Discussion Bound Book Club

Hosted by the Asheville Art Museum, this monthly discussion is a place to exchange ideas about readings that relate to artworks and the art world, and to learn from and about each other. Meets the second Tuesday of every month at noon.  Please scroll to the current month and year to see what the club is reading now. 

The group is not meeting in our store for now. If they are holding a virtual book club meeting, details may be posted here

The Photograph as Contemporary Art (World of Art) Cover Image
ISBN: 9780500204481
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Thames & Hudson - September 8th, 2020

Photograph as Contemporary Art - January 12 2021 Selection

Hidden in Plain View: A Secret Story of Quilts and the Underground Railroad Cover Image
ISBN: 9780385497671
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Anchor - January 18th, 2000

Hidden in Plain View - February 9 2021 Selection

Women Who Read Are Dangerous Cover Image
By Stefan Bollmann, Karen Joy Fowler (Foreword by)
ISBN: 9780789212566
Availability: Not Currently On Our Shelves. Usually Ships in 1-5 Days.
Published: Abbeville Press - March 15th, 2016

Women Who Read Are Dangerous - March 9 2021 Selection

What is it about a woman reading that has captivated hundreds of artists over the centuries? Women Who Read Are Dangerous explores this popular subject in more than 70 artworks―drawings, paintings, photographs, and print―by iconic artists such as Henri Matisse, Edward Hopper, Suzanne Valadon, August Sander, Rembrandt, and many more. As the book’s provocative title indicates, a woman reading was once viewed as radical. In chapters such as “Intimate Moments” and “The Search for Oneself,” Bollmann profiles how a woman with a book was once seen as idle or suspect and how women have gained autonomy through reading over the years. Bollmann offers intelligent and engaging commentary on each work of art, telling us who the subject is, her relationship to the artist, and even what she is reading. With works ranging from a 1333 Annunciation painting of the angel Gabriel speaking to the Virgin Mary, book in hand, to 20th-century works such as a stunning photograph of Marilyn Monroe reading Ulysses, this appealing survey provides a veritable slideshow of the many iterations of a woman and her book―a compelling subject to this day.

Clara and Mr. Tiffany: A Novel Cover Image
ISBN: 9780812980189
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Random House Trade Paperbacks - March 20th, 2012

Clara and Mr. Tiffany - December 8 2020 Selection

Against the unforgettable backdrop of New York near the turn of the 20th century, from the Gilded Age world of formal balls and opera to the immigrant poverty of the Lower East Side, best-selling author Susan Vreeland again breathes life into a work of art in this extraordinary novel, which brings a woman once lost in the shadows into vivid color. It’s 1893, and at the Chicago World’s Fair, Louis Comfort Tiffany makes his debut with a luminous exhibition of innovative stained-glass windows, which he hopes will honor his family business and earn him a place on the international artistic stage. But behind the scenes in his New York studio is the freethinking Clara Driscoll, head of his women’s division. Publicly unrecognized by Tiffany, Clara conceives of and designs nearly all of the iconic leaded-glass lamps for which he is long remembered. Clara struggles with her desire for artistic recognition and the seemingly insurmountable challenges that she faces as a professional woman, which ultimately force her to protest against the company she has worked so hard to cultivate. She also yearns for love and companionship, and is devoted in different ways to five men, including Tiffany, who enforces to a strict policy: he does not hire married women, and any who do marry while under his employ must resign immediately. Eventually, like many women, Clara must decide what makes her happiest—the professional world of her hands or the personal world of her heart.

               Moderated by Barbara Pressman, touring docent; presented in conjunction with Intersections in American Art.

You Must Change Your Life: The Story of Rainer Maria Rilke and Auguste Rodin Cover Image
ISBN: 9780393354928
Availability: Not Currently On Our Shelves. Usually Ships in 1-5 Days.
Published: W. W. Norton & Company - October 10th, 2017

You Must Change Your Life - November 10 2020 Selection

In 1902, Rainer Maria Rilke―then a struggling poet in Germany―went to Paris to research and write a short book about the sculptor Auguste Rodin. The two were almost polar opposites: Rilke in his 20s, delicate and unknown; Rodin in his 60s, carnal and revered. Yet they fell into an instantaneous friendship. Transporting readers to early 20th-century Paris, You Must Change Your Life is a vibrant portrait of Rilke and Rodin and their circle, revealing how deeply Rodin’s ideas about art and creativity influenced Rilke’s classic Letters to a Young Poet. Winner of the 2016 Marfield Prize.

               Moderated by Judy Upjohn, touring docent.

The Obama Portraits Cover Image
ISBN: 9780691203287
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Princeton University Press - February 11th, 2020

The Obama Portraits - October 13 2020 Selection

From the moment of their unveiling at the National Portrait Gallery in early 2018, the portraits of Barack & Michelle Obama have become two of the most beloved artworks of our time. Kehinde Wiley's portrait of President Obama and Amy Sherald's portrait of the former first lady have inspired unprecedented responses from the public, and attendance at the museum has more than doubled as visitors travel from near and far to view these larger-than-life paintings. After witnessing a woman drop to her knees in prayer before the portrait of Barack Obama, one guard said, “No other painting gets the same kind of reactions. Ever.” The Obama Portraits is the first book about the making, meaning, and significance of these remarkable artworks. Richly illustrated with images of the portraits, exclusive pictures of the Obamas with the artists during their sittings, and photos of the historic unveiling ceremony by former White House photographer Pete Souza, this book offers insight into what these paintings can tell us about the history of portraiture and American culture. The volume also features a transcript of the unveiling ceremony, which includes moving remarks by the Obamas and the artists. A reversible dust jacket allows readers to choose which portrait to display on the front cover. An inspiring history of the creation and impact of the Obama portraits, this fascinating book speaks to the power of art―especially portraiture―to bring people together and promote cultural change.

A Fool's Errand: Creating the National Museum of African American History and Culture in the Age of Bush, Obama, and Trump Cover Image
ISBN: 9781588346681
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Smithsonian Books - September 24th, 2019

A Fool's Errand: Creating the National Museum of African American History and Culture in the Age of Bush, Obama, and Trump - September 8 2020 Selection

In its first four months of operation, the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture surpassed one million visits and quickly became a cherished, vital monument to the African American experience, yet this accomplishment was never assured. In A Fool's Errand, founding director Lonnie Bunch tells his story of bringing his clear vision and leadership to realize this shared dream of many generations of Americans. Outlining the challenges of site choice, architect selection, building design, and the compilation of an unparalleled collection of African American artifacts, Bunch also delves into his personal struggles—especially the stress of a high-profile undertaking—and the triumph of establishing such an institution without mentors or guidebooks to light the way. His memoir underscores his determination to create a museum that treats the Black experience as an essential component of every American's identity. This inside account of how Bunch planned, managed, and executed the museum’s mission informs and inspires not only readers working in museums, cultural institutions, and activist groups but also those in the nonprofit and business worlds who wish to understand how to succeed—and do it spectacularly—in the face of major political, structural, and financial challenges.