Curated Reading List 001

Exploring Cultural Aesthetics
by Jonette O’Kelley Miller

This is by no means an exhaustive list. It hopefully will plant seeds for continued research and study into understanding the expansiveness and beauty of diverse aesthetic points of view.

While it’s recognized that the traditional canon of art history is grounded in an exclusive European aesthetic; it's critical to also recognize the impact our own habitus has on what we consider to be beautiful, correct and of value.

My curated list features a variety of books providing introduction into the various concepts used to define art history, the concept of beauty and the defining of what is art. Readers are invited to take a deeper dive into the history of and diverse work by African Diasporan artists; contemporary artistic perspectives found in sculpture, and on religious themes; Latin American and Native American artists from the 20th century; and a revisiting of how our socio-cultural mores have influenced how we see and the authority we’ve given to museums in their appropriation of BIPOC cultural artifacts.

Reading List Titles:

Art on My Mind: Visual Politics
by bell hooks
Publisher: New York: The New Press, 1995
ISBN: 978-1-56584-263-2

Sensible Objects: Colonialism, Museums and Material Culture edited by Elizabeth Edwards, Chris Gosden, and Ruth B. Phillips
Publisher: New York, GB: Berg, 2006
ISBN: 978-1-84520-324-5 (pbk.)

African American Art And Artists (Revised and Expanded Edition)
by Samella Lewis
Publisher: CA: University of California Press, 1990
ISBN: 0-520-23935-0 (pbk.)

Art + Religion in the 21st Century
by Aaron Rosen
Publisher: UK, Thames and Hudson, 2015
ISBN: 978-0-500-23931-3

The Afro-American Tradition in Decorative Arts
by John Michael Vlach
Publisher: Athens, GA: The University of Georgia Press, 1990
ISBN: 0-8203-1233-9 (pbk)

Creating Their Own Image: The History of African American Women Artists
by Lisa E. Farrington
Publisher: New York: Oxford University Press, 2011
ISBN: 9780199767601

Art History: A critical Introduction to its methods
by Michael Hatt and Charlotte Klonk
Publisher: UK, Manchester University Press, 2006
ISBN: 978-0-7190-6959-8 (pbk.)

Sculpture Today
by Judith Collins
Publisher:  New York: Phaidon Press, 2014
ISBN: 9780714857633  

Native American Art In the Twentieth Century
edited by W. Jackson Rushing, III
Publisher: New York: Routledge, 1999
ISBN: 13:978-0-415-13748-5 (pbk.) 

Latin American Artists of the Twentieth Century
edited by Waldo Rasmussen, Fatima Bercht, and Elizabeth Ferrer
Publisher: New York: Harry N. Abrams, Inc.,1993
ISBN: 0-8109-6121-0  

Radiance From the Waters
by Sylvia Ardyn Boone
Publisher: Yale University Press,1990
ISBN: 9780300048612

The Open Reading Room is a dedicated space focused on artist books & ephemera, art books, and other cultural media that is accessible and free to the public during Gallery open hours.

Jonette O’Kelley Miller is an art historian, curator and freelance writer who believes the arts have the power to provoke change, and communion. She focuses on modern, contemporary, and African Diasporan art. Her research addresses the impact of historical, racist stereotypes on people of color.