First published in 1951 Arnold Hauser's commanding work presents an account of the development and meaning of art from its origins in the Stone Age through to the Film Age. Exploring the interaction between art and society, Hauser effectively details social and historical movements and sketches the frameworks in which visual art is produced.
This new edition provides an excellent introduction to the work of Arnold Hauser. In his general introduction to The Social History of Art, Jonathan Harris asseses the importance of the work for contemporary art history and visual culture. In addition, an introduction to each volume provides a synopsis of Hauser's narrative and serves as a critical guide to the text, identifying major themes, trends and arguments.
'Arnold Hauser's Social History of Art - a very important and under-appreciated text.' - Whitney Davis, John Evans Professor of Art History, Northwestern University
'It is no exaggeration to say that more than any other work Hauser's four volumes inspired my interest in art history.' - Alan Wallach, Ralph H Wark Professor of Art History, College of William and Mary
'This work has great value in a contemporary context. I look forward to seeing what Jonathan has done with the introduction, but I cannot think of anyone better suited to the task.' - Johanna Drucker, Professor of Art History, Yale University
Hauser's extraordinary energy and subtlety wave a brilliant synthesis of the interaction between the aesthetic and societal, giving us at one and the same time a wealth of artistic detail and a consistent and fully elaborated exposition of the social process. - Albert Boime, UCLA, author of The Social History of Modern Art, 1750-1989