A smartly written, informative delight for group leaders.


Putting Art to Work


This debut how-to offers a colorful palette of ideas for creative innovation at work, school, and elsewhere.

Keith Chirgwin has a background as an art teacher, and Helene Chirgwin has expertise in human resources consulting. Together, they present a solid, conversational case for using art to enhance the professional development of individuals and groups. Part I lays out a well-referenced apologia of the importance of art in health and well-being; for example, the authors cite an Oslo and Akershus University College study in which elderly participants’ blood pressure went down after just talking about art. Working with art, say the Chirgwins, teaches people new ways of looking at things, which can, of course, be beneficial in the workplace. Part II, which is by far the most enjoyable part of the guide, contains detailed, easy-to-understand instructions for 31 hands-on art workshops, which may be altered to fit large or small groups of adults or school-age kids. Each description includes a list of necessary materials and preparations, the approximate group size, the time it will take to complete the session, discussion questions, and workshop objectives. Some of the often lighthearted activities offer memorable icebreakers, such as when group members must draw Picasso-style drawings of one another without looking at their papers. In another team-building workshop, participants are asked to team up to paint a group picture. Regardless of theme, the Chirgwins’ user-friendly workshops always promote creative thinking; for instance, one encourages attendees to decorate masks to reflect their leadership styles. Many of the art supplies—such as note cards, paints, and colored pens—are relatively affordable, and facilitators need not be teachers or artists themselves. This manual offers a different way of looking at creativity in the workplace, eschewing worn-out business clichés, such as “thinking outside of the box.” Vivid, full-color photos, sketches, and striking images of paintings—such as Raphael’s early-16th-century work The School of Athens—decorate the smooth-flowing text. Overall, this energetic compilation is both creative and practical, and these simple, thought-provoking exercises may help improve teamwork and productivity in a range of organizations.

A smartly written, informative delight for group leaders.

Pub Date: June 30, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-5144-4898-4

Page Count: 198

Publisher: XlibrisUK

Review Posted Online: Oct. 14, 2016

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A dazzling visual homage to a music icon gone too soon.


A Los Angeles–based photographer pays tribute to a legendary musician with anecdotes and previously unseen images collected from their 25-year collaboration.

St. Nicholas (co-author: Whitney: Tribute to an Icon, 2012, etc.) first met Prince in 1991 at a prearranged photo shoot. “The dance between photographer and subject carried us away into hours of inspired photographs…and the beginning of a friendship that would last a lifetime.” In this book, the author fondly remembers their many professional encounters in the 25 years that followed. Many would be portrait sessions but done on impulse, like those in a burned-out Los Angeles building in 1994 and on the Charles Bridge in Prague in 2007. Both times, the author and Prince came together through serendipity to create playfully expressive images that came to represent the singer’s “unorthodox ability to truly live life in the moment.” Other encounters took place while Prince was performing at Paisley Park, his Minneapolis studio, or at venues in LA, New York, Tokyo, and London. One in particular came about after the 1991 release of Prince’s Diamonds and Pearls album and led to the start of St. Nicholas’ career as a video director. Prince, who nurtured young artists throughout his career, pushed the author to “trust my instincts…expand myself creatively.” What is most striking about even the most intimate of these photographs—even those shot with Mayte Garcia, the fan-turned–backup dancer who became Prince’s wife in 1996—is the brilliantly theatrical quality of the images. As the author observes, the singer was never not the self-conscious artist: “Prince was Prince 24/7.” Nostalgic and reverential, this book—the second St. Nicholas produced with/for Prince—is a celebration of friendship and artistry. Prince fans are sure to appreciate the book, and those interested in art photography will also find the collection highly appealing.

A dazzling visual homage to a music icon gone too soon.

Pub Date: Nov. 19, 2019

ISBN: 978-0-06-293923-4

Page Count: 384

Publisher: Amistad/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: July 28, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2019

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Clear journalistic prose makes sense of the befuddling legal entanglements in an ongoing battle that has become notorious in...



American Lawyer deputy editor Anderson chronicles the legal contests over the administration of America’s largest private art collection.

The author begins with a fair portrait of Dr. Albert C. Barnes, amasser of the famous Barnes Collection and creator of the eponymous foundation charged with its preservation. Barnes received his medical degree at 20 and went on to wrest control of a pharmaceutical company that owned exclusive rights to manufacture an internationally prescribed gonorrhea medicine. (His signature style throughout his life was to hire first-rate legal counsel and pursue his litigious course until he got what he wanted.) Barnes’s fortune, preserved through the Depression, permitted the assembly of a fabulous collection that included 180 Renoirs; it’s currently valued at six billion dollars. Just before his death in 1951, the doctor changed the terms of the foundation’s indenture, granting control to the trustees of Lincoln College, the oldest black college in America, setting the stage for a long round of disputes. While the collection gained tremendously in value over the next four decades, the size of the endowment that paid for the upkeep of the French Renaissance palace that housed it dwindled through mismanagement. In the 1990s, foundation president Richard H. Glanton, a high-profile African-American lawyer, oversaw the galleries’ renovation and undertook the expensive litigation responsible for bringing the foundation to the edge of ruin. Anderson describes these conflicts in a work that by his own admission is “a legal tale” rather than a scholarly biography or a work of art history. The absence of footnotes, he explains, springs from the desire of his best sources to remain anonymous. That’s not surprising, considering the rancor all this legal wrangling has generated, including a lawsuit over a parking lot instituted in federal court that invoked the Ku Klux Klan Act.

Clear journalistic prose makes sense of the befuddling legal entanglements in an ongoing battle that has become notorious in the art world and beyond. (16 illustrations)

Pub Date: May 1, 2003

ISBN: 0-393-04889-6

Page Count: 288

Publisher: Norton

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2003

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