We thought the art fans out there might be feeling under-appreciated, and since we have such good (affordable!) Matisse books, he's the perfect springboard to talk about the spectacular art section at Babbitt's Books.
The drawback of buying art books new--especially ones that are coffee-table books--is that they get expensive fast. It's hard to find a new one for under $50, maybe $35 if you're lucky. At Babbitt's, though, big art books range in price from $6 to $15 (unless they're scarce or collectible, of course, but then we price 'em on the low end of used copies available through Amazon to ensure that you're always getting the best possible bargain).
So it goes with the first book on this post. This 167-page book, filled to brimming with dozens of tipped-in plates, is only $8. What's a tipped-in plate, you ask?
A tipped-in plate is an illustration that is loosely glued to the page along only one edge, so that it can be easily removed if one wants to frame it.
The book is authored by Gaston Diehl and was published by Editions Pierre Tisne in 1954. The text is in French, but even if you're not a Francophile, the beautifully reproduced illustrations alone make this book a worthy purchase.
If you'd like a good biography of Matisse, we have both volumes of Hilary Spurling's A Life of Henri Matisse (2005), each in very good condition with dust jackets, each for $8. The first volume is called The Unknown Matisse: The Early Years, 1869-1908, the second Matisse the Master: The Conquest of Colour, 1909-1954.
If you'd rather delve into Matisse's artistic philosophy, Jack D. Flam's Matisse on Art is perfect. Chapters include "Notes of a Painter, 1908", "Interview with Jacques Guenne, 1925", and "On Modernism and Tradition, 1935". Good stuff.
Hurry, though, because there's only a week left before Christmas!