Kathryn Morrison’s task has been enormous: covering just about a thousand years of retail architecture, this work comprises a magnificent collection of visual material and concise history drawn from primary and secondary data.
Textiles and dress occupy a central position within the realm of material culture. Apart from fulfilling the basic human need for clothing and protection, textiles play important political, economic, and religious functions.
In the words of its author, this engaging book ‘tells of the shadows of objects and of images in the brain and, as such, of the only realities that cannot entirely escape from appropriation’ (p. ix). The object in question is Florence, understood both as a material place and as a mythical construction.
In 2001, during a Round Table discussion at the College Art Association Conference in Chicago, the Czech art historian and critic Martina Pachmanová raised the issue of agency in the construction of the dominant narratives of East-Central European art.
This is a beautifully illustrated book of serious scholarship and the three editors and the other contributing authors are to be congratulated.
By all accounts, ‘the Edwardian’ is a difficult historical period to define. Sandwiched between two momentous historical eras, the Edwardian years seem to lack a coherent identity of their own.
At the start of his brilliant essay ‘Venice’, first published in 1882, Henry James famously commented that there ‘was nothing new’ to be said about the city. An equally famous quotation is to be found in the first edition of Murray’s Handbook for travellers in Northern Italy published forty years earlier: ‘no one enters Venice a stranger.’ (1842, p.
Useful Cinema begins on the perfect point, with the observation that films today ‘appear everywhere’, from ‘iPhone to Imax, from blog inserts to Jumbotrons’, so ‘becoming integral to our experience of institutional and everyday life’.
One can hardly imagine that several decades ago the concept of spolia did not yet indicate a field of widespread research in the history of architecture, art and archaeology. The title of this volume with 12 essays and a fascinating introduction, points to this change in research focus, since the value of reuse of objects and materials has not always been recognized.
As Jan Rüger suggested in his 2011 review article ‘Revisiting the Anglo-German antagonism’, since 2000 almost every aspect of the history of Anglo-German relations has been reassessed and re-examined as a story not of increasing and inevitable antagonism, but of a much more complex process.