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History of Modern Art (Paper cover) (6th Edition) Paperback – Jul 27 2009
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For over four decades, H. H. Arnason's History of Modern Art has been an indispensible guide to a large and complex subject. Revised and expanded by co-author Elizabeth C. Mansfield, the sixth edition presents a comprehensive overview of modern art with fascinating new material on such topics as Postmodernism, globalization, and art institutions in the twenty-first century.
Alan Wallach, William and Mary College
Elizabeth Mansfield’s revised History of Modern Art is as expansive as modernism itself. Beginning at 19th-century realism in France and ending with contemporary globalization, her survey embraces an impressive range of aesthetic developments across numerous media, I especially admire how she organizes modernism’s great diversity under a clear interpretative framework maintained through all 27 chapters. Her book will prove an invaluable tool for educators.
Andrés Mario Zervigón, Assistant Professor, Dept. of Art History, Rutgers University.
Bravo. Most thorough and useful revision of a textbook I have seen in more than four decades of teaching.
Carl Goldstein, University of North Carolina at Greensboro
I will definitely adopt this revised edition as it is tremendously improved in organization and structure.
Elizabeth Mix (formerly Elizabeth Menon), Butler University
The revisions to Arnason’s History of Modern Art broaden the overall historical contexts of modernism and address more fully the implications of modernism in art and their relationship with the history of the modern Western world. The rewritten edition attempts to include more non-Western European and North American artists and is much more sophisticated in its handling of the historiography of art history.
Damon Willick, Loyola Marymount University
Exciting, more comprehensive and inclusive rather than exclusive! Mansfield’s revisions make the text far more accessible.
Barbara L. Miller, Western Washington University
From the Back Cover
Long consideredthesurvey of modern art, this engrossing and liberally illustrated text traces the development of trends and influences in painting, sculpture, photography and architecture from the mid-nineteenth century to the present day. Retaining its comprehensive nature and chronological approach, it now comes thoroughly reworked by Elizabeth Mansfield, an experienced art historian and writer, with refreshing new analyses, a considerably expanded picture program, and a more absorbing and unified narrative. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.See all Product Description
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The book was originally written by H.H. Arnason, who, as the book's Preface explains, was Professor and Chairman of the University of Minnesota's Art Department from 1947 to 1961. He also held other posts and was affiliated with the Guggenheim Museum. Since Arnason passed away some time ago, recent editions of the book have been updated by Elizabeth C. Mansfield (Associate Professor of Art at NYU), who has brought the book up to the present (as recent as 2006) with sections on globalization and postcolonial theory.
Both Arnason and Mansfield are clearly intelligent scholars who place the art within its historical context to help us to see what it did, where the innovations were, and what conflicts and issues were live at that time. For example, the opening chapter deals with the legal case between Ruskin and Whistler, in which Whistler sued Ruskin for libel when Ruskin defamed Whistler's painting "Nocturne in Black and Gold." The battle was over whether Whistler could charge such a large amount of money for something that, in Ruskin's eyes, was not art. The (his)story is told in a very readable way, with the painting shown, and it is a perfect and intelligent way to open the book, since a crucial issue involved in modern art is, what makes it art and who decides?
I have not had time to work my way through the whole book (it is 830 pages), but I have liked very much what I have read so far. The index is handy for finding the artists one is interested in, if you don't want to wade through the book, since the chapters are organized thematically. The book may be intended for College textbook use, but I think it is definitely interesting enough to be read by anyone interested in art and painting. It's probably a bit too large and intimidating to work well as a real "introductory" book for someone who knows nothing about art or modern art (unless you have a seriously scholarly mind), but otherwise, I think it is as accessible as it can be given its size and scope, it makes for some great reading and it also passes as a good reference work. I recommend it.