Books About Margaret Macdonald Mackintosh and Art Nouveau

Margaret Macdonald Mackintosh was instrumental in creating an entirely new art style called Glasgow Style. That art movement was largely influenced by Art Nouveau, a freeing style that emphasized long, curvy lines and plant forms. This was a totally new idea in the 1880s, but the style has influenced art ever since. This list includes books about Margaret and her fellow artists, as well as books about Art Nouveau and its most famous artists like Gustav Klimt and Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec.

Charles Rennie Mackintosh and the Art of the Four Roger Billcliffe

Learn more about the artwork and the art movement created by Charles Rennie Mackintosh, Herbert MacNair, Margaret Macdonald, and Frances Macdonald. Through 11 chapters, kids and adults can explore the successes and hardships these four artists faced throughout their careers. All types of art are included like architecture, graphic design, furniture, fabric, and more. Many full-color reproductions of their work and photographs of the artists themselves are included. This book is geared toward adults, but teens will enjoy it too.

The Magical Tree: A Children’s Book Inspired by Gustav Klimt Myrian Ouyessad

This storybook is inspired by Klimt’s mural called The Tree of Life. Kids will be captivated as they read about a man who plants a fruit tree. The fruit gives the man the ability to see into the future! How will this power be used for good? The story reads like a fairy tale and will engage kids until the very end. The Klimt-inspired Art Nouveau illustrations stick with the same color scheme of orange, yellow, and black throughout the book and they’re exquisite! Read it with elementary kids.

The Museum Susan Verde

Art inspires us and makes us feel all sorts of emotions! In this book, you and your children can see those emotions played out in the main character. She sees one piece of art and feels twirly-whirly. Another piece of art makes her sad and blue. Abstract art makes her giggle. The illustrations follow this playful attitude and the rhyming text fits with it, too. Read this one with young children before your next trip to the art museum!

13 Art Movements Children Should Know Brad Finger

With this book, kids will get an inside look at 13 art movements throughout history. It starts with Romanesque, progresses through Romanticism, Art Nouveau, and others, and ends with Pop Art. Each movement is described in detail, and eye-catching reproductions help children visualize the differences in each style. Plus, there are activity suggestions that will extend the learning opportunities for children. The text and activities are ideal for upper elementary and early middle school kids.

Designing the New: Charles Rennie Mackintosh and the Glasgow Style Alison Brown

This book is the exhibition catalog from a Glasgow Style art exhibit that has toured the United States. It traces the art movement’s history beginning at the Glasgow School of Art and extending to the artists’ achievements and impact around the world. Several essays discussing the specifics of the style are included. There are dozens of full-color reproductions and photographs of the artists’ work, too. Teenagers will enjoy reading these essays and learning about the details of the Glasgow Style.

Taking Tea with Mackintosh: The Story of Miss Cranston’s Tea Rooms Perilla Kinchin

Get an inside look at Miss Cranston’s famous tea rooms with this informative book. Kids will see how Cranston and Mackintosh worked together to create something truly unique and inventive. There are black-and-white photographs of the original tea rooms as well as photographs of items that have survived until now. As a bonus, there are 16 recipes for traditional tea room foods like cakes, breads, and pastries. The images, text, and recipes all work together to bring this piece of history alive! We recommend this one for teenagers, but even younger kids will enjoy the photographs.

Meet Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec Meet the Artist

This book provides a basic introduction to the French artist Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec. He painted in Paris, often using the Art Nouveau style, in the late 1800s. Each spread of the book features a full-color reproduction of a piece of his art as well as an open-ended discussion question. There are also two simple craft projects at the end of the book. This is a great book for early elementary kids.

Art Matters: Because Your Imagination Can Change the World Neil Gaiman

Award-winning author Neil Gaiman has written a number of inspiring speeches and other pieces, but this book provides just four of them. Each one is powerful in its own right and all of them talk about expression, inspiration, ideas, and the joy of creating. The text of the book is written in an informal handwriting script and the illustrations by Chris Riddell fit with the overall theme of expression and creativity. Gaiman’s ideas are insightful for teenagers looking to grasp ideas about success, identity, and art.

Patterns from Nature: The Art of Klimt Myung Irwa Yu

This lively biography of Gustav Klimt is told from the perspective of a cat. It focuses on Klimt’s brightly decorated paintings and his use of geometric shapes, both of which were inspired by nature. The illustrations are child-like but still give nods to Klimt’s overall style. Several reproductions of his paintings are included, too. Read this one with early elementary kids.

The Studios of Frances and Margaret Macdonald Janice Helland

This is an interesting reference book that you might be able to find at your local library. Its detailed chapters discuss the two sisters, their various art exhibits, their relationships with other artists and art movements, and many other interesting details from their lives. Plus, more than 60 reproductions of their work are shown throughout the book. We recommend paging through this one with middle schoolers and high schoolers.

Anna at the Art Museum Hazel Hutchins and Gail Herbert

Anna is like most children in an art museum: bored and grumpy. She’s tired of all the rules! But when an open door catches her attention, a security guard invites her to go inside and see a totally different part of the museum. She walks into a workshop where paintings are being cleaned and prepared for showing. Anna realizes that she’s a lot like the people in the paintings! This book shows a few pieces of art on each page and provides a gentle introduction to several styles of art. See which pieces of art you and your child can identify! Read it with early elementary kids.

Toulouse-Lautrec and the Stars of Paris Helen Burnham, Mary Weaver Chapin, Joanna Wendel

In this book, children can take a look inside the exciting world of entertainment in 19th-century Paris! They’ll learn about six performers—actors, singers, dancers, and others—and the artwork that Toulouse-Lautrec created for advertising posters during that time. His Art Nouveau style was instrumental in creating personas around each of these entertainment stars and bringing about the celebrity culture in Paris. Read this one with children 12 and older.

Art Nouveau Coloring Pages for Kids and Kids at Heart Hands-On Art History

This coloring book provides kids with a hands-on way to experience all of the florals, curves, and ornamental designs of Art Nouveau. There are 25 designs to color. It’s great for kids and adults!

Art Masterclass with Gustav Klimt Lucy Brownridge

This is an art class in a book! Kids can go at their own pace as they work through 12 lessons inspired by Gustav Klimt’s art. The book begins with a brief biography of Klimt and a timeline of his life. After that, kids are treated to lessons in drawing, patterns, portraits, collage, and much more. There are lots of illustrations and reproductions throughout the book that add color and interest. The projects are suitable for middle schoolers to do on their own or for elementary children to work through with an adult.

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