Edwards, Steve. Art and Its Histories: A Reader. New Haven [u.a.]: Yale Univ. Press in association with the Open Univ, 1999.
The book offers a general overview of western art by adducing a survey of debates from canons of western art. In order to properly articulate the message effectively, the author of the book organizes the critical writings and source texts of the volume into six topics of art history. The topics are museums and cannons of art, academies, gender and art, the changing status of the artist, the views of difference, the challenge off the Avant-grade and contemporary cultures of display. The categorization of information into the six distinct topics helps the readers pick up pieces of knowledge with ease. The source texts that comprise the volume are each prefaced by an annotation of information regarding the writer and the contents of the text. The annotation on the information concerning the writer offers readers a brief overview of the inclinations of the writers.
This is important in establishing the mandate of the writer, a phenomenon that is important in appending credibility to a piece of literature. Edward in his work has incorporated concepts from other scholars. This gives the book a wider scope and even more mandate in different aspects of art. For instance, the seminal writings by Le Brun, Vasari and Baudelaire are included in the book. These are accomplished scholars in different aspects of art and their input into the content of the book not only gives it more credibility but also a wider scope. The book features a wide variety of dissimilar kinds of literature on art. For instance, Edward was keen to include biographies, contracts and academic discourses into his book. From this, I learn different perspectives on revisions of the history of art and art itself.
Wichmann, Siegfried, and Mary Whittall. Japonisme : the Japanese Influence on Western Art Since 1858. London: Thames and Hudson, 1985.
This book gives an authoritative treatment to a significant phase in the history of decorative arts. The impact that Japan had on the western art was as cataclysmic and immediate as the influence of the western culture on the Japanese way of life. The authors present that after the end of the 200 year isolation of Japan for the rest of the world when Commodore Perry opened its door in 1858, there was transference of information. Information from the meticulous Japanese tradition of metalwork, ceramics, printmaking, architecture and painting were available to the west. This brought about electrifying new ideas of design, composition and color. The authors of the book adduce evidence of the great influence the Japanese art has had on European architecture. For instance, the celebrated painting by Whistler, Monet, Degas and Van Gogh, prints by Toulouse-Lautrec, lacquered hair combs or art nouveau glass vases that are all iconic pieces of art in the contemporary world have all been influenced by Japanese art.
Dalby, Liza Crihfield. Kimono: Fashioning Culture. London: Vintage, 2001.
The book is lavishly illustrated and beautifully articulated. The author of the book maps out the history of the Japanese art; Kimono. The book explores the social significance of the aesthetics, uses and designs of kimono. In order to effectively do this, the author of the book delves into the world of Geisha who were the last wearers of the kimono. This gives a lush history of the people that personified the kimono. This is important to my research because it gives me a sneak preview of the ways of life of the Geisha. It helps me fathom why they held this type of art in high esteem. It helps me appreciate the extent to which art can influence one’s culture. The kimono is the national attire and garment of Japan. By reading the book, I am able to decipher why the stylized and deeply colorful kimono is core to the hearts of the Japanese. The garment does not only tell us about the Japanese taste, fashion and design but also reveals a lot about the soul of Japan.
Art is a way of expression our inner selves. The union between art and fashion only goes deeper to tell about people. However, the contemporary Japanese considers the kimono too uncomfortable and impractical to wear in the modern life. The exploration of this matter by the author of the book gives a sharp contrast into the differences between the ancient Japanese society and the contemporary society. When the ancient Japanese almost immortalized the kimono, the contemporary society is apprehensive about the magnificent piece of art and fashion. The author shows how men discarded the kimono and opted for suits and ties over a century ago. Nowadays, the kimono is worn by women, albeit occasionally. Nonetheless, the kimono still enjoys a warm place in many Japanese hearts and minds. It also provides a powerful link to Japan’s past.
Selz, Peter, Joshua Charles Taylor, and Herschel B. Chipp. Theories of Modern Art: A Source Book by Artists and Critics. Berkeley: Univ. of California P., 1968.
The book is based in the common belief that the statements and writings of sculptors and painters as well as those of poets and critics are a legitimate source of material for study of the doctrines and ideas of modern art. The scholarly world considers artists as important critics and commentators of their work albeit they are immersed in the attitude and ideas of their environment. This is notwithstanding the fact that they are the sole participants and witnesses of the acts by which the works of are created. The primary objective of the book is to offer a supplement to the existing critical and historical studies by circumventing around time and taking as its premise the particular ideological milieu of the actual words of the art. The author of the book adduces evidence that depicts and delves into the conditions and ideas present when the art was produced. The author suggests the complexity of the several levels and echelons upon which the ideas and conditions present when the art was being created may influence the inception and growth of the particular piece of art.
In order to understand the highest degree the intentions of the writer or artist, the author of the book suggests a method that although it is perceived by some as unduly searching, is a system of investigation. The author proposes that the method be applied naturally an in a spirit that is sympathetic to the problems faced by the painter or artist who may be seeking to articulate himself in a means that he lacks experience in. however, the author cautions that even if the study of the theoretical documents is done in terms of their contexts like he proposed, there is only partial success as there is frequent misuse and overuse of quotations outside the context. He also cautions that it is problematic particularly when studying documents from another age of environment especially because we cannot adequately out ourselves into those contexts. This is important to m research because I review literature that is older than I am.
Thornton, Lynne. Women As Portrayed in Orientalist Painting. Courbevoie (Paris): ACR Edition, 1994.
The book delves into the issue of how women are depicted in oriental paintings. In doing so, Thornton, the author of the book borrows from history in order to bring the reader up to speed with the historical perspectives of orientalist paintings. The author explains the lure from the east and the influence it had on the oriental paintings and particularly the demeanor in which women were portrayed. The author taps from a wide period of time, which is the early 1700s to the 1920s. This is a wide period of study and to e afforded a glimpse into this era is an academic gift. The author argues that the racy and the highly colored stories that are commonly referred to in Europe as the Arabian Nights enjoyed significant success in the western world. The tales feature strong spirituality with themes of love, sexuality, violence, guile and humor that left an indelible mark of the Eastern world as that of poetry, eroticism and violence. This had a very immense persuasion on the on the orientalist art of the Europeans. The tales from the Eastern World often conjured deep emotional feelings in their audience.
In a matter of expression, the artists expressed their perceptions and feelings in the form of art the type of which was painting. The artists portrayed the women as sexual goddesses as they conceptualized them from the tales that they were told. It is no wonder the paintings of the women depict beautiful women donning racy attire. The author of the book uses graphic images in order to effectively communicate his message. This is very considerable as it adds to the allure created by the literature review. The book is important to my research because it adds varied perspectives in the influence of art on the cotemporary lives of different societies. It also adds perspective to the overly influential nature of the culture of the Eastern world. As has been the case in the other sources, the art and craft of the Eastern world has had a lot of influence on the European culture and art and architecture.