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Christopher Wright
Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2013. 240 pp.; 85 ills. Paper $27.95 (9780822355106)
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August 21, 2014

In The Echo of Things, Christopher Wright analyzes photographs of an island off New Georgia in the western Solomon Islands that were taken by European visitors at the end of the nineteenth and beginning of the twentieth century. He also examines contemporary Solomon Islander attitudes toward old photographs and photography in general. This is an exciting approach, informed by Wright’s concern with history, ethnography, photography, and responses of the people of Roviana Island, a small...

Claire L. Lyons, Michael Bennett, and Clemente Marconi, eds.
Exh. cat. Los Angeles: Getty Publications, 2013. 288 pp.; 144 color ills.; 23 b/w ills. Cloth $60.00 (9781606061336)

Exhibition schedule: J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles, April 3–August 19, 2013; Cleveland Museum of Art, Cleveland, September 30, 2013–January 5, 2014; Palazzo Ajutamicristo, Palermo, February 14–June 15, 2014

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August 14, 2014

This edited volume—a companion to the exhibition of the same name, co-organized by the J. Paul Getty Museum and the Cleveland Museum of Art (CMA), in association with the Sicilian Region and the Assessorato for Cultural Heritage and Sicilian Identity—showcases the art, archaeology, history, and culture of the Greek cities on Sicily from the victory over the Carthaginians at the Battle of Himera in 480 BCE to the defeat of Syracuse in 212 BCE by...

Guido Guerzoni
East Lansing, MI: Michigan State University Press, 2011. 384 pp.; 30 ills. Cloth $54.95 (9781611860061)
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August 14, 2014

In the section of Lives of the Artists dedicated to Michelangelo, Giorgio Vasari tells a bewildering story surrounding the Doni Tondo (ca. 1506). Agnolo Doni, a friend of Michelangelo and lover of all things beautiful, had commissioned the painting and had negotiated with the artist on a price of seventy scudi. We do not know whether this price included the frame, or the gold and blue and other raw materials as would have been normal...

André Dombrowski
The Phillips Book Prize Series, 3. Berkeley: University of California Press, 2012. 320 pp.; 19 color ills.; 101 b/w ills. Cloth $60.00 (9780520273399)
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August 14, 2014

In Cézanne, Murder, and Modern Life, André Dombrowski presents an unfamiliar Paul Cézanne: the seemingly awkward, overwrought romantic who produced such works as The Murder (ca. 1868–70) and The Strangled Woman (ca. 1870–72). When this “expressionistic” Cézanne has been attended to at all, he has been characterized as an artist subject to his own immature psychic turbulence—a radically different creature from the modernist master whose influential “constructivist stroke” emerged in the mid-to-late 1870s. Dombrowski sets...

Pat Kirkham and Susan Weber, eds.
Bard Graduate Center for Studies in the Decorative Arts, Design and Culture. New Haven and New York: Yale University Press in association with Bard Graduate Center, 2013. 712 pp.; 760 color ills. Cloth $80.00 (9780300196146)
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August 7, 2014

Ambitious and far-reaching, History of Design offers an introductory global history of decorative arts, material culture, and design over the course of six centuries and is the fruit of nearly a decade’s worth of coordination on the part of editors Pat Kirkham and Susan Weber, with contributions from twenty-six listed authors. Envisioned as a textbook, its six chapters are clearly arranged in four chronological sections and six geo-cultural areas (currently omitting Australia/Oceania, which the editors...

Joseph Shatzmiller
Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2013. 202 pp.; 14 b/w ills. Cloth $35.00 (9780691156996)
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August 7, 2014

In Cultural Exchange: Jews, Christians, and Art in the Medieval Marketplace, Joseph Shatzmiller investigates the impact of Christian pictorial and aesthetic traditions on Jewish art in the Middle Ages. Jewish visual responses to styles, images, religious beliefs, cultural values, materials, and texts found in Christian art have previously been examined by Bianca Kühnel, Malachi Beit-Arié, Katrin Kogman-Appel, Bezalel Narkiss, Vivian Mann, and Eva Frojmovic, among others.[1] In addition, a recent exhibition, Crossing Borders: Hebrew Manuscripts...

Maxwell K. Hearn
Exh. cat. New York: Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2013. 208 pp.; 250 color ills. Cloth $50.00 (9780300197037)

Exhibition schedule: Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, December 11, 2013–April 6, 2014

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August 7, 2014

As Maxwell K. Hearn explains in his introduction to this important book, which serves as the catalogue of an exhibition he curated, for over two millennia ink made from lampblack or pine soot has been the principal medium of the allied arts of painting and calligraphy in China. Ground with water to form a liquid and applied with a brush to paper or silk, ink is an infinitely flexible medium: ranging in tone from jet...

Frazer Ward
Interfaces: Studies in Visual Culture. Lebanon, NH: Dartmouth College Press, 2012. 224 pp.; 24 b/w ills. Paper $29.95 (9781611683356)
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July 31, 2014

In No Innocent Bystanders, Frazer Ward addresses issues of community and the public through the lens of canonical performance artists—and work—from the 1970s. Ward is acutely aware of the importance of how an event or action is framed as art, noting that the “importance of art as a context here is that it at once invokes and relies upon (even as it may capture) an audience” (2–3). Ward chooses to focus on seminal pieces—many of...

Jeff Brouws, Wendy Burton, and Hermann Zschiegner, eds.
Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 2013. 288 pp.; 298 color ills.; 55 b/w ills. Cloth $39.95 (9780262018777)
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July 31, 2014

Though its title coyly pretends to be small, Various Small Books: Referencing Various Small Books by Ed Ruscha is actually a large, substantial book. Edited and compiled by Jeff Brouws, Wendy Burton, and Hermann Zschiegner, Various Small Books provides an illustrated and annotated catalog of artists’ books inspired by Ed Ruscha’s books. It also includes an essay by Mark Rawlinson and descriptive texts by Phil Taylor. Ruscha created a number of books in the 1960s...

Kathryn A. Morrison and John Minnis
London: Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art, 2012. 448 pp.; 225 color ills.; 75 b/w ills. Cloth $75.00 (9780300187045)
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July 31, 2014

In 1943, the English architect, landscape architect, and town planner Geoffrey Jellicoe designed an exhibition for the British Road Federation (BRF) called Motorways for Britain. Jellicoe included photographs of motorways superimposed on different types of English landscape, showing thousands of miles of roadways “designed to harmonise with typical British scenery,” as described by Kathryn A. Morrison and John Minnis, authors of the lavishly illustrated and thoroughly researched Carscapes: The Motor Car, Architecture and Landscape in...