Art & literature

Writers’ Letters: Jane Austen to Chinua Achebe

Frances Lincoln, 2021

A fascinating selection of letters by 94 masters of the written word – novelists, poets, essayists and playwrights, ranging from Jane Austen to Chinua Achebe, Erasmus to Angela Carter, spanning 500 years and covering every corner of the globe.

Available to order from: Blackwell’s, Daunt’s, Waterstones and Amazon


Artists’ Letters: Leonardo da Vinci to David Hockney

White Lion Publishing, 2019

‘A treasure trove of 100 carefully selected letters, written by great artists, providing the reader with a unique insight into their characters and a glimpse into their lives.’   Artdaily

Available to order from: Blackwell’s, London Review Bookshop, Waterstones and Amazon

Studio Voices: Art and Life in 20th-century Britain

Lund Humphries/British Library, 2018

‘Forty or so artists talk about making art the centre of a life: their different childhoods, different experiences of war and of love, of parenting, and of art institutions. With Michael Bird’s insightful commentary, Studio Voices is an exhilarating testimony to human creativity. A deeply pleasurable book.’   Alison Light

Available to order from: Blackwell’s, Hive, Lund Humphries, Waterstones and Amazon


George Fullard: Sculpture and Survival

Pangolin/Lund Humphries, 2017


Published by Gallery Pangolin in 2016, to coincide with the first full-scale retrospective of Fullard’s sculpture and drawings for almost twenty years. Fullard told his students at Chelsea School of Art to ‘think about Buster Keaton’s relationship to objects’. Fans of Keaton’s early film One Week will see an obvious connection to Fullard’s work, and also to that of his most famous student, Phyllida Barlow.


The St Ives Artists: A Biography of Place and Time

Lund Humphries, 2nd edn 2016


‘Michael Bird’s The St Ives Artists: A Biography of Place and Time opens doors to a hidden past. His wit and readability make light of his meticulous research, and his narrative approach makes this a compelling story.’   Helen Dunmore, Guardian

‘It is some compliment to Michael Bird’s range and depth of research that this book really draws you in and keeps you reading – there is a lot in here I really didn’t know before.’   Nicholas Usherwood, Galleries

‘Most interestingly, Bird examines the emergence of the post-war British art scene … A most enjoyable read.’ Nick Tite, Royal Academy Magazine

Now out of print but copies available from: Abe Books, John Sandoe Books, World of Books and Amazon 

Lynn Chadwick

Lund Humphries, 2014

Chadwick-coverAn excellent new monograph.’   Alastair Sooke, Daily Telegraph

‘In this incisive, admirably even-handed and beautifully illustrated book, Michael Bird puts Chadwick in context.’  Mark Hudson, Daily Telegraph (read full review here)

‘The laurels must go to Michael Bird’s immensely readable and freshly researched hardback monograph — very much a volume for the shelves of all sculpture lovers.’   Andrew Lambirth, Spectator


Now out of print but copies available from: Abe Books, Osborne Samuel and Pangolin London 

100 Ideas that Changed Art

Laurence King Publishing, 2nd edn 2019



‘A lively, entertaining examination of the ways that art-making has been re-shaped down the centuries.’   Michael Glover, ‘Books of the Year 2012’, The Independent


Sandra Blow

Lund Humphries, 2005, pbk 2011


‘Bird’s lavishly illustrated retrospective text, the first devoted to Blow, finally gives the artist and her large-scale, vividly hued, obdurately abstract work their due … Highly recommended.’

Choice Magazine

 Bryan Wynter

Lund Humphries, 2010


‘With an unerring eye for an enlivening anecdote and a good grasp of Wynter’s life and work, it is a highly readable account of an artist about whom little has been published.’    Toby Treves, The Burlington Magazine