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 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

Nancy E. Green and Christopher Reed, eds.
Exh. cat. Ithaca, NY: Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art, Cornell University, 2016. 296 pp.; 246 color ills.; 30 b/w ills. Cloth $ 35.00 (9781934260258)
Herbert E. Johnson Museum of Art, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY, August 27–December 18, 2016; Crocker Art Museum, Sacramento, CA, February 12–May 21, 2017
In recent decades, specialists of both American and Japanese arts have turned their attention to the history of these two countries’ artistic interactions from the nineteenth century through the present. Scholars of Japan have also explored twentieth-century avant-garde Japanese arts. Concurrently, art history has increasingly expanded to embrace a field more aptly termed “visual culture studies,” which incorporates the analysis of mass-market commercial products. These efforts have... Full Review
March 6, 2019
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Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, NY, March 13–August 13, 2017
In 1839, shortly after publishing “Some Account of the Art of Photogenic Drawing, or the Process by Which Natural Objects May Be Made to Delineate Themselves without the Aid of the Artist’s Pencil,” William Henry Fox Talbot sent a letter along with thirty-six examples of photogenic drawings to Antonio Bertoloni, a botanist in Bologna, Italy. Talbot undoubtedly desired to alert colleagues to his invention in the wake of Louis-Jacques-Mandé Daguerre’s announcement of his own... Full Review
March 4, 2019
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Katie Hornstein
New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 2018. 208 pp.; 100 color ills.; 46 b/w ills. Cloth $70.00 (9780300228267)
Representations of war and soldierly actions have assuredly fascinated entire generations, especially during fragile political contexts such as revolutions and governmental changes. Rarely, however, has military imagery been dealt with from a critical art historical perspective. Military imagery has typically been understood in terms of its official ideological role and its capacity as a tool for the state to guide public opinion. Katie Hornstein has managed to invert this... Full Review
March 1, 2019
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Earnestine Lovelle Jenkins
London: Routledge, 2016. 320 pp.; 122 b/w ills. Cloth $140.25 (9781409468196)
In the past three decades, there has been a welcome increase in literature on nineteenth- and twentieth-century African American photography. While much pathbreaking scholarship has been produced, art historians have acknowledged only a fraction of black photographers active in the pre–Civil Rights era. Taking the city of Memphis as her case study, Earnestine Lovelle Jenkins contributes a much-needed and richly researched monograph to the history of African American... Full Review
February 22, 2019
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Stephen Houston
New Haven: Yale University Press, 2018. 256 pp.; 56 color ills.; 49 b/w ills. Cloth $70.00 (9780300228960)
With this book, one of the more prolific Maya archaeologists makes a significant art historical contribution, providing evidence of the impact of adolescent males in ancient Maya society as preeminent subjects and patrons of art and texts, particularly during the Classic period (300–850 CE). Indeed, according to the author, young males “energized and reinforced courtly societies” of the ancient Maya realm (6). Over six chapters, plus extensive and detailed endnotes, the work fully combines... Full Review
February 20, 2019
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Joanna Zylinska
Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 2017. 272 pp.; 70 b/w ills. Cloth $35.00 (9780262037020)
24 HRS in Photos (2011), an art installation by Dutch photographer, curator, and designer Erik Kessels, gives us a means of looking at the contemporary state of photography. To create it, Kessels printed out every picture uploaded to Flickr, the image-sharing website, on a single day. The resulting... Full Review
February 11, 2019
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Olga Bush
Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2018. 344 pp.; 94 color ills.; 21 b/w ills. €95.00 (9781474416504)
The Alhambra has long been an accessible entryway into a powerful kind of Orientalist romanticism, capturing the minds and words of writers, rulers, artists, and art historians alike. Constructed at the end of the ninth century, expanded as a palace in the twelfth and thirteenth under the Nasrid dynasty (1230–1492), before falling into disrepair from the Reconquista until the nineteenth century, the Alhambra inspired Europeans with its arabesque ornamental scheme and poetic Arabic... Full Review
February 11, 2019
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Hollis Clayson and André Dombrowski, eds.
London: Routledge, 2016. 306 pp.; 67 color ills. Cloth $160.00 (9781472460141)
There are times when divergent academic and ideological interests come together unexpectedly; these events can yield new scholarly insights even as they lay bare disciplinary antagonisms. A 2009 symposium at the Clark Art Institute was just such an occasion. Its interrogatory title Is Paris Still the Capital of the 19th Century? signaled the conveners’ interest in the legacies of Charles Baudelaire, Walter Benjamin, and T. J. Clark for the writing of nineteenth-century art history.... Full Review
February 8, 2019
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Bahattin Öztuncay and Özge Ertem, eds.
Exh. cat. Istanbul: ANAMED, 2018. 180 pp. Cloth $62.95 (9786052116487)
Koç University Research Center for Anatolian Civilizations (ANAMED), Istanbul, Turkey, May 10–September 30, 2018
The catalogue Ottoman Arcadia: The Hamidian Expedition to the Land of Tribal Roots (1886) accompanied its namesake exhibition in Istanbul curated by Bahattin Öztuncay, Ahmet Ersoy, and Deniz Türker. The exhibition displayed the Bismarck Gift Albums, three photographic albums prepared by the court of Ottoman sultan Abdülhamid II (r. 1876–1909) as an official gift for Otto von Bismarck (d. 1890), Germany’s long-term legendary chancellor. These albums (acquired by the Omer M. Koç... Full Review
February 6, 2019
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Nicola Suthor
Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2018. 240 pp.; 25 color ills.; 57 b/w ills.; 82 ills. Cloth $60.00 (9780691172446)
The Dutch painter, printmaker, and draftsman Rembrandt van Rijn (1606–69) died three hundred fifty years ago (the anniversary this year is being marked by exhibitions and events worldwide) and for much of that time, his art has been the object of avid consumption, artistic emulation, and scholarly scrutiny. Responses have ranged from adulation to disgust, but apathy has seldom been one of them. Thus, it is a daunting challenge to say something new about this endlessly fascinating and... Full Review
February 4, 2019
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