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

Amy R. Bloch
New York: Cambridge University Press, 2016. 336 pp.; 16 color ills.; 269 b/w ills. Cloth $99.99 (9781107099166)
The critical fortune of Lorenzo Ghiberti’s art has suffered in the last centuries: first, because of the unfair assumption that it was the last gasp of Gothic art in Florence; and second, because Ghiberti was the subject of Richard Krautheimer’s influential monograph (with Trude Krautheimer-Hess, Lorenzo Ghiberti, Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1956), the effect of which was largely to foreclose further discussion. Ghiberti’s second set of bronze doors for Florence’s... Full Review
November 21, 2017
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Anne Helmreich
University Park: Penn State University Press, 2016. 264 pp.; 47 color ills.; 26 b/w ills. Cloth $89.95 (9780271071145)
At a moment when popular opinion has us living in a “post-truth” world, it is revealing, and indeed imperative, to review the contested nature of past truth claims. In Nature’s Truth: Photography, Painting, and Science in Victorian Britain, Anne Helmreich examines the truth to nature edict that resonated through artistic and scientific discourses in the mid-nineteenth century. She then traces the transformation of truth to nature from its initial reliance on inductive reasoning—the... Full Review
November 21, 2017
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Kirk Savage, ed.
Washington, DC: National Gallery of Art in association with Yale University Press, 2016. 292 pp.; 88 color ills.; 57 b/w ills. Cloth $70.00 (9780300214680)
The 2016 anthology The Civil War in Art and Memory, edited by Kirk Savage, assembles fifteen essays presented in the symposium of the same title, sponsored by the Center for Advanced Study in the Visual Arts at the National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC, in November 2013. The conference paralleled the exhibition Tell It with Pride: The 54th Massachusetts Regiment and Augustus Saint-Gaudens’ Shaw Memorial, curated by Sarah Greenough and Nancy Anderson, which took place from... Full Review
November 21, 2017
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Wyatt Gallery
Atglen: Schiffer, 2016. 240 pp.; 233 color ills. Cloth $60.00 (9780764350955)
Wyatt Gallery’s beautiful collection of photos documenting Jewish artifacts in the Caribbean elegantly eliminates people as it dwells in an elegiac past. It should, as a result, continue vigorous debates on the meaning and ethics of human representation in sites prone to romanticization. Do the islands, long the subject of colonial gazing, continue to serve as a place of others’ historical imaginations (as Krista A. Thompson suggests in her 2007 book An Eye for the Tropics: Tourism,... Full Review
November 20, 2017
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Nicholas Bauch
A Stanford Digital Project. Stanford: Stanford University, 2016. (9780804797399)
In Enchanting the Desert: A Pattern Language for the Production of Space (http://www.enchantingthedesert.com/home/), the inaugural Interactive Scholarly Works publication from Stanford University Press, geographer Nicholas Bauch “revives” as a layered digital map a forty-three-photograph slideshow of the Grand Canyon assembled and narrated by commercial photographer Henry Peabody in the first decades of the twentieth century.... Full Review
November 20, 2017
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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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