The Museum Store book buyers are dedicated to sharing their knowledge of, and enthusiasm for, new titles with our staff and visitors. Every season they carefully review publishers’ offerings to select books that reflect SFMOMA’s collection and mission. Our goal is to provide books that help visitors take a deep dive into ideas presented in our galleries, as well as a sprinkling of just plain fun mixed in! Shopping for a bibliophile, or can’t get enough art books yourself? Here are our top 10 picks for fall:
1. Art in California by Jenni Sorkin
This introduction to the art of California focuses on the distinctive role the state played in the history of American art, from early twentieth-century photography and Chicanx mural painting to the fiber art movement and beyond. Art historian Jenni Sorkin tells California’s story as a place at the forefront of radical developments in artistic culture.
2. At Home in the Wine Country: Architecture and Design in the California Vineyards by Heather Sandy Hebert and Chase Reynolds Ewald
Showcases the work of many of California’s top architects and designers, with styles ranging from modern farmhouse to refined rustic to updated agrarian to unapologetically modern. These ranges of styles—as well the varied approaches to managing environmental factors—is broad and captivating and pays homage to wine-country living in an atmosphere of understated, family-focused hospitality.
3. Frida Kahlo: The Complete Paintings by Luis-Martin Lozano
This large-format book (11” x 16”) allows readers to admire Frida Kahlo’s paintings like never before, including unprecedented detail shots and famous photographs. It presents pieces in private collections and reproduces works that were previously lost or have not been exhibited for more than 80 years, forming the most extensive study of Kahlo’s work and life to date.
4. Anni and Joseph Albers: Equal and Unequal by Nicolas Fox Weber
Josef - painter, designer, and teacher - and Anni Albers - textile artist and printmaker - are among the twentieth century's most important abstract artists, and this is the first monograph to celebrate the rich creative output and beguiling relationship of these two masters. Accessibly written, the book is packed with more than 750 artworks, archival images, and documents—many published here for the first time—all tracing the remarkable lives and careers of this legendary couple.
5. The New Black Vanguard: Photography Between Art and Fashion by Antwaun Sargent
The featuring of the Black figure and Black runway and cover models in the media and art has been one marker of increasingly inclusive fashion and art communities. Historically however, institutional barriers have been an impediment to Black photographers participating more fully in the fashion (and art) industries. Curator & critic Antwaun Sargent examines these important issues through the lens of an international cadre of Black fashion photographers.
6. Extra Bold: A Feminist Inclusive Anti-Racist Nonbinary Field Guide for Graphic Design by Ellen Lupton, Farah Kafei, Jennifer Tobias, Josh A. Halstead, Kaleena Sales, Leslie Xia, Valentina Vergara
The (design) career guide for everyone! Part textbook and part comic book, zine manifesto, survival guide, and self-help manual, Extra Bold is filled with stories and ideas that don’t show up in other career books or design overviews. The book features interviews, essays, typefaces, biographical sketches, and projects from dozens of contributors with a variety of racial and ethnic backgrounds, abilities, gender identities, and positions of economic and social privilege, adding new voices to the dominant design canon.
7. Drawing as Therapy by The School of Life
A fun and practical guide outlining the benefits of drawing as a therapeutic practice, including a collection of playful creative prompts that introduce the curative powers of drawing. This book won’t teach you to draw. Instead, it teaches an entirely new way of thinking about drawing, where there is no such thing as failure or success, only self-discovery and play.
8. The Beauty of Chemistry by Philip Ball
A microscopic look at a place where art & science meet. The Beauty of Chemistry shows us how chemistry underpins the formation of snowflakes, the science of champagne, the colors of flowers, and other wonders of nature and technology. We see the marvelous configurations of chemical gardens; the amazing transformations of evaporation, precipitation, heat made visible and more.
9. Tarot: The Library of Esoterica by Jessica Hundley, Johannes Fiebig and Marcella Kroll
The 600-year-old tradition of Tarot reflects our journey of artistic expression and the ways we communicate our collective human story. This book explores the symbolic meaning behind more than 500 Tarot cards and original works of art, and the powerful influence as Tarot as muse to artists such as Salvador Dali and Niki de saint Phalle.
10. Find Frida by Catherine Ingram, illustrated by Laura Callaghan
Just for fun, immerse yourself in the colorful world of Frida Kahlo with this search-and-find book filled with key aspects of her life. Look carefully through the cast of over 200 extras (including artists, filmmakers and writers): can you find Frida at home with Diego Rivera or at her Paris gallery opening?!