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

Natalia B. Teteriatnikov
Washington, D.C.: Dumbarton Oaks, 1998. 73 pp. Paper $15.00 (0884022641)
Hagia Sophia, what the Byzantines called the Great Church, has had many lives: imperial monument built by Justinian in 532–37 immediately following and in response to serious urban rioting; cathedral of the capital of the Byzantine Empire, principal setting for religious and political ceremonies to the end of the empire; Jami or chief mosque of the capital of the Ottoman Empire, ceremonial setting adjacent to another imperial palace, now that of the Sultan; and today, a state museum and major... Full Review
June 25, 1999
Charles Sterling, Maryan W. Ainsworth, Charles Talbot, Martha Wolff, Egbert Haverkamp-Begemann, Jonathan Brown, and John Hayes
New York and Princeton: Metropolitan Museum of Art and Princeton University Press, 2009. 256 pp.; 60 color ills.; 97 b/w ills. Cloth $125.00 (0691006989)
Lorne Campbell
London: National Gallery, London in association with Yale University Press, 1999. 464 pp.; 110 color ills.; 270 b/w ills. Cloth £75.00 (185709171X)
Two recent collection catalogues, both investigating early modern European paintings, provide an index of the state of the art for scholarship on individual museum objects. Both are splendidly produced and result from years of patient research. Both admirably adduce the latest technical investigation from the conservation laboratory and integrate it with other findings. In one case, London's National Gallery, the credited single curatorial author, Lorne Campbell, clearly builds on the... Full Review
June 25, 1999
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N. Katherine Hayles
Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1999. 350 pp.; 5 b/w ills. Paper $18.00 (0226321460)
How We Became Posthuman is at root a book about what it is to be human during our time of rapid and jarring technological change, a book about how selfhood and philosophies have been transformed in the wake of the societal and technological revolutions brought about by computers, artificial intelligence, and virtual reality. Everywhere, such phenomena as the Internet, the digitization of money, and the mapping of the genome are seen as destabilizing physicality and setting the... Full Review
June 25, 1999
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James F. O’Gorman
Amherst: University of Massachusetts Press, 1998. 291 pp. Cloth $45.00 (1558491481)
It is inconceivable that the Albert Memorial in London and the illustrations to the novels of Charles Dickens novels might have been the work of the same man. But while such a state of affairs was unimaginable in England, it was perfectly plausible in nineteenth-century America, as the peculiar career of Hammatt Billings demonstrates. For Billings not only provided the celebrated illustrations for Uncle Tom's Cabin, but also designed the National Monument to the Forefathers at... Full Review
June 25, 1999
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Dagmar Eichberger and Charles Zika, eds.
New York: Cambridge University Press, 1998. 255 pp.; 87 b/w ills. Cloth $64.95 (0521620376)
Those attempting to keep up with, let alone understand, the changing contexts of Dürer's art are faced with a Sisyphean challenge. Over the years, the artist has been extolled as, among other things, the most German of artists, a leader of the frühbürgerliche Revolution, a proto-Nazi, and a hippie. Hallowed by Protestants and Catholics alike—and with no less enthusiasm, I should add, by those espousing the cults of artistic genius and a disinterested Kantian aesthetic—he has... Full Review
June 24, 1999
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Michael Fried
Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1998. 351 pp.; 16 color ills.; 72 b/w ills. Cloth $55.00 (0226263185)
The emphasis of this selection of critical writings by Michael Fried is upon his work between 1963 and 1966, the reasons he gives for this both explaining and, to a certain extent, justifying the compilation of this collection. Sensitive to what he describes as his peers' tendency to conflate his views from these distinct periods in his intellectual life, Fried uses the lengthy introduction prefacing the selection to explain the development of his thought from the late 1950s to the present... Full Review
June 24, 1999
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Anthony Snodgrass
New York: Cambridge University Press, 1998. 186 pp.; 63 b/w ills. Paper $19.95 (0521629810)
Anthony Snodgrass has written a little book on a large subject. Just 8 1/2 x 6 x 9/16 inches and 186 pages including index, Homer and the Artists: Text and Picture in Early Greek Art takes within its compass such vexed dilemmas as the introduction of writing to Greece, the dates of the Iliad and Odyssey, the relation of Homer’s poems to lost epics of the Trojan cycle, the great bard’s standing in the cultural contexts of the eighth through mid-sixth centuries b.c.,... Full Review
June 24, 1999
Steven Kossak, Jane Singer, and Robert Bruce-Gardner
Exh. cat. Metropolitan Museum of Art in association with Harry N. Abrams, 1997. 224 pp.; 134 color ills.; 15 b/w ills. Cloth $70.00 (0810965275)
Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, October 1998; Rietberg Museum, Zurich, February 1999
Identifying the sources of Tibetan Buddhist painting has been the object of much scholarship in recent years, a pursuit that has often been frustrated by the scarcity of materials. While almost nothing except a few Dunhuang paintings in Tibetan style remains from the period of the First Conversion in the eighth century, about 500 works have survived from the years between the eleventh-twelfth century chidar, or Second Conversion under the guidance of the Indian sage Atisha, and... Full Review
June 24, 1999
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Bonnie C. Wade
Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1998. 470 pp.; 20 color ills.; 166 b/w ills. Paper $80.00 (0226868419)
How can paintings inform us of past cultural practices? By interrogating paintings produced at the Mughal court, Bonnie Wade reconstructs musical practices prevalent at the medieval royal courts of North India. Although Wade's project began as an ethnomusicological enquiry eager to mine more than textual sources, her study ends up problematizing what meanings Mughal paintings had for past as well as present viewers. For historians of South Asian visual culture, Wade's innovative study... Full Review
June 23, 1999
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Madeline Harrison Caviness
Aldershot, U.K.: Ashgate, 1997. 284 pp.; 221 b/w ills. Cloth $159.95 (0860786382)
Madeline Caviness introduces this volume herself by explaining her "penchant for re-joining fragments and reconstructing programs." While that description narrowly summarizes the content of many of the articles, it hardly does them justice. The anthology comprises fifteen articles written by Caviness between 1962 and 1993, bringing together contributions to festschriften, catalogues and conferences that might not otherwise be readily accessible (in this review, the articles will be... Full Review
June 23, 1999
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