Concise, critical reviews of books, exhibitions, and projects in all areas and periods of art history and visual studies

Reviews in caa.reviews are published continuously by the College Art Association (CAA) and Taylor & Francis, with the most recently published reviews listed below. Browse reviews based on geographic region, period or cultural sphere, or specialty (from 1998 to the present) using Review Categories in the sidebar, or by entering terms in the search bar above.

Recently Published Reviews

Lia Markey
University Park: Penn State University Press, 2016. 264 pp.; 68 color ills.; 58 b/w ills. Cloth $79.95 (9780271071152)
One of the defining facts about the Medici court in Florence in the late sixteenth century is how, despite the richness of its artistic culture and the depth of its collecting, it remained essentially a bystander in the exploration, colonization, and mercantile exploitation of the New World. The Tuscan state nonetheless saw value in conceptualizing the effect of the expansion of the globe as a matter of local concern in a series of carefully curated artistic projects, often tied to objects... Full Review
November 17, 2017
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Elizabeth Alice Honig
Penn State Romance Studies. University Park: Penn State University Press, 2016. 288 pp.; 75 color ills.; 83 b/w ills. Cloth $84.95 (9780271071084)
In the opening pages of Jan Brueghel and the Senses of Scale, Elizabeth Alice Honig describes Jan Brueghel as a cataloger of nature’s variety, an analogy of the artistic process that is a leitmotif of the volume. Honig’s own engagement with the foundational, yet far from fashionable, scholarly practice of cataloging poetically echoes this reading of Brueghel’s work, for the book relies on the online database created by Honig and a team of technical and art-historical specialists (<a... Full Review
November 17, 2017
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Pilar Silva Maroto, ed.
Exh. cat. New York: Thames and Hudson, 2016. 400 pp. Paper $45.00 (9780500970799)
Exhibition schedule: Museo Nacional del Prado, Madrid. May 31–September 25, 2016
In summer 2016, on the five hundredth anniversary of Jheronimus Bosch’s death (ca. 1450–1516), the Museo Nacional del Prado staged an impressive, well-researched monographic exhibition on the highly original and imaginative Netherlandish artist. Curated by Pilar Silva Maroto, head of the departments of Flemish and early Spanish painting at the Prado, who also edited the hefty scholarly catalogue that accompanied the show, the exhibition provided a unique opportunity to view the majority of... Full Review
November 10, 2017
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Diana Magaloni Kerpel and Laura Filloy Nadal
Exh. cat. Mexico City: Instituto Nacional de Antropología e Historia, 2013. 240 pp. Paper $25.00 (9786074843699)
La Ofrenda 4 de La Venta is an edited volume of seven scholarly essays on Offering #4, a group of sixteen small stone anthropomorphic figures and six jade celts recovered in the 1955 excavations by Philip Drucker, Robert F. Heizer, and Robert J. Squier at the Middle Preclassic (1000–400 BCE) Gulf Coast Olmec site of La Venta. As noted in the preface and first essay of this treatise, the offering is one of the most spectacular,... Full Review
November 10, 2017
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Jens Hoffmann and Claudia J. Nahson
Exh. cat. New York: Jewish Museum in association with Yale University Press, 2016. 224 pp.; 185 color ills.; 20 b/w ills. Cloth $50.00 (9780300212150)
Exhibition schedule: The Jewish Museum, New York, May 6–September 18, 2016; Deutsche Bank KunstHalle, Berlin, July 7–October 8, 2017; Museu de Arte do Rio, Rio de Janeiro, November 2017–March 2018
In presenting the work of Roberto Burle Marx (1909–1994), curators Jens Hoffmann and Claudia J. Nahson (with Rebecca Shaykin) and the Jewish Museum have expanded the range of exhibitions on architecture and design to include not only a designer from Latin America but one whose primary medium is the most difficult to capture and express museographically: modern landscape architecture. While the focus is on the landscapes he designed, Roberto Burle Marx: Brazilian Modernist shows that... Full Review
November 10, 2017
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Lucy Freeman Sandler
London and Toronto: British Library and University of Toronto Press, 2014. 404 pp.; 242 ills. Cloth $70.00 (9781442648470)
In 1985, Lucy Freeman Sandler began her examination of a corpus of illuminated manuscripts created for the noble English Bohun family in the second half of the fourteenth century. A very rich study of manuscript patronage and production, her Illuminators and Patrons in Fourteenth-Century England: The Psalter and Hours of Humphrey de Bohun and the Manuscripts of the Bohun Family is the culmination of thirty-five years of valuable research, analysis, and scholarship. The volume is... Full Review
November 10, 2017
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Richard J. Powell, ed.
Exh. cat. Durham: Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University, 2014. 176 pp.; 200 color ills. Paper $39.95 (9780938989370)
Exhibition schedule: Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University, Durham, January 30–May 11, 2014; Amon Carter Museum of American Art, Fort Worth, June 14–September 7, 2014; Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Los Angeles, October 19, 2014–February 1, 2015; Chicago Cultural Center, Chicago, March 6–August 31, 2015; Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, October 2, 2015–January 17, 2016
In his essay for the catalogue accompanying the exhibition Archibald Motley: Jazz Age Modernist, the show’s curator Richard J. Powell writes, “Like Richard Wright, the Chicago painter Archibald J. Motley offers a fascinating glimpse into a modernity filtered through the colored lens and foci of a subjective, African American urban perspective” (110).This statement establishes the primary aim of the exhibition: to present Motley as a prominent voice of American modernism. Building... Full Review
November 3, 2017
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Ahmet A. Ersoy
Studies in Art Historiography. New York: Routledge, 2016. 334 pp.; 72 b/w ills. Cloth $127.00 (9781472431394)
In his long-awaited book, Architecture and the Late Ottoman Historical Imaginary: Reconfiguring the Architectural Past in a Modernizing Empire, Ahmet A. Ersoy provides an in-depth analysis of Usul-i Mi’mari-i Osmani (The Fundamentals of Ottoman Architecture, hereafter the Usul), a crucial initial scholarly volume about the history, theory, and compositional principles of Ottoman architecture, prepared as part of the exhibition representing the empire at the 1873... Full Review
November 3, 2017
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Jean Wirth
Geneva: Librarie Droz, 2015. 384 pp.; 189 b/w ills. Paper $42.00 (9782600005586)
Villard de Honnecourt’s drawings and accompanying commentary (BnF MS fr 19093) have generated tremendous interest since they first came to scholarly attention in the nineteenth century. Despite a century and a half of scrutiny, however, their purpose remains elusive. Initially thought to be a Gothic architect, Villard himself has fallen in status as modern studies have questioned his architectural knowledge. Following the work of Carl F. Barnes, Jr., the idea that Villard was not an... Full Review
November 3, 2017
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Izumi Shimada, ed.
William and Bettye Nowlin Series in Art, History, and Culture. Austin: University of Texas Press, 2015. 392 pp. Cloth $75.00 (9780292760790)
The Inka Empire: A Multidisciplinary Approach aims to assemble the latest thinking about the largest indigenous state in the history of the Americas. Editor Izumi Shimada outlines four goals in his introductory chapter: 1) offer the latest data and interpretations regarding the rise of the Inka state; 2) present an updated overview of the material remains and the organizational and ideological features of the Inka state; 3) demonstrate the importance of multidisciplinary approaches... Full Review
October 27, 2017
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