Archive for the ‘Art’ Category

Skin: a Natural History

June 7, 2007

From the book jacket:

We expose it, cover it, paint it, tattoo it, scar it, and pierce it. Our intimate connection with the world, skin protects us while advertising our health, our identity, and our individuality. This dazzling synthetic overview, written with a poetic touch and taking many intriguing side excursions, is a complete guidebook to the pliable covering that makes us who we are. Skin: A Natural History celebrates the evolution of three unique attributes of human skin: its naked sweatiness, its distinctive sepia rainbow of colors, and its remarkable range of decorations. Jablonski begins with a look at skin’s structure and functions and then tours its three-hundred-million-year evolution, delving into such topics as the importance of touch and how the skin reflects and affects emotions. She examines the modern human obsession with age-related changes in skin, especially wrinkles. She then turns to skin as a canvas for self-expression, exploring our use of cosmetics, body paint, tattooing, and scarification. Skin: A Natural History places the rich cultural canvas of skin within its broader biological context for the first time, and the result is a tremendously engaging look at ourselves.

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Masks: Faces of Culture

May 30, 2007

From the book’s foreword:

It is rare and exciting for a major art exhibition to be organized around so universal and appealing as masks. In an age when large retrospectives and carefully culled thematic presentations are abundant, we take great pride in presenting Masks: Faces of Culture. The individual masks selected for exhibition, and the themes of human existence they relate to, are as accessible to the youngest visitor as they are to the most sophisticated museum-goer.

That said, it is important to note that the driving forces behind this exhibition have been concerned not only with the expression–indeed facial expressions–of basic human themes, but also with a quality of visual aesthetics that exemplifies the highest culture of individual societies. The masks represented in these pages reveal some of the best craftmanship, artistry, creativity, and design that we could expect in any art form.

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The Cambridge Encyclopedia of Hunters and Gatherers

March 26, 2007

From the book jacket:
Hunting and gathering is humanity’s first and most successful adaptation, occupying fully 90 per cent of human history. Until 12,000 years ago all humanity lived this way. Surprisingly, in an increasingly urbanized and technological world dozens of hunting and gathering societies have persisted and thrive on five continents. Case studies of over fifty of the world’s hunting and gathering peoples, written by leading experts, tell a story of resilience in the face of change, of ancient ways now combined with the trappings of modernity. Divided into seven world regions, each section includes a regional introduction and an archaeological overview. Thematic essays discuss prehistory, social life, gender, music and art, health, religion and indigenous knowledge. The final section surveys the complex histories of hunter-gatherers’ encounters with colonialism and the State, and their ongoing struggles for dignity and human rights as part of the worldwide movement of indigenous peoples.

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African American Art and Artists

March 21, 2007

From the book jacket:

Samella Lewis has brought African American Art and Artists fully up to date in this revised and expanded edition. The book now looks at the works and lives of artists from the eighteenth century to the present, including new work in traditional media as well as in installation art, mixed media, and digital/computer art. Generously and handsomely illustrated, the book continues to reveal the rich legacy of work by African American artists, whose art is now included in the permanent collections of national and international museums as well as in major private collections.

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The Emergence of Pottery

March 6, 2007

From the book jacket: In Emergence of Pottery, twenty-five scholars reconsider the early development of pottery in sites across the globe – including the Middle East, North Africa, Europe, the Pacific, and the Americas. Drawing on production and distribution models, ceramic ecology, and information theory, the contributors examine 12,000-year-old Jomon pottery of Japanese fishing communitie, ceramic containers of North African nomads, elegantly shaped and decorated ceremonial vessels made by specialist women potters in Neolithic Greece, and the earliest utilitarian pots by Native American hunters and gatherers. Nothing that the world’s earliest ceramics were not containers but figurines, the book explores pottery production in the contexts of the origins of agriculture, the development of sedentism and exchange systems, and its role in social and economic structures.

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Pushkin: Palaces and Parks

March 1, 2007

Sorry, no book jacket information currently available. 😦 

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