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Keith Moxey
Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 2000. 146 pp.; 7 b/w ills. Paper $15.95 (0801486750)
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July 10, 2001

In his previous book, The Practice of Theory: Poststructuralism, Cultural Politics and Art History, Keith Moxey called on art historians to abandon their quest for objectivity and instead foreground the precepts of critical theory. Its sequel, The Practice of Persuasion: Paradox & Power in Art History, considers what such an approach means for the discipline of art history. Moxey rejects what he perceives as the nostalgia for order and tradition in the current reaction against...

E. Bowron and Joseph Rychel, eds.
Philadelphia: Merrell Holberton Publishers in association with Philadelphia Museum of Art, 1999. 624 pp.; 200 color ills.; 300 b/w ills. Paper $70.00 (0876331363)

Philadelphia Museum of Art, Philadelphia, PA, March 16-May 28, 2000; Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, TX, June 25-September 17, 2000

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July 9, 2001

"Rome is the most glorious place in the Universal World"—this was how the twenty-six-year-old Scottish architect Robert Adam described his reaction to the city on his arrival in 1755. Both Art in Rome in the Eighteenth Century and the exhibition it was created to accompany are lavish, vivid demonstrations of that assertion. The catalogue, however, is much more; it combines illustration of the exhibition—called The Splendor of 18th-Century Rome and held at the Philadelphia Museum...

Jonathan Gilmore
Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1999. 157 pp.; 31 b/w ills. Cloth $35.00 (0801436958)
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July 6, 2001

Jonathan Gilmore's The Life of Style: Beginnings and Endings in the Narrative History of Art resuscitates an internalist history of artistic style, an earlier notion of style that endeavored to explain perceptible shifts in artistic production. This notion, however, has long since fallen out of favor. Following Pliny, Vasari, Winckelmann, Wölfflin, Riegl, and Focillon, Gilmore understands "internal" to be the organic development of style: it begins (is born), develops (blooms), and ends (fades). This is...

Antonio Natali, ed.
Milan: Silvana Editoriale, 1998. 128 pp.; 70 color ills.; 25 b/w ills. Cloth (8882151735)
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July 5, 2001

When a bomb exploded outside the Galleria degli Uffizi in 1993, damaging the west wing, several painting galleries and their contents were affected, requiring restoration. The room that had been hung with paintings by Federico Barocci and contemporary Venetians was among those closed for repairs. During its closure, a plan was implemented to reorganize the gallery around the theme of the Catholic Reformation. Barocci’s Madonna del Popolo now serves as the focus, and is accompanied...

John Lowden
University Park: Pennsylvania State University Press, 1999. 360 pp.; 27 color ills.; 117 b/w ills. Cloth $85.00 (0271019093)
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July 5, 2001

John Lowden's ambitious new study of the most opulent and complex manuscripts produced during the High Middle Ages is a brilliant, ground-breaking work. For the reader who has been engaged in any way with moralized Bibles, a careful reading of this detailed and densely argued text will be rewarded with an array of major revisions touching almost every aspect of the existing scholarship. Centered on issues of the production and consumption of the Bibles Moralisées,...

Gregory C. Randall
Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1999. 264 pp.; 63 b/w ills. Cloth $42.50 (0801862078)
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June 27, 2001

Among the chief protagonists of William H. Whyte's 1956 Organization Man is the village of Park Forest. Planned in 1946 and built in stages over the next decade, Whyte framed the new "package suburb" thirty miles south of Chicago as the natural habitat for a new "social ethic" that was transforming the country. Increasing numbers of young, white, mobile, and seemingly middle-class families were creating new patterns of interpersonal adjustment, domestic privacy, civic participation, leisure,...

Richard Shiff, Robert Storr, and Arthur C. Danto, eds.
Phaidon, 1999. 332 pp.; 200 color ills.; 30 b/w ills. Cloth $69.95 (0714838195)
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June 22, 2001

With Robert Mangold, I enjoyed thinking about what autonomous art might entail. Beyond the routine social constructionist dismissals of this possibility, it obligates considerations more complex than an "Against Interpretation" kind of appeal to raw experience. With their internal sequences rooted in physical reality and construction details, Mangold’s paintings provide objective criteria by which to evaluate them. These criteria count for more than any individual interpretation of them. Such an aesthetic autonomy would require that...

Susan Sidlauskas
Cambridge University Press, 1999. 230 pp.; 8 color ills.; 56 b/w ills. Cloth $75.00 (0521770246)
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June 22, 2001

In the introduction to Body, Place, and Self in Nineteenth-Century Painting, Susan Sidlauskas asks the following question about the four paintings she examines in her book: "What material and theoretical conditions—of making and spectatorship—made these works possible?" (2). This is an important query, and not just because it acknowledges both the artist’s and the beholder’s share in the production of meaning. What Sidlauskas suggests is that the work of art history ought to begin with...

Malcolm Goldstein
Oxford University Press, 1999. 370 pp. Cloth (019513673X)
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June 8, 2001

The art market has become headline news: Masterpiece paintings regularly achieve prices in the tens of millions of dollars, prominent museum curators appear on television broadcasts, and glossy magazines feature New York art dealers on their covers. Various publications and exhibitions have examined certain periods in the development of the fine art market and commercial galleries in the United States, including, most notably, Linda Henefield Skalet's "The Market for American Painting in New York: 1870-1915"...

Patricia Meilman
Cambridge University Press, 1999. 260 pp.; some color ills.; many b/w ills. Cloth $75.00 (0521640954)
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June 6, 2001

The subject of Titian and the Altarpiece in Renaissance Venice, notwithstanding its expansive title, is Titian's celebrated Peter Martyr Altarpiece (1537-30). In spite of the painting's fiery demise in 1867, Patricia Meilman successfully reconstructs the altarpiece and its environment in the reader's mind, a project facilitated by her clarity of purpose to re-secure the work's artistic importance. The author furnishes a close study of the religious context, sources, and subsequent critical and artistic significance of...