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books of 20th century sculpture

updated tue 17 jan 06


Ama Menec on sun 15 jan 06

Following on from the discussion of ceramic sculpture books, I wondered if
anyone would recommend any 20th century sculpture books, (to clarify,
sculpture made in the early 20th century, rather than books printed in the
20th C). Ceramic/architectural/stone/anything? I am going up to London at
the end of the month and feel a book buying spree coming upon me! All
suggestions gratefully received.

Ama, Totnes, Devon, UK.

Snail Scott on sun 15 jan 06

... I wondered if
>anyone would recommend any 20th century sculpture books, (to clarify,
>sculpture made in the early 20th century...

Sculpture 1900-1945 by Penelope Curtis is a good survey, in
a moderately-priced paperback format. (It's part of the
Oxford History of Art series.) A slightly older book, (also
paperback) with a more 'personal-opinion' approach but well
worth reading, is The Language of Sculpture by William Tucker.

They both focus on early-20th century sculpture. Tucker's
has a sort of old-school sensibility because it was written in
mid-century when it was all still recent, while Curtis's book
has a more contemporary perspective on same period. Good,
informative reading, both of them. Tucker was actually a working
sculptor, and brings that outlook to the discussion, though I'd
probably recommend Curtis's book above Tucker's for its
broader discussions and better illustrations.

Both are by British authors, and should be readily available in


Kathy Forer on mon 16 jan 06

On Jan 15, 2006, at 5:51 PM, Snail Scott wrote:

> Tucker was actually a working
> sculptor, and brings that outlook to the discussion

William Tucker is a working sculptor and professor of art. Nice man.
In studio visit, =20
Tucker reflects on how his views have developed since his 1974 =93The =20=

Language of Sculpture=94

Charlotte F. Speight's "Images in Clay Sculpture, Historical and =20
Contemporary Techniques," 1983 has good comparison images showing =20
many contemporary ('80s) clay techniques and sculptors.

American Sculpture in Process: 1930/1970 by Wayne Anderson, New York =20
Graphic Society is a lively survey of those times

Modern European Sculpture 1918-1945, Unknown Beings and Other =20
Realities, by
Well grounded historical survey by Albert E. Elsen (1927-1995) =20
professor, scholar and mentor at Stanford University
Also Origins of Modern Sculpture: Pioneers and Premises and Elsen's =20
books on Rodin.

Endless others.
Beyond Modern Sculpture, Jack Burnham
A Concise History of Modern Sculpture, Herbert Reed

Here are two good listings:
Peter Voulkos Catalogue
Sculptor.Org Bookstore

In addition to surveys, look for museum exhibitions and monographs. =20
If you're in London, see what the Tate has, or the British Museum =20

A friend who works at a bookstore asked me the same question last =20
week, pointing to the bare sculpture shelf. No need for bare shelves, =20=

lots of books out there!

Kathy Forer