This clear and concise new introduction examines all the major debates and issues in the field of art history, using a wide range of well-known examples. Dana Arnold also examines the many different ways of writing about art, and the changing boundaries of the subject of art history.
Other topics covered include the canon of art history, the role of the gallery, "blockbuster" exhibitions, the emergence of social histories of art (such as feminist art history or queer art history), and the impact of photography. 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 is discussed. And the book also explains how the traditional emphasis on periods and styles originated in western art production and can obscure other approaches.