Thinking about Art is a timely book to guide my new year 12 students through the AQA Art History qualification. It is clearly written and gives access to both History of Art students and A level Art students, to a wide variety of painting, sculpture and architecture. Penny Huntsman and the AAH are to be commended for this much needed, thoughtful and enjoyable publication.
'Thinking About Art' is one of the most enlightening and informative books on art and architecture that I've come across. After an illuminating introduction & 'Formal Analysis Toolbox' the book is organised thematically with chapters on 'Genres and Subjects'; 'Form, Style and Function'; 'Social and Historical Contexts'; 'Patronage and the Social and Cultural Status of the Artist' & 'Gender, Nationality and Ethnicity'. The book concludes with a useful glossary of artistic and architectural terms used in the text. Penny Huntsman's inspiring, accessible and beautifully illustrated book, with an accompanying website, is an essential guide to A-level Art History(thankfully saved from the axe) and should also help the general reader gain an understanding and appreciation of art.
This is a much anticipated book which supports both students and teachers not only of the AQA A-Level course but also for undergraduate students. While it is well written, clearly structured and beautifully illustrated it equally acts as a stimulus for further independent reading and self-motivated study. The book makes art and its formal as well as historical context very accessible and helps to acquire a subject-specific terminology in a stimulating way. Works of art and architecture are constantly revisited, yet approached from a new angle. Readers are furthermore invited to compare canonical works with less conventional ones, thus making their own associations and interpretations. I will return to it again and again. Dr. Béatrice Harding
A really good read for any one with an interest in art history, but particularly students studying the AS Level exam. The way the book is set out, in chapters dealing with the topics, means you get a really good grounding in each. The thought provoking questions posed throughout makes the reader think for themselves and this is the best way to engage with the subject and ultimately the best way to learn. Congratulations to Penny Huntsman and the AAH for persevering with such a great project and nailing it so well!
This book exceeds all expectations; it is not only well researched, it is accessibly written. The difficulty of finding an initial serious study of Western Art has existed for as long as there have been serious studies of the subject. This book does more than fulfil its role as an A-Level textbook. 'Thinking About Art' provides a clear and thoughtful introduction into a fascinating subject for those of all ages who have found the desire to know and understand more about how and why art reflects its time and place in different histories.
This book is an ideal companion for all those wanting to study or teach History of Art. It is beautifully written, lavishly illustrated and a hands-on guide to take you through the AQA A level course. It is also a fascinating read for anyone interested in learning about the subject, getting an understanding of how to decode visual language and gaining real enjoyment from a range of different contextual approaches. Penny Huntsman manages to combine an impressive sweep of art and architecture which spans Ancient Greece to contemporary works with the time and space to offer real insight into selected works so that it is never superficial. Highly recommended.