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Alan Crawford

English designer, writer, architect and social reformer . He was educated at King’s College, Cambridge. As a young man he was deeply influenced by the teachings of John Ruskin and William Morris, and particularly by their vision of creative workmanship in the Middle Ages; such a vision made work in modern times seem like mechanical drudgery. Ashbee played many parts and might be thought a dilettante; but his purpose was always to give a practical expression to what he had learnt from Ruskin and Morris. An intense and rather isolated figure, he found security in a life dedicated to making the world a better place....

Article

Alice Mackrell

Fashion plates are images made specifically to illustrate to people types of clothes that they should wear to keep up to date with fashions; they also give instructions or guidance on whether the clothing shown would suit the taste and style of the individual wearer. They evolved in the 18th century in Europe and have their origin in 16th-century ...

Article

Andreas Kreul

German art historian and museum director. The son of the court jeweller in Berlin, he studied in Munich, Florence and Leipzig, where he wrote a dissertation on Albrecht Altdorfer. After practical training in Berlin and his first, brief activity at the Wallraf-Richartz-Museum in Cologne, he became an assistant at the Gemäldegalerie der Staatlichen Museen, Berlin, in ...

Article

Niru Ratnam

Towards the end of the 20th century artists from around the world increasingly started to address issues linked with globalization, for example, the movement of peoples, the movement of trade, the growth of international brands and the seemingly receding importance of the nation state. In addition, curators also started responding to globalization, particularly those curators working on large-scale international exhibitions such as biennials. But how might we describe ‘globalization’—a term that was hardly used before the 1990s—and why should it have anything to do with the way we approach contemporary art? And what are the consequences, if any, if the canonical Western conception of art is opened up to practices from around the world? Do these new practices simply enlarge what we might consider the canon or do they question the structures of that?...

Article

In its most general sense, spolia (pl., from Lat. spolium: ‘plunder’) denotes all artifacts re-employed in secondary contexts, from building blocks reused in a wall to pagan gems mounted on a Christian reliquary. It is a matter of debate whether this broad application of the term is justified, or whether it should be restricted to the relatively small subset of reused objects that were taken or ‘stripped’ (like spoils) from their original context, rather than found, purchased, inherited or otherwise acquired by non-violent means. It is likewise debated when the use of spolia should be considered meaningful, if at all. Arnold Esch defined five possible motives for using spolia: convenience, profanation, Christianization, political legitimation and aesthetic attraction. Michael Greenhalgh has argued for reducing the motives to three (at least with regard to marble): pragmatism, aesthetics and ideology; while Finbarr Barry Flood cautioned against reductive interpretations generated by any taxonomy, insisting that reused objects are mutable in meaning and capable of multiple interpretations during their life cycle....

Article

Deborah J. Haynes

German art historian. His research interests ranged widely, including the art of the Renaissance, costume, festivals, medicine, astrology and magic, but his primary contribution to cultural history is the Warburg Institute.

Warburg was born into a wealthy Jewish banking family and was never obliged to seek academic employment. He trained at the University of Bonn with scholars such as ...

Article

Francis R. Kowsky

English architect and writer, active in the USA . He was the son of a jeweller and trained under R. C. Carpenter. In the 1840s he emigrated to the USA and established a practice first in Hartford, CT, later moving to Philadelphia. From 1851 to 1860...