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Elizabeth T. Goizueta, ed.
Exh. cat. Boston: McMullen Museum of Art, Boston College, 2014. 150 pp.; 50 color ills.; 100 b/w ills. Paper $40.00 (9781892850232)

Exhibition schedule: McMullen Museum of Art, Boston College, Chestnut Hill, August 30–December 14, 2014; High Museum of Art, Atlanta, February 14–May 24, 2015

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April 23, 2015

The Jungle (1943) no longer hangs by the coatroom of New York’s Museum of Modern Art, as John Yau once decried (“Please Wait by the Coatroom,” Art Magazine 63, no. 4 [December 1988]: 56–59), and no doubt the critical fortunes of Wifredo Lam have risen auspiciously over the past quarter-century. Lam scholarship surged in the 1990s and early 2000s amid a disciplinary climate in full flush of postcolonial revision and a continuing anthropological turn. From...

Chi-ming Yang
Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2011. 288 pp.; 16 b/w ills. Cloth $70.00 (978-1421402161)
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April 23, 2015

In Performing China: Virtue, Commerce, and Orientalism in Eighteenth-Century China, 1660–1760, Chi-ming Yang contributes to the growing body of scholarship that reinvestigates and reconceptualizes the complex effects of Chinese taste on Western Europe (on England, see David Porter, Eugenia Zuroski Jenkins, Elizabeth Hope Chang, and Peter J. Kitson; on France, Christine A. Jones; on Italy, Adrienne Ward [to name only a few]; most recently in art history, see Stacey Sloboda, Chinoiserie: Commerce and Critical Ornament...

Alejandro de la Fuente, ed.
Pittsburgh: University of Pittsburgh Press, 2013. 348 pp.; 450 color ills.; 210 b/w ills. Paper $49.95 (9780822962557)
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April 16, 2015

Published on the occasion of the exhibition Drapetomanía: Grupo Antillano and the Art of Afro-Cuba, this volume is on a mission. Grupo Antillano, a diverse group of artists and intellectuals, was active in Cuba between 1978–83—spanning the moment (1981) when the so-called “New Cuban Art” first rose to prominence. But while the latter movement has become the global face of contemporary Cuban art, the work of Antillano is all but unknown, whether on the island...

Hans Belting
Munich: C.H. Beck, 2013. 343 pp.; 58 color ills.; 76 b/w ills. € 29.95 (9783406644306)
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April 16, 2015

It seems fitting to approach a book about faces by starting with an examination of the publication’s own face, namely its cover. On first view of Hans Belting’s new book, Faces: Eine Geschichte des Gesichts, only the white and yellow letters of the title emerge clearly. A second look is necessary to make out the female figure located behind the text; it is a portrait of the famous U.S. photographer Lee Miller, taken ca. 1927...

James M. Córdova
Austin: University of Texas Press, 2014. 288 pp.; 16 color ills.; 53 b/w ills. Cloth $55.00 (9780292753150)
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April 9, 2015

In The Art of Professing in Bourbon Mexico: Crowned-Nun Portraits and Reform in the Convent, James M. Córdova contributes to the current scholarly discourse about gender and identity formation in late-colonial Mexico through a multifaceted examination of monjas coronadas (crowned-nun) paintings, portraits of women at the time of their profession into the religious life. Expanding on previous research, Córdova investigates these images in the shifting world of viceregal Mexico and offers thorough analyses and new...

Stacey Sloboda
Studies in Design. Manchester, UK: Manchester University Press, 2014. 272 pp.; 72 color ills.; 30 b/w ills. Cloth £ 70.00 (9780719089459)
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April 2, 2015

The publication of Stacey Sloboda’s Chinoiserie: Commerce and Critical Ornament in Eighteenth-Century Britain demonstrates the extent to which histories of Britain’s commercial past have broadened over the last fifteen years. In this period consumption, and more specifically ideas of luxury and novelty, have become key to the debate (see Maxine Berg and Helen Clifford, eds., Consumers and Luxury: Consumer Culture in Europe 1650–1850, Manchester: Manchester University Press, 1999; and Maxine Berg and Elizabeth Eger, eds.,...

Paul B. Niell and Stacie G. Widdifield, eds.
Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press, 2013. 328 pp.; 85 b/w ills. Cloth $65.00 ( 9780826353764)
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April 2, 2015

In Buen Gusto and Classicism in the Visual Cultures of Latin America, 1780–1910, Paul B. Niell and Stacie G. Widdifield have collected twelve essays that explore the variations and limits of the stylistic-cultural term “neoclassicism” and how the social-aesthetic concept of good taste intertwined with and inflected upon it. To a certain extent, this book treads a lengthy investigative path walked by earlier generations of art historians, such as Josef Strzygowski, Alois Riegl, or George...

Michael Ann Holly
Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2013. 224 pp.; 41 b/w ills. Cloth $24.95 (9780691139340)
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April 2, 2015

In The Melancholy Art, Michael Ann Holly has provided a strikingly poignant articulation of some of the more trenchant conundrums of what in modernity has come to be fabricated as the discipline of art history—an academic field whose distinctiveness, in her words, “generated by the physical nearness of its objects . . . can quicken certain reflections on the psychic undercurrents of the historical temperament” (xii). But how might melancholy help art historians to come...

Elspeth H. Brown and Thy Phu, eds.
Durham: Duke University Press, 2014. 408 pp.; 20 color ills.; 42 b/w ills. Paper $27.95 (9780822355410)
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March 26, 2015

The affective turn in the humanities and social sciences has only very recently started to have an impact on writing about photography. To date, the main books published on the topic are: Barbie Zelizer’s About to Die: How News Images Move the Public (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2010); Suzie Linfield’s The Cruel Radiance: Photography and Political Violence (Chicago: Chicago University Press, 2010) (click here for review); Sharon Sliwinski’s Human Rights in Camera (Chicago: Chicago University...

Elizabeth Hill Boone and Gary Urton, eds.
Dumbarton Oaks Pre-Columbian Symposia and Colloquia. Washington, DC: Dumbarton Oakes Research Library and Collection, 2012. 422 pp.; 55 color ills.; 136 b/w ills. Cloth $65.00 (9780884023685)
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March 19, 2015

Their Way of Writing is the material record of “Scripts, Signs, and Notational Systems in Pre-Columbian America,” a symposium held at Dumbarton Oaks in October 2008. Framing contributions by symposiarchs Gary Urton (chapter 1) and Elizabeth Hill Boone (chapter 15) contain thirteen case studies from both Mesoamerica (chapters 2–9) and the Andes (chapters 10–14). Accompanied by black-and-white and color illustrations—including several never-before-published images from the Andes—these contributions vary widely in their level of legibility to...