1st Edition

Art, History and the Senses
1830 to the Present

ISBN 9781138257719
Published November 10, 2016 by Routledge
224 Pages

USD $59.95

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Book Description

Should sight trump the other four senses when experiencing and evaluating art? Art, History and the Senses: 1830 to the Present questions whether the authority of the visual in 'visual culture' should be deconstructed, and focuses on the roles of touch, taste, smell, and sound in the materiality of works of art. From the nineteenth century onward, notions of synaesthesia and the multi-sensorial were important to a series of art movements from Symbolism to Futurism and Installations. The essays in this collection evaluate works of art at specific moments in their history, and consider how senses other than the visual have (or have not) affected the works' meaning. The result is a re-evaluation of sensory knowledge and experience in the arts, encouraging a new level of engagement with ideas of style and form.

Table of Contents

Contents: Foreword: disciplining the senses: Beethoven as synaesthetic paradigm, Simon Shaw-Miller; Introduction: other than the visual: art, history and the senses, Patrizia Di Bello and Gabriel Koureas; Photography and sculpture: a light touch, Patrizia Di Bello; Seeing and tasting the divine: Simeon Solomon's homoerotic sacrament, Dominic Janes; A Trip to Japan in 16 Minutes: Sadakichi Hartmann's perfume concert and the aesthetics of scent, Christina Bradstreet; Intimate modernism: the Nabis, symbolist theatre, and the Gesamkunstwerk, Katherine Kuenzli; In your face: the futurists' assault on the public's senses, Francesca Bacci; Between silence and sound: John Cage, Karlheinz Stockhausen and the sculptures of Dorothea Tanning, Victoria Carruthers; 'Can you hear the lights?', Alexander Dumbadze; Niki de Saint Phalle's Hon: an ethics through the visual?, Nicola Foster; Airchitecture: guarded breaths and the [cough] art of ventilation, Jim Drobnick; Trauma, space and embodiment: the sensorium of a divided city, Gabriel Koureas; Select bibliography; Indexes.

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Patrizia Di Bello is Lecturer in Film and Visual Media in the School of Art, Film and Visual Media at Birkbeck College, University of London, UK.

Gabriel Koureas is Associate Lecturer in the History of Art, Film and Visual Media at Birkbeck College, University of London, UK.


'...a fascinating volume full of insights about the sensory histories in art history ... a pioneering collection.' Caroline Jones, MIT, USA

'Art, History, and the Senses: 1830 to the Present with its illustrations, general index, senses index, select bibliography, with its readability and precise and thorough explication of particular works of art is an important beginning to an art history of the senses.' Senses and Society