Anthropology, Art, and Aesthetics

Paperback | September 1, 1992

EditorJeremy Coote, Anthony Shelton

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This collection of essays on anthropological approaches to art and aesthetics is the first in its field to be published for some time. In recent years a number of new galleries of non-Western art have been opened, many exhibitions of non-Western art held, and new courses in the anthropologyof art established. This collection is part of and complements these developments, contributing to the general resurgence of interest in what has been until recently a comparatively neglected field of academic study and intellectual debate.Unlike many previous collections, the focus of this volume is resolutely anthropological. The contributors draw on contemporary anthropological theory and exchange, to deepen our understanding of particular aesthetic traditions in their socio-cultural and historical contexts. In addition, thecross-cultural applicability of the very concepts 'art' and 'aesthetics' is assessed.Each essay illustrates a specific approach and develops a particular argument. Many present new ethnography based on recent field research among Australian Aborigines, in New Guinea, Indonesia, Mexico, and elsewhere. Others draw on classic anthropological accounts of, for example, the TrobriandIslanders of Melanesia and the Nuer of the Southern Sudan, putting this material to new uses.Sir Raymond Firth's introductory overview of the history of the anthropological study of art makes this volume particularly useful for the non-specialist interested in learning what anthropology has to contribute to our understanding of art and aesthetics in general.With its wide geographical and cultural coverage and plentiful illustrations, many of which are in colour, Anthropology, Art, and Aesthetics will be a valuable resource for all serious students of the subject.

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This collection of essays on anthropological approaches to art and aesthetics is the first in its field to be published for some time. In recent years a number of new galleries of non-Western art have been opened, many exhibitions of non-Western art held, and new courses in the anthropologyof art established. This collection is part ...

Jeremy Coote is an independent researcher, author, and editor specializing in art and anthropology. He is a member of Wolfson College, Oxford. Anthony Shelton specializes in pre-Columbian art and the ethnography of contemporary Midddle America.
Format:PaperbackDimensions:294 pages, 9.21 × 6.14 × 0.75 inPublished:September 1, 1992Publisher:Oxford University Press

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0198279450

ISBN - 13:9780198279457

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Table of Contents

I. The Anthropology of Art1. Raymond Firth: Art and Anthropology2. Alfred Gell: The Technology of Enchantment and the Enchantment of TechnologyII. Objects and Interpretations3. Ross Bowden: Art, Architecture, and Collective Representations in a New Guinea Soceity4. Susanne Kuchler: Making Skins - Malangan and the Idiom of Kinship in Northern New Ireland5. Jarich Oosten: Representing the Spirits - The Masks of the Alaskan InuitIII. Traditions and Innovations6. Robert Layton: Traditional and Contemporary Art of Aboriginal Australia7. Ruth Barnes: Textile Design in Southern Lembata - Tradition and ChangeIV. The Anthropology of Aesthetics8. Howard Morphy: From Dull to Brilliant - The Aesthetics of Spiritual Power among the Yolngu9. Anthony Shelton: Predicates of Aesthetic Judgement: Ontology and Value in Huichol Material Representations10. Jeremy Coote: `Marvels of Everyday Vision' - The Anthropology of Aesthetics and the Cattle-Keeping Nilotes

Editorial Reviews

`a particularly welcome, valuable contribution to the study of art and aesthetics. The special merit of this volume lies in the fact that it is one of the first truly anthropological approaches to the study of art ... the shift from meaning and communication to the influence of objects asactors and a source of power is one of the admirable features of the work. All the writers can be congratulated on dissociating themselves from the Western individualistic approach to the study of art'Social Anthropology