Faculty Books

Andrea Mantegna: Making Art (History) presents the art of Mantegna as challenging the parameters of the history of art in the demands it makes upon historical interpretation, and explores the artist’s potentially transformative impact on the study of the early Renaissance.

  • Features an array of new methodologies for the study of Mantegna and early Renaissance art
  • Critically addresses the question of iconography and “literary” art, as well as the politics of the monographic exhibition
  • Includes translations of two seminal accounts of the artist by Roberto Longhi and Daniel Arasse, key texts not previously available in English
  • Explores the Mantegna’s potentially transformative impact on the study of the early Renaissance

Communities of Style examines the production and circulation of portable luxury goods throughout the Levant in the early Iron Age (1200–600 BCE). In particular it focuses on how societies in flux came together around the material effects of art and style, and their role in collective memory.

Marian H. Feldman brings her dual training as an art historian and an archaeologist to bear on the networks that were essential to the movement and trade of luxury goods—particularly ivories and metal works—and how they were also central to community formation. The interest in, and relationships to, these art objects, Feldman shows, led to wide-ranging interactions and transformations both within and between communities. Ultimately, she argues, the production and movement of luxury goods in the period demands a rethinking of our very geo-cultural conception of the Levant, as well as its influence beyond what have traditionally been thought of as its borders.


Critical Approaches to Ancient Near Eastern Art concentrates on the visual, material, and built aspects of the Ancient Near East from the fourth millennium BCE to the Hellenistic period. Presenting innovative theoretical approaches to Ancient Near Eastern art history, this volume will be of value to scholars of the Ancient Near East, as well as to those interested in contemporary art historical and anthropological approaches to visual culture.


In Art, Ritual, and Civic Identity in Medieval Southern Italy, Nino Zchomelidse examines the complex and dynamic roles played by the monumental ambo, the Easter candlestick, and the liturgical scroll in southern Italy and Sicily from the second half of the tenth century, when the first such liturgical scrolls emerged, until the first decades of the fourteenth century, when the last monumental Easter candlestick was made. Through the use of these objects, the interior of the church was transformed into the place of the story of salvation, making the events of the Bible manifest. By linking rites and setting, liturgical furnishings could be used to stage a variety of biblical events, in accordance with specific feast days. Examining the interaction of liturgical performance and the ecclesiastical stage, this book explores the creation, function, and evolution of church furnishings and manuscripts.


In the late Middle Ages, Europe saw the rise of one of its most virulent myths: that Jews abused the eucharistic bread as a form of anti-Christian blasphemy, causing it to bleed miraculously. The allegation fostered tensions between Christians and Jews that would explode into violence across Germany and Austria. And pilgrimage shrines were built on the sites where supposed desecrations had led to miracles or to anti-Semitic persecutions. Exploring the legends, cult forms, imagery, and architecture of these host-miracle shrines, Pilgrimage and Pogrom reveals how they not only reflected but also actively shaped Christian anti-Judaism in the two centuries before the Reformation.

Mitchell B. Merback studies surviving relics and eucharistic cult statues, painted miracle cycles and altarpieces, propaganda broadsheets, and more in an effort to explore how accusation and legend were transformed into propaganda and memory. Merback shows how persecution and violence became interdependent with normative aspects of Christian piety, from pilgrimage to prayers for the dead, infusing them with the ideals of crusade. Valiantly reconstructing the cult environments created for these sacred places, Pilgrimage and Pogrom is an illuminating look at Christian-Jewish relations in premodern Europe.


In my book Penser la peinture: Simon Hantaï (Gallimard, 2012), I explore the work of a Hungarian-born French painter who is just beginning to be recognized as one of the most important figures in later 20th-century painting—a reputation based principally on the abstract, often large-format canvases he made between 1960 and 1982 in the medium he called pliage, or “folding.” I set the historical genesis and development of that body of work in a remarkably rich context conditioned by the Surrealist discourse of “psychic automatism,” the French philosophical reception of G.W.F. Hegel, and the first stirrings of interest in the work of Jackson Pollock.


Drawing on the most recent scholarship, this book is accessible to students and non-specialist readers, telling the story of art in the great centers of Rome, Florence, and Venice, while profiling a range of other cities and sites throughout Italy. While the book presents the classic canon of Renaissance painting and sculpture in full, it expands the scope of conventional surveys by offering a more through coverage of architecture, decorative and domestic art, and print media. Rather than emphasizing artists’ biographies, this new account concentrates on the works, discussing means of production, the place for which images were made, concerns of patrons, and the expectation and responses of the works first viewers. Renaissance art is seen as decidedly new, a moment in the history of art whose concerns persist in the present. 790 full-color illustrations


Taking a new approach to medieval art, Meaning in Motion reveals the profound importance of movement in the physical, emotional, and intellectual experience of art and architecture in the Middle Ages. Focusing on the physical movement of objects and viewers, as well as movements of the mind, this richly illustrated collection of interdisciplinary essays explores a wide range of rituals, performances, works of art, and texts in which movement is crucial to meaning. These include liturgical and devotional practices, but also pilgrimage, reading techniques, and the use of art and allegory in late medieval courtly society. The contributors consider movement not only as a physical action but also as an active intellectual process involving the reception of images, one that creates layers of meaning through the multidimensional experience of objects and spaces, both real and imaginary. This novel approach to medieval art, building on the concept of agency and the understanding of ritual as a performative act, is influenced by two anthropological perspectives: Victor Turner’s “processual” analysis of rites of passage and Alfred Gell’s conception of the interactive relationship between art and the viewer as a process. The essays in this volume engage in an interdisciplinary discussion of the significance of movement for the making and perception of medieval art.


A Companion to Asian Art and Architecture presents a collection of 26 original essays that explore and critically examine various aspects of the field of Asian art and architectural history. Featuring contributions from both leading scholars and emerging voices, the essays offer the opportunity to engage with the current state of scholarship in Asian art and to discover its rich diversity. In topics that range from ancient tombs and imperial commissions to coinage and cultural interaction, and from gardens and monastic spaces to performances and pilgrimages, this wide-ranging and insightful collection of essays illuminates the wide geographic and temporal range of Asian visual culture.

Authors explore the art of Korea, Japan, China, South Asia, Southeast Asia, and their diasporas, engaging issues related to colonial legacies and global interactions. Written by experts in art history, archaeology, geography, history, and anthropology, the essays are organized around six critical themes that reflect the current state of Asian art scholarship: Objects in Use, Space, Artists, Challenging the Canon, Shifting Meanings, and Elusive, Mobile Objects. With its multilayered presentation and wealth of thought-provoking new insights, A Companion to Asian Art and Architecture is an important addition to current scholarship that will reshape the way we consider Asian art.