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Old Masters and Young Geniuses: The Two Life Cycles of Artistic Creativity
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Old Masters and Young Geniuses: The Two Life Cycles of Artistic Creativity

3.59  ·  Rating Details  ·  71 Ratings  ·  10 Reviews
When in their lives do great artists produce their greatest art? Do they strive for creative perfection throughout decades of painstaking and frustrating experimentation, or do they achieve it confidently and decisively, through meticulous planning that yields masterpieces early in their lives?

By examining the careers not only of great painters but also of important sculpt
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Paperback, 233 pages
Published December 2nd 2007 by Princeton University Press (first published 2005)
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Sydney
I couldn't' resist picking this book up while visiting a college bookstore, even though I feared it would be dry. I found myself absolutely absorbed by his unique approach to the creative life--coming up with new concepts early in one's working life vs. honing and honing craft over time. I'm a big art geek so I loved reading with a big fat art book on my lap so I could look at the paintings mentioned in the book.

My only reservation--few women mentioned in the book. And we don't fit well. The rh
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David
Feb 15, 2010 David rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nonfiction
Nearly all the general conclusions and implications were presented better, I think, in Malcolm Gladwell's article. This book primarily offered the supporting evidence and analysis. It is therefore important but not a very good read for any person who is not a fan of art scholarship.

I do have one problem with the basic argument, however. The book presents much evidence to support the thesis--which I was more or less okay with--but it does not at all try to disprove its thesis, leaving me undecide
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Simone
May 15, 2009 Simone rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2009-read
a fascinating book. because i'm a geek, i really loved the methods section, but i'm probably alone in this.

i heard galenson on npr back in october and was immediately interested in reading this and only now got around to doing so.

it's a dense read, and in proving his point he spends a lot of time hashing through the evidence.

although not intended to make me feel better about my own intellectual pursuits, it does. if you're work is not immediately heralded for critical acclaim, just start thin
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Gary Geiger
Jan 01, 2014 Gary Geiger rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: high-culture
This is where Malcolm Gladwell is at his best; turning me on to other writer's books. This is what I call an idea book. Are you a conceptualist or are you and experimentalist? I think that I am an experimentalist and a middle-aged journeyman on his way to becoming an Old Master.
David de Beer
May 28, 2009 David de Beer rated it really liked it
Using mainly artists, Galenson patiently documents evidence for his theory of two distinctive personality types among creative personality types.
One of the more intriguing theories on creativity I've encountered. If the hypothesis hold, and I think it might, it could have very exciting implications to our fundamental thinking on the creative process.
Mark
Jan 18, 2009 Mark rated it really liked it
for what i hoped to get out of this book, i think it was an excellent read. the premise of two different types of creative personalities is introduced right up front and repeatedly substantiated throughout. at times the discourse seems a little overly scholarly, but many of the examples bring wonderful anecdotal evidence to the theory.
Julian
Excellent, thought-provoking little book that should provoke much introspection in any creative person.
Joshua Berg
Dec 28, 2011 Joshua Berg rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Very enlightening analysis of how the creative mind works.
Tim
Apr 26, 2013 Tim rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Fascinating, valid, and useful.
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