The Apollo Book of the Year Award recognises publications that have contributed significantly to their field, both advancing scholarly research and extending its public reach. The winner will be announced in the December issue of Apollo.
Agnes Martin: Her Life and Art
Thames and Hudson, £24.95
The first critical biography of Agnes Martin is a thorough and illuminating exploration of the minimalist painter’s complicated life and zen-like art. Princenthal is careful to distinguish between Martin’s schizophrenia and her artistic visions, and, given that there is no central archive of Martin’s papers, her research from New York to New Mexico is all the more impressive.
Carrying Off the Palaces: John Ruskin’s Lost Daguerreotypes
Ken Jacobson and Jenny Jacobson
Bernard Quaritch Ltd, £85
In 2006, the authors discovered 188 daguerreotypes of Venice, Tuscany, France, and Switzerland by John Ruskin. Their subsequent book is of great significance for the history of photography and for an understanding of the influential art critic. It is also a gripping detective story and a tale of the survival of a remarkable artistic legacy.
The People’s Galleries: Art Museums and Exhibitions in Britain, 1800–1914
Yale University Press, £45
This groundbreaking study of the founding and operation of the UK’s major regional museums is a much-needed piece of research. Waterfield provides valuable insights into institutions that have long been overlooked compared to those in London. And, at a time when these museums are under pressure, he underlines their centrality to Victorian civic values and a belief in public education.
The Sculpture of Tullio Lombardo
Anne Markham Schulz
Harvey Miller Publishers for VISTAS, €140
In the first full monograph about Tullio Lombardo, Anne Markham Schulz rescues the Italian Renaissance sculptor, who received only a passing mention from Vasari, from his relative obscurity. And as the first volume in a series from VISTAS (Virtual Images of Sculpture in Time and Space), the book is notable for its high-resolution photography, which can be further explored online.
Space, Hope, and Brutalism: English Architecture, 1945–1975
Yale University Press, £50
Harwood’s magnificently produced tome about post-war architecture, with accom-panying photographs by James O. Davies, is the result of nearly two decades of research. The book can be read as a work of reference, and, in a few worrying cases, as a watchlist for endangered buildings. Harwood’s survey also presents several buildings and architectural practices that deserve to be better known.