Books About Marianne von Werefkin

Marianne von Werefkin, one of the most influential Expressionist painters, is known for her unique perspective and artistic language. Her bold style showcased color, emotions, and movement. She’s often overshadowed by more famous artists like Kandinsky, but the books on this list draw attention to her critical role in Expressionism. Artists of all ages can learn how this style emerged and how von Werefkin contributed to its success.

Women Artists in Expressionism: From Empire to Emancipation Shulamith Behr

This comprehensive volume provides an in-depth look at Expressionism from a variety of viewpoints. Readers will learn about Marianne von Werefkin’s art and inspiration, especially her involvement with The Blue Rider. They’ll discover other German Expressionist artists like Käthe Kollwitz, Paula Modersohn-Becker, and Gabriele Munter. The book also discusses how Expressionism spread to other countries like the United States and the Netherlands. Young kids will enjoy all of the full-color reproductions in this book while kids ages 12+ will enjoy the essays.

Expressionism Norbert Wolf

Here is a very insightful book that’s great for young artists who are new to the style of Expressionism. The book provides a 20-page detailed history of how the style emerged and then devotes the rest of its content to specific paintings and artists. Readers will see pieces from both Marianne von Werefkin and her companion Alexej von Jawlensky. Each spread also includes a brief biography of the artist and an analysis of the painting. There are more than 100 images altogether! This is another book that has great visuals for younger artists and detailed explanations for older kids.

Blue Rider Geraldo Valério

This wordless picture book invites children to experience the vibrant colors and bold style of The Blue Rider. At first, a young girl looks out the window of a high-rise apartment building. The streets and sidewalks below are filled with people, but once she ventures downstairs and out of her building, she discovers a book. She hurries home to read it! Once she opens it, a blue horse with a rainbow mane takes over the story. Shapes and colors burst off the page! Read this one with elementary kids.

The Blue Rider: The Yellow Cow Sees the World in Blue Doris Kutschbach and Andrea P. A. Belloli

This book provides an energetic introduction to The Blue Rider for kids in upper elementary and middle school. The title is a nod to "The Yellow Cow" by Franz Marc, a key figure in the Blue Rider movement. Kandinsky and Klee are also included in this book, but so are Marianne von Werefkin and lesser-known figures of the movement. The book has an unconventional layout that jumps around a bit, but the quick hits of text make it exciting for kids.

Expressionism: A Revolution in German Art Dietmar Elger and Ingo F. Walther

Trace the history of Expressionism with this historical book. Young readers can go through the six chapters to learn about The Blue Rider as well as The Bridge group of artists. Biographies of more than a dozen artists and full-color reproductions are sprinkled throughout the book, as well. Each section is fairly short and kids ages 12+ will be able to pick up on the details and analysis.

Modern Worlds: Austrian and German Art, 1890-1940 Olaf Peters

The Neue Galerie New York, a gallery that’s focused on German and Austrian art, produced this book in honor of its 20th anniversary. The book is filled with full-color reproductions of the museum’s holdings, including many Expressionist paintings. There are also sections on historical art, Abstraction, and other styles that emerged during this period. Kids will find plenty of commentary and essays in the book. Some of it may be too academic, so they may need to skip around to find the topics that interest them most.

Expressionism Ashley Bassie

With the image of Edvard Munch’s “The Scream” on the cover, this book is sure to draw the interest of kids and teens! The author begins by explaining the development of Expressionism and the style’s key characteristics. The text also provides insight into the various groups of artists as well as the societal implications of Expressionism. Then, a few pages are devoted to each artist. Kids will see work by Max Beckmann, Paul Klee, Emil Nolde, and others. Kids ages 12+ can read this one on their own.

German Expressionism: Paintings at the Saint Louis Art Museum Melissa Venator

The world’s most extensive collection of German Expressionist paintings resides at the St. Louis Art Museum. You can take a closer look at the collection in this comprehensive book! It covers the work of more than two dozen artists and includes nearly 200 reproductions. The essays in the book provide details about the history of the artists and paintings as well as the modern implications of this style. Read this one alongside teenagers.

The Stories and Secrets of Colors Susie Brooks

The bold use of color is one of the hallmarks of Expressionist art! With this book, kids can explore the world color-by-color. Each page includes bold, vibrant illustrations and a wealth of interesting information. Readers will learn about topics like the science of color, the history of important people who studied colors, and how colors can affect emotions. With 80 pages, there’s a lot to learn! Read this one alongside late elementary kids and middle school students.

Art Year by Year DK

This timeline-focused book takes kids on an artistic journey from cave paintings to modern street art. A comprehensive variety of styles are included: Renaissance, Neoclassicism, Impressionism, and Pop Art just to name a few! Each page is packed with images from the specified period along with call-out sections that explain the artists or the style. The emphasis on images in this book makes it a good choice for younger artists. They’ll love to go page-by-page and see how art has changed throughout history. Older kids will enjoy reading through all the text and learning about the factors that influenced each style.

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