Written in jargon-free, reader-friendly language, this is one of the first volumes to make art historical theory accessible to those at the introductory level.
A review of contemporary theory of art history provides readers with lucid prose and concrete examples. Discussion of eighteenth- and nineteenth- century theories that are important to art history offers readers a review of historically important issues in philosophy. Illustrations of well-known works of art show readers how theory has application to images.
Art historians and educators.
The current discipline of art history has undergone a number of changes through the years. This book is an attempt to track the evolution of its methodology and demonstrate why art history has been presented and taught, particularly in American academia. In the course of delineating this history, however, Minor confuses brevity for elegance. He mentions the standard authorities (e.g., Winckelmann, Riegl, Wolfflin, and Fry) and gives succinct coverage of Marxism, feminist theory, deconstruction, and semiotics. Yet, while his abbreviated summaries of the treatment of art from antiquity to the 18th century are good, important points seem to be telescoped and their relevance diminished. In addition, his concluding ``Consequences for Art History'' is astonishingly short. Meant for students and general readers, this work does not compare favorably with W. McAllister Johnson's Art History: Its Use and Abuse (Univ. of Toronto Pr., 1988), and the growth of the newer methodological approaches is better explained in The New Art History (Humanities Pr., 1988).-Paula A. Baxter, NYPL