The Books That Shaped Art History

The Books that Shaped Art History

From Gombrich and Greenberg to Alpers and Krauss

  1. Edited by Richard Shone
  2. and John-Paul Stonard
  • ISBN 9780500238950
  • 23.50 x 17.00 cm
  • Hardback
  • 268pp
  • With 54 illustrations
  • First published 2013
‘A thrilling account of the history of art in the 20th century … an expertly guided tour along a rather marvellous scenic route’ – The Guardian
‘A pageant of influential art historians of the twentieth century … if you are keen on art history and like parades, you will love this book … the essays are models of intelligent compression and lively instruction … this fascinating collection is worth reading for many reasons’ – RA Magazine
‘A delightful book. Beautifully designed, it is a joy to hold and a pleasure to read. … A wonderful book that will be enjoyed by all who have a deep interest in the practice of art history’ – Cassone

Which were the books that shaped art history as it developed in the
twentieth century?

This pioneering volume is a concise and brilliant study of the discipline of Art History and an invaluable resource for students, teachers, bibliophiles and all those interested in visual culture.

The Books That Shaped Art History
The Books That Shaped Art History

See an extract from this book

It provides an invaluable roadmap of the field by reassessing the impact of several of the most important works of art history. Each chapter, focusing on a single title, is written by a leading art historian, curator or one of the promising scholars of today, presenting a varied and invaluable overview 
of the history of art, told through its seminal texts.

The sixteen books include Nikolaus Pevsner’s gospel of Modernism, Pioneers of the Modern Movement, Alfred Barr’s now legendary monograph on Matisse, E.H. Gombrich’s Art and Illusion, Clement Greenberg’s Art and Culture, which had a seismic impact when it was published in 1961, and Rosalind Krauss’s The Originality of the Avant-Garde and Other Modernist Myths, which introduced structuralist and poststructuralist thinking into art historical study.

Each chapter – with writers including John Elderfield, Boris Groys, Susie Nash and Richard Verdi – analyses a single major book, setting out its premises and argument and mapping the intellectual development of its author, discussing its position within the field of art history, and looking at its significance in 
the context both of its initial reception and its legacy.

An introduction by John-Paul Stonard explores how art history has been forged by these outstanding contributions, as well as by the dialogues and ruptures between them. Supplementary documentation summarises the achievements of each art historian and provides a detailed publication history 
of their texts, with suggestions for further reading.

Richard Shone is Editor of The Burlington Magazine. 
He is the author of a number of books on French and British art, including Bloomsbury Portraits, The Post-Impressionists, Walter Sickert and Sisley. He contributed 
to the exhibition catalogue for ‘Sensation’ at London’s 
Royal Academy and organised ‘The Art of Bloomsbury’ for 
the Tate Gallery.

John-Paul Stonard is an art historian and former Contributing Editor of The Burlington Magazine. His book Fault Lines: Art in Germany 1945–55 was published in 2007. He has worked as a Visiting Lecturer at the Courtauld Institute of Art, and from 2010–11 was a Senior Fellow at the National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC. He has published widely on modern and contemporary German and British art, and is a regular contributor to The Burlington Magazine, the Times Literary Supplement and Artforum.

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