91 books like Beneath the Roses

By Gregory Crewdson,

Here are 91 books that Beneath the Roses fans have personally recommended if you like Beneath the Roses. Shepherd is a community of 11,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

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Book cover of Jim Wagner, Taos: An American Artist

Sara Frances Author Of Unplugged Voices: 125 Tales of Art and Life from Northern New Mexico, the Four Corners and the West

From my list on beautiful imagery and intriguing text.

Why am I passionate about this?

After flirting with careers as an archaeologist, pilot, concert pianist, and diplomat, I settled on photographer after just a few month’s residence in Heidelberg, Germany, while studying for my Masters in Comparative Literature. The camera provided close personal interaction with people, while hearing their stories from a wide variety of cultural perspectives and social environments. Introduced by parents, I formed an obsession with opera, Native American drum music, vinyl recordings, and historic places, particularly Georgia O’Keeffe country, “south of the border” from our Colorado base. My family of musicians and artists stopped, listened, and loved the light and land of the Four Corners. I self-define as a photojournalist-poet, a griot.

Sara's book list on beautiful imagery and intriguing text

Sara Frances Why did Sara love this book?

The only “non-stuffy” art book I know!

Up close and personal acquaintance with the late irreverent, prolific, and totally charming painter, who also sculpted and worked in wood and silver. No art-speak, just an amazing character, extolled by a master of pictures in words. Wealth of reproductions.

You’ll want to buy a painting once you’ve read the book.

By Stephen M Parks,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Jim Wagner, Taos as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

JIM WAGNER, TAOS: AN AMERICAN ARTIST TAOS TAOS ARTISTS


Book cover of Colorado Black on White

Sara Frances Author Of Unplugged Voices: 125 Tales of Art and Life from Northern New Mexico, the Four Corners and the West

From my list on beautiful imagery and intriguing text.

Why am I passionate about this?

After flirting with careers as an archaeologist, pilot, concert pianist, and diplomat, I settled on photographer after just a few month’s residence in Heidelberg, Germany, while studying for my Masters in Comparative Literature. The camera provided close personal interaction with people, while hearing their stories from a wide variety of cultural perspectives and social environments. Introduced by parents, I formed an obsession with opera, Native American drum music, vinyl recordings, and historic places, particularly Georgia O’Keeffe country, “south of the border” from our Colorado base. My family of musicians and artists stopped, listened, and loved the light and land of the Four Corners. I self-define as a photojournalist-poet, a griot.

Sara's book list on beautiful imagery and intriguing text

Sara Frances Why did Sara love this book?

Of prolific nature photographer Fielder’s many books, this is my fav.

It commands attention, a gift to be treasured, big, bold, luxurious. You’ll drown in the luscious reproductions, as though you were on the trail with him!

The unexpected bonus: his commentary tells you about his experiences loose in the wild, how chance weather patterns and animals made for dramatic imagery, his devotion to craft, and sheer delight in tramping the land of the West.

By John Fielder,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Colorado Black on White as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

John Fielder is Colorado's preeminent nature photographer. Colorado Black on White is his 50th Colorado book. In the mold of Colorado's best-selling book of all time, Colorado 1870-2000, Fielder represents his state exclusively in black and white. He edited 230 color images from his life's work in Colorado over the past 40 years, and rendered each in blacks, whites, and subtle tones of gray. Without the distraction of color, the viewer engages the shapes, textures, lines, and edges of this most scenic of states as never before.

Divided into eight chapters, Fielder spares no subject endemic to his adopted state.…


Book cover of Stephen Wilkes. Day to Night

Sara Frances Author Of Unplugged Voices: 125 Tales of Art and Life from Northern New Mexico, the Four Corners and the West

From my list on beautiful imagery and intriguing text.

Why am I passionate about this?

After flirting with careers as an archaeologist, pilot, concert pianist, and diplomat, I settled on photographer after just a few month’s residence in Heidelberg, Germany, while studying for my Masters in Comparative Literature. The camera provided close personal interaction with people, while hearing their stories from a wide variety of cultural perspectives and social environments. Introduced by parents, I formed an obsession with opera, Native American drum music, vinyl recordings, and historic places, particularly Georgia O’Keeffe country, “south of the border” from our Colorado base. My family of musicians and artists stopped, listened, and loved the light and land of the Four Corners. I self-define as a photojournalist-poet, a griot.

Sara's book list on beautiful imagery and intriguing text

Sara Frances Why did Sara love this book?

It’s a huge book! Huge in size, huge in the image reproductions, huge in the photographic artist’s effort to construct composite images of dramatic international scenes from many iconic places, such as Times Square, Paris, Rome, National Parks of the World, that transform from day to night.

Yes, all in the same image! One side is night that slowly across the image melds into day. Technological marvel, but no kitsch here. Hundreds of hours, thousands of images layered together to create an entirely new art form. 

By Stephen Wilkes (photographer), Lyle Rexer,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Stephen Wilkes. Day to Night as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

If you were to stand in one spot at an iconic location for 30 hours and simply observe, never closing your eyes, you still wouldn't be able to take in all the detail and emotion found in a Stephen Wilkes panoramic photograph. Not only does Wilkes shoot over 1,500 exposures from a fixed angle, he also distills this visual information afterward in his studio, painstakingly composing selected frames into a single image.

Day to Night presents 60 epic panoramas created between 2009 and 2018, shot everywhere from Africa's Serengeti to the Champs-Elysees in Paris, from the Grand Canyon to Coney…


Book cover of Vasily Klyukin: Live Sculpture

Sara Frances Author Of Unplugged Voices: 125 Tales of Art and Life from Northern New Mexico, the Four Corners and the West

From my list on beautiful imagery and intriguing text.

Why am I passionate about this?

After flirting with careers as an archaeologist, pilot, concert pianist, and diplomat, I settled on photographer after just a few month’s residence in Heidelberg, Germany, while studying for my Masters in Comparative Literature. The camera provided close personal interaction with people, while hearing their stories from a wide variety of cultural perspectives and social environments. Introduced by parents, I formed an obsession with opera, Native American drum music, vinyl recordings, and historic places, particularly Georgia O’Keeffe country, “south of the border” from our Colorado base. My family of musicians and artists stopped, listened, and loved the light and land of the Four Corners. I self-define as a photojournalist-poet, a griot.

Sara's book list on beautiful imagery and intriguing text

Sara Frances Why did Sara love this book?

I first met Klyukin’s huge, foldable-section metal sculptures at the Venice Biennale.

I had heard of him, but was overwhelmed by the size and quantity—plus his writings that appeared on ceiling-height, painted fabric banners. Particularly of note: the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, and his collection called In Dante Veritas, which pulls the characters and their sins out of Dante’s Inferno, and updates them in sculpture and words to the 21st Century.

By Vasily Klyukin,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Vasily Klyukin as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

This book presents the extraordinary three-dimensional “live sculptures” by the Russian architect, designer, writer and artist.

Having some engineering experience, Klyukin was able to experiment and derive a concept of connecting steel sheets on a non-existent, speculative axis without any actual fasteners. The principle of mobility of each individual piece was the basis for this technological innovation. Each sculpture created without physical fasteners is easily assembled and disassembled. This new experience brought new satisfaction. One of the statuettes done using the “live sculpture” technique, the Golden Madonnina, was used as the official award during Milan Design Week in 2017, a…


Book cover of The Last Roll

Nubar Alexanian Author Of Stones In the Road: Photographs of Peru

From my list on the poetry in documentary photographs.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve been a documentary photographer for the past 50 years and my work has been featured in major magazines in the United States and Europe including The New York Times Magazine, Life, Fortune, Geo, Time & Newsweek, and others. I have six books in print, including JAZZ with Wynton Marsalis & Nonfiction Photographs with filmmaker Errol Morris. I love teaching photography and co-founded the Essex Photographic Workshop in 1975. My work is in many collections, including The Peabody Essex Museum, The Worcester Art Museum, Polaroid Collection, Agfa Corporation, Participant Productions, Bose Corporation, Bibliotheque Nacionale, France. Solo exhibitions of my work include the Walker Art Center, the Corcoran Gallery of Art, and the Burden Gallery.

Nubar's book list on the poetry in documentary photographs

Nubar Alexanian Why did Nubar love this book?

I own five signed copies of this book which I loan out to young photographers. The lesson in this book of documentary photographs is the irrelevance of information and the importance of emotion. In this way, Jeff’s work redefines photography by expanding the very notion of what a documentary photograph is….and can be. In 2004 Jeff was diagnosed with lymphoma. Soon afterwards Kodak discontinued the production of Kodachrome, the film his entire visual vocabulary was based on and now was gone forever. What do you do when confronted with physical and creative mortality? The Last Roll, by Jeff Jacobson, is an amazing response to this question. 

By Jeff Jacobson,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Last Roll as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

"A few days before Christmas, 2004, I was diagnosed with lymphoma," writes Jeff Jacobson in his preface to The Last Roll. The NY Times LENS Blog described Jacobson as "pushing the visual boundaries of photojournalism" in this work providing a first-person depiction of a cancer patient's changing perspectives on life, death, art, and the world at-large.

A former Magnum photographer known for his quirky style, Jeff Jacobson was one of the first art photographers to use color film exclusively. For his 1991 book My Fellow Americans he traveled the country, capturing the look and mood of a decade. Over time,…


Book cover of Annie Leibovitz: Photographs

Julian David Stone Author Of No Cameras Allowed: My Career as an Outlaw Rock and Roll Photographer

From my list on rock and roll and rock and roll stars.

Why am I passionate about this?

Julian David Stone is an author, screenwriter, photographer, and filmmaker. He shot dozens of the 1980s greatest acts by sneaking his photography equipment into concerts such as Prince, U2, the Police, David Bowie, R.E.M., the Ramones, Elvis Costello, the Talking Heads, the Grateful Dead, Joan Jett, and many, many more. Other work include screenplays for Disney, Paramount, Sony, and MGM. He is also the writer and director of the hit cult comedy feature film, Follow the Bitch, which has played to packed houses all around the country and received numerous awards.

Julian's book list on rock and roll and rock and roll stars

Julian David Stone Why did Julian love this book?

As a teenager and aspiring Rock and Roll Photographer, I poured through this book over and over again. Annie Leibowitz's work is always stunning, but this period in particular is my favorite. Her use of color and the clean, crisp, powerful images were exactly what I wanted to do with my own work. And it didn’t hurt that most of this work was for Rolling Stone Magazine!

By Annie Leibovitz,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Annie Leibovitz as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Brings together a collection of seventy photographs--including portraits of musicians, actors, writers, and other celebrated personalities of American popular culture--taken by the chief photographer for "Rolling Stone" magazine over the past fifteen years


Book cover of The Edge of Time: Photographs of Mexico

Tom Carter Author Of China: Portrait of a People

From my list on travel photography.

Why am I passionate about this?

Peeking over the American fence, I found myself in China in 2004 as the nation was transitioning from its quaint 1980s/90s self into the futuristic “China 2.0” we know it today. My occupation, like many expats, was small-town English teacher. I later departed for a two-year backpacking sojourn across the country. I took a bunch of snapshots along the way with a little point-and-shoot camera. 800 of those images became my first book. Photography – be it travel, documentary, street or reportage – is my passion. The following are but five of five hundred books I’d love to recommend.

Tom's book list on travel photography

Tom Carter Why did Tom love this book?

In the 1940s, a young American woman named Mariana Yampolsky came to Mexico to study and never looked back. Throughout the 1960s, she wandered around the country taking shots of the rural and indigenous people she met. Her lens conveyed the poorest aspects of Mexican culture with empathy and artistry that no other photographers of the time demonstrated. Inexplicably, for all its vast and varied geography, ethnicities, and societal classes, rivaling even China in terms of its photogenic diversity, there are very few photography books on Mexico, making The Edge of Time a timeless literary benchmark.

By Mariana Yampolsky,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Edge of Time as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

"This is my country." Mariana Yampolsky knew it the moment she opened her window and saw a bougainvillea blooming against a white wall on her first morning in Mexico City in 1944. Her empathy for the Mexican people and their land has guided her work for more than fifty years, finding expression in books of dramatic black-and-white photographs ranging from her early La casa en la tierra and La casa que canta to The Traditional Architecture of Mexico.

The Edge of Time presents a retrospective of Yampolsky's photographic work since 1960. Reflecting her lifelong concerns, the images capture rural Mexico…


Book cover of On Photography

Barry Sandywell Author Of Dictionary of Visual Discourse: A Dialectical Lexicon of Terms

From my list on beginning the study of visual culture.

Why am I passionate about this?

I'm currently an Honorary Fellow in Social Theory at the University of York, U.K. For more than five decades I've been working to promote more reflexive perspectives in philosophy, sociology, social theory, and sociological research. I've written and edited many books in the field of social theory with particular emphasis upon questions of culture and critical research in the expanding field of visual culture. Recent projects include Interpreting Visual Culture (with Ian Heywood), The Handbook of Visual Culture, and an edited multi-volume textbook to be published by Bloomsbury, The Bloomsbury Encyclopedia of Visual Culture. The passion to understand the thought and visual culture of both the ancient and modern world continues to inform my work. 

Barry's book list on beginning the study of visual culture

Barry Sandywell Why did Barry love this book?

On Photography is Sontag’s attempt to develop the thought of Barthes, Benjamin, and others and apply the resultant perspective to the critical understanding of the fundamental role of photography in modern life. The book is constructed as a series of interconnected essays, each of which explores the moral and dialectical character of photographic interventions. Photography embodies the moral ambiguity of human activity: the camera claims to deliver truth but is essentially selective and partial; photography reveals and conceals the real; the photograph is an artificial mode of representation but claims to provide a `picture’ of life that can only be captured through the camera.

This ambiguous ontology of the image impacts upon both the act of image-making and the interpretive task of reading and understanding the image. With modern photography the viewer is constituted in a dual movement of separation (and alienation) and connectivity (and communality). Photographic engagement constitutes, so…

By Susan Sontag,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked On Photography as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

'The most original and illuminating study of the subject.' The New Yorker

Photographs are everywhere. From high art to family albums to legal evidence, they capture and document the world around us. And whether we use them to expose, reveal or remember, they hold an enduring power.

In this essential and revelatory volume, Susan Sontag confronts important questions surrounding the power dynamics between photographer and subject, the blurred boundary between lived events and recreated images, and the desires that lead us to record our lives.

'Complex and contradictory... one of America's greatest public intellectuals' Observer

'Susan Sontag offers enough food…


Book cover of Nadav Kander: Yangtze, The Long River

Adrian Bradshaw Author Of The Door Opened: 1980s China: Photography: Adrian Bradshaw

From my list on colour photography books on China.

Why am I passionate about this?

I first went as a student to Beijing in 1984 with a camera and a suitcase of film but not much of a plan. I found myself in a country whose young people were suddenly empowered to put their skills to use rather than let state planning order every aspect of their lives. My academic studies rapidly evolved into a vocation to photograph the changes around me. There was demand for this: one of my first assignments being for Life magazine and then a slew of US and European publications eager to expand their coverage of all that was reshaping China and in turn the world. I chose street-level life as the most relatable to an international audience and in recent years also for Chinese eager to see how this era began.

Adrian's book list on colour photography books on China

Adrian Bradshaw Why did Adrian love this book?

The Yangtze River is only how outsiders know it: to Chinese it is simply ‘Changjiang’ or ‘Long River’. Flowing through the heart of the country from the Tibetan Plateau to Shanghai it is central to the lives and imagination of countless generations of Chinese. Kander, better known for his advertising and commercial work, brings a sedate and contemplative approach to this huge subject. The silt-laden river and the smoggy air around it present a challenge to any photographer as shapes and shadows melt into the yellow and grey. Here they provide a palette of otherworldly views, anchored by careful placement of the human elements we can identify with.

By Jean Paul Tchang, Nadav Kander (photographer),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Nadav Kander as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The Yangtze river flows 4,100 miles across China, traveling from its furthest westerly point in the Qinghai province to Shanghai in the east. The river is embedded in the consciousness of the Chinese, and plays a significant role in both the spiritual and physical life of the people. Using the river as a metaphor for constant change, Nadav Kander (born 1961) has photographed the landscape and people along its banks from mouth to source. "After several trips to different parts of the river, it became clear that what I was responding to and how I felt whilst being in China…


Book cover of Ralph Eugene Meatyard: Dolls and Masks

Mitch Cullin Author Of Tideland

From my list on to summon the off-kilter beauty of the grotesque.

Why am I passionate about this?

I'm Mitch Cullin, or so I've been told. Besides being the ethical nemesis of the late Jon Lellenberg and his corrupt licensing/copyright trolls at the Conan Doyle Estate Ltd., I'm also a documentary photographer, very occasional author of books, and full-time wrangler of feral cats.

Mitch's book list on to summon the off-kilter beauty of the grotesque

Mitch Cullin Why did Mitch love this book?

The black-and-white images of Ralph Eugene Meatyard have long fascinated me and informed my visual work and writing. Meatyard was, by profession, an optician in Lexington, Kentucky, yet his personal passion was making photographs. His subjects were his wife, children, and family friends, who he often posed in murky settings as they wore masks and held dolls. These images are both disquieting and euphonious, tapping into something primal that hints at the secretive world of childhood.

By Eugenia Parry, Elizabeth Siegel, Ralph Eugene Meatyard (photographer)

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Ralph Eugene Meatyard as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Family man, optician, avid reader and photographer Ralph Eugene Meatyard created and explored a fantasy world of dolls and masks, in which his family and friends played the central roles on an ever-changing stage. His monograph, The Family Album of Lucybelle Crater, published posthumously in 1974, recorded his wife and family posed in various disquieting settings, wearing masks and holding dolls and evoking a penetrating emotional and psychological landscape. The book won his work critical acclaim and has been hugely influential in the intervening decades. Dolls and Masks opens the doors on the decade of rich experimentation that immediately preceded…


5 book lists we think you will like!

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