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Art History: A Critical Introduction to Its Methods

3.92  ·  Rating details ·  188 ratings  ·  17 reviews
This book provides a lively and stimulating introduction to methodological debates within art history. Offering a lucid account of approaches from Hegel to post-colonialism, the book provides a sense of art history's own history as a discipline from its emergence in the late-eighteenth century to contemporary debates.
Paperback, 256 pages
Published April 30th 2006 by Manchester University Press (first published 2006)
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This book is getting a 5 star rating not for critical theory itself (which I pretty much loathe in the the abstract!), but because it is a really clear introduction to a lot of different theory. I've just done a (compulsory) course in art theory as part of my degree, and honestly I feel like this book is more useful than the lecture series was! It really helps explain how theories which weren't originally related to art, e.g. Marxism or psychotherapy, can be related to art, as well as outlining ...more
Olga Nikolaeva
Jan 02, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Clear and very well structured. Even as a short introduction it gives a very good overview of the main art theory issues. Easy to understand and from there read more thoroughly on a particular subject from original works to which Hatt and Klonk address. Also good book to use against those who claim that art history is easy, you just 'blah' about pictures ;)
Aug 16, 2019 rated it really liked it
Art History: A Critical Introduction to Its Methods
by Michael Hatt and Charlotte Klonk

There is no art history without theory or methode

What makes one interpretation of a work of art better than another? Some ways of interpreting are more comprehensive than others. They have fewer contradictions and account for more detailed observations. If you have a framework within which to view an artwork your interpretation will be more plausible and more persuasive. This book is concerned with these
Oct 06, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: art-history
Dr. Klonk was one of my docents for a semester, and she gave a lecture on this same topic. I had to miss the lecture sometimes, and was afraid that I wouldn't be able to catch up, but this book made it so that I could read one or two chapters on certain art historical methods whenever I wasn't able to attend and still be up to speed with everyone else. No extensive background knowledge is required to grasp the contents of this book, which are quite valuable to students of art history. I haven't ...more
3,5/5 stars ⭐

This is a good introduction to art historiography, although you do need to have some knowledge about art history/know the canon of artists to understand this book. Some chapters were clear and understandable, but others (especially the one about semiotics) were awful.
What I appreciated was the critical appraisal at the end of each chapter, it made the content that you just read much more understandable.
Dec 20, 2017 rated it really liked it
Helpful book! With an overwhelming amount of reading to do for my Art History Methods class, this was the only book I fully got through. I chose this one to help me through my overview course of all the complicated concepts and methodologies, and it really helped clear things up and was pretty interesting and enjoyable. A valuable resource for me!
Mercedes Wood
Apr 09, 2019 rated it it was ok
A necessary read for my class.
Samantha Morris
Jun 05, 2017 rated it liked it
A very good introduction to the methods of Art History, though very heavy going at times.
Wendy Crittenden
Oct 06, 2007 rated it really liked it
Shelves: theory
i think that hatt and klonk are good and laying out the methods of looking at art very well. helping me, and co-learners, understand the articles we read in class by the actual art historians who use the methods. thanks h&k!
May 29, 2010 added it
Art History: A Critical Introduction to Its Methods
Sep 03, 2008 rated it really liked it
Shelves: study-books
Oh, I crammed for an exam with this little gem. Covers the major occurances in the development of Art History as a discipline, and its surprisingly an easy read. Well, I think so anyway.
Mark Ellis
Jul 21, 2011 rated it it was amazing
This book is truly brilliant
Aug 12, 2012 rated it really liked it
Excellent resource for young art historians.
Michelle Demeter
Nov 18, 2012 rated it really liked it
A great introduction to various methods used in art history. Very concise and easy to follow.
Apr 25, 2010 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Anyone interested in art criticism
Shelves: history
A very easy read considering the amount of relatively difficult concepts!
Jan 12, 2016 rated it it was amazing
textbook (FAH102 U of T) very clear and concise
May 31, 2012 rated it really liked it
I'll say I'm finished with this, since it's really a reference book for school, anyway. Very useful and succinct, which is a rare quality in art historical theory.
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