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Art: A World History
ISBN 0789423820 / 9780789423825 / 0-7894-2382-0
Publisher Dk Pub
List price $59.95
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Like a visit to a single museum that happens to house all the major works from all the major movements in art, architecture, and visual and decorative arts, this hefty tome lives up to its title. From pre-history to present day, cave paintings to computer art, it delivers on its promise to bring together "art from every age and from every corner of the world." In 720 pages and more than 2,200 color illustrations, this includes, in addition to the traditional disciplines, fashion, advertisement, performance art and theater, and computer-generated virtual art. Readers can research, peruse, study, or simply flip through the history of art, arranged geographically and chronologically and placed in social and historical context. Call-out boxes focus on particularly important features of the period, culture, or environment under examination, and summary timelines highlight whole chapters in a few pages and break up running text on each page. This makes for busy pages, chock-full of textual and visual information, but if anyone can successfully present too much information, it's Dorling Kindersley. There's even a section on the aesthetic importance of nouvelle cuisine, a late 20th century style of preparing and presenting food. You can't get that in Gardner's. [via]