An earlier, combined edition is cited in Books for College Libraries, 3d ed. Gardner remains a standard in art history surveys, with solid coverage of the diverse themes current in the field applied to works of art and architecture from ancient times to the present. This edition focuses on Europe and the west, with a chapter summarizing Islamic art. Inset boxes contain useful supplemental material on belief systems, artistic practice, notable figures, and cultural currents. The maps are frequent and well executed. The CD-ROM contains digital images of each work discussed in the text as well as study questions, timelines, and map commentaries. Annotation ©2004 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR
Tansey and Kleiner have collaborated on the most thorough revision since 1970 of one of the central monuments of art-historical study. Extensively reorganized and rewritten, this massive book now contains five more chapters than the 9th edition. Among the beneficiaries are both African and Etruscan art, which each have their own chapter for the first time. Somewhat larger, more colorful illustrations, maps, and chronologies add to the overall improved look of this new version. As before, the prose is dense but readable, focusing primarily on appreciative descriptions of exemplary works and emphasizing the periodicity of artistic style. In a new concluding chapter, the authors acknowledge recent revisionist challenges to this more traditional approach. It's a cursory tip of the hat to postmodernism, followed by unconvincing attempts to legislate categories within the art of the 1980s and 1990s. Far better is the way most of the book deals with earlier eras, so that this remains the benchmark text against which all other general surveys can be measured. An improvement upon an already first-rate work; highly recommended.Douglas F. Smith, Oakland P.L., Cal.