The Shaping of Art History: Meditations on a Discipline (Paperback)
  • The Shaping of Art History: Meditations on a Discipline (Paperback)

The Shaping of Art History: Meditations on a Discipline (Paperback)

Paperback 120 Pages / Published: 28/10/2008
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In this provocative book, Patricia Emison invites the reader to consider and reconsider how past thinkers--from Pliny and Alberti to Freud and Fried--have conceptualized the history of Western art. What a book review attempts to be for a book, this extended essay attempts to be for several hundred years' worth of books in a field: an indicator of problems with the old attempts and hopes for the new ones. It is a defense of art history for those outside the field who question its reliability or even its importance; it is a critique of art history for those in the field who may have been preoccupied with looking at trees but who might be interested in trying to see the forest.

Publisher: Pennsylvania State University Press
ISBN: 9780271033068
Number of pages: 120
Weight: 227 g
Dimensions: 229 x 152 x 9 mm


"This book brings profound issues into new and vivid focus."

--Angus Trumble, Yale Center for British Art

"At a moment when the discipline of art history is in flux, beset by new methodologies and conflicting theories of what matters in a work of art, it is refreshing to find a seasoned scholar stepping back and calmly appraising the strengths and weaknesses of the profession.

Wittily, lightly, endearingly, the author convinces readers that room still exists for passion and generosity in dealing with the universe of wonders that is the world of art."

--D. Pincus, Choice

"This wise and thoughtful book would make an excellent text for a methodology course and should be read by all who are interested in the field. Emison's reorientation of art history will seem confrontational to some, but for an old veteran like me, it was a very consoling read."

--David Wilkins, Renaissance Quarterly

"[The Shaping of Art History] would be a welcome read in an advanced undergraduate methodological survey, or even a master's level survey of methods. Even the nonspecialist could become absorbed in it. Hundreds of sentences in this book are quotable."

--Kathryn M. Rudy, Sixteenth Century Journal

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