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Short Guide to Writing about Art Hardcover – 1 Mar 1998

4.4 out of 5 stars 13 customer reviews

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--This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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Product details

  • Hardcover
  • Publisher: Addison-Wesley Educational Publishers (1 Mar. 1998)
  • ISBN-10: 0673391957
  • ISBN-13: 978-0673391957
  • Package Dimensions: 20.8 x 13.5 x 1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,208,684 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product description

From the Back Cover

A Short Guide to Writing about Art offers invaluable advice for any art course where students write papers. It addresses a wealth of fundamental matters:

  • description versus analysis
  • som critical approaches to art (e.g., formal analysis, cultural materialism, gender studies)
  • getting ideas for an essay
  • engaging in peer review
  • developing paragraphs
  • organizing a comparison
  • using bibliographic tools, including the Internet
  • quoting sources
  • writing captions for illustrations
  • avoiding sexist and Eurocentric language
  • editing the final draft
  • documenting sources, using either The Chicago Manual of Style or The Art Bulletin style
  • preparing for essay examinations
Among the new features of the sixth edition are new guidelines for using the World Wide Web and the Internet for art-historical research, five new checklist (e.g., a checklist for evaluating Web Sites), ten new illustrations, and the style guide published by The Art Bulleting. Several sample essays are also included, accompanied by analyses that show readers the particular strengths of effective writing.

--This text refers to the Paperback edition.

About the Author

Henry M. Sayre is Distinguished Professor of Art History at Oregon State University-Cascades Campus in Bend, Oregon. He earned his Ph.D. in American Literature from the University of Washington. He is producer and creator of the 10-part television series, A World of Art: Works in Progress, aired on PBS in the fall of 1997; and author of seven books, including A World of Art, The Visual Text of William Carlos Williams, The Object of Performance: The American Avante-Garde since 1970; and an art history book for children, Cave Paintings to Picasso.

--This text refers to the Paperback edition.

Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Arrived a little late but no problem. Book in very good condition. Very pleased.
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By A Customer on 7 April 1998
Format: Paperback
I was quite surprised, but I really like this book. I was having a lot of trouble writing an art history paper and this book really helped clarify my thoughts. The book asks pointed questions that helps you focus your thoughts. I would strongly recommend this book to someone writing an art history paper.
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Format: Paperback
This book is great for undergrads and postgrads who want to focus their writing more. It has great check lists and short descriptions of some of the concepts used in writing about art.
it has examples of essays and sentence construction.
It is very accessible and you can dip in and out easily.
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By A Customer on 15 Jan. 1999
Format: Paperback
As a student who studies art history, this book helped me (and still helps me from time to time) a lot. Great when you need a guiding light when writing. I really thank the author.
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Format: Paperback
Art criticism can be a daunting subject. Many times I've gone to an exhibition or read an art book and felt bewildered by the seeming impenetrability of the language used by the critics and art historians. On the other end of the spectrum, I have come across texts that not only deepened my understanding of the artworks, but also made me appreciate things I would normally never cast a second glance at. A Short Guide to Writing About Art aims at those who wish to write the latter type of texts.

Written in a concise and clear language, this book is clearly aimed at art students, and is great for those, like me, who have some kind of background in art but who are just starting to write. The initial part of the book, which includes sections such as "Why Write about Art?" and "The Relevance of Context: The Effect of the Museum and the Picture Book", focuses on teaching the students to look at art and to organize their thoughts, ideas and opinions, and the best way of expressing them. The author makes a point of explaining that, if your audience doesn't understand (or misunderstands) what you wrote, most likely the problem is in your writing. He goes on to explain all the little things that one rarely thinks about or even notices, but which make all the difference when reading, and end up separating a great writer/critic from a mediocre one.

The guidelines presented are adapted to various situations, for example, exhibition catalogs, reviews and essays. The book covers everything from giving your own opinions and having a personal style, to the specifics of looking at the different art mediums. Towards the end, the author focuses more on the technical side of writing, including formats, language and research. It is, in short, a reference book and a how-to book combined into one.
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Format: Paperback
A very useful book and probably features on most Art History reading lists.

But the price...? For a little paperback like that? Someone, somewhere, is laughing up their sleeve.

Try to pick it up second hand...
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Format: Paperback
This is a very useful guide to writing about art. It is quite detailed but written in plain english so it is very accessible.
This book will be a great asset to any student of art history in particular but is also very instructive about writing in general.
If you seek a book to help with writing a review of an exhibition, this is the very book.
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