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The Oxford Dictionary of Art


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Table of Contents

Foreword by Dennis Farr, Introduction, Abbreviations, A-Z entries, Reference Section: Chronology, List of Museums and Galleries, Select List of Biblical and Classical Themes

About the Author

About the Editors:
Ian Chilvers is an art historian and freelance editor and writer. The late Harold Osborne edited The Oxford Companion to Art. Dennis Farr was Director of the Courtauld Institute Galleries, London, from 1980 to 1993. He is the author of English Art 1870-1940 and General Editor of the Clarendon Studies in the History of Art.


Gr 9 Up-Chilvers provides more than 3000 concise, lucid entries in this second revision of Harold Osborne's one-volume dictionary, which first appeared in 1988. A preface explains the scope: "-Western and Western-inspired painting, sculpture, printmaking, and drawing from ancient times to the present day," with the qualification that no artists born after 1965 have their own headings. An introductory list of entries, organized geographically and chronologically for artists, and then thematically (terms, techniques, academies, etc.) reveals the Anglocentric focus. Randolph Caldecott, Kate Greenaway, and Arthur Rackham mingle with Henry Moore and John Constable in the English lineup. Major African-American artists such as Romare Bearden, Augusta Savage, and Jacob Lawrence are absent. Chilvers fails to include the infamous Guerilla Girls, and he misstates the relationship between the National Gallery and the Smithsonian. Nancy Frazier's The Penguin Concise Dictionary of Art History (Penguin, 2001), with its interdisciplinary approach, quotes from each artist, and more inclusive scope, offers an alternative, although with fewer entries. Neither source has any pictures, a situation requiring the additional use of monographs or online resources for most questions.-Wendy Lukehart, Washington DC Public Library Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.

British art historian Chilvers has edited several Oxford references on art and literature, including the 1988 and 1997 editions of this acclaimed dictionary. Its new revised and expanded edition continues to focus on Western painting, sculpture, printmaking, and drawing from ancient times to the present and Western-inspired art. Geared to the general reader, it contains almost 3500 sophisticated but engagingly written entries and offers broad coverage of artists, movements, techniques, places, writers, and collectors, dealers, and art patrons. About three-quarters of the entries are biographical, the bulk of them about artists (none born after 1965). New entries have been added on contemporary artists such as Eva Hesse, Andy Goldsworthy, and Richard Serra and on topics such as video art and abstract impressionism. The new edition also boasts more complete birth and death places and dates, lists of entry titles grouped under various useful thematic headings, an updated chronology of major art works, and an up-to-date world wide directory of significant museums and galleries of Western art. Bottom Line More comprehensive than the Penguin Dictionary of Art and Artists (which covers only 1200 artists compared with Oxford's 2000) and more up-to-date than 1994's Thames and Hudson Dictionary of Art and Artists, this work finds its closest competitor in The Yale Dictionary of Art and Artists. The Oxford dictionary is, however, more accessible to general readers than the scholarly Yale dictionary and is more witty and lively if not better written. Perhaps not essential for collections with Chilvers's 2003 Concise Oxford Dictionary of Art and Artists, this is otherwise recommended for all libraries. Ann Carlson, Oak Park & River Forest H.S., IL Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.

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