James Elkins

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Master Narratives and their Discontents

by James Elkins

In this bracing engagement with the many versions of art history, James Elkins argues that the story of modernism and postmodernism is almost always told in terms of four narratives. Works of art are either...

Stories of Art

by James Elkins

Stories of Art is James Elkins's intimate history of art. Concise and original, this engaging book is an antidote to the behemoth art history textbooks from which we were all taught. As he demonstrates so persuasively,...

Visual Studies: A Skeptical Introduction

by James Elkins

In his latest book, James Elkins offers a road map through the field of visual studies, describing its major concerns and its principal theoretical sources. Then, with the skill and insight that have marked...

Pictures and Tears: A History of People Who Have Cried in Front of Paintings

by James Elkins

Art Does art leave you cold? And is that what it's supposed to do? Or is a painting meant to move you to tears? Hemingway was reduced to tears in the midst of a drinking bout when a painting by James Thurber...

What Photography Is

by James Elkins

In What Photography Is, James Elkins examines the strange and alluring power of photography in the same provocative and evocative manner as he explored oil painting in his best-selling What Painting Is. In the...

Why Art Cannot Be Taught: A Handbook for Art Students

by James Elkins

In this smart survival guide for students and teachers -- the only book of its kind -- James Elkins examines the phenomenon of college-level art instruction, focusing particularly on the problematic practice...

What Painting Is

by James Elkins

Unlike many books on painting that usually talk about art or painters, James Elkins' compelling and original work focuses on alchemy, for like the alchemist, the painter seeks to transform and be transformed...