This clear and concise new introduction examines all the major debates and issues using a wide range of well-known examples. It discusses the challenge of using verbal and written language to analyse a visual form. Dana Arnold also examines the many different ways of writing about art, and the changing boundaries of the subject of art history. Topics covered include the canon of Art History, the role of the gallery, 'blockbuster' exhibitions, the emergence of social histories of art (Feminist Art History or Queer Art History, for example), the impact of photography, and the development of Art History using artefacts such as the altarpiece, the portrait, or pornography, to explore social and cultural issues such as consumption, taste, religion, and politics. Importantly, this book explains how the traditional emphasis on periods and styles originates in western art production and can obscure other critical approaches, as well as art from non western cultures. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly.
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(178mm x 113mm x 9mm)
Oxford University Press
Publisher: Oxford University Press
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UK Kirkus Review »
This book lives up to its title: it is genuinely very short, just over 100 pages of text in a slender format, and it is genuinely an introduction, not itself an art history. So there are no lists of artists or periods, no rush through those aesthetic subtleties that take a very long book to explain. Professor Arnold is concerned with concepts, with making us aware, for example, of the difference between art history, art criticism and art appreciation. She discusses the great art historians, the philosophers whose thinking is relevant, how museums display their objects, what words like 'icon' mean, what the relationship is among art, artist and viewer. 'Art history' is an extremely complex subject, here dealt with in a manner both highly intelligent and dense with implication. It is written with concentration and deserves to be read with concentration. It is difficult to think of a more intriguing introduction to an intriguing subject. (Kirkus UK)
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Author Biography - Dana Arnold
Dana Arnold, Professor of Art History, University of East Anglia.