The best books about sculpture

Who picked these books? Meet our 4 experts.

4 authors created a book list connected to sculpture, and here are their favorite sculpture books.
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Book cover of Henry Moore's Sheep Sketchbook

Eduardo C么rte-Real Author Of The Smooth Guide to Travel Drawing

From the list on unassumingly sketching the world around us.

Who am I?

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 鈥榖eautiful鈥 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.聽

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

Discover why each book is one of Eduardo's favorite books.

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鈥檚 drawings show some love for the sheep, the latter鈥檚 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,鈥


Vasily Klyukin

By Vasily Klyukin,

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 the list on beautiful imagery and intriguing text.

Who am I?

After flirting with careers as an archaeologist, pilot, concert pianist, and diplomat, I settled on photographer after just a few month鈥檚 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鈥橩eeffe country, 鈥渟outh of the border鈥 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

Discover why each book is one of Sara's favorite books.

Why did Sara love this book?

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

I had heard of him, but was overwhelmed by the size and quantity鈥攑lus 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鈥檚 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 鈥渓ive sculptures鈥 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 鈥渓ive sculpture鈥 technique, the Golden Madonnina, was used as the official award during Milan Design Week in 2017, a鈥


Outdoor Art

By Silvia Langen,

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

Amy Dempsey Author Of Destination Art: Art Essentials

From the list on Destination Art.

Who am I?

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 鈥楧estination Art鈥 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 鈥 so I did! My goal is to educate, enthuse and excite 鈥 and to continue my mission of spreading the word about intriguing and inspiring art projects. 

Amy's book list on Destination Art

Discover why each book is one of Amy's favorite books.

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鈥


Camille Claudel

By Odile Ayral-Clause,

Book cover of Camille Claudel: A Life

Debora De Farias Author Of Standing Tall

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

Who am I?

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 鈥 drawing, painting, photography, are topics that I can easily relate.

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

Discover why each book is one of Debora's favorite books.

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. 鈥淎s 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鈥amille 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.鈥濃

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,鈥


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

Amy Dempsey Author Of Destination Art: Art Essentials

From the list on Destination Art.

Who am I?

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 鈥楧estination Art鈥 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 鈥 so I did! My goal is to educate, enthuse and excite 鈥 and to continue my mission of spreading the word about intriguing and inspiring art projects. 

Amy's book list on Destination Art

Discover why each book is one of Amy's favorite books.

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 鈥榓rt and nature鈥 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鈥