• Accessible Art History

My Favorite Art History Books


Welcome back to the Accessible Art History Blog. For the first post of the new year, I thought it would be fun to share some of my favorite art history books. One of my personal goals for 2021 is to read more, so this post also ties into that. If any of these books pique your interest, you can purchase them from my Bookshop store. This is a fantastic site that connects readers with independent bookstores. I do earn a small commission, so if you do purchase, thank you! Without further ado, here are some of my favorite art history reads!


Art Curious by Jennifer Dasal


I have been a fan of the Art Curious podcast for quite some time, so I was thrilled to hear that Jennifer Dasal was writing a book! She makes art history fun by talking about all of the crazy stories that tend to be left out of the history books.


Rick Steves’ Europe’s Top 100 Masterpieces


Rick Steves is the ultimate travel guru. He makes history and travel accessible through multiple mediums. This book highlights some of the most famous works of art along with a blurb about each one. It’s a great survey of western art history!


The Monuments Men by Robert Edsel


The Monuments Men were a group of incredibly brave men and women who risked their lives to save the art and culture of Europe from the Nazis. Robert Edsel tells their story beautifully and helps the reader to understand the stakes and just how close we came to losing our heritage.


Chasing Aphrodite: The Hunt for Looted Antiquities at the World's Richest Museum by Jason Felch and Ralph Frammolino


This book opened up my eyes to the world of the illicit antiquities trade, tax fraud, and just how far museums will go for an artifact. It reads like an episode of a true crime documentary, I couldn’t put it down! The Getty Museum has a vast collection, but at what cost?


The Last Leonardo: The Secret Lives of the World's Most Expensive Painting by Ben Lewis


In 2017, a previously unknown Leonardo da Vinci painting sold at auction for a record breaking $450 million. Ben Lewis covers this work’s, called the Salvator Mundi, history and the twists and turns that took place before it made it to the auction block. And even a mystery after it was sold!


If you pick up any of these books, let me know! I would love to discuss them! Happy Reading!


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