The Yale Dictionary of Art and Artists is a superb reference work dealing with all aspects of Western art from 1300 to the present day. It provides information on painters, sculptors, and graphic artists, technical processes, terminology, theory, schools, movements, patrons and collecting, and much more. There are also extended conceptual entries ranging over such subjects as abstraction, allegory, genres, iconography, illusionism, minimalism, realism, and symbolism." "The 3,000 entries are unusually readable and lucid, providing vivid characterizations of artistic styles and artists. Entries vary between short and encyclopedic; major artists and artists whose careers or talents have recently been reassessed or who seem to merit reassessment are given a fuller treatment. There is extensive cross-referencing between entries." "The dictionary will be a valuable reference for travellers and gallery visitors as well as for students of Western art history and armchair art lovers.
Langmuir, the former head of education at the National Gallery in London, and Lynton, the former director of exhibitions for the Arts Council of Great Britain, have created a straightforward and reasonably priced source that rivals The Concise Oxford Dictionary of Art and Artists (Oxford, 1996) or The Penguin Dictionary of Art and Artists (1984. o.p.). Varying in length from a few lines to several pages for artists such as Leonardo da Vinci, Pablo Picasso, or John Constable, the 3000 entries cover Western art from 1300 until the present. The work covers painters, sculptors, graphic artists, patrons, technical processes, movements, and terminology, encompassing such terms as "allegory," "Max Beckman," "gouache," "Renaissance," "schildersbent," and "Philostratus," with two entries for "realism." The type is fairly small, and cross references are indicated by an asterisk. The text seems intended for those already versed in the arts, as it is often too cursory for lay readers (e.g., Larry Rivers "became known in the 1960's with figurative paintings that fused elements of *De Kooning and *Pop art, using inscribed words, quotations from others' pictures, and passages of deft painting amid sketchiness. Banality and high art upstage each other in context of an awareness that refused to pretend single-mindedness"). The Penguin Concise Disctionary of Art History (LJ 2/1/00) is a recent contribution with broader appeal; this volume is recommended for academic and special reference collections.--Jennifer L.S. Moldwin, Detroit Inst. of Arts Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.
completely up-to-date...will become the nearly portable art dictionary of choice for the new century...
—Times Literary Supplement