Explore the life of one of America’s most renowned furniture makers, Sam Maloof, in Maloof at 90: An American Woodworker, by Gene Sasse (Sasse Books, $21.95). The book opens with an introduction by former President Jimmy Carter and a short but powerful biography by artist Jonathan Leo Fairbanks before launching into a compelling visual retrospective of Maloof’s work. Interspersed with elegant photographs by Sasse of Maloof’s home, studio and iconic furniture are quotes from collectors, artists, art critics and Maloof himself. It’s a must-read for Maloof fans, as well as anyone else with a deep appreciation for 20th century craft.
Take a look at 13 residences built by some of the finest artists and craftsmen in America in the lavishly illustrated new book Artists’ Handmade Houses (Abrams, $60). Each house, from New York to California, was designed by the artist who lived in it to reflect and extend their artistic vision. Author Michael Gotkin and photographer Don Freeman capture the intimacy of the dwellings with spectacular photographs and anecdotal histories of each. Especially notable are the homes of George Nakashima in New Hope, Pa., which combines American and Japanese architecture and décor; and Sam Maloof, whose estate was built exclusively from California redwood, in Alta Loma, Calif.
The name Dale Chihuly and exquisite art glass are almost synonymous. See why in Chihuly: Through the Looking Glass (MFA Publications, $50 hardcover; $35 softcover), which accompanied an exhibition of the same name at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. The book, written by curator Gerald W. R. Ward, focuses on the artist’s works and installations in relation to the spaces that generate, shape and surround them. The text, a mix of critical review and Chihuly’s own thoughts, provides a new entrée into the work, mind and creative process of one of America’s most acclaimed artists.
Diamonds, pearls, precious gems and crystals—the newly released Artful Adornments: Jewelry From the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston (MFA Publications, $55) includes them all. Featuring more than 100 works and nearly 200 lavish color illustrations, the book, written by curator Yvonne J. Markowitz, details the museum’s comprehensive jewelry holdings, from ancient antiquities to modern marvels, from a gold necklace found in an Egyptian tomb to the contemporary kinetic necklaces of Alexander Calder. In just 204 pages, you can explore the variety and brilliance of the jeweler’s art from around the world and throughout the ages.