This collection of essays on anthropological approaches to art and aesthetics is the first in its field to be published for some time. In recent years a number of new galleries of non-Western art have been opened, many exhibitions of non-Western art held, and new courses in the anthropology of art established. This collection is part of and complements these developments, contributing to the general resurgence of interest in what has been until recently a comparatively neglected field of academic study and intellectual debate. Unlike many previous collections, the focus of this volume is resolutely anthropological. The contributors draw on contemporary anthropological theory and exchange, to deepen our understanding of particular aesthetic traditions in their socio-cultural and historical contexts. In addition, the cross-cultural applicability of the very concepts 'art' and 'aesthetics' is assessed. Each essay illustrates a specific approach and develops a particular argument. Many present new ethnography based on recent field research among Australian Aborigines, in New Guinea, Indonesia, Mexico, and elsewhere.
Others draw on classic anthropological accounts of, for example, the Trobriand Islanders of Melanesia and the Nuer of the Southern Sudan, putting this material to new uses. Sir Raymond Firth's introductory overview of the history of the anthropological study of art makes this volume particularly useful for the non-specialist interested in learning what anthropology has to contribute to our understanding of art and aesthetics in general. With its wide geographical and cultural coverage and plentiful illustrations, many of which are in colour, Anthropology, Art, and Aesthetics will be a valuable resource for all serious students of the subject.
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(234mm x 156mm x 19mm)
Publisher: Oxford University Press
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Author Biography - Jeremy Coote
Jeremy Coote is an independent researcher, author, and editor specializing in art and anthropology. He is a member of Wolfson College, Oxford. Anthony Shelton specializes in pre-Columbian art and the ethnography of contemporary Midddle America.