Art History 101 . . . Without the Exams
Looking Closely at Objects from the History of ArtA millennia of art history condensed into 20 accessible chapters
Why is something a masterpiece? Art History 101 . . . Without the Exams is about revisiting famous works of art that we may have studied in an art history class or seen in a textbook. Each discussion delves into one great masterpiece and asks the questions that help ...
“Dr. Labatt’s engaging introduction to looking at art uses a select number of great works from the prehistoric past to the present to demonstrate what can be learned from careful looking and study. She engages readers in thinking more deeply and broadly about the original meaning of her choices to their own times and their relevance to current issues. Remarkably readable, her connections of works to Texas, where she gave the talks on which the book is based, should encourage everyone to look around them and see how the art of the past is reflected in the present.” — Helen C. Evans, curator, Metropolitan Museum of Art
“What a fun journey to travel with Annie Labatt to twenty iconic works of art! Through her words you will engage with science and history, following the hand of the maker, engaging with the context of both today and the world into which the work was once born. Best of all, no quiz!” — Mary Miller, director, Getty Research Institute
“With this magnificent book, Annie Labatt leads the charge back to an object-centered Art History. A rigorous scholar, university professor, gallery director, and public educator, Dr. Labatt brings an at once sensitive and perceptive vision to works of art. Although the title suggests another version of Gardner’s Art Through the Ages or Janson’s History of Art, the book is something more useful and enlightening: a series of twenty discussions of major monuments and works of art spanning fourteen thousand years of western visual art, architecture, and the arts of design. Labatt combines careful ‘readings’ of each work or monument—with discussions of the context of each work in its period and in the wider domain of the Humanities. Labatt brings an arsenal of up-to-date art historical tools to bear on her subjects. The book actually does cover much of the territory of a hypothetical ‘Art 101’ course. Readers will be well prepared if asked to take an exam.” — Marcus B. Burke, senior curator, Hispanic Society of America
“This playfully titled book is a work of great erudition. Annie Labatt is at home explaining technical details in each art object, as she is in making inferences and associations anchored in the profound knowledge of the world. Her words are a tour de force, commingling with the visual objects to allow the reader to imagine and experience art in new and powerful ways. The result is a rare and almost phantasmagoric introduction to art history.” — Meredith Woo, president, Sweet Briar College
“Perusing the paintings and reading the scholarly text, you will sense the depth and breadth of knowledge Dr. Labatt gained through years of study at Yale and the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York.” — Charles Butt, chairman and president, H-E-B Grocery Company