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TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICEon January 2, 2012
You will notice that some reviews are really comments about the re-seller's book condition and a lot are repeats from the 2 volume set which has 1240 pages while this volume only has 605.

This volume covers from pre-historic discoveries to the early 1300s. I noticed a review referred to lots of female artists-that is missing in this volume. Others referred to periods after 1350 which are not in this volume either. I liked the good photography, diagrams of architectural styles and their components, and the photographs of models (such as Rome in 324 CE).

The book covers a nice cross section of art from different continents and it provides a good overall summary of art and architecture. What it does not do is explain the reasons for changes in art subjects or architecture. So the reader does not end up with either an in depth understanding of the flow of innovation nor the details of why items ended up looking the way they do. For instance, the madrases and tombs of Samarkand and vicinity have deep blue and turquoise ceramic tiles. For what reason? During this time period in Europe, these colors were more precious than gold.

The book provides a means to determine where your interests are so that you can pursue subjects/books that have a more in depth coverage. Some reviewers have mistakenly assumed that the book is the definitive encyclopedia when there is much more to learn about, such as jewelry, ceramics, glass, and tapestry.
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on July 11, 2013
I like this product very much. If you need a text book, having one in looseleaf format is great. I don't know why it isn't done more often, since it means that going to a class, you can take only the chapter or chapters you are working on rather than having to carry a big text book. I have had to get rid of many bound text books and to me it seems a a shame to dispose of an entire bound book especially if it's really outdated and no one wants it. Loose leaf gives one the chance to save some of the text if desired.
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on May 2, 2012
This is a pretty decent overview if you're just beginning to learn about art history. It served me well in my intro class - the book is easy to understand and gives a lot of interesting cultural information.
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on February 11, 2015
The book was in the expected quality but the delivery was much too long.
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on January 19, 2013
I just completed a semester using this textbook. My background IS NOT art history, but it is required as a prerequisite. I was excited to take the class because I am extremely interested in art, architecture, manuscripts, etc. After reading the reviews, I decided to buy the ala carte or loose leaf edition. I found it a great option versus toting around a 600-page textbook. When we were only addressing the first 4 chapters, I could take just those chapters with me. After you place them in a loose-leaf binder, it is also much easier to keep pages open to the page you need. I also bought the MyARTSLab access key w/etext, which allows online access to the textbook with choices to search for key words, listen to the chapters being read to you and the ability to zoom and focus in on details of the photos. This was also how we took our quizzes and chapter questions for this class.

PROS: Wonderful photos of various art, architecture, sculpture, jewelry, manuscripts...everything. This book covers prehistoric to the Renaissance period. It's been a few years, okay, decades since I was in school so it was great starting at the beginning and getting a refresher of art from the beginning. The book is printed on a heavy weight, nice grade of paper, which made it less likely to tear a hole in the page with the loose-leaf edition. The information provided was interesting and I considered it basically an overview. The etext was worth purchasing and having the audio version to mix up the intake style, almost like hearing a lecturer) was good too. It also helped to listen to how a lot of the unfamiliar words were pronounced.

CONS: What I found in some instances was insufficient information in the text to adequately answer the questions in MyArtsLab. It required you to make your own hypothesis because the information was not detailed enough, even though it was not a hypothetical question. Sometimes the text also seemed to assume a level of knowledge you might not have as a beginning art history student. Thankfully, there is a glossary and the internet.

The ala carte version has more instances of distorting the holes in the pages. I had 2-3 pages I had to get those circle things for torn or elongated holes. I am glad the quality of paper was such that this rarely happened. If it was printed on cheap paper, you would probably have a lot of torn pages. Most of my cons had to do with the MyArtsLab question structure, i.e. questions about stuff that never were mentioned in the book. In fact, I wondered it they were posting from the newer updated 5th edition.

All in all, I really enjoyed the information in this book and consider it a synopsis or jumping off point to investigate areas that might hold particular interest for you. What often happened was there might be a brief synopsis about something, i.e. Black Death and how it affected the style of art or architecture. It would entice me to look up more information online, at the library or in other resources. Of course, that happens with almost anything I read. LOL

I'm glad I purchased this book instead of renting it.
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on September 4, 2014
A little beat up from the cover, but thats alright, I bought it used, it was clean and new in the pages, and arrived at great time.
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on January 19, 2013
This is a great book. It is well articulated and includes articles that present different perspectives. The writting style is a combination of casual and scholarly, which makes is very easy to read while not losing details. Lot's of rich imagery which incredibly helps put them into context, overall great book
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on September 11, 2015
I really like art, but I didn't care much for this class.
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on December 21, 2014
It came in great condition, I found it to be very useful
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on October 2, 2013
Very good buy. Great condition and best price we found.
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