The most recommended books about sculpture

Who picked these books? Meet our 5 experts.

5 authors created a book list connected to sculpture, and here are their favorite sculpture books.
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Book cover of Camille Claudel: A Life

Debora De Farias Author Of Standing Tall

From my list on capturing the lives of known and unknown heroines.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have always been an avid reader. I have always been fascinated by history, especially the ones from so many unknown or not so well known heroes and heroines that contributed and still add to the growth of our society. Those who were an inspiration for any human being. The minority ones, the quiet ones, the bullied ones. The ones that seem to be so little, but they are a giant. The ones who hide a genius inside. Mainly the imperfect ones, because they are not boring. As a Dentist, I'm always fascinated by science and new discoveries. Because every dentist has an artistic side, art – drawing, painting, photography, are topics that I can easily relate.

Debora's book list on capturing the lives of known and unknown heroines

Debora De Farias Why did Debora love this book?

This biography is a must-read for anyone who is interested in art, history, and strong, powerful women. It was the first book I read about the great 19th-century sculptress, Camille Claudel. “As recently as twenty years ago, in France, Camille Claudel was known only to a handful of admirers. The brief moments of applause she had enjoyed during her lifetime had never led to important commissions, and the sales of her pieces remained few and far…Camille Claudel displayed many characteristics that contribute to the weaving of myths: she was beautiful, talented, witty, and fiercely independent. She was connected to some of the most visible artists and writers of the era; she even had a romance with Auguste Rodin, the greatest sculptor of the nineteenth century. But hidden among the magnificent gifts nature had bestowed upon her was the seed of an illness that eventually brought her to a mental asylum.”…

By Odile Ayral-Clause,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Camille Claudel (1864-1943) was a gifted 19th-century French sculptor who worked for Auguste Rodin (1840-1917), became his lover, and eventually left him to gain recognition for herself in the art world. After she crumbled under the combined weight of social reproof, deprivations, and art world prejudices, her family had her committed to an asylum, where she died 30 years later. Although Claudel's life has been romanticized in print and on film, a fully researched biography has never been written until this one. The book draws upon much unpublished material, including letters and photographs that confirm the brilliance of her sculpture,…


Book cover of Sculpture Parks in Europe: A Guide to Art and Nature

Amy Dempsey Author Of Destination Art: Art Essentials

From my list on Destination Art.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am an art historian and the author of various books about modern art, including Styles, Schools & Movements: The Essential Encyclopaedic Guide to Modern Art and three editions of Destination Art. I coined the phrase ‘Destination Art’ in order to discuss artworks in which location is an integral ingredient, as is the journey to find them. I had noticed projects like these happening all over the world, but often in a quiet way. They needed someone to shine the light on them – so I did! My goal is to educate, enthuse and excite – and to continue my mission of spreading the word about intriguing and inspiring art projects. 

Amy's book list on Destination Art

Amy Dempsey Why did Amy love this book?

Both reference book and travel guide, this second edition includes over 90 sculpture parks in 27 European countries. The parks featured are those that have an ‘art and nature’ element, in which artists collaborate with nature, working in and with nature to create artworks and situations that help us think about and enjoy both. One to take with you on your next trip around Europe!

By Raul Rispa,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Sculpture Parks in Europe as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

There is a continually increasing interest in parks and gardens in which modern sculptures and nature form a special symbiosis. Landscapes are an inspiring ambiance for works of art, which in turn add something to the parks and gardens, thus creating a very unique interaction between art and nature.



This guide is the second edition and presents more than 90 parks in 27 European countries, now also including Finland, Hungary, and Poland among others. The parks presented include classics such as the Fondation Maeght in Saint-Paul-de-Vence and the Louisiana Museum in Humlebaek, as well as spectacular new schemes such as…


Book cover of Yield: The Journal of an Artist

Ellen Prentiss Campbell Author Of Frieda's Song

From Ellen's 3 favorite reads in 2023.

Why am I passionate about this?

Author Mermaid Bookworm Wordsmith Ramen-fan Train-lover

Ellen's 3 favorite reads in 2023

Ellen Prentiss Campbell Why did Ellen love this book?

Truitt’s last journal, published after her death, harvests a sculptor’s long lifetime, paying attention to the experience of living: working, creating, family and friendship, loving and losing, and aging and death.

A renowned sculptor, although increasingly frail as she ages, she never stops creating. Instead, she adjusts the scale of her work, yielding, and accepting the limits of her aging body. As a young woman, she chose to be a sculptor rather than a writer but is a close observer and exquisite describer of everything she encounters, including weather, great art, history, family dynamics, and personalities.

I live just blocks from her former home and studio. It is inspiring to be able to walk to the alley behind her house and imagine her at work in her backyard studio.  

By Anne Truitt,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Named by the New Yorker as one of the best books of 2022, this posthumously published work serves as the fourth and final volume in Anne Truitt's remarkable series of journals

"Impressive. . . . Truitt lyrically looks back on 80 years of life. . . . [T]hese daily entries . . . offer a version of Truitt free of artifice as she meditates on the sacred and mundane. . . . This sparks with intelligence."-Publishers Weekly

"Truitt wrote as she sculpted, returning to the past again and again to find fresh truths. . . . A model of discipline…


Book cover of Outdoor Art: Extraordinary Sculpture Parks and Art in Nature

Amy Dempsey Author Of Destination Art: Art Essentials

From my list on Destination Art.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am an art historian and the author of various books about modern art, including Styles, Schools & Movements: The Essential Encyclopaedic Guide to Modern Art and three editions of Destination Art. I coined the phrase ‘Destination Art’ in order to discuss artworks in which location is an integral ingredient, as is the journey to find them. I had noticed projects like these happening all over the world, but often in a quiet way. They needed someone to shine the light on them – so I did! My goal is to educate, enthuse and excite – and to continue my mission of spreading the word about intriguing and inspiring art projects. 

Amy's book list on Destination Art

Amy Dempsey Why did Amy love this book?

This is a beautiful coffee table book to read at home rather than take on your travels. Langen explores 25 private sculpture parks founded by individuals, most art collectors or artists. She weaves in the stories of these characters as their passions inform the themes of the collections. Note that not all of the sites that Langen visited are open to the public.

By Silvia Langen,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

From Edward James's surreal sculpture garden Las Pozas in Mexico to Anselm Kiefer's sprawling studio complex in the French countryside, artists and art collectors are creating outdoor spaces in order to display sculpture and art that is both transformative and powerful. This book is filled with breathtaking photographs of 25 of these spaces from throughout the world - many of which are not open to the public. Captured in brilliant colour, these spaces are populated by works that both enhance and are enhanced by the landscape: rolling hills, mountain lakes, shaded canyons and empty deserts. Readers will discover Anish Kapoor's…


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 Memorials for Children of Change: The Art of Early New England Stonecarving

James Blachowicz Author Of From Slate to Marble: Gravestone Carving Traditions in Eastern Massachusetts, 1770-1870

From my list on New England gravestones and stonecutters.

Why am I passionate about this?

It was in 1972, while spending a summer with my wife in Falmouth (on Cape Cod), that I first discovered the 18th-century slate gravestones of New England. Anyone who visits these cemeteries will find it difficult not to be impressed by these monuments–which are among the oldest and most distinguished works of art produced by the craftsmen of the early American colonies. My fascination with them spiraled into many such trips in subsequent years, when I photographed much of this work, learned how to identify the stonecutters responsible for them, and determined the extent and locations of their production. 

James' book list on New England gravestones and stonecutters

James Blachowicz Why did James love this book?

The Tashjians’ book challenged the idea that Puritans rejected visual art. Their study is important in documenting a new aesthetic, where the skull (death’s head) gives way to the winged faces of angels (cherubs), which were more gentle and sentimental in style rather than dark and threatening. Specific stonecutters discussed in this book include John Bull, William Codner, Zerrubbabel Collins, William Young, Henry Christian Geyer, Joseph Lamson and his shop, William Mumford, John Stevens and family, and Jonathan and Moses Worster. These are names well-known to anyone versed in this art form.

I was taken by the fact that new motifs in gravestone design could spread through the stonecutter community with such personalized innovations and styles. Further, in chapter 8: "The Icons of Essex," County provided a contrast with another style of cutting faces in stone. This book significantly broadened my view of stonecutting styles in New England. It also…

By Dickran Tashjian, Ann Tashjian,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Memorials for Children of Change as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Good clean copy , dust cover is missing , no page damage , no highlighting or writing


Book cover of Henry Moore's Sheep Sketchbook

Eduardo Côrte-Real Author Of The Smooth Guide to Travel Drawing

From my list on unassumingly sketching the world around us.

Why am I passionate about this?

I've taught Drawing in universities since 1985. Currently, I work at IADE-Universidade Europeia in Lisbon, Portugal. Long before that, at the age of five, I drew a volcano. A mountain exploding on the top as a delirious shiny crown and lava running from its flanks making a pattern of vibrant reddish-yellow. Proudly, I showed it to my mother. She exclaimed: What a beautiful pineapple! I only retained the word ‘beautiful’ and never stopped drawing. Trained as an architect, I discovered the virtue of drawing what we see, while experiencing the act of being there. I also became a compulsive reader, perhaps to experience the act of being elsewhere. 

Eduardo's book list on unassumingly sketching the world around us

Eduardo Côrte-Real Why did Eduardo love this book?

Where else can we find 159 sheep and 49 lambs sketched by a celebrated modern sculptor? This flock is a treatise of graphic easiness and uncompromising observation exercises. A must-see for anyone armed with a ballpoint pen and a rural disposition. There are also texts by Moore himself and Kenneth Clark, the art historian dethroned by Berger as the great British Broadcasting cultural oracle. Although Clark suggests that Moore’s drawings show some love for the sheep, the latter’s text is a love letter to drawing, simply.  

By Henry Moore,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Henry Moore's Sheep Sketchbook as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

In February 1972 Henry Moore's sculpture studios in the English countryside at Much Hadham were filled with the preparations for his retrospective exhibition in Florence. He retreated to a small studio overlooking the fields where a local farmer grazed his sheep. The sheep came very close to the window, attracting his attention, and he began to draw them. Initially he saw them as four-legged balls of wool, but his vision changed as he explored what they were really like - the way they moved, the shape of their bodies under the fleece. They also developed strong human and biblical associations,…