Concise, critical reviews of books, exhibitions, and projects in all areas and periods of art history and visual studies

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Andrew L. Cohen
New Delhi: Ajay Kumar Jain for Manohar Publishers and Distributors, 1998. 151 pp.; 0 color ills.; 76 b/w ills. Cloth $72.00 (8173042225)
Historians of South Asian art and culture often use models of dynastic patronage and stylistic influence as tools to evaluate the wealth of artistic material that populates India's countryside and museums. In his new book, Andrew L. Cohen critically wrestles with these models, revealing their weaknesses in addressing material that defies their pre-conceived frameworks. Cohen's examination of the southern Nolamba kingdom published in Temple Architecture and Sculpture of the Nolambas:... Full Review
January 1, 2000
Julie F. Codell and Dianna Sachko Macleod, eds.
Ashgate, 1999. 249 pp.; 0 color ills.; 40 b/w ills. Cloth $86.95 (185928454X)
Orientalism Transposed takes on two formidable tasks: to connect the methodologies of art history with the insights of postcolonial scholarship on Orientalism, and at the same time to shift the perspective from which Orientalism has traditionally been formulated. I say formidable, because incorporating both of these elements in a volume accessible and useful for both art historians and postcolonial culture scholars is a difficult balancing act. It requires that one combine theoretical... Full Review
January 1, 2000
Marie-Claude Chaudonneret
Paris: Editions Flammarion, 1999. 271 pp.; 0 color ills.; 0 b/w ills. Cloth (2080106090)
The Restoration has probably received less attention than any other period in nineteenth-century French art history. Long identified with a repressive political regime, it has long been ignored as a discrete period, although many artists, such as Ingres and Delacroix, produced their most memorable work at this time. Marie-Claude Chaudonneret, one of the most eminent French art historians, has now filled this gap with a thorough history of the period. Her previous work on the Troubadour... Full Review
January 1, 2000
Jeffrey F. Hamburger
MIT Press, 1998. 608 pp.; 5 color ills.; 341 b/w ills. Cloth $45.00 (0942299450)
Winner of CAA's "Charles Rufus Morey Book Award":http://www.collegeart.org/caa/aboutcaa/morey.html Jeffrey Hamburger's collection of essays, The Visual and the Visionary: Art and Female Spirituality in Late Medieval Germany, examines the function of religious images in the context of female enclosure in the later Middle Ages. Hamburger's stated objective is twofold: to explore art that medieval women commissioned, or that their superiors commissioned for them; and to situate... Full Review
January 1, 2000
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Frans Grijzenhout and Henk van Veen, eds.
Cambridge, U.K.: Cambridge University Press, 1999. 348 pp.; 73 b/w ills. Cloth $80.00 (0521496217)
This is an ambitious book on the historiography of seventeenth-century Dutch art and culture, containing essays written by many of the most influential Dutch archivists, art historians and historians at work in the 1990s: Marten Jan Bok, Jeroen Boomgaard, Dedalo Carasso, Frans Grijzenhout, E. de Jongh (with two essays), J.J. Kloek, Eveline Koolhaas and Sandra de Vries, E.H. Kossmann, Debora J. Meijers, N.C.F. van Sas, Eric J. Sluijter, and Lyckle de Vries. Edited by... Full Review
January 1, 2000
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Pamela J. Belanger
University Press of New England in association with Farnsworth Art Museum, 1999. 174 pp.; some color ills.; some b/w ills. Cloth $39.95 (0918749093)
For tourists driving to Acadia National Park on Maine's coastal Route 1, the Farnsworth Art Museum in Rockland has become an increasingly popular and rewarding stop. Having long enjoyed a regional reputation for its noteworthy collection of American art, the institution (which includes the adjacent Farnsworth Homestead and the Olson House in nearby Cushing) recently attracted national attention with the opening of the Wyeth Center in 1998. Maine artists and subjects figure prominently at the... Full Review
January 1, 2000
Mimi Yiengpruksawan
Harvard University Press, 1998. 263 pp. Cloth $60.00 (0674392051)
In 1126, Fujiwara no Kiyohira dedicated a Buddhist Canon in more than 5,000 fascicles copied in alternating columns of gold and silver ink on indigo paper. This Canon is unique in Japan because of the gold and silver script and also because Kiyohira was the only commoner of his day to sponsor an entire Buddhist Canon. Kiyohira, the descendant of Emishi ("toad barbarians"), ruled from Hiraizumi, capital of a stronghold in northern Honshu that has been variously identified as a kingdom, a... Full Review
January 1, 2000
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Thomas E. Crow
Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1999. 148 pp.; 12 color ills.; 34 b/w ills. Paper $34.95 (0807849006)
Thomas Crow is one of the most exacting and vigilant of art historians, never prone to following received opinions, methods, or practices. His way of thinking has sometimes produced works that are exemplary in their circumspection and nuance; the theory of society and art embedded in the opening chapter of Modern Art in the Common Culture has yet to be adequately answered. The Intelligence of Art is an attempt to say more generally, but with the precision afforded by... Full Review
January 1, 2000
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Joanna Woods-Marsden
New Haven: Yale University Press, 1998. 285 pp.; 57 color ills.; 109 b/w ills. Cloth $60.00 (0300075960)
This book takes on the challenging topic of Italian (despite its title) Renaissance portraiture and self-fashioning, but with a particular focus, that of artists' self-portraits. The author's premise is that the increasing number of such self-portraits over the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries marks the changing status of the artist within the culture from craftsman to intellect. Such an evolutionary claim is certainly supported by historical evidence familiar to students of the period, most... Full Review
January 1, 2000
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Lisa N. Peters
Hudson Hills Press, 1999. 192 pp.; 0 color ills.; 61 b/w ills. Cloth $50.00 (1555951783)
Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, Philadelphia, October 16, 1999-January 2, 2000; Cincinnati Art Museum, June 6-September 5, 1999.
Lisa Peters begins her beautifully illustrated book John Henry Twachtman: An American Impressionist with strong language: "A painter of intimate landscapes rendered in an original and expressive style, John Henry Twachtman (1853-1902) was the epitome of the modern American artist in the late nineteenth century" (13). This position is antithetical to the usual understanding of Twachtman within the canon of American art. In Wayne Craven's textbook American Art: History and Culture... Full Review
December 30, 1999
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