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

Emily Braun
Cambridge University Press, 2000. 346 pp.; 16 color ills.; many b/w ills.; 145 ills. Cloth $60.00 (0521480159)
Emily Braun's book is a milestone in the study of fascist art and politics, not only because Sironi played a seminal role in the development of fascist aesthetics but also due to the theoretical sophistication she brings to her analysis of fascism's cultural politics. Braun frames Sironi's production in terms of Roger Griffin's palingenetic concept of fascism, a generic term deriving from "palin," meaning "again" or "anew," and genesis, suggesting creation or birth. At the core of fascist... Full Review
January 8, 2001
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Georgia Frank
Berkeley: University of California Press, 2000. 232 pp. Cloth $40.00 (0520222059)
This book is by turn fascinating, informative, challenging and frustrating. Its focus lies with fourth to fifth century Christian texts describing the lives and habits of ascetic monks, above all in Egypt. Frank's interest lies in journeys to people rather than journeys to places. Her concern is not with the objects of pilgrimage, saints and holy places, but with the pilgrim's own experiences and the sharing of that experience with the reader of the text. Frank constructs these texts in a... Full Review
December 15, 2000
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Mary Anne Caws and Sara Bird Wright
Oxford University Press, 1999. 430 pp. Cloth $35.00 (0195117522)
Tate Gallery, London, November 4, 1999-January 30, 2000; The Huntington Library, San Marino, CA, March 4-April 30, 2000; The Yale Center for British Art, New Haven, May 20-September 3, 2000.
Richard Shone
Exh. cat. Princeton University Press, 1999. 293 pp.; 200 color ills.; some b/w ills. $60.00 (0691049939)
It is almost a platitude for reviewers to greet books and exhibitions about the Bloomsbury artists with the dismayed question, What new about this group can possibly be seen or said? This response is unjust. In fact, the exhibition The Art of Bloomsbury, originated in London's Tate Gallery and circulated in somewhat reduced form through two American venues—the Huntington Library and the Yale Center for British Art—is the first comprehensive survey of the art of Bloomsbury's central... Full Review
November 21, 2000
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Mary Anne Caws and Sara Bird Wright
Oxford University Press, 1999. 430 pp. Cloth $35.00 (0195117522)
Tate Gallery, London, November 4, 1999-January 30, 2000; The Huntington Library, San Marino, CA, March 4-April 30, 2000; The Yale Center for British Art, New Haven, May 20-September 3, 2000.
Richard Shone
Exh. cat. Princeton University Press, 1999. 293 pp.; 200 color ills.; some b/w ills. $60.00 (0691049939)
It is almost a platitude for reviewers to greet books and exhibitions about the Bloomsbury artists with the dismayed question, What new about this group can possibly be seen or said? This response is unjust. In fact, the exhibition The Art of Bloomsbury, originated in London's Tate Gallery and circulated in somewhat reduced form through two American venues—the Huntington Library and the Yale Center for British Art—is the first comprehensive survey of the art of Bloomsbury's central... Full Review
November 21, 2000
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Jan Cavanaugh
Berkeley: University of California Press, 1999. Cloth (0520211902)
"I have to say that an encounter between progress and reaction, between being uncompromising and opportunistic, fascinates me equally strongly today." The artist and theater director Tadeusz Kantor wrote these words in 1964 touching upon one of the most important issues faced by artists in our modern times that transcends national divisions, the choice between conformism and rebellion. From the Polish perspective, such a choice has a strong grounding in Poland's turbulent history as it is a... Full Review
November 16, 2000
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Francis Frascina
Manchester University Press, 2000. 248 pp.; none color ills.; few b/w ills.; 0 ills. Paper $69.95 (0719044685)
The intellectual as social critic has a long and respected tradition. The works of Dante and Milton, Lessing and Rousseau, Stowe and Hugo vibrate with the intense political passions that motivated each writer to pick up their pens. At the end of the nineteenth century, Zola's defense of Dreyfuss set a standard for engagement. The intellectual used his or her mastery of communication to challenge the lies of a corrupt government. American intervention into the Vietnamese civil war sparked... Full Review
November 10, 2000
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Chloe Chard
Manchester: Manchester University Press, 1999. 278 pp. Cloth $69.95 (0719048044)
Chloe Chard's Pleasure and Guilt on the Grand Tour has obvious topical import for art and architectural historians of the early modern to modern periods. Instigated in part by a postcolonial turn in criticism, the varied artifacts of European expansion have captured the attention of scholars across disciplines. But before this rather recent interdisciplinary interest, art and architectural historians have been, as Chard mentions, some of the few scholars to pay special notice to the... Full Review
November 9, 2000
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Virginia Dodier and Marina Warner
Aperture Foundation, 1998. 128 pp.; 130 color ills. Cloth (0893818151)
Carol Mavor
Duke University Press, 1999. 213 pp.; none color ills.; none b/w ills.; 0 ills. Paper $19.95 (0822323893)
Lady Hawarden's light-filled photographs of her adolescent daughters posed in sparsely furnished rooms of her London home are curious, complicated, and often inexplicable. Along with Julia Margaret Cameron, Hawarden's near contemporary, Hawarden is now considered one of the most significant female photographers in nineteenth-century Britain, and she is the subject of not one but two recent monographs and a 1999 exhibition at the Victoria and Albert Museum. This is long overdue as Cameron has... Full Review
November 8, 2000
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Carla Yanni
Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2000. 224 pp.; 103 b/w ills. Cloth $49.95 (0801863260)
In the heart of McGill University, in downtown Montreal, sits a remarkable building. Supposedly Canada's first purpose-built natural history museum at the time of its opening in 1882, the Redpath Museum is now a particularly popular place with children because of its splendid Albertosaurus libratus, among other dinosaur remains. Our four-year old son, in fact, calls it the "Dino Museum." Many McGill students, unfortunately, have never been inside. Perhaps this is because the rich collections... Full Review
November 7, 2000
Warren Adelson, Jay Cantor, and William Gerdts
Abbeville Press, 1999. 256 pp.; 200 color ills.; 30 b/w ills. Cloth $75.00 (0789205874)
Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1881) repeatedly noted in his voluminous journals the wonders of the eye and the extraordinary advances in vision achieved during his lifetime as artist, inventor, and scientist. In 1837 he titled the revelations accorded by a walk with a landscape painter or with a telescope as "New Eyes." By 1871 he proclaimed five miracles of the age citing the astronomer's spectroscope and the photograph among them. No wonder in an isolated sentence in his journals Emerson... Full Review
November 5, 2000
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