To the Rescue of Art: Twenty-Six Essays

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University of California Press, 1992 - Art - 248 pages
The provocative title of this new collection of essays was chosen by Rudolf Arnheim for good reason. He has spent a lifetime analyzing the basic psychological principles that make works of visual art meaningful, stirring, indispensable, and lasting. But recent fashionable attitudes and theories about art, he argues, are undermining the foundation of artistic achievement itself. He says that we must face the threat "that the work crew charged with erecting the edifice of our principles is infiltrated by termites." As the leading explorer of the psychology of art, Arnheim has always sought to let works of art speak for themselves. His many books have reached innumerable students, teachers, museum visitors, and theorists. The essays collected in this volume are written in his familiar, careful, and solidly supported manner, but under present circumstances they amount to a call to arms. Included is a series of miniature monographs on a variety of great works of art. In other essays, Arnheim uncovers enlightening perspectives in the art of the blind, in architectural space, in caricature, and in the work of psychotics and autistic children. He also presents new scientific aspects of the psychology of art, and he widens our range of vision by reaching out to connect art with language, literature, and religion. Anyone who prizes vital, spirited interaction with works of art will find this new volume of Arnheim essays a personal treasure.

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To the rescue of art: twenty-six essays

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This book comprises 25 essays written mostly in the 1980s. Many have never been published; others were reworked or spliced together from previously published articles. The topics covered are quite ... Read full review


Art Among the Objects
Writers Pointers
Picasso at Guernica
But Is It Science?
Beyond the Double Truth
Art as Religion

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About the author (1992)

Rudolf Arnheim taught at Sarah Lawrence College for many years and was the first Professor of the Psychology of Art at Harvard. He taught at the University of Michigan after his retirement and is the author of ten other books, all published by the University of California Press.

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