Looking At Art

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  • Edition: 1st
  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2020-05-11
  • Publisher: Pearson

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Supplemental Materials

What is included with this book?


This stimulating and fascinating introduction to art contains a series of thematic chapters covering a range of topics that will provide readers with a basis for approaching art and enjoying it. It also serves to dispel some preconceptions about the visual artsassumptions made about a work based on an individual's own experience.Chapter topics include the appeal and aims of art, style and formal elements, artists at work, art themes, art in and out of context, approaches to art, and arguing about art.For museum goers and anyone who wants a better understanding of art.

Author Biography

Laurie Schneider Adams teaches at John Jay College, City University of New York, and the Graduate Center. She has written widely on the arts. Her books include A History of Western Art, The Methodologies of Art, Art on Trial, and Italian Renaissance Art.

Table of Contents

Preface 7(1)
The Appeal of Art
The Aims of Art
Style and the Formal Elements of Art
The Artist at Work: Convention and Training
Themes of Art
Art In and Out of Context
Approaches to Art
Arguing About Art
Timeline 170(2)
Endnotes 172(1)
Select Bibliography 173(1)
Picture Credits 174(1)
Index 175

Supplemental Materials

What is included with this book?

The New copy of this book will include any supplemental materials advertised. Please check the title of the book to determine if it should include any access cards, study guides, lab manuals, CDs, etc.

The Used, Rental and eBook copies of this book are not guaranteed to include any supplemental materials. Typically, only the book itself is included. This is true even if the title states it includes any access cards, study guides, lab manuals, CDs, etc.


THE VISUAL ARTS affect our lives whether or not we ever set foot in a museum. Billboards use images to advertise products; pictures and sculptures stimulate our senses and decorate our urban and rural spaces. These, along with the buildings we inhabit, are manifestations of the visual arts.This is a book of eight brief essays on different aspects of the visual arts. It is designed to engage readers with the nature of imagery and its relevance to their lives. Illustrations are drawn from Western and nonwestern art to give readers a range of the artistic possibilities in widely diverse societies.Chapter 1 considers the universal appeal of images, while Chapter 2 addresses some of the culturally determined reasons for creating works of art. In Chapter 3, the relationship between form and meaning is surveyed, and Chapter 4 situates the artist in two kinds of context--prevailing aesthetic convention and practical training. The recurring formal theme of the circle, the column as a structural theme, and two iconographic themes--mother and child, and the artist's confrontation with death--are the subjects of Chapter 5.When we view works of art today, we may not be seeing them in their original setting. In Chapter 6, therefore, we consider art in and out of the context intended by the artist. Since works of art have been analyzed from several different viewpoints, Chapter 7 introduces the major theoretical ways of interpreting imagery, focusing primarily on van Gogh's paintingA Pair of Wooden Clogs.The final chapter challenges readers to come to grips with some of the controversies in which the visual arts have been involved.I would like to thank Lee Ripley Greenfield, who first proposed this project, Nell Webb, who oversaw its development, Karen Stafford, who designed the book, and Carol Flechner, who, as always, did a great job of copyediting. For the quality of the illustrations I have to thank Sue Bolsom and Judy Rasmussen. John Adams read the text in manuscript and offered many helpful suggestions along the way. In addition, the manuscript was read and improved by Cordelia Menges, Leola MacDonald, and James Brandi. For pointers on Egyptian art, I am grateful to Ellen Davis.

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