Reading List: Staff Picks by Joey Vincennie

Man in a black cardigan smiling in front of a bookshelf

Nice to meet you! I’m Joey, Reference Lead at the Frick Art Reference Library. I oversee reference services, programming, and research guides for the library and work closely with our Marketing & Communications Department on promoting the library through social media posts and the Reading Lists blog series. I love helping our community with their research needs and often learn more about our collections because of these interactions.

On days off, you might find me at a botanical garden, trying out a new restaurant, or looking at art at local museums or galleries. I am also an avid home cook. Learn more about me below with some of my favorite books from the Frick Art Reference Library’s collections. If any of these selections spark your curiosity, I invite you to plan a visit to our reading room at 10 East 71st Street, which is anticipated to reopen in late 2024!

  1. Augusta Savage, Renaissance Woman

    By Jeffreen M. Hayes (2018)

    I first learned about the work of the sculptor Augusta Savage at my hometown art museum, the Cummer Museum of Art & Gardens in Jacksonville, Florida. Savage grew up in Green Cove Springs, not far away from Jacksonville. Explore the city’s connections with the Harlem Renaissance in this groundbreaking exhibition catalogue.

    Book cover on a white shelf featuring a sculptor with a large statue of two figures
  1. Italian, Spanish, and French Paintings in The Ringling Museum of Art

    By Virginia Brilliant (2017)

    Interning at The Ringling Art Library was a formative experience that shaped my career path. The Ringling Museum’s collection in Sarasota, Florida, features artists also found in the Frick’s permanent collection, including Giambattista Tiepolo, Diego Rodríguez de Silva y Velázquez, and Jean-Marc Nattier. Discover works by these artists and more in this volume.

    Book cover on a white shelf featuring a painting of a winged angel in yellow drapery
  1. Materializing Six Years: Lucy R. Lippard and the Emergence of Conceptual Art

    Edited by Catherine Morris and Vincent Bonin (2012)

    I wrote my undergraduate thesis on critic, curator, writer, and activist Lucy R. Lippard and her curation of the storefront windows at Printed Matter. So, it only felt natural to include something from our collections related to her. Lippard remains an art-world inspiration for me, and this invaluable exhibition catalogue traces her own and related figures’ contributions to Conceptualism.

    Book spread featuring an image of people crowded into an interior space
  1. Carmen Herrera: Lines of Sight

    By Dana Miller (2016)

    The Whitney Museum of American Art was the first art museum I worked at when I moved to New York City from Florida. Carmen Herrera’s early works were the focus of this exhibition and its accompanying catalogue. This presentation of Herrera’s work—on view when she was 101 years old—was important for her recognition, as the artist only began gaining critical attention in the art world near the end of her prolific career as a painter.

    Book spread featuring a blue and a red geometric sculpture
  1. Whitewalling: Art, Race & Protest in 3 Acts

    By Aruna D’Souza (2018)

    One of my areas of research in art history is artist-led activism, particularly concerning social and political issues. This essay collection explores how Black artists, writers, cultural producers, and their allies have responded through protest to moments of injustice within art museums and gallery spaces. Aruna D’Souza’s writings are a particular inspiration to me as a young art historian.

  1. Drawn from Nature: The Plant Lithographs of Ellsworth Kelly

    By Richard H. Axsom (2005)

    Ellsworth Kelly and I share two things in common: We both attended Pratt Institute, and we both draw inspiration from plants, flowers, and fruits. While Kelly is best known for his large-scale abstract paintings and sculptures, his works on paper featuring plants continue to be a source of delight for me. Dive deeper into this area of Kelly’s oeuvre with this oversized volume.

    Book spread featuring two minimalist drawings of a leaf and four round fruits
  1. Remedios Varo: Science Fictions

    Edited by Caitlin Haskell and Tere Arcq (2023)

    Last year, while attending the fifty-first annual conference of the Art Libraries Society of North America in Mexico City, I had the opportunity to visit the Museo de Arte Moderno. This museum boasts an impressive collection of thirty-nine paintings by the Spanish Surrealist artist Remedios Varo. This catalogue, from a more recent exhibition of Varo’s work at the Art Institute of Chicago in partnership with the Museo de Arte Moderno, offers an in-depth look at the artist’s practice, including a taxonomy of techniques employed in her paintings.

    Book cover on a white shelf featuring an artwork of an otherworldly figure playing a flute
  1. Art as Jewellery: From Calder to Kapoor

    By Louisa Guinness (2018)

    Who wouldn’t want to wear art? Currently, my personal collections include artists’ books and vintage Pyrex, but I have always desired to collect jewelry made by artists. This volume explores jewelry from artists including Lucio Fontana, Niki de Saint Phalle, and Jesús Rafael Soto.

    Book spread featuring the chapter title "Alexander Calder" and an image of Anjelica Huston wearing a black turtleneck and an elaborate sculptural gold necklace
  1. Louise Nevelson’s Sculpture: Drag, Color, Join, Face

    By Julia Bryan-Wilson (2023)

    This newly imagined form for an art monograph features two of my favorites: art historian Julia Bryan-Wilson and artist Louise Nevelson. Inspired by Nevelson’s artistic processes, Bryan-Wilson illuminates Nevelson’s sculptures in new ways and makes innovative connections to other artists’ works, which excited me throughout these four volumes.

    Book spread featuring an intricate black sculpture divided into 30 rectangles

Rapid-Fire Q&A with Joey

Fiction or nonfiction?


Print or e-books?


Reading or audiobooks?

Depends on the book!

Iced or hot drinks?


Favorite season?


Favorite library (besides the Frick)?

There is no place like your local public library branch!

Favorite depiction of your job in media?

Mrs. Phelps from Matilda

Most interesting question you’ve received in your job?

This is a hard one! I enjoy questions that pique my curiosity, so they are normally art and design related.

Advice for hopeful future librarians?

Do not be afraid to talk to librarians about their work. We are friendly people! This is a fabulous way to learn more about the ever-changing field of information.

Man in a library flipping through a book at a desk stacked with 10 other books

All photos by Joseph Coscia Jr., The Frick Collection

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