Glittering Images - Camille Paglia

Take a long, close look at a masterpiece. As important as the details of subject and technique is the focused, attentive act of looking itself. This is part of the passionate and well reasoned defense of the visual arts offered by Camille Paglia, humanities professor at Philadelphia’s University of the Arts, in Glittering Images (Pantheon, $30). Increasingly in danger of being lost amid the distracting digital clutter, the arts are also being cut from school curricula and have been demonized by the right, narrowed by the left. Paglia’s response is to revitalize art history with an eloquent tour of twenty-nine works, from ancient Egyptian tomb paintings to Renaissance sculptures to contemporary installations and films. Her brief essays describe periods and styles and how they’ve accomplished the diverse work art has done for some 5,000 years, which includes carrying on traditions, solidifying faith, celebrating historical events, and delighting by “the sorcery of beauty.” And art’s role now? Paglia declares the avant-garde agenda over; today, “we’re looking for meaning, not subverting it.”

Glittering Images: A Journey Through Art from Egypt to Star Wars Cover Image
ISBN: 9780375424601
Availability: Special Order—Subject to Availability
Published: Pantheon - October 16th, 2012

Glittering Images: A Journey Through Art from Egypt to Star Wars Cover Image
ISBN: 9780307278029
Availability: Not On Our Shelves—Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Vintage - August 13th, 2013

The Book of Kells - Bernard Meehan

This extraordinary facsimile of The Book of Kells (Thames & Hudson, $95) harks back to a time when books were rare and unique. They stood for knowledge, riches, and artistry, and none more so than the Book of Kells. The original 8th-century manuscript is housed in the library of Trinity College, Dublin, where hundreds of thousands of people come to see it every year, but you can peruse this edition whenever you like. Overseen by Bernard Meehan, Trinity Library’s Keeper of Manuscripts, the publication beautifully presents 250 color illustrations, with crisp details that capture the intricacy of the illuminations. Meehan’s fascinating commentary offers insight on the manuscript’s context, creation, and artists; interprets its symbols and themes; and traces the wide influence of its art. Anna Thorn
The Book of Kells Cover Image
ISBN: 9780500238943
Availability: Special Order—Subject to Availability
Published: Thames & Hudson - November 15th, 2012

W: The First Forty Years - Stefano Tonchi

In W: The First Forty Years (Abrams,$75), editor-in-chief Stefano Tonchi presents a strikingly diverse collection of images highlighting W’s outstanding coverage of fashion, art, architecture, music, and design. The pictures are complemented by specially commissioned essays from some of the magazine’s frequent contributors, such as Lynn Hirschberg. As other publications have shrunk their offerings, both editorially and physically, W has maintained its out-sized coverage and format. While the book may not fit easily on a newsstand, it is tailormade for coffee tables. Here’s to forty more years!

W: The First 40 Years Cover Image
By Stefano Tonchi (Editor), Christopher Bagley (Editor), John B. Fairchild (Foreword by)
ISBN: 9781419704475
Availability: Backordered
Published: Abrams - October 23rd, 2012