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Art Historyby Marilyn Stokstad
Students ought to enjoy their first course in art history. Only if they do will they want to experience and appreciate the visual arts—for the rest of their lives—as offering connections to the most tangible creations of the human imagination. To this end, we continue to seek ways to make each edition of Art History a more sensitive, engaging, supportive, and accessible learning resource. The characteristics that elicited such a warm welcome when Art History was first published in 1998 remain its hallmarks today in the revised second edition.
HALLMARKS OF ART HISTORY
Art History is contextual in its approach and object-based in its execution. Throughout the text we treat the visual arts, not in isolation, but within the essential contexts of history, geography, politics, religion, and other humanistic studies, and we carefully define the parameters—social, religious, political, and cultural—that either have constrained or have liberated individual artists. A feature called The Object Speaks explores the role of a work of art within its context by focusing in depth on some of the many things a work of art may have to say. At the same time that we stay grounded in the works of art that make art history distinctive among other humanistic disciplines, we emphasize the significance of the work of art.
Art History reflects the excitement and pleasures gained by studying art. In writing about art's history, we try to express our affection for the subject. Each chapter opens with a scene-setting vignette that concentrates on a work of art from that chapter. Set-off text boxes, many illustrated, present interesting, thought-provoking material. A number of them follow the theme of women in the arts—as artists and as patrons. Others give insights into discoveries and controversies. The discipline of art history is many dimensional in its possibilities, and Art History invites a positive sampling of these possibilities.
Art History is comprehensive. We reach beyond the Western tradition to examine the arts of other regions and cultures, from their beginnings to the twenty-first century. We cover not only the world's most significant paintings and works of sculpture and architecture but also drawings and prints; photographs; works in metal, ceramic, and glass; textiles; jewelry; furniture and aspects of interior design (things that were once considered only utilitarian); such temporal arts as happenings and performance art; and new mediums such as video art, installation art, and digital art. Acknowledging that the majority of survey courses concentrate on the Western tradition, we have organized the chapters on non-Western arts and cultures so that art can be studied from a global perspective within an integrated sequence of Western and non-Western art. just as smoothly, non-Western material can be skipped over without losing the thread of the western narrative.
Art History offers a pedagogical advantage. When first published, Art History was instantly embraced for its groundbreaking use of drawings and diagrams to aid readers in mastering the terminology of art history. The Elements of Architecture and Technique boxes visually explain how buildings are constructed and how artists use materials to do everything from creating cave paintings to decorating armor to making photographs. Maps and timelines guide the reader visually through the narrative. Every chapter has at least one map and a timeline, and the maps identify every site mentioned in the text. Terms specific to art history are printed in boldface type, which indicates their inclusion in the 900 word Glossary. The Bibliography, compiled for the second edition by distinguished art librarian, Susan Craig, has been updated by us for this edition.
As much as possible, without distorting the narrative of art history, we have chosen works of art that are in North American museums, galleries, and collections so that readers can most easily experience these works directly. This selection includes works from college and university galleries and museums.
Art History has a Companion Website that makes it possible to integrate the art history survey course with the vast power of the Internet. For students, the Stokstad Companion Website features Study Guide, Reference, Communication, and Personalization Modules. For instructors, the Companion Website has a special Faculty Module and Syllabus Manager.
Art History comes with a complete ancillary package that includes an interactive CD-ROM with hundreds of images from the book, a student Study Guide, and an instructor's Resource Manual with Test Bank.
We responded to your suggestions for making Art History even more teachable. In this revised second edition, we improved the Use Notes and Starter Kit, particularly the definitions of the formal elements, adding new color and diagrams and clarifying the discussions of content, style, and medium. The introduction continues to be organized around a series of questions but has been revised. The section Nature or Art? has been upgraded and includes subsections on Styles of Representation and The Human Body as idea and ideal. The section What Is Art History? includes a subsection on Studying Art Formally and Contextually.
We fine-tuned our coverage of Ancient and Medieval art and used the opportunity of a revised edition to make a few organizational changes. The discussions of Greek and Roman art in Chapters 5 and 6 now have greater chronological flow. For example, the Canon of Polykleitos (Chap. 5) has become a text box at the beginning of the section on the Mature Classical period, where it is closer to the discussion of freestanding sculpture in the Early Classical period. The Roman Republic (Chap. 6) is now a separate topic, with Augustan styles treated under the Early Empire, along with architecture, the Roman city and home, and wall painting. Likewise, Imperial Rome is a separate topic encompassing imperial architecture, mosaics, the urban plan, monumental sculpture, and portrait sculpture.
In Chapters 7 and 8 we introduce three of the major religions of the Western world in chronological order: Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. In Chapter 7 the discussion of early Jewish art is followed by early Christian art and then moves on to the art of the Western Catholic and the Eastern Orthodox churches. We have also reorganized and added images to Chapter 8, which is dedicated to Islamic art. The new organization and illustrations give readers the opportunity to study and compare the use, meaning, and appearance of such major building types as synagogues, churches, and mosques.
Art History has been updated to include the most recent scholarship, scholarly opinion, technical analysis, archaeological discoveries, and controversies. While the text's currency is not always conspicuous, revised opinion has been incorporated into discussions of art works included in previous editions. Examples include revised opinion on who commissioned the Hunt of the Unicorn tapestries and new research on the original ownership of Uccello's Battle of San Romano. We have included a page from the newly purchased Morgan Library Picture Bible with its multilingual commentaries, reevaluated and updated the discussion of Islamic art, and given increased attention to the sixteenth-century masters. We have also brought the text into the twenty-first century, with the inclusion in Chapter 29 of cutting edge contemporary artists Jeff Wall, Jennifer Steinkamp, Matthew Barney, and architect Daniel Libeskind, and with discussions of constructed realities and digital art.
More canonical works are included. We have added text and pictures for thirty-seven works of art new to this edition, including a wall painting from the Chauvet cave, the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela, Bronzino's Allegory with Venus and Cupid, Claude Lorrain's Embarkation of the Queen of Sheba, Rembrandt's Anatomy Lesson of Dr. Tulp, and Courbet's The Stone Breakers, among others.
Recently cleaned and/or restored works of art and architecture are now illustrated in their cleaned or restored states. Among the many new images are Polykleitos's Spear Bearer, Cimabue's Virgin and Child Enthroned, Masaccio's Trinity with the Virgin, Saint John the Evangelist, and Donors, and Borromini's San Carlo alle Quattro Fontane.
We have enhanced the picture program in several other ways. Many works formerly in black and white are now reproduced in color. We have added plans, details, additional views, or an enlarged viewing area of eleven other key images to permit closer and more accurate analysis of the art. And we have substituted higher-quality images or larger and better views for many others. These changes have appreciably increased the total number of color images.
We have strengthened the pedagogy of Art History. We are proud to present a book that is new and also looks new. Working with Sarah Touborg and her team at Prentice Hall, we have tweaked the handsome design of the second edition. The chapter opening essays and the text boxes are now easier to read. We have also revised the timelines to be more inclusive and have redrawn the maps to show topographical detail and to more clearly distinguish political or cultural boundaries. To improve the illustration program without increasing the number of pages (and the weight of the book?), we have dropped the "Parallels" feature. In addition, nine of the "boxes" are either significantly revised or new, including one on church furniture in Chapter 16, one on luxury arts in Chapter 20, and one on digital art in Chapter 29.
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