The Shaping of Art History: Meditations on a Discipline
by Patricia Emison
Pennsylvania State University Press, 2008
excerpt from book cover: In this provocative book, Patricia Emison invites the reader to consider and reconsider how past thinkers—from Pliny and Alberti to Freud and Fried—have conceptualized the history of Western art. What a book review attempts to be for a book, this extended essay attempts to be for several hundred years’ worth of books in a field: an indicator of problems with the old attempts and hopes for the new ones. It is a defense of art history for those outside the field who question its reliability or even its importance; it is a critique of art history for those in the field who may have been preoccupied with looking at trees but who might be interested in trying to see the forest.
"truly a pleasure to read" and "a new kind of historiography of art history" Kathryn Rudy, Sixteenth Century Journal, XLI, 2010
"It is refreshing to find a seasoned scholar stepping back and calmly appraising the strengths and weaknesses of the profession...The author herself is noted for boldness in tackling traditional subjects from unusual points of view. This book, in effect a long essay, is no exception.'' Debra Pincus, Choice
"This wise and thoughtful book would make an excellent text for a methodology course and should be read by all who are interested in the field." David Wilkins, Renaissance Quarterly, 2008
This book is available in paperback.