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It's amusing how many reviewers of this book are offended by the author's 'feminism' or 'anti-whitey' attitude - seriously, guys, there are circ Art history still gets presented in popular and even borderline scholarly accounts as a sequence of dead white male geniuses, and any sensible introduction to how art history is studied needs to acknowledge the focus on individual genius, on European art, on 'high art' and on male creators that has dominated the field and offer correctives where needed. It's amusing how many reviewers of this book are offended by the author's 'feminism' or 'anti-whitey' attitude - seriously, guys, there are circles in which Arnold's very balanced and valid call for a more inclusive way of studying art history would be considered not just moderate but downright innocuous.

Colour illustrations would have been nice, but there are copious links to online collections. I particularly liked the two collections Arnold 'curates' in the book to show how any collection of works can be interrogated and understood in different ways.

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I just wish more of the books in this series were willing to step outside the classic Eurocentric mould! View 1 comment. May 13, Justin Evans rated it really liked it Shelves: essays. Caveat emptor: this is about the discipline of art history, not about the history of art. That said, it's a very nice piece about that discipline. It briefly tells you what art historians have done and what Arnold thinks they ought to do. Since it's a book written by an academic humanist who made her name in the 90s, it's massively and turgidly ideological--it's not enough to say that art history should pay attention to, you know, women and people who aren't pasty, you also have to self-flagella Caveat emptor: this is about the discipline of art history, not about the history of art.

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Since it's a book written by an academic humanist who made her name in the 90s, it's massively and turgidly ideological--it's not enough to say that art history should pay attention to, you know, women and people who aren't pasty, you also have to self-flagellate and more offensive flagellate others for failing to do so, as if you would have known better before feminism. It's really a disgrace that Vasari didn't include more women artists in his work, right?

At times Arnold comes close to suggesting that what art historians should do is limited entirely to this flagellation. Well, except for one thing: her readings of philosophical aesthetics bear roughly the same relation to the actual thoughts of those aestheticians as Braque's cubist violins bear to, well, violins, except that Braque meant to do that.

Her own theory is a good one, though, and looks more or less like what lit types like me call reader response theory mixed with an appreciation for that fact that artworks really do exist. The writing's occasionally horrific, but that's the be expected. Sep 16, Tara rated it liked it.

It took me a while to get through this book even though it's relatively short. The reason being mostly that I had picked it up as a way to explore whether or not I was interested in studying Art History more formally. It is definitely a good and thorough book for its length so my star rating is purely a reflection on my personal interest in the subject perhaps that's not quite fair then? I suppose you can't really take the history out of Art History.

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And I do like history. But I suppose I like It took me a while to get through this book even though it's relatively short. But I suppose I like being told it a little bit more than I like getting into the nitty gritty details of considering the more meta tale of how history is written, who is doing it and for what purpose feminist history, non-western, or post-colonial perspective, etc. Having completed other Master's level modules on things like 'the History of the Global' it made me more aware that studying Art History could be more about the phenomenological side of the historical perspectives rather than specifically and directly about the Art.

Which isn't to say I don't agree that it's very important to have people passionately asking these questions and re-writing the history we tell ourselves. That is in fact the history I want to read! This book has helped me to recognise that my interest is closer to the technical sides of art positioned in their social and historical context, just as we needed to do at GCSE and A-Level, than the subject of Art History itself, and certainly I think I've had plenty of the philosophy of aesthetics in my bachelor degree.

Very Short Introductions

Despite all that this book does have enough of what keeps me interested and things that I did want to learn throughout, as well as of course learn things I didn't necessarily feel I wanted to learn at the time, but, who knows, they could come in handy in the future if I was interested enough to retain it! Shelves: artsy-fartsy , left-it-undone-blame-my-worrysome. A goof "short" book altogether For me it will serve as a gnrl reference point to "shady" parts of modern history I am not aware of. Still it will also provide a kind of perspective on Historical figure of critic's who were rather prevalent on earlier times.

Lest I forget to mention that I got it as a "give-away" from a sunday paper. It's printed in pulp paper, the interpratation seems fair but it's not that good in binding. If for nothing else many ppl can use it A goof "short" book altogether For me it will serve as a gnrl reference point to "shady" parts of modern history I am not aware of. Still I blv it's rather poor in general. Perhaps the foreign edition was much more "filled" with picures.

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In colour. Anyway since I got the very basic edition I can't really make a comparison Jan 07, Yanon rated it liked it. Sep 17, Ali Arabzadeh rated it it was ok Shelves: history , art. May 30, Suzanne Conboy-Hill rated it really liked it. Useful introduction so handy to keep nearby for reference. For amusement and also bafflement, have Kindle's text-to-speech read it; I was wondering who Street Peter was till I glanced at the screen and saw St Peter!

Art History: A Very Short Introduction by Dana Arnold This book is part of the series of "Very Short Introductions" books and although short, as it's title promises, gives a good overview of major influences throughout the history of art and of the influences that have affected the way in which different perspectives on art history have emerged and how key points of emphasis change within these perspectives.

I thoroughly enjoyed this work, with only the absence of colour in the selected artwor Art History: A Very Short Introduction by Dana Arnold This book is part of the series of "Very Short Introductions" books and although short, as it's title promises, gives a good overview of major influences throughout the history of art and of the influences that have affected the way in which different perspectives on art history have emerged and how key points of emphasis change within these perspectives.

I thoroughly enjoyed this work, with only the absence of colour in the selected artworks featured causing a little disappointment. Nevertheless, I would recommend this book to anyone with a keen interest in art, especially as a starting point for further study of this complex subject.

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Feb 08, Eudora rated it did not like it Shelves: reading-list. I love this series other books like "English Literature", give you a brief introduction in specific yield, but this author use so much line says "I will discuss this later, I will discuss that later", I don't like this because it made me totally lost, I always forget what she said before, and don't understand what she said later. This author uses a huge part of this book to explain what she thinks, but again, she explains really complicated and poor. I fi if anyone wants to read this, please no.

I finally wait to see one chapter that she is gonna introduce art history through time, ok, I disappointed again, her whole book didn't even introduce art history itself. Jul 14, Erika rated it really liked it. Strictly speaking, art history is different from history of art. While the first refers to different methods to read art, the latter refers to the product itself. Art history is not the same as art criticism, which attempts to establish an artistic value on an object of art and compare them to others.

It is also not the same as art theory, which studies the fundamental nature of art. It deals mainly with art produced for public or religious bodies and wealthy individuals. The book is clear, conc Strictly speaking, art history is different from history of art. The book is clear, concise, and to the point. Apr 02, Jeff Howells rated it liked it. A very short introduction to a very vast topic. It felt a bit like a series of lectures stitched together and it lost me at times.


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However there was quite a lot of food for thought here for a complete novice, like me, who wants to learn more about the subject. Jun 03, Erik rated it liked it Shelves: non-fiction , art. Historiography of art with limited scope, lots of repetition, and revisionist perspective. The last few chapters were most interesting. Sep 13, Adam Gill rated it liked it.

Tries to cover too much ground and the result is disjointed and concepts undeveloped or explained poorly. Oct 29, Jason Bartlett rated it did not like it Recommends it for: nobody. The purpose of the book was to give a clear, concise discussion on the complex diversity of ways in which we observe art, how much we can learn from art, and understand its relationship to ourselves. The book was one hundred and twelve pages long. Because of how short the book is, the author intended to produce a straight-forward view but ends up sounding like she is arguing about nothing. I find this piece of literature to be important but also, it beats around the bush by using terminology that is not even in the glossary, and should have been.

Arnold has written an extensive amount of books regarding art history, especially in the viewpoint of Great Britain. The Art History was published by Oxford University Press Incorporated in as a series of short introductions to various subjects. Each of these miniature books has taken on a Nancy Drew approach of writing where unknown authors write terrible books for a pyramid-scheme profit, as the epitome of a starving artist. The author approaches and organizes the material by offering a chronological and thematic coverage of a broad range of issues connected to the theme of art history.

The authors research appears adequate because she includes a list of illustrations, references, a full glossary of terms, further information which includes a list of website addresses for galleries and museums and an index. She has employed primary resources connected with the subject like actual pictures of the artwork in black and white. However, the artwork would have been easier to read in colour.

Though my criticism is harsh, other authors would have included more detail, despite it being a short book. The author even remarks that any omissions or errors are her own. The author does not present footnotes at the bottom of the pages and loosely supports the statements she makes. Her writing uses a first person viewpoint which is annoying and unprofessional for a history book. I feel that this work is of no value to a historian seeking to reconstruct the past because of how little the book is and how much already know information is used.