Modernism and the Museum: Asian, African, and Pacific Art and the London Avant-Garde - Oxford English Monographs (Hardback)
  • Modernism and the Museum: Asian, African, and Pacific Art and the London Avant-Garde - Oxford English Monographs (Hardback)
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Modernism and the Museum: Asian, African, and Pacific Art and the London Avant-Garde - Oxford English Monographs (Hardback)

(author)
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Hardback 244 Pages / Published: 25/11/2010
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Modernism and the Museum proposes an entirely new way of looking at the evolution of Modernist art and literature in the West. It shows that existing surveys of Modernism tend to treat the early stages of the movement as a purely European phenomenon, and fail to take account of the powerful and direct influence of Asia, Africa, and the Pacific islands operating via museums and exhibitions, particularly in London. The book presents the poet Ezra Pound and the sculptor Jacob Epstein as two seminal figures whose development of a Modernist aesthetic depended almost entirely on innovations adapted from extra-European visual art, and makes similar revelations about the work of related figures such as Henri Gaudier-Brzeska, Eric Gill, T.E. Hulme, Laurence Binyon, Richard Aldington, Amy Lowell, Charles Holden, William Rothenstein, Ford Madox Ford, James Gould Fletcher, James Havard Thomas, W.B. Yeats, and D.H. Lawrence. The writing is engaging, but the scholarship is rigorous, and a large quantity of previously unpublished evidence is made available from the British Museum, the Victoria and Albert Museum, the Royal Institute of British architects, the Tate Gallery, and several private collections. The book positions the museums of London - and especially the British Museum - as the West's most significant hub of transcultural aesthetic exchange during the early Twentieth century. It essentially proposes that, far from representing a development rooted in provincial European culture, Modernism was in fact the result of an unprecedented willingness in the avant-garde of the West to engage with the rest of the world.

Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 9780199593699
Number of pages: 244
Weight: 462 g
Dimensions: 223 x 154 x 18 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS
Arrowsmith is well versed in most, if not all, the many aspects of global artistic production referenced in this book and writes knowledgeably about Asian, African, and Paci?c objects as well as about London Modernism (itself other to the self-elected metropoles of Paris and New York). It is a rare scholar who can move with such expertise across these ?elds, each with its own historiography. * Tim Barringer, The American Historical Review *
Modernism and the Museum is a major achievement, a compelling, insightful and rigorous study of the cross-cultural nature of modernism and its basis in the metropolitan museum. It will be of interest to scholars of modernism in literature and the visual arts, critical museum studies, British colonialism and histories of cosmopolitanism. * Sonal Khullar, Wasafiri 70 *
By dint of diligent work in various archives, Arrowsmith has found significant new information about the early influences on Epstein in particular, and his work on Pound will help scholars adjust their accounts of his engagement with China and Japan. Throughout the study, there is a weight of new and unexpected detail and a care for the specific, from the exact layout of each museum in the relevant years to the hours and terms of study in each collection. * Michael North, Review of English Studies *
Rupert Richard Arrowsmiths * Andrew Radford, Years Work in English Studies *
I cannot remember when I last came upon a book as stimulating as Rupert Richard Arrowsmith's Modernism and the Museum: Asian, African and Pacific Art and the London Avant-Garde. Arrowsmith is that rare thing, an art historian who is equally well informed about the traditions of 'West' and 'East', 'modern' and 'pre-modern'... Modernism and the Museum is a marvelously rich work: in illuminating some of the neglected conjunctions and confluences of the past Arrowsmith also shines a light towards exciting new possibilities ahead. * Amitav Ghosh, *
Rupert Richard Arrowsmith's book is essential in understanding the actualities of how transcultural aesthetic exchange functioned in Western modernism ... Arrowsmith's important new research identifies museum holdings which directly informed the sculpture of Epstein and Gaudier-Brzeska, and in doing so he sheds new light on the ways in which we can understand and interpret their work. * Routledge Annotated Bibliography of English Studies *

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