As we begin 2015, the steady growth of the Worldwide Books database continues apace. As of late January, the total number of titles listed on our website stands at just under 130,000, about equally divided between museum publications dating back to the early 1960s and monographs (standard art books) published since 1992, the year we began our trade-book program. More than 30,000 of these titles are currently in stock.


For many years, librarians throughout North America and abroad have relied on Worldwide's active title list as an unparalleled resource for collection development in the areas of art, architecture, photography and design. Our full database also serves as a valuable bibliographical resource for students and art historians, thanks in large part to the fact that each title is indexed by artist (if applicable) and by such subject parameters as region, country, period and media. Out-of-print titles are retained on the website for their reference value.


This issue of the Newsletter includes the first installment of "Worldwide by the Numbers," a planned series of articles by the manager of our approval-plan program, David Fogel. Each article in the series will draw on the Worldwide database to examine interesting developments and trends in the history of art, from the fluctuations in the relative importance of art from specific countries over time to the increasing international impact of the work of women and minority artists over the centuries.


This month's article presents a ranking of the artists with the most titles devoted to them in the impressive Worldwide Books database. While it should by no means be construed as a list of those artists we consider to be the most important of all time (a highly elusive list of the kind we would never presume to offer), the ranking sheds light on interesting trends in art-related publishing and the mounting of international exhibitions in recent decades. 





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Did you know that previous issues of our newsletter are still available through our website? You can find them here.

PDF versions of New Titles list issues from 2009 to 2014 are archived on our website and can be viewed or downloaded here. Reduced PDF versions of subsequent New Titles lists are offered on the same page.  


New Titles 


To view all the new titles that we first listed in December, click here

To filter the list by subject, use our Advanced Search page and select "December 2014" from the Recent Arrivals menu in combination with any other parameter or keyword to obtain relevant results on specific subjects, or choose one of the main categories below.

By region:   

By medium:

Painting  |  Drawing  |  Prints  |  Sculpture
Photography  |  Video  |  Installation Art          
Architecture  |  Interior Design  |  Graphic Design  |  Fashion

By period:

300-1400   |  1400-1600  |  1600-1800  |  1800-1900  |  1900-1945
Post-1945  |  Post-1970  |  Post-1990  |  Post-2000

By topic:

Decorative Arts  |  Women Artists  |  Urban Planning  |  Design

By approval plan:
(for more details on our approval plans, click here)

Basic Selections (Plan 01)
English textPlan 07  >  Plan 08  >  Plan 09  >  Plan 10
Foreign text  |  Foreign text highlight (Plan 12)
Pre-20th Century (Plan 05)  |  20th & 21st Centuries (Plan 06)

Supplemental Selections (Plan 02)
Pre-20th Century (Plan 04)  |  20th & 21st Centuries (Plan 03)

Special Order Selections

Additional Selections

By type of publisher:

Trade press  |  University press  |  Non-trade/Non-university press

By language of text:

English  |  French  |  German  |  Italian  |  Spanish


Worldwide by the Numbers

Data, Data on the Site, 

Who are the "Greatest," by Your Light?


The ranking of artists across the ages and the continents is an exercise fraught with capriciousness and whim. Taste in art is so subjective, after all, and there is no single set of standards by which to measure artistic talent. Ask a roomful of art historians or critics to name the greatest artists of all time, and you will get dozens of very different answers. The fickle ebb and flow of the critical fortunes of individual artists contributes to the difficulty of the task, as do nationalistic and gender-based biases.


One approach to this thorny, ultimately unanswerable question might be to measure the volume of published material on individual artists in the form of exhibition catalogues and scholarly monographs. Yet even this seemingly objective standard has built-in drawbacks, particularly with regard to the museum-publication category. The vagaries of curatorial discretion and opportunity inevitably influence the number of exhibitions that are mounted on a given artist. Johannes Vermeer, who languished in obscurity for two centuries after his death, is now universally acclaimed for a surviving oeuvre that consists of fewer than three dozen paintings; because so many of those precious canvases are rarely allowed to travel, monographic exhibitions on the artist are few and far between, and in that respect he cannot possibly compete with a prolific figure like Andy Warhol, who employed a "factory" to augment his own prodigious output and whose works have been widely dispersed. 


Those caveats aside, there is interesting data to be gleaned from a tallying of exhibition catalogues and books on individual artists, which can shed light on recent trends in publishing, changing tastes among the public and the scholarly community, and the magnitude and availability of an artist's production. By virtue of its sheer size and the meticulously "curated" nature of its selections, the Worldwide Books database of catalogues and books published over the past several decades is eminently suited to provide such insights. Although our offerings are drawn largely from important publishers and exhibition venues in North America and Western Europe, our reach is truly global.


What follows is list of the ten artists who have the greatest number of publications focused on their work in the Worldwide database as of January, 2015. The list is limited to practitioners of the fine arts, although the database includes thousands of titles on architecture and design as well; both Frank Lloyd Wright (191 titles) and Le Corbusier (142) would rank in the top 10 if architects were included. (The totals cited for each artist are raw numbers drawn from our website, which for the benefit of our library clients separately lists dual hardcover/paperbound editions of trade monographs and occasional reprints of previously listed books and catalogues.)



  1. Pablo Picasso (Spanish, 1881-1973). Pablo stands head-and-shoulders above his rivals in the Worldwide database, like an Everest in the Alps. The 411 titles that we have carried on his work include 326 museum publications, among them a staggering 109 Basic (Plan 1) Selections, which make up the top tier of our exhibition catalogue program. A title keyword search for "Picasso" on the Advanced Search page of our website yields an additional 170 titles (mainly catalogues of group shows) that include his name but are not focused on his work.
  2. Andy Warhol (American, 1928-1987). Andy was a man of few words, but his work spoke volumes. Worldwide has carried 206 titles on the King of Pop, including 118 museum publications and 26 Basic Selections. 
  3. Rembrandt (Dutch, 1606-1669). The premier figure of the Dutch Golden Age, Rembrandt is widely considered one of the greatest painters and printmakers in European art. Among the 203 titles on him in the Worldwide database are 125 museum publications and 35 Basic Selections.
  4. Leonardo da Vinci (Italian, 1452-1519). Extraordinarily accomplished in a broad range of artistic and scientific fields, Leonardo may be the most diversely talented person in history. Worldwide has carried 163 titles on the artist, including 79 museum publications and 19 Basic Selections.
  5. Henri Matisse (French, 1869-1954). A brilliant colorist and draftsman, Matisse stands alongside Picasso and Duchamp as a seminal figure of the early 20th-century avant garde. Our database's 154 titles on him include 39 Basic Selections.
  6. Paul Klee (Swiss/German, 1879-1940). A somewhat surprising entry in the top 10, Klee's innovative oeuvre is widely celebrated. Worldwide's 145 titles on the painter include 32 Basic Selections.
  7. Michelangelo (Italian, 1475-1564). An accomplished poet, architect and engineer as well a celebrated painter and one of the greatest sculptors of his or any other time, Michelangelo was, along with his contemporary Leonardo, the archetypal Renaissance man, and he remains a towering figure in Western art. Worldwide has listed 144 titles on him, including 42 Basic Selections.
  8. Vincent van Gogh (Dutch, 1853-1890). Vincent's career as a painter lasted just ten years, but what a decade! The 139 titles on him in our database include 30 Basic Selections. 
  9. J.M.W. Turner (British, 1775-1851). One of the great masters of the British school of watercolor landscape painting, Turner was an important precursor of both Impressionism and abstraction. Worldwide has carried 136 titles on him, including 27 Basic Selections.
  10. Joan Mirˇ (Spanish, 1893-1983). Mirˇ is closely associated with Surrealism, but his work exerted a considerable influence on such later movements as Abstract Expressionism and Color Field painting. Worldwide has listed 135 titles on the artist, of which 30 are Basic Selections. 

There are at least 16 other artists with 90 or more titles in our database, among them several who would undoubtedly be included on many "top-10 lists" (CÚzanne was "my one and only master...the father of us all," according to Picasso, but he barely cracks the top 25 on our list). Here are the rest of the top 25:


11. Auguste Rodin (117 titles) 12. Claude Monet (116) 13. Marc Chagall (113) 14. Joseph Beuys (113) 15. Salvador DalÝ (105) 16. Peter Paul Rubens (105) 17. Marcel Duchamp (104) 18. Edvard Munch (103) 19Albrecht DŘrer (97) 20.Gerhard Richter (97) 21. Henry Moore (95) 22. Caravaggio (95) 23. Edgar Degas (95) 24. Raphael (95) 25. Paul CÚzanne (91) 


Just outside the top 25 are Francisco de Goya (90), Wassily Kandinsky (86), Francis Bacon (78) and Georgia O'Keeffe (76), the highest ranking woman on the list (with Gerhard Richter being the only male artist ahead of her who is still alive).


Further down the list are some interesting surprises that may reflect a tendency among museum and gallery curators to favor living artists (especially younger ones) in their mounting of exhibitions. For example, renowned British artist Damien Hirst, still in his forties, already has 48 titles in Worldwide's database, a total that surpasses those of such figures as Poussin, Velßzquez, Constable, Renoir, Schwitters, Dix, De Kooning, Kelly, Polke and Ruscha. Go figure.



Recent Publications





In the summer of 2014, the RÚunion des musÚes nationaux-Grand Palais and the MusÚe Rodin in Paris co-organized two exhibitions on celebrated American photographer Robert Mapplethorpe (1946-1989). A large retrospective featuring more than 250 works was held at the Grand Palais (see Worldwide 36156). Mapplethorpe saw himself as a "creator of images" who often imparted a sculptural quality to his work. This quality inspired the MusÚe Rodin to mount a parallel exhibition juxtaposing Mapplethorpe's images with sculptures by Auguste Rodin (see Worldwide 36135).






The third edition of Prospect New Orleans, an international arts biennial, recently concluded after three months of events and exhibitions at 17 venues in New Orleans (see Worldwide 36225). Reflecting curatorial themes inspired by the Crescent City, the featured works in various media included pieces by Terry Adkins, Theaster Gates, Pieter Hugo, Mohamed Bourouisa, Carrie Mae Weems and Agus Suwage. One of the exhibitions presented as part of "Prospect.3: Notes for Now" was a show titled "Basquiat and the Bayou," held at the Ogden Museum of Southern Art (see Worldwide 36218). Jean-Michel Basquiat (1960-1988) visited New Orleans shortly before he died in 1988 and was struck by the city's culture--a turbulent blend of Caribbean, African, American and European influences that was reflected in Basquiat's own work.



About Us  
For over 50 years, Worldwide Books has served academic, museum and public libraries as a specialized source for art exhibition catalogues issued by museums and galleries throughout the world. For the past two decades Worldwide has also offered comprehensive coverage of new books on art, architecture, photography and design published by hundreds of leading American trade and university presses. Serving as a centralized source for a wide range of scholarly art books and exhibition catalogues, Worldwide is uniquely positioned to assist and guide art libraries in careful and efficient collection development.


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