A History of Art History

Product Details
Princeton University Press
Publish Date
6.5 X 9.4 X 1.6 inches | 2.2 pounds

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About the Author
Christopher S. Wood is a professor at New York University. He is the author of Forgery, Replica, Fiction: Temporalities of German Renaissance Art and Albrecht Altdorfer and the Origins of Landscape, the coauthor of Anachronic Renaissance, and the editor of The Vienna School Reader: Politics and Art Historical Method in the 1930s.
"Shortlisted for the Apollo Awards Book of the Year, Apollo Magazine"
"Wood's history is one of only a handful of book-length attempts to offer a synthetic treatment of the history of art history. . . . Owing to its extraordinary range and original insights, it is destined to become the standard work for many years to come."---Sam Rose, Apollo Magazine
"This substantial volume is more than just a chronicle of half-forgotten scholarship or a thrashing out of methodological issues of little import. In fact, A History of Art History will be eye-opening for anyone who cares about art."---Barry Schwabsky, Hyperallergic
"Wood's account of what art historians do - and how they have done it over the centuries - is a typically learned and polemical work that challenges the reader with its many approaches and arguments."-- "Apollo Magazine"

The research compiled here does not stumbled into abstractions that the topic invites, but really delivers an accurate
history of the changes in this culture-defining field . . . this book is really needed.

"---Anna Faktorovich, Pennsylvania Literary Review
"Well informed and extremely personal, this is a brilliant overview of writings on art, from responses to the recovery of art representing ancient gods c. 800 CE through to the anti-formalist revolution of the present day. The amount of carefully considered information packed into this compact volume is breathtaking. Wood (NYU) takes on not only professional writers on art but also practitioners such as Piranesi and William Blake--whose emotional critiques of the past made them, in effect, historians of art. Writing in a rather leisurely narrative style, Wood places selected authors within a precise historical moment. Original perceptions are scattered like bonbons--for example, an analysis of Aby Warburg and Alois Riegl locates them as very different but very much related classifiers of the image within late 19th and early 20th century devotion to formalism. There is a fascinating chapter on the foundation of the Louvre in the context of the French Revolution. . . . The book stands as a much-needed contribution at a time when the discipline badly needs an appreciative, even-handed view of the past."---Debra Pincus, Choice
"Wood's intimacy with the material is self-evident. He offers any number of remarkably lucid exegeses of complex and easily misunderstood concepts (Riegl's Kunstwollen) and texts (Hegel's Lectures on Aesthetics), and brings in numerous lesser-known thinkers."---Rachel Wetzler, Art in America
"[A History of Art History] by Christopher Wood will live constantly on my priority bookshelf. Wood's welcome synthesis of the essential sources from which art history created itself as a discipline is revelatory on many levels, not least because it clarifies the extent to which such a historiography can never be totally comprehensive nor totally consensual. . . . Every informed reader will come away from the book with some startling new coalescence of insight."---Sally Hickson, Renaissance and Reformation
"Magisterial . . . [A History of Art History] includes little-known factual gems, eloquent witticisms, or unexpected insights. . . . Undoubtedly, Wood has set the bar high for any future overview in terms of the diversity of his interests and analytic depth."---Thijs Weststeijn, History of Humanities
"Christopher Wood cares for the idea that art history could consist in what he calls a 'biography of form'. This is one of the chief sympathies underpinning his huge and hugely impressive chronological narrative A History of Art History."---Julian Bell, London Review of Books
"Christopher S. Wood's A History of Art History is a robust volume that traces and critically examines the evolution of art history as a discipline, beginning with the late middle ages and leading up to the emergence of contemporary art history. . . . It is . . . [the] close re-examination of the role of the art historian, of individuals and their writing, that Wood offers a rethinking of art's history."---Jenna Dufour, ARLIS/NA
"A History of Art History is the obvious result of considerable labour and learning. It offers innumerable individual observations of interest. . . . [I]t is of inestimable value in prompting renewed reflection on what might be gained from exploring the past of the discipline and how one might define it."---Matthew Rampley, Estetika
"[A History of Art History is] an accessible and timely book on art history's history is a gap that needed to be filled...Wood reforms various aspects of art history as we know it."---Sjoukje van der Meulen, CAA Reviews
"This is a project made possible only by years, perhaps decades, of reading. The depth of Wood's accumulated knowledge means this is a book that will appeal as much to veteran art historians as it will a more general audience."---Surya Bowyer, MAKE: Literary Magazine
"Refreshing and encouraging. . . . A History of Art History is an erudite, if very personal, tour of a discipline forever redefining its central tasks. . . . Wood's chronological collection of approaches to thinking about art's history is an illuminating juxtaposition of rival, often mutually incompatible claims to what art history is and might be."---Lisa DeBoer, Fides Historia Review