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

Reviews in 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

Amelia Peck and Carol Irish
Exh. cat. Yale University Press, 2001. 288 pp.; 80 color ills.; 108 b/w ills. $45.00 (0300090811)
The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, October 9, 2001-January 6, 2002
Ever since Linda Nochlin published her groundbreaking article questioning “Why Have There Been No Great Women Artists?” (ArtNews [January 1971]: 22–39), scholars have sought to understand and to change the sociocultural forces that shaped an all-male history of art. One of the first steps in that process was to recover from obscurity the lives and art of creative women, an aspect of feminist scholarship that continues with the publication of Candace Wheeler: The Art and Enterprise... Full Review
October 4, 2002
Glenn Peers
Berkeley: University of California Press, 2001. 250 pp.; 19 b/w ills. Cloth $37.50 (0520224051)
Few in antiquity or Byzantium would have questioned that angels have power. Portraying that power, however, posed a special challenge for Byzantines. In a world where both language and image were bound up in materiality, angels captured all that could and could not be said of God. If Christ was understood to be the Word of God made flesh, then there might be license for making pictures of Christ, at least in his earthly guise. But what exactly were angels? More than human, yet known for... Full Review
October 2, 2002
Eli Wilner, ed.
San Francisco: Chronicle Books, 2000. 204 pp.; 175 color ills. Cloth $60.00 (081182070x)
The word "frame" possesses an interesting history. Originally from the Old English framian, the word meant "to benefit, make progress"; in Middle English its meaning as framen was extended to include "construct." From there it assumed the noun form that art historians know but do not necessarily consider with the same care as the painting that rests inside its borders. Eli Wilner reverses this trend. In The Gilded Edge: The Art of the Frame, he has gathered... Full Review
September 26, 2002
Elise Goodman, ed.
Cranbury, NJ: University of Delaware Press, 2001. 162 pp.; 43 b/w ills. Cloth $52.50 (0874137403)
The Portraits of Madame de Pompadour: Celebrating the Femme Savante Art and Culture in the Eighteenth Century: New Dimensions and Multiple Perspectives gathers ten essays on topics that will surely interest a broad readership, treating subjects ranging from portraiture to artists’ politics. Collected by Elise Goodman, the essays represent the multiplicity of artistic, social, theoretical, and political voices at work in eighteenth-century art circles. Equally... Full Review
September 25, 2002
Catherine Hoover Voorsanger and John K. Howat, eds.
Yale University Press, 2000. 652 pp.; 412 color ills.; 230 b/w ills. Cloth (0300085184)
Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, September 19, 2000-January 7, 2001
This ambitious catalogue takes on two traditions in American historical scholarship that are seldom reconciled in a satisfactory way. On the one hand, historians have What connection was there between the spirituality of the Hudson River artists long described the second quarter of the nineteenth century as the contentious, expansive age of Andrew Jackson and P. T. Barnum, characterized by a widening market economy, the advent of universal white male suffrage, the beginnings of... Full Review
September 25, 2002
Herbert L. Kessler and Johanna Zacharias
Yale University Press, 2000. 288 pp.; 60 color ills.; 165 b/w ills. Cloth $35.00 (0300081537)
The first Jubilee of the Roman Catholic Church was proclaimed by Pope Boniface VIII on February 22, 1300, granting absolution from sin to all those who visited Rome's holy shrines. It was not planned long in advance, but rather represented the pope's enthusiastic response to the vastly increased throngs of pilgrims who had come to the Eternal City to mark the beginning of a new century. Little did Boniface know what he was starting! Timed to coincide with the 2000 Jubilee celebrations in... Full Review
September 20, 2002
Catherine E. Karkov
Cambridge University Press, 2002. 225 pp.; 61 b/w ills. Cloth $69.95 (0521800692)
In this volume, Catherine Karkov examines the textual linkages and visual stratagems that unify Oxford, Bodleian Library Junius 11, an anthology including the Old English verse Genesis, Exodus, Daniel, and Christ and Satan. Karkov presents the imagery of Junius 11 in the context of eleventh-century learning and proposes a new and more sophisticated understanding of the relationship of text and image, where the images' performance as a commentary on the text depends... Full Review
September 20, 2002
James Meyer
Yale University Press, 2001. 320 pp.; 30 color ills.; 130 b/w ills. Cloth $50.00 (0300081553)
The late Craig Owens began his 1979 review of Robert Smithson's collected writings[1] with a gloss on a passage from the artist's "A Museum of Language in the Vicinity of Art," which, Owens noted, fell "precisely at the center" (on page 67 of 133) of the first section of Smithson's book. Owens's conceit not only acknowledges the centrality of language in Smithson's work, but the way in which the essay itself both figures and performs the decentering effects of the "eruption of language into... Full Review
September 19, 2002
Xiaoneng Yang
Kansas City: Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art in association with University of Washington Press, 2000. 412 pp.; 1 color ills.; 114 b/w ills. Cloth $75.00 (0942614305)
Reflections of Early China: Décor, Pictographs, and Pictorial Inscriptions by Xiaoneng Yang is an ambitious study that attempts to define the relationship between "pictorial" writing and pictorial imagery from early China, which is characterized as the late Neolithic through early Western Zhou periods, ca. 3000–1000 B.C.E. The author's primary interest in this book is neither art-historical nor aesthetic, but rather historical and epigraphic. His main goal is to identify the... Full Review
September 17, 2002
Nestor Garcia Canclini
Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2001. 200 pp. Paper $19.95 (0816629870)
Néstor García Canclini's book Consumers and Citizens: Globalization and Multicultural Conflicts, originally published in Spanish by Grijalbo in 1995, is an important contribution to the contemporary debate on citizenship from the vantage point of Latin America. This English-language version, translated by George Yúdice, presents timely arguments for reevaluating the increasing influence of consumption in the definition of cultural policies. García Canclini argues that multiculturalism,... Full Review
September 12, 2002