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Paperback The Art of Art History: A Critical Anthology Book

ISBN: 0192842420

ISBN13: 9780192842428

The Art of Art History: A Critical Anthology

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Book Overview

The history of art has been written and rewritten since classical antiquity. Since the foundation of the modern discipline of art history in Germany in the late eighteenth century, debates about art and its histories have intensified. Historians, philosophers, psychologists, and anthropologists among others have changed our notions of what art history has been, is, and might be.
The Art of Art History is a unique guide to understanding art history...

Customer Reviews

5 ratings

A book for the serious art student or enthusiast

This book is a must have for any college art history student. This is a reference book; not a book to be read from cover to cover like a novel. It gives one enough background and resources to pursue a specific aspect of art history. How I learned of this book was through a reccommendation from the Art History Department Chairperson at a SUNY school with a world wide reputation for producing outstanding graduates in the Arts.

Looking at Art History

This is a book for anyone interested in reading excerpts from original texts (by Helgel, Kant, Derrida etc.) about specific problems encountered in the field of Art History since, approximately, the creation of the modern concept of Art. It is divided into chapters about specific themes, with a short introduction, and bibliography. I would recommend Preziosis own book "Rethinking Art History" as a companion. This is not an easy book, as some angry reviewers discovered, but - how could it be? Art is about life, and life is a very complex thing. If you have absolutely no experience with philosophy or theory, then this might not be the right place to start. If, however, Art and Art History is something you are interested in, and have some basic knowledge of, this is a very rewarding book.

a keeper.

Preziosi challenges the prevailing attitude that the study of art historical methodology should be left for graduate/specialized work. Not so - this book opens a space for undergrad inquiry, though it doesn't exactly fill it either. It manages to contextualize themes/concepts (some better than others) into a larger intellectual history, without settling into arid hagiography. But it's more than intellectual history: in its own specific ways, the selections thoughtfully probe the limitations of historiography, and the inherent irony involved in history writing (though the reader is left to make many of these types of conclusions). Preziosi nonetheless provides different levels of accessibility in his introductions, as do the essays themselves, which are pitched at various theoretical levels - some are obviously beyond the undergrad level. The weakest section is that which deals with the Postcolonial: the selected essays, though important, really fail to grasp the complexities of Native North American art and Postcolonial discourse.

An Intelligent Anthology

I find myself in agreement with Patrick Deegan and the reader from L.A. as to this volume's quality, but less so as to its accessibility. In fact, I believe any intelligent reader should be able to approach this volume and, using Donald Preziosi's succinct commentary as a guide to context, derive valuable knowledge and material for critical thought from it. Readers seeking a simple monolithic approach to the subject of Art History will, needless to say, be disillusioned by the breadth and depth of this volume; readers with an active mind (regardless of whether they describe themselves as academics or not) will be delighted by it. As an example of the careful selection process that has gone into this anthology, I would point out the sequence of texts anthologized in Chapter 8, where the changes over time in critical readings of Heidegger's _The Origin of the Work of Art_ are well reflected in the subsequent essays by Schapiro, Derrida, and Melville. Having any one of these essays present in the volume would be valuable; having the full set allows the reader a far greater degree of insight into the matter of Heidegger's original essay. In short, a book I would strongly recommend to anyone who wants to think independently about art, and not just be told what to think about it.

The best anthology

As an art historian, I have found this to be the best anthology of writing about art history, but it is not a picture book or entry-level history of art. The other reviewers were correct in identifying this book as a specialized volume for academics, not an introduction for the general reader. This is not a drawback unless you expect something else. Professor Preziosi is a leading expert in art history's history and is respected widely for his erudition and comprehensive knowledge of the field. I assign it to my graduate students because the selection of important writings is excellent and Preziosi's introductions are so succinct and precise.
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