Art History: A Very Short Introduction

  • by Dana Arnold
  • Narrated by Julia Whelan
  • 3 hrs and 55 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

This clear and concise new introduction examines all the major debates and issues using a wide range of well-known examples. It discusses the challenge of using verbal and written language to analyze a visual form. Dana Arnold also examines the many different ways of writing about art, and the changing boundaries of the subject of art history. Topics covered include the canon of Art History, the role of the gallery, 'blockbuster' exhibitions, the emergence of social histories of art (Feminist Art History or Queer Art History, for example), the impact of photography, and the development of Art History using artifacts such as the altarpiece, the portrait, or pornography, to explore social and cultural issues such as consumption, taste, religion, and politics. Importantly, this audiobook explains how the traditional emphasis on periods and styles originates in western art production and can obscure other critical approaches, as well as art from non-western cultures.

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Audible Editor Reviews

If you’re looking for an accessible entrance into the realm of art history, look no further - this concise, comprehensive introduction from Oxford University Press’s Very Short Introduction series has you covered! Dana Arnold authors this engaging audiobook, which provides listeners with basic information about the field of art history, including everything from important artists to the chronology of different mediums, to the relationship between traditional western art history and a more modern, anthropological focus on non-western artistic contributions.
Voice actor Julia Whelan has a clear, friendly voice, and her performance is well-paced and accessible. Getting into a new field can be scary, but Whelan’s approachable tone makes art history seem too cool to miss out on!

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

not what I was looking for

I was looking for history of art not art history whatever that is. only two characters briefly mentioned a bit of history about actual art.
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- Bahar

An Introduction to Western Methodology and Theory

What did you love best about Art History: A Very Short Introduction?

This is a book about methodology and theory within the academic field called "art history," rather than the development of art as a history. If you are looking for stories about how art involved from cave paintings to Picasso, this is definitely not the book you want. If you are looking for an answer to the question: "How should I look at a piece of art work" or "What the f* are those snobbish art historians talking about?" This could be a good beginning. Although Dana Arnold has worked with institutions in China and Turkey and she is aware of the Eurocentrism in the mainstream art history, this book is still largely a Eurocentric introduction of theories and methodology. Each chapter has so much left unsaid. But as writing is drawing boundaries on our ideas, Arnold has done an impressive work with the limited words.


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- yiwen

Book Details

  • Release Date: 11-08-2013
  • Publisher: Audible Studios