Wanda M. Corn's long-awaited new book proposes a remarkable revisioning of the history of American modern art between the two world wars. Moving away from issues of style and abstraction, she bases her work on a broad examination of culture and on discourses of national identity. Corn argues that the key questions for interwar modernists in New York and Paris were whether or not it was possible to create an art that was both American and modern, and if it was, what such an art would look like. Both European and American artists debated these questions and made art that responded to them.Corn organizes each chapter around a careful reading of a work of art, probing first its peculiar poetry and style and then its connection to its artist and the cultural influences surrounding it. The result is an unfolding of the work's contingent relationships with history, literature, art criticism, music, and popular culture. The works she examines--from those made by the Stieglitz circle to those by European Dadaists--were part of the quest for "the Great American Thing," a quest that was international in scope and that inspired a decade of vibrant cultural exchange between the art capitals of Europe and New York. Passionate and eminently readable, with more than 300 illustrations--drawings, paintings, sculptures, advertisements, cartoons, and documentary photographs--The Great American Thing indelibly alters the way we think about the first decades of American modernism and the legacy it created.
Columbus planned and carried out his Enterprise of the Indies during an age of discovery and creation - a period of astonishing cultural activity not only in Europe but throughout the world. Five hundred years later an exhibition and book celebrate this crucial turning point in civilization by examining the art and history of the principal cultures in Europe and the Mediterranean, the Far East, and the Americas.
Puzzles in Paper examines the past, present, and future of watermark study, ranging through the disciplines of art history and conservation, bibliography, musicology, and philately. This book is a collection of scholarly essays that were presented at the Roanoke International Conference on Watermarks. The authors and attendees represent a remarkable assemblage of scientific and humanistic expertise: chemists, engineers, experts in digital photography, book dealers and collectors, librarians, literary scholars, cartographers and historians. Over 100 watermark illustrations. Co-published with The British Library.
An account of the development of Greek art in the Classical period (about 480-320 BC) which places particular emphasis on the meaning and content of Greek sculpture, architecture and painting. Professor Pollitt reminds us that the visual arts in Greece, as elsewhere, were primarily vehicles of expression. He does not ignore formal development but always relates this to social and cultural history, which it reflected and from which it grew. While his subject is art, he refers frequently to the literature and philosophy of the period which were shaped by the same influences.
An inquiry into the foundations of European culture. The account ranges from the Greek Dark Ages to the Christianisation of Rome, revealing how the experience of a constantly changing physical environment influenced the inhabitants of Ancient Greece and Rome.
This book explores van Gogh's and Gauguin's conviction that the purpose of visual art in human culture is to communicate a spiritual understanding of existence comparable to the wisdom contained in the metaphors and parables of myths, religions, and literature. Monographic studies in the book, which entail many new interpretations of van Gogh's and Gauguin's imagery, reveal the ways in which their ideas and the specific events of their personal lives shaped their creation of meaningful symbolic motifs.
The world's most well known works of art are both instantly familiar and profoundly mysterious. What has made these images so popular, and how did they come into existence? The Private Life of a Masterpiece answers these questions by delving into the secrets of iconic works of art dating from 1501 to 1950. Piecing together a trail of clues, it examines each work from conception through completion to afterlife, detailing how the commission came about, the preparation undertaken by the artist, the way the work was executed, how the finished work was received, and its influence on other artists. We learn, for example, that Leonardo devised a new form of perspective when painting the Mona Lisa, and that four centuries later Picasso was detained for stealing the portrait from the Louvre; that Goya painted The Third of May 1808 as a criticism of the monarchy but nonetheless offered it to the king as a gift; that Van Gogh's Sunflowers owes much to improvements in the postal system; that Munch's The Scream was influenced by the Incas; and that Jackson Pollock's paintings were promoted by the CIA. Along the way, we also learn about each artist's life, including the struggles with family, lovers, patrons, and critics.The works featured in this book met with a variety of reactions when first unveiled, and the author details them all, from admiration and respect to horror and contempt. Now readers can judge for themselves. Beautifully illustrated and lucidly written, The Private Life of a Masterpiece offers an innovative and compelling introduction to the extraordinary stories contained in the history of art. It will enthrall all those who wish to know more about this fascinating subject.