationship between the handcrafted and the machine-made is examined in this intriguing look at the ever-changing world of fashion and taste.

Unfinished: Thoughts Left Visible by Kelly Baum, Andrea Bayer, and Sheena Wagstaff (Mar. 7, hardcover, $65, ISBN 978-1-58839-586-3). This catalogue for the Met Breuer’s inaugural exhibition explores the concept of unfinishedness as a means of understanding art movements from the Renaissance to the present.


Voyage Le Corbusier: Drawing on the Road by Jacob Brillhart, drawings by Le Corbusier, foreword by Jean-Louis Cohen (Feb. 22, hardcover, $35, ISBN 978-0-393-73356-3), excavates the “visual thinking” of the 20th-century pioneer architect Charles-Édouard Jeanneret, better known as Le Corbusier, and reproduces 175 drawings from his early sketchbooks.


(dist. by IPG)

Courtroom Art: In the Dock with the Rich and Famous by Daniel Scott (May 1, hardcover, $22.95, ISBN 978-1-910232-34-7) contains more than 100 images from the world’s key courtroom artists, depicting celebrities as diverse as Mohammed Al Fayed and Tom Cruise and their unforgettable appearances in court.


The Documentary Impulse by Stuart Franklin (Apr. 11, hardcover, $29.95, ISBN 978-0-7148-7067-0) is an award-winning photographer’s exploration of how we, as humans, are driven to visually document our experiences and the world around us.

This Brutal World by Peter Chadwick (May 23, hardcover, $49.95, ISBN 978-0-7148-7108-0) surveys brutalist architecture around the world, bringing to light unknown architectural treasures from across the former eastern bloc and other far-flung parts of the world.


The Lonely City: Adventures in the Art of Being Alone by Olivia Laing (Mar. 1, hardcover, $26, ISBN 978-1-250-03957-6) roves through a cultural history of urban loneliness, centered on the ultimate city, Manhattan, and exploring the lives of six artists.


Animal Kingdom: Stereoscopic Images of Natural History by Jim Naughten, with Martin Barnes, Ray Barnet, and Denis Pellerin (Apr. 1, hardcover, $39.95, ISBN 978-3-7913-8247-0). Drawn from the archives of museums across the globe, this collection of historic specimens, photographed for stereoscopic viewing, brings the natural world to life in thrilling and beautiful ways.

The Story of Emoji by Gavin Lucas (Apr. 1, hardcover, $24.95, ISBN 978-3-7913-8150-3) explains the genesis and cultural significance of emoji, from its origin as a symbol typeface created specifically for on-screen use by a Japanese mobile phone provider in the late 1990s to its status as international communication phenomenon.

Princeton Architectural Press

The Electric Pencil: Drawings from Inside State Hospital No. 3 by James Edward Deeds Jr. (Apr. 12, trade paper, $29.95, ISBN 978-1-61689-454-2) features all 283 of Deeds’s arresting drawings—now avidly collected—done on ledger sheets from State Hospital #3 in Nevada, Mo., and reproduced in the sequence of the original work.


House Rules: An Architect’s Guide to Modern Life by Deborah Berke (Mar. 22, hardcover, $45, ISBN 978-0-8478-4821-8) is an inspiring guide for homeowners and those aspiring to build a house, demonstrating how to craft a serene space for modern living.


The Vanishing Velázquez: A 19th Century Bookseller’s Obsession with a Lost Masterpiece by Laura Cumming (Apr. 12, hardcover, $28, ISBN 978-1-4767-6215-9) chronicles the true story—part art history and part mystery—of a Velázquez portrait that went missing and the obsessed 19th-century bookseller determined to prove he had found it.

Skira Rizzoli

The Great Mother by Massimiliano Gioni (Mar. 15, trade paper, $50, ISBN 978-88-5722860-0 ) analyzes the iconography of motherhood in art and visual culture during the 20th and 21st centuries, from early avant-garde movements to the present.

Kerry James Marshall, essays by Elizabeth Alexander, Ian Alteveer, Helen Molesworth, and Dieter Roelstraete, and others (Apr. 19, hardcover, $65, ISBN 978-0-8478-4833-1), is the definitive monograph on contemporary African-American painter Kerry James Marshall, and the accompanying catalogue of a major traveling retrospective.

The Newsstand: Independently Published Zines, Magazines, Journals, and Artist Books, contributions by Lele Saveri, Phil Aarons, and Ken Miller (Feb. 9, trade paper, $45, ISBN 978-0-8478-4755-6), catalogues the pop-up store in Brooklyn in 2013 and forthcoming exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art, and documents contemporary zine culture in New York and beyond, including artists’ work, essays, and interviews with publishers, artists, commuters, MTA workers, and police officers influenced by the Newsstand.


(dist. by Perseus)

The Guardian of Mercy: How an Extraordinary Painting by Caravaggio Transformed an Ordinary Life by Terence Ward (Feb., hardcover, $24.99, ISBN 978-1-62872-592-6) offers a journey into the heart of Renaissance painter Caravaggio’s artistry and his metamorphosis from fugitive to visionary.

St. Martin’s

The Auctioneer: Adventures in the Art Trade by Simon de Pury (May 3, hardcover, $25.99, ISBN 978-1-250-05978-9). The former chairman of Sotheby’s Europe takes readers inside the secretive world of art auction houses, complete with their staggering prices, famous collectors, and front-page high crimes.


Surfing. 1778–2015 by Jim Heimann (Feb. 15, hardcover, $200, ISBN 978-3-8365-3756-8) spans photography, fashion, film, art, and music to chart the evolution of surfing culture from its first mention in 1778 to today’s global and multi-platform phenomenon.

Thames & Hudson

The Battle for Home: The Memoir of a Syrian Architect by Marwa al-Sabouni (May 16, hardcover, $29.95, ISBN 978-0-500-34317-3) is an architect’s gripping account of living and working in war-torn Syria, and the role architecture plays in whether a community crumbles or comes together.

Family Photography Now by Sophie Howarth and Stephen McLaren (May 9, hardcover, $45, ISBN 978-0-500-54453-2) is divided into two parts—”Our Own Families” and “Other People’s Families”—focusing on photographers who make their own families their subjects and those who aim their lenses at other people’s.

Univ. of California

Ed Ruscha and the Great American West, edited by Karin Breuer (July 1, hardcover, $55, ISBN 978-0-520-29069-3), explores the everyday landscapes of the West in Ed Ruscha’s painting, especially as seen from the automobile. Gas stations, billboards, building facades, parking lots, and long stretches of roadway are the primary motifs of his often deadpan and instantly recognizable paintings and works on paper.


Barn: History, Roles, and Stories by Susan Carol Hauser (July 1, hardcover, $30, ISBN 978-0-7603-4973-1) reports everything you ever wanted to learn about traditional American barns, from their history and types of barns to pop culture and mythology about barns.

Yale Univ.

After Caravaggio by Michael Fried (June 21, hardcover, $60, ISBN 978-0-300-21864-0) examines the paintings made in the 20 years following Caravaggio’s death, including works by Bartolomeo Manfredi, Valentin de Boulogne, Nicolas Tournier, Nicolas Régnier, Cecco del Caravaggio, and the young Jusepe de Ribera.

Alexander Calder: Performing Sculpture, edited by Achim Borchardt-Hume (Feb. 16, hardcover, $50, ISBN 978-0-300-21915-9), provides detailed insight into artist Calder’s pioneering process through reproductions of his drawings and notes.

Denim: Fashion’s Frontier by Emma McClendon (Apr. 12, hardcover, $50, ISBN 978-0-300-21914-2) surveys a wide-ranging history of the fashion associated with the world’s ubiquitous fabric, spotlighting the leading designers and dominant styles of the past 100 years.