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Description: Plaster Monuments: Architecture and the Power of Reproduction
We are taught to believe in originals. In art and architecture in particular, original objects vouch for authenticity, value, and truth, and require our protection and preservation. The nineteenth century, however, saw this issue differently. In a culture of reproduction, plaster casts of building fragments and architectural features were sold throughout Europe and America and proudly displayed in leading museums. The first comprehensive history of these full-scale replicas, Plaster Monuments examines how they were produced, marketed, sold, and displayed, and how their significance can be understood today.

Plaster Monuments unsettles conventional thinking about copies and originals. As Mari Lending shows, the casts were used to restore wholeness to buildings that in reality lay in ruin, or to isolate specific features of monuments to illustrate what was typical of a particular building, style, or era. Arranged in galleries and published in exhibition catalogues, these often enormous objects were staged to suggest the sweep of history, synthesizing structures from vastly different regions and time periods into coherent narratives. While architectural plaster casts fell out of fashion after World War I, Lending brings the story into the twentieth century, showing how Paul Rudolph incorporated historical casts into the design for the Yale Art and Architecture building, completed in 1963.

Drawing from a broad archive of models, exhibitions, catalogues, and writings from architects, explorers, archaeologists, curators, novelists, and artists, Plaster Monuments tells the fascinating story of a premodernist aesthetic and presents a new way of thinking about history’s artifacts.
Print publication date December 2017 (in print)
Print ISBN 9780691177144
EISBN 9780300268188
Illustrations 122
Print Status in print
Description: Duchamp in Context: Science and Technology in the Large Glass and Related Works
Between 1915 and 1923, Marcel Duchamp created one of the most mystifying art works of the early twentieth century: The Bride Stripped Bare by Her Bachelors, Even (also known as the Large Glass). The work is over nine feet tall, and on its glass surface Duchamp used such unorthodox materials as lead wire, lead foil, mirror silver, and dust, in addition to more conventional oil paint and varnish. Duchamp's declared subject is the relation between the sexes, but his protagonists are biomechanical creatures: a "Bride" in the upper panel hovers over a "Bachelor Apparatus" in the panel below, stimulating the "Bachelors" with "love gasoline" for an "electrical stripping."

In preparation for the Large Glass, Duchamp wrote hundreds of notes, which he considered just as important as the work itself. He published 178 during his lifetime, but over 100 more notes relating to the Glass were discovered and published following his death. In this landmark book, Linda Henderson provides the first systematic study of the Large Glass in relation to the entire corpus of Duchamp's notes for the project. Since Duchamp declared his interest in creating a "Playful Physics," she focuses on the scientific and technological themes that pervade the notes and the imagery of the Large Glass. In doing so, Henderson provides an unprecedented history of science as popularly known at the turn of the century, centered on late Victorian physics. In addition to electromagnetic waves, including X-rays and the Hertzian waves of wireless telegraphy, the areas of science to which Duchamp responded so creatively ranged from chemistry and classical mechanics to thermodynamics, Brownian movement, radioactivity, and atomic theory. Restored to its context and amplified by the information in the posthumously published notes, the Large Glass appears far richer and more multifaceted and witty than had ever been suspected.

Henderson also includes a close examination of Duchamp's literary and artistic models for creative invention based on science, including Alfred Jarry, Raymond Roussel, Frantisek Kupka, and Guillaume Apollinaire. The book will not only redefine scholarship on Duchamp and the Large Glass, but will be a crucial resource for historians of literature, science, and modernism.
Print publication date September 2005 (out of print)
Print ISBN 9780691123868
EISBN 9780300267822
Illustrations 197
Print Status out of print
Description: Transformations in Late Eighteenth-Century Art
https://doi.org/10.37862/aaeportal.00288
The importance of the late eighteenth century in the genesis of modern art emerges in these four classic essays on various aspects of the art and architecture of a neglected period. Written by the author of Cubism and Twentieth Century Art, the essays take a "Cubist view" of these crucial decades of transition, a view "that constantly shifts its vantage point and moves freely from one nation and one medium to another." Such diverse matters as the emotional and stylistic flexibility of Neoclassicism, the emergence of Historicism, the rapport between politics and the new moralizing art, and the search for a radical formal purity are considered.
Print publication date October 1970 (in print)
Print ISBN 9780691003023
EISBN 9780300266757
Illustrations 215
Print Status in print
Description: Only a Promise of Happiness: The Place of Beauty in a World of Art
https://doi.org/10.37862/aaeportal.00285
Neither art nor philosophy was kind to beauty during the twentieth century. Much modern art disdains beauty, and many philosophers deeply suspect that beauty merely paints over or distracts us from horrors. Intellectuals consigned the passions of beauty to the margins, replacing them with the anemic and rarefied alternative, “aesthetic pleasure.” In Only a Promise of Happiness, Alexander Nehamas reclaims beauty from its critics. He seeks to restore its place in art, to reestablish the connections among art, beauty, and desire, and to show that the values of art, independently of their moral worth, are equally crucial to the rest of life.

Nehamas makes his case with characteristic grace, sensitivity, and philosophical depth, supporting his arguments with searching studies of art and literature, high and low, from Thomas Mann’s Death in Venice and Manet’s Olympia to television. Throughout, the discussion of artworks is generously illustrated.

Beauty, Nehamas concludes, may depend on appearance, but this does not make it superficial. The perception of beauty manifests a hope that life would be better if the object of beauty were part of it. This hope can shape and direct our lives for better or worse. We may discover misery in pursuit of beauty, or find that beauty offers no more than a tantalizing promise of happiness. But if beauty is always dangerous, it is also a pressing human concern that we must seek to understand, and not suppress.
Print publication date October 2007 (in print)
Print ISBN 9780691095219
EISBN 9780300266894
Illustrations 79
Print Status in print
Description: The Most Arrogant Man in France: Gustave Courbet and the Nineteenth-Century Media...
https://doi.org/10.37862/aaeportal.00284
The modern artist strives to be independent of the public’s taste—and yet depends on the public for a living. Petra Chu argues that the French Realist Gustave Courbet (1819–1877) understood this dilemma perhaps better than any painter before him. In The Most Arrogant Man in France, the first comprehensive reinterpretation of Courbet in a generation, Chu tells the fascinating story of how, in the initial age of mass media and popular high art, this important artist managed to achieve an unprecedented measure of artistic and financial independence by promoting his work and himself through the popular press.

The Courbet who emerges in Chu’s account is a sophisticated artist and entrepreneur who understood that the modern artist must sell—and not only make—his art. Responding to this reality, Courbet found new ways to “package,” exhibit, and publicize his work and himself. Chu shows that Courbet was one of the first artists to recognize and take advantage of the publicity potential of newspapers, using them to create acceptance of his work and to spread an image of himself as a radical outsider. Courbet introduced the independent show by displaying his art in popular venues outside the Salon, and he courted new audiences, including women.

And for a time Courbet succeeded, achieving a rare freedom for a nineteenth-century French artist. If his strategy eventually backfired and he was forced into exile, his pioneering vision of the artist’s career in the modern world nevertheless makes him an intriguing forerunner to all later media-savvy artists.
Print publication date April 2007 (in print)
Print ISBN 9780691126791
EISBN 9780300266528
Illustrations 137
Print Status in print
Description: Creating the Cult of St. Joseph: Art and Gender in the Spanish Empire
https://doi.org/10.37862/aaeportal.00281
St. Joseph is mentioned only eight times in the New Testament Gospels. Prior to the late medieval period, Church doctrine rarely noticed him except in passing. But in 1555 this humble carpenter, earthly spouse of the Virgin Mary and foster father of Jesus, was made patron of the Conquest and conversion in Mexico. In 1672, King Charles II of Spain named St. Joseph patron of his kingdom, toppling St. James—traditional protector of the Iberian peninsula for over 800 years—from his honored position. Focusing on the changing manifestations of Holy Family and St. Joseph imagery in Spain and colonial Mexico from the sixteenth through eighteenth centuries, this book examines the genesis of a new saint's cult after centuries of obscurity. In so doing, it elucidates the role of the visual arts in creating gender discourses and deploying them in conquest, conversion, and colonization.

Charlene Villaseñor Black examines numerous images and hundreds of primary sources in Spanish, Latin, Náhuatl, and Otomí. She finds that St. Joseph was not only the most frequently represented saint in Spanish Golden Age and Mexican colonial art, but also the most important. In Spain, St. Joseph was celebrated as a national icon and emblem of masculine authority in a society plagued by crisis and social disorder. In the Americas, the parental figure of the saint—model father, caring spouse, hardworking provider—became the perfect paradigm of Spanish colonial power.

Creating the Cult of St. Joseph exposes the complex interactions among artists, the Catholic Church and Inquisition, the Spanish monarchy, and colonial authorities. One of the only sustained studies of masculinity in early modern Spain, it also constitutes a rare comparative study of Spain and the Americas.
Print publication date January 2006 (out of print)
Print ISBN 9780691096315
EISBN 9780300266344
Illustrations 92
Print Status out of print
Description: Manet and the Family Romance
https://doi.org/10.37862/aaeportal.00272
Édouard Manet's paintings have long been recognized for being visually compelling and uniquely recalcitrant. While critics have noted the presence of family members and intimates in paintings such as Le Déjeuner sur l'herbe, Nancy Locke takes an unprecedented look at the significance of the artist's family relationships for his art. Locke argues that a kind of mythology of the family, or Freudian family romance, frequently structures Manet's compositional decisions and choice of models. By looking at the representation of the family as a volatile mechanism for the development of sexuality and of repression, conflict, and desire, Locke brings powerful new interpretations to some of Manet's most complex works.

Locke considers, for example, the impact of a father-son drama rooted in a closely guarded family secret: the adultery of Manet père and the status of Léon Leenhoff. Her nuanced exploration of the implications of this story—that Manet in fact married his father's mistress—makes us look afresh at even well-known paintings such as Olympia. This book sheds new light on Manet's infamous interest in gypsies, street musicians, and itinerants as Locke analyzes the activities of Manet's father as a civil judge. She also reexamines the close friendship between Manet and the Impressionist painter Berthe Morisot, who married Manet's brother. Morisot becomes the subject of a series of meditations on the elusiveness of the self, the transience of identity, and conflicting concerns with appearances and respectability. Manet and the Family Romance offers an entirely new set of arguments about the cultural forces that shaped these alluring paintings.
Print publication date January 2001 (out of print)
Print ISBN 9780691114842
EISBN 9780300265880
Illustrations 97
Print Status out of print
Description: Committed to Memory: The Art of the Slave Ship Icon
https://doi.org/10.37862/aaeportal.00260
One of the most iconic images of slavery is a schematic wood engraving depicting the human cargo hold of a slave ship. First published by British abolitionists in 1788, it exposed this widespread commercial practice for what it really was--shocking, immoral, barbaric, unimaginable. Printed as handbills and broadsides, the image Cheryl Finley has termed the "slave ship icon" was easily reproduced, and by the end of the eighteenth century it was circulating by the tens of thousands around the Atlantic rim. Committed to Memory provides the first in-depth look at how this artifact of the fight against slavery became an enduring symbol of black resistance, identity, and remembrance.

Finley traces how the slave ship icon became a powerful tool in the hands of British and American abolitionists, and how its radical potential was rediscovered in the twentieth century by black artists, activists, writers, filmmakers, and curators. Finley offers provocative new insights into the works of Amiri Baraka, Romare Bearden, Betye Saar, and many others. She demonstrates how the icon was transformed into poetry, literature, visual art, sculpture, performance, and film—and became a medium through which diasporic Africans have reasserted their common identity and memorialized their ancestors.

Committed to Memory features works from around the world, taking readers from the United States and England to West Africa and the Caribbean. It shows how contemporary black artists and their allies have used this iconic eighteenth-century engraving to reflect on the trauma of slavery and come to terms with its legacy.
Print publication date July 2018 (in print)
Print ISBN 9780691136844
EISBN 9780300265712
Illustrations 151
Print Status in print
Description: Saracens, Demons, and Jews: Making Monsters in Medieval Art
https://doi.org/10.37862/aaeportal.00183
During the crusades, Ethiopians, Jews, Muslims, and Mongols were branded enemies of Christian majority. This book reveals the pejorative ways these rejected social groups were represented - often as monsters, demons, or freaks of nature. It traces the origins of negative pictorial code used to portray monsters, demons, and non-Christian peoples.
Print publication date January 2003 (out of print)
Print ISBN 9780691057194
EISBN 9780300252927
Illustrations 133
Print Status out of print
Description: Bearers of Meaning: The Classical Orders in Antiquity, the Middle Ages, and the...
https://doi.org/10.37862/aaeportal.00026
For all those interested in the relationship between ideas and the built environment, John Onians provides a lively illustrated account of the range of meanings that Western culture has assigned to the Classical orders. Onians shows that during the 2,000 years from their first appearance in ancient Greece through their codification in Renaissance Italy, the orders — the columns and capitals known as Doric, Ionic, Corinthian, Tuscan, and Composite — were made to serve expressive purposes, engaging the viewer in a continuing visual dialogue.
Print publication date January 1990 (in print)
Print ISBN 9780691002194
EISBN 9780300252910
Illustrations 213
Print Status in print
Description: Gardens and Gardening in Papal Rome
https://doi.org/10.37862/aaeportal.00055
From the late Middle Ages, when it embodied spirituality, through the end of the eighteenth century, when it offered pleasurable surroundings for banquets, poetry readings, and amorous pursuits, the garden figured prominently in everyday Roman life. In this fascinating history, David Coffin provides a wealth of information on how Italian gardeners worked with the elements of color, fragrance, sound, shade, architecture, sculpture, and wildlife to achieve a wide variety of sensual effects. In so doing he presents the stages of evolution in classic Italian gardening, which was replaced in the late eighteenth century by the more naturalistic English style. Coffin first considers the role of cloistered gardens in the Middle Ages and shows how they were later incorporated as private spaces within the larger Renaissance gardens. Describing the introduction of sculptural collections and waterworks into gardens during the sixteenth century, he explores some of the rich, often complicated, iconographical programs that emerged. The extension of garden parks in the seventeenth century marks the decline of architecture in landscaping and the advent of landscape design as a dominant factor. Throughout this book Coffin concentrates on the garden as a site for entertainment and on the development of design components that eventually permitted gardens to be freely open to the public.
Print publication date January 1991 (out of print)
Print ISBN 9780691040899
EISBN 9780300251715
Illustrations 193
Print Status out of print
Description: Art, Tea, and Industry: Masuda Takashi and the Mitsui Circle
https://doi.org/10.37862/aaeportal.00024
In this book Christine Guth examines the intimate relationship between art collecting, the tea ceremony, and business through the activities of Masuda Takashi (1848–1938), the highly charismatic director of the Mitsui conglomerate whose opulent life and passionate pursuit of art continue to influence new generations of aspiring business magnates in Japan. An elaborate social ritual in which the worlds of business and art collecting intersected, the tea ceremony guided Masuda in amassing the finest collection of Sino-Japanese art in the early Japanese industrial era. Guth's exploration of his aesthetic ideas deepens our understanding of not only the formation of the canon of Japanese art but also the role of art in the ideology of early modern Japan.

At a time when there were few art museums in Japan and Japanese art was becoming internationally known, Masuda's tea gatherings functioned as a salon where his colleagues, other collectors, and art dealers could view, discuss, and handle works of art. Under his influence, art collecting and mastery of the tea ceremony became integral parts of the business training and activities of Mitsui executives. Masuda's collection was rich in calligraphy, ink painting, lacquer, and ceramics, but it was especially noted for its Buddhist painting and sculpture. These works, which were dispersed after World War II, are now in museums and private collections throughout Japan and the United States.
Print publication date January 1993 (out of print)
Print ISBN 9780691032061
EISBN 9780300252101
Illustrations 77
Print Status out of print
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