The Intelligence of Art

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Keeping the fundamental act of art history - the process of interpreting art and making it "intelligible" - foremost, Thomas Crow contributes a refreshing analysis of the present state of the discipline and its practice. He aims to relocate the discussion of theory and method in art history away from models borrowed from other disciplines by presenting what he considers three of the most successful and challenging works in the literature of art history: Meyer Schapiro on the Romanesque portal sculpture of the ...
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Overview

Keeping the fundamental act of art history - the process of interpreting art and making it "intelligible" - foremost, Thomas Crow contributes a refreshing analysis of the present state of the discipline and its practice. He aims to relocate the discussion of theory and method in art history away from models borrowed from other disciplines by presenting what he considers three of the most successful and challenging works in the literature of art history: Meyer Schapiro on the Romanesque portal sculpture of the abbey church of Sainte Marie in the French town of Souillac, Claude Levi-Strauss on the Native American masks of the Northwest Coast, and Michael Baxandall on the limewood sculptors of Renaissance Germany. In each of these cases, part of the genius of the interpreter lies in recognizing how much an exceptional work of art enacts its own analysis, dramatizing in the process the loss of the object to which all interpretation is condemned.
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Editorial Reviews

Leonard Folgarait
Thomas Crow has written an instant classic of historiography, one that will refuse to stay on its shelf. It will be open on our desks, issuing continual and daunting challenges to our discipline.
Times Literary Supplement
This short but flawlessly written and intricately argued book offers a profoundly challenging critique of the current state of art history.
Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism
Crow has presented a rare set of reflections that might be termed a Bildungsroman whose characters are works of art as interpreted by art historians and anthropologists.
CAA Reviews
Thomas Crow is one of the most exacting and vigilant of art historians, never prone to following received opinions, methods, or practices.
From the Publisher
Crow has presented a rare set of reflections that might be termed a Bildungsroman whose characters are works of art as interpreted by art historians and anthropologists. (Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism)

This short but flawlessly written and intricately argued book offers a profoundly challenging critique of the current state of art history. (Times Literary Supplement)

Thomas Crow is one of the most exacting and vigilant of art historians, never prone to following received opinions, methods, or practices. (CAA. Reviews, College Art Association)

Thomas Crow has written an instant classic of historiography, one that will refuse to stay on its shelf. It will be open on our desks, issuing continual and daunting challenges to our discipline. (Leonard Folgarait, Vanderbilt University)

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780807849002
  • Publisher: The University of North Carolina Press
  • Publication date: 8/28/2000
  • Series: Bettie Allison Rand Lectures in Art History
  • Edition description: 1
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 148
  • Product dimensions: 6.20 (w) x 9.30 (h) x 0.43 (d)

Meet the Author

Formerly Robert Lehman Professor and Chair of the Department of History of Art at Yale University, Thomas Crow is now director of the Getty Research Institute in Los Angeles.

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Table of Contents

Preface
1 The Intelligence of Art 1
2 A Forest of Symbols in Wartime New York 25
3 Starshake, or the Sense of an Ending 51
4 Sacrifice and Transformation 79
Notes 105
Index 115
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