Art History's History

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9780131966505: Art History's History

Deconstruction, semiotics, feminism, Marxism, the Other. Whatever happened to the pure pleasure of looking at a painting or sculpture? To connoisseurship? To reverence for artistic genius? The New Art History, as it is called, is questioning most of the assumptions that art lovers have cherished for a long time. Formal analysis of pictorial and spatial elements, the study of iconography, and a belief that the artist and the work of art are of primary importance are all, suddenly, out of fashion. At least for now, they seem pushed to the sidelines by a bewildering array of theoretical approaches and methodologies. These shifts have dramatically affected all facets of the art scene, from how exhibition themes are chosen and which artworks are included, to what critics say about who's in and who's out. Art History's History offers a clear, sympathetic perspective on the present confusion. In refreshingly lively prose, this book presents, in author Vernon Hyde Minor's words, "what art history is, where it came from, what ideas, institutions and practices form its background, how it achieved its present shape, and what critical methods it uses." Minor looks at the history of art history from three angles, beginning with the tradition of the academy, which reaches back to Plato's Academy on the outskirts of Athens, up through the current locus of artistic training, the university. The second approach is a critique of how art was defined and explained from ancient times until the seventeenth century, when art history first emerged as a discipline. Finally, we are guided through modern art history, starting with an introduction to the founders and shapers of art-historical thinking as we knewit until recently - Winckelmann, Kant, Hegel, Riegl, Wolfflin, Morelli, Fry, and Panofsky - on through to the many contextual, historiographic, sociopolitical, and psychoanalytic perspectives that dominate the study and criticism of art today. Art History's History is a very welco

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Product Description:

Written in jargon-free, reader-friendly language, this is one of the first volumes to make art historical theory accessible to those at the introductory level. A review of contemporary theory of art history provides readers with lucid prose and concrete examples. Discussion of eighteenth- and nineteenth- century theories that are important to art history offers readers a review of historically important issues in philosophy. Illustrations of well-known works of art show readers how theory has application to images. Art historians and educators.

From the Publisher:

Written in jargon-free, reader-friendly language, this is one of the first volumes to make art historical theory accessible to those at the introductory level.

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