Review by Choice Review
Undergraduate courses in art historical methodology are now rife. Neither histories of art history such as Vernon Minor's Art History's History (CH, Jun'94) nor anthologies of theory or criticism, these courses, which are meant to display the breadth of discipline, run the risk of demonstrating only its parochialism. Fernie's solution is neither so dully dated as Gert Schiff's edited collection, German Essays on Art History (1988) nor so biased toward the Francophile present as Calligram, ed. by Norman Bryson (1988). Not merely a textbook, not merely a sourcebook, this menage of (methodologically) key art historical writings begins with Vasari and Van Mander and ends with an Africanist born in 1964, Oguibe. Each selection is equipped with a pungent but not propagandistic introduction by Fernie (Courtauld Institute, Univ. of London). Finally, there is a discursive and provocative glossary of terms and concepts (including vague but important examples like progress, quality, teleology). The novice will be able to break into the circle, the middle-aged to rethink their accustomed allegiances. Black-and-white illustrations are wonderfully crisp; the introductory essays are annotated, though the selections are not. A tiny but useful bibliography is provided. Not every selection is strong enough to justify the omission of Baxandall or Ginzburg on Morelli, but neither is the compilation no more than one man's personal favorites. General; undergraduate through professional. P. Emison; University of New Hampshire
Copyright American Library Association, used with permission.
Review by Library Journal Review
Critical essays culled from the writings of 27 significant art historians and writers comprise this scholarly collection. Fernie, the director of the Courtauld Institute of Art at the University of London, promises to provide a "view of the methods which art historians have found appropriate or productive in studying the objects and ideas which constitute their discipline." The chronologically arranged excerpts begin with Renaissance writer Giorgio Vasari's biographical approach and include Goethe's praise of Gothic style, Jacob Burckhardt's historical observations, Johann Joachim Winckelmann's reflections on the cultural context of art, Giovanni Morelli's study of attribution, Roger Fry's analysis of form, Erwin Panofsky's discussion of humanism, and Griselda Pollock's present-day feminist analysis. Fernie's introductory overview of approaches to art history, his insightful comments preceding each essay, and a helpful glossary provide a substantial framework for the erudite writings. Recommended for academic collections.Joan Levin, MLS, Chicago (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
(c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.