Art & Architecture
Books in this online selection represent only a sliver of what we offer in the store. If you've got a particular book in mind and want to check on its availability, call us at 415-362-8193.

   
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A People's Art History of the United States
250 Years of Activist Art and Artists Working in Social Justice Movements
Nicolas Lampert
Most people outside of the art world view art as something that is foreign to their experiences and everyday lives. A People's Art History of the United States places art history squarely in the rough–and–tumble of politics, social struggles, and the fight for justice from the colonial era through the present day. Author and radical artist...
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Where the Heart Beats
John Cage, Zen Buddhism, and the Inner Life of Artists
Kay Larson
In this stunning biography of John Cage, Larson investigates how Buddhist concepts shaped Cage's approach to art, and the influence it had on other artists of his era (ie. Merce Cunningham, Robert Rauschenberg, etc.). If you're a fan of Cage, you will...
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Patti Smith 1969-1976
Judy Linn
Before she was a world-renowned singer-songwriter and dubbed "The Godmother of Punk," Patti Smith was a struggling poet posing for the lens of photographer Judy Linn. In intimate portraits of an artist as a young woman, Linn captures Smith at her...
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Everything Is Its Own Reward
An All Over Coffee Collection
Paul Madonna
"The book is fantastic. Of time and tenderness. Beautiful drawings. Beautiful text. Ethereal and serious at once. The book is its own reward." -- Maira Kalman, author of "And the Pursuit of Happiness"
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Women of the Avant Garde 1920 1940
Mette Marcus, Kristen Degel, Michael Juul Holm, Jeanne Rank
Women of the Avant-Garde 1920-1940 presents eight female artists who made major contributions to Dada, Surrealism, Constructivism and other European avant-gardes of the modernist era: Claude Cahun, Sonia Delaunay, Germaine Dulac, Florence Henri...
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The Anthropology of Turquoise
Reflections on Desert, Sea, Stone, and Sky
Ellen Meloy
Greater than Silko, equal to Solnit. What an immense pleasure to hear the voice of this smart and witty desert dweller, and how restorative to know that human beings can be like this. Yes, there is some turquoise involved. —Recommended by Gent
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Urban Code
100 Lessons for Understanding the City
Anne Mikoleit, Moritz Pürckhauer
Cities speak, and this little book helps us understand their language. Considering the urban landscape not from the abstract perspective of an urban planner but from the viewpoint of an attentive observer, Urban Code...
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Emotional Design
Why We Love (or Hate) Everyday Things
Donald A. Norman
Did you ever wonder why cheap wine tastes better in fancy glasses? Why sales of Macintosh computers soared when Apple introduced the colorful iMac? New research on emotion and cognition has shown that attractive things really do work better, as Donald...
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Grapefruit
A Book of Instructions and Drawings by Yoko Ono
Yoko Ono
Quiet.It's a bomb. --Recommended by Tân, City Lights Books Back in print for the first time in nearly thirty years, here is Yoko Ono's whimsical, delightful, subversive, startling book of instructions for art and for life. "Burn this book after...
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The Pencil
A History of Design and Circumstance
Henry Petroski
Henry Petroski traces the origins of the pencil back to ancient Greece and Rome, writes factually and charmingly about its development over the centuries and around the world, and shows what the pencil can teach us about engineering and technology...
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A Place of My Own
The Architecture of Daydreams
Michael Pollan
Michael Pollan’s unmatched ability to draw lines of connection between our everyday experiences— whether eating, gardening, or building—and the natural world has been the basis for the popular success of his many works of nonfiction, including the...
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American Canyon
Amarnath Ravva
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The World Atlas of Street Art and Graffiti
Rafael Schacter
Painted murals first appeared in Latin America in the early 20th century; in the 1950s, spray-can graffiti associated with Latino gangs followed, notably the "cholo" graffiti of Los Angeles. Today, street art has traveled to nearly every corner of the...
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Unstill Life
A Daughter's Memoir of Art and Love in the Age of Abstraction
Gabrielle Selz
In 1958, soon after Gabrielle Selz was born, she, her parents and her sister moved to New York, where her father, Peter Selz, would begin his job as the chief curator of painting and sculpture at the Museum of Modern Art. What followed was a whirlwind childhood spent among art and artists in the heyday of Abstract Expressionism. Gabrielle grew...

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