The Methodologies of Art: An Introduction / Edition 2

Paperback (Print)
Rent from
(Save 75%)
Est. Return Date: 05/01/2015
Buy Used
Buy Used from
(Save 34%)
Item is in good condition but packaging may have signs of shelf wear/aging or torn packaging.
Condition: Used – Good details
Used and New from Other Sellers
Used and New from Other Sellers
from $21.21
Usually ships in 1-2 business days
(Save 45%)
Other sellers (Paperback)
  • All (13) from $21.21   
  • New (6) from $33.90   
  • Used (7) from $21.21   


Since the nineteenth century, when art history became an established academic discipline, works of art have been “read” in a variety of ways. These different ways of describing and interpreting art are the methodologies of artistic analysis, the divining rods of meaning. Regardless of a work’s perceived difficulty, an art object is, in theory, complex. Every work of art is an expression of its culture (time and place) and its maker (the artist) and is dependent on its media (what it’s made of). The methodologies discussed here—formal analysis, iconology and iconography, Marxism, feminism, biography and autobiography, psychoanalysis, structuralism, race and gender—reflect the multiplicity of meanings in an artistic image. The second edition includes nineteen new images, new sections on race, gender, orientalism, and colonialism, and a new epilogue that analyzes a single painting to illustrate the different methodological viewpoints.
Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

“Right now when art historians, much concerned with theory, are rethinking the political implications of their research, there is no more useful, better-natured introduction to these pressing concerns than Laurie Schneider Adams’s now classic volume. Effortlessly erudite, determinedly generous, her book provides a lucid introduction to formalism, iconography, Marxism, feminism, psychoanalysis, and structuralism and post-structuralism with new sections on race, gender, orientalism, and colonialism. Her fast-moving, well-balanced commentary provides an ideal introduction to what will, inevitably, be a productive ongoing debate.”
David Carrier, Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland Institute of Art

“A teacher’s dream…A far-ranging, generously sympathetic, well-illustrated, and very clear survey of contemporary concerns with theory…Adams’s clear, accurate introduction will be a godsend.”
Art Journal

“Good, clear introduction for students who don’t know their Derridas from their derrières.”
ARLIS News Sheet

Library Journal
Because works of art can be interpreted in a variety of ways, this book surveys "methodologies," diverse approaches to artistic analysis used by art historians, philosophers, and critics to enlighten viewers. The author, whose works include Art and Psychoanalysis LJ 9/15/93 and A History of Western Art LJ 3/15/94, then relates these methods to masterpieces of Western art. Adams's well-crafted, thoughtful essays consider biography and the presence of such artists as Gauguin, van Eyck, and Raphael in their paintings; Marxist readings of Giotto and Delacroix; a deconstructionist analysis of van Gogh's "Shoes"; the feminist approach to O'Keeffe and Chicago; a Freudian analysis of Donatello's "David"; and much more. With 70 black-and-white photos and four color plates, this is a good choice for introductory college art history courses. Libraries needing a more scholarly study should consider Art History and Its Methods LJ 12/95, which contains excerpts from original sources.Joan Levin, MLS, Chicago
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780813344508
  • Publisher: Westview Press
  • Publication date: 12/15/2009
  • Edition description: Second Edition
  • Edition number: 2
  • Pages: 312
  • Sales rank: 258,924
  • Product dimensions: 6.10 (w) x 8.98 (h) x 0.65 (d)

Meet the Author

Laurie Schneider Adams received her Ph.D. from Columbia University and is professor of art history at John Jay College, CUNY. Her books include A History of Western Art and Italian Renaissance Art.
Read More Show Less

Table of Contents

List of Illustrations

1 What Is Art?
2 Formalism and Style
3 Iconography
4 Contextual Approaches I: Marxism, Orientalism, Colonialism, and Racial Iconography
5 Contextual Approaches II: Feminism and Gender
6 Biography and Autobiography
7 Semiotics I: Structuralism and Post-Structuralism
8 Semiotics II: Deconstruction
9 Psychoanalysis I: Freud
10 Psychoanalysis II: Winnicott and Lacan
11 Aesthetics and Psychoanalysis: Roger Fry and Roland Barthes
Epilogue: Some Methodologies Applied to Titian’s Rape of Lucrezia

Bibliography of Works Cited

Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star


4 Star


3 Star


2 Star


1 Star


Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation


  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

    If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
    Why is this product inappropriate?
    Comments (optional)