Press

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Vincent’s Starry Night and Other Stories: A Children’s History of Art

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‘One of the best children’s non-fiction books I’ve read for years, this fantastic story collection explores the lives of some of the world’s most famous artists, and the developments that influenced them … The variety is brilliant, looking at key people from 40000 BC until the present day. The stories are by turns exciting, intriguing, emotional and mysterious … Meticulously well-researched and utterly delightful.’

Jennifer Bell, ‘Sunday Best Children’s Book of the Week’

‘Vincent’s Starry Night’ is a unique take on art history for children. Significant works of art are enveloped in narrative, which brings to life the context, environment, feel, sights, smells, thought life and dialogue between the artist and his world. Children’s senses and imaginations are engaged … Stories bring us closer to what we’re learning, and that’s part of what makes this such an exceptional book.’

Michelle  Sterling, @averyandaugustine

the-monocle-weekly-final-5718a9219bf90Listen to interview about Vincent’s Starry Night with Tom Edwards on The Monocle Weekly, Monocle Radio, first broadcast 28 August 2016


100 Ideas that Changed Art

61Sxf48mW+L._SS400_‘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

‘One to buy for your roommate, live-in, or spouse, and then read yourself! Even if he or she is already an arty know-it-all, Michael Bird’s 100 Ideas That Changed Art will come in handy. … Ever succinct, Bird gets to the heart of each idea and includes visual aids (check out those for “body as surface” before you gift-wrap).’

Elissa Schappell, ‘Best Books of the Year’, Vanity Fair

‘Rare are those who profess a love for every kind of art, and rarer still are those who actually have time to read about all of it. With the sheer volume of media that bombards us on a daily basis, is it even feasible to break art down into smaller, more digestible pieces? Luckily for the rest of us, art historian Michael Bird has written a book that caters to every sort of art lover, from novice art historian to seasoned museum-goer … 100 Ideas That Changed Art is a must-read for any art enthusiast. Bird spotlights artistic concepts and innovations that we often take for granted, and, in the process, restructures the way we perceive art.

Kathryn Dere, The Tech (MIT)

‘It’s Bird’s fresh approach to grouping the artists that really makes this book shine. The reader is able to see how innovations from the past have been repeatedly transformed to fit the present, how the old is constantly being reinvigorated by contemporary artists and how new technologies are constantly changing how art is created.

100 Ideas that Changed Art is a truly beautiful book. Its pages look like the interior of a photography gallery and the reader taken on a stylized journey that starts with Cave and Rock art and finishes with Ephemerality. Unlike many other art books, 100 Ideas that Changed Art is written with a wide audience in mind; its contextual knowledge would appeal to historians as well as art fanatics … I would recommend it for almost anyone.’

Karl Payn, New Winchester Review

This collection of 500-word essays is particularly fascinating for the playful lines it draws between modern and contemporary art and works of old … the results are charming for dilettantes and art experts alike.’

Mathews Gallery blog, ‘Top 10 Art Books of 2012’

‘An approachable, concise volume … attractively produced and priced, perfect for dipping into.’

 Galleries

Listen to review of 100 Idées qui ont transformé l’art by Isabelle Carceles on Les matinales d’Espace, RTS Radio.


The St Ives Artists: A Biography of Place and Time

SIA2_cover“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

“A book of startling anecdotal richness and imaginative historical reinterpretation.” Peter Davies, The Art Book

“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

“I found Bird’s way of drawing the story together fascinating and – just as good critical writing should – it has sent me back to look at paintings that previously I have ignored.” John Wyver, Illuminations Media blog

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

“The setting of St Ives within a particular post-war cultural history and the comparisons with literary culture are very important and successful.” Chris Stephens, Tate Britain

“A fascinating and highly readable account of St Ives and its artists.”  Alex Wade, Cornwall Life

“I have just read Michael Bird’s book The St Ives Artists: A Biography of Place and Time and found it hard to put down.” Some Landscapes: Questioning Landscape in the Arts blog, Sept 2008

“This is an exemplary book, an engrossing read that is pitched to the general reader, yet deserves the attentions of all post-graduate art history students … in an age where art studies has been walled in by bewildering jargon and deliberate obscurity, blocking from our view the works of art themselves, this marvellous book is reader-friendly and thought-provoking, solidly researched and academically accurate, illuminating and insightful. Undoubtedly, it is the best work on the St Ives phenomenon.” Christopher H, Amazon reader review *****