Worldwide's celebrated database of art-related publications, which now exceeds 130,000 titles, is nearing a milestone. Very soon, the number of exhibition catalogues and other museum publications in the database will be surpassed by trade and university-press monographs (standard art books). Monographs were added to our offerings in 1992, some 30 years after the founding of the company in the early 1960s. Thanks to an increasingly robust art-book industry, monographic titles have in recent years been added to the database at nearly twice the rate of museum publications (which have remained steady at about 2,000 newly listed titles each year), enabling them to overcome the latter category's three-decade, 26,000-title head start in just 23 years. To paraphrase Mark Twain, rumors of the death of the book have been greatly exaggerated.


This issue of the Newsletter features the second installment of "Worldwide by the Numbers," a series of articles in which David Fogel, the manager of our approval-plan program, examines various art-historical trends that are reflected in the notably searchable Worldwide Books database. This month, the focus is on the artistic output of the major national players in Western art throughout the ages.  





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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 April, click here

To filter the list by subject, use our Advanced Search page and select "April 2015" 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

Worldwide's World Cup: The Rise and Fall of the National Schools


One of the basic search options offered through the Advanced Search page of the Worldwide Books website is a pull-down menu that allows users to identify museum publications and standard art books focused on art produced in a single country, or by artists of a particular nationality. Most such titles have just one country entered in the country field of their records, but any given record can contain up to two countries in that field; titles that document a significant amount of work by artists from three or more countries are generally indexed only under such broad global or regional categories as International, Europe or Asia.


Use the "Country" pull-down menu to find books on art 
produced in a single country or by artists of a particular nationality.


More than 80% of the approximately 65,000 museum publications in our database (which make up about half of the titles we have listed altogether) are indexed by country. While more than 150 countries are listed in the "Country" pull-down menu on our Advanced Search page, the top five countries in terms of representation appear in the records of more than half of the museum publications in the database. The United States ranks first with 14,361 titles, followed by France (6,162), Italy (6,038), Germany (5,974) and Great Britain (4,462). The next two countries on the list, the Netherlands (1,686) and Spain (1,570) lag far behind the group at the top.


That these raw numbers indicate a predominance in the Worldwide Books database of catalogues on American and Western European art is not surprising, given that much of our acquisitions activity involves museums and distributors in those countries, where, as one might expect, curators often mount shows that feature the work of their historical and contemporary compatriots. But when a country search is combined with a chronological search on our Advanced Search form, interesting patterns relating to the ascendancy and decline of the national schools begin to emerge.



Combine categories for more targeted searching.


Following is a summary of the changing proportions of catalogues treating the output of the major art-producing countries from the medieval period to the present. Although their positions in the "pecking order" shift over time, the top five countries comprise an enduring hierarchy throughout the ages, dominating most of the seven periods under consideration.


Note: Worldwide does not generally index traditional art from non-Western regions by period. Japan ranks first among the non-Western countries (and tenth overall) with 1,247 museum publications in the database, but only 358 of those titles focus on work in Western styles, the vast majority of them indexed as post-1945 art.



300 A.D.-1400


Spanning more than a millennium and encompassing such diverse styles as Byzantine art, Romanesque art and Gothic art, the medieval period is currently indexed in 790 publications in the Worldwide database of museum publications, representing 1.2% of the total. Of these, 68% are indexed by country. Italy leads the way with 26.5% of the total, followed by France (14%) Germany (10.4%) and Great Britain (5.9%).


          Worldwide 36208                   Worldwide 36421                   Worldwide 81052                  Worldwide 79623




The 2,883 museum-publication records in the database that contain the code for the Renaissance period make up 4.4% of that publication category, with 81% of those containing at least one country code as well. Led by such towering figures as Leonardo, Michelangelo and Raphael, Italian artists dominated the period, with significant representation in no less than 48% of the total. Germany is a distant second with 10.8%, followed by the Early Netherlandish art of the Low Countries (comprised chiefly of the Netherlands and present-day Belgium), which together account for 9.8%. France (7.3%) and Spain (2.7%) round out the top five for the period.


            Worldwide 36321                   Worldwide 36456                  Worldwide 80318                  Worldwide 36405





Dominated in Europe by the Baroque, Rococo and Neoclassical styles, the 17th and 18th centuries account for 8% of the museum publications that we have listed, a total of 5,232 titles. Once again, Italy ranks first in the 200-year period, with 23.3% of the catalogues focused on that period, but France is a relatively close second with 15.7%. The Dutch Golden Age of the 1600s lands the Netherlands in third place with 13.4%, followed by Great Britain with 11.4% and Flanders/Belgium with 5.3%. Germany and the United States (making its art-historical debut during the Colonial period) are in a dead heat for 6th place with 4.7% each.


             Worldwide 80588                    Worldwide 36039                 Worldwide 36439                 Worldwide 36082





The 19th century is indexed for 7,765 catalogues in the database, or 11.9% of the total. Fully 91% of those are indexed by country, with the great innovators of the age of Impressionism, the French, accounting for 28.2% of the total. The United States is a strong second at 22.3%, followed by Great Britain at 13.2%, Germany at 6.7% and the once-dominant Italy at just 5.2%.


             Worldwide 35999                  Worldwide 80290                    Worldwide 36389                 Worldwide 36118





Although the European avant-gardes of the early 20th century are generally considered to have given rise to the most important art movements of the period, it is the United States that dominates the period in the Worldwide database, with significant representation in 23.1% of the 12,818 catalogues indexed by that period (which make up 19.7% of the total). The Germany of Die Brucke is second at 14.3%, followed closely by France at 14.2%. Italy of the Futurist period makes a slight recovery after a dismal 19th century, with 7.2%, while Great Britain slips to fifth place at 5.1%. 


          Worldwide 36280                  Worldwide 36173                  Worldwide 36465                     Worldwide 80139 




With nearly 34,000 titles and counting, the postwar period is indexed in more than half of the museum publications in the database (52.1%), with 83.1% of those titles indexed by country. While the international art scene has become increasingly globalized in recent decades, American art continues to dominate in the Worldwide database, with 30.6% of the total. Germany is a distant second at 10.1%, followed by Great Britain at 7.0%, Italy at 6.5% and France at 5.4%. Rounding out the top ten for the period are Canada, Spain, Switzerland, Austria and the Netherlands.


            Worldwide 80629                  Worldwide 36100                    Worldwide 36092                     Worldwide 35769


Overall, the numbers appear to highlight the major nationally based art-historical movements in Western art, from the so-called Italian "primitive" school of the medieval period and the High Renaissance in Italy to the emergence of Modernism in 19th-century France and the ascendancy of American art in the early postwar period. The strikingly high percentages of titles on American art from the 19th century onward appear to give a somewhat skewed view of the relative art-historical importance of the United States over the past two centuries, and may be explained by the fact that Worldwide Books is located in the good ol' U.S.A., with its hundreds of actively publishing art museums and galleries. 



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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