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Native North American Art (Oxford History of Art) [Paperback]

by Janet Catherine Berlo, Ruth B. Phillips
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)

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Book Description

November 19, 1998 0192842188 978-0192842183
This exciting investigation explores the indigenous arts of the US and Canada from the early pre-contact period to the present day, stressing the conceptual and iconographic continuities over five centuries and across an immensely diverse range of regions. The richness of Native American art is emphasized through discussions of basketry, wood and rock carvings, dance masks, and beadwork, alongside the contemporary vitality of paintings and installations by modern artists such as Robert Davidson, Emmi Whitehorse, and Alex Janvier. Authors Berlo and Philips fully incorporate substantive new research and scholarship, and examine such issues as gender, representation, the colonial encounter, and contemporary arts. By encompassing both the sacred and secular, political and domestic, the ceremonial and commercial, Native North American Art shows the importance of the visual arts in maintaining the integrity of spiritual, social, political, and economic systems within Native North American societies.

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Editorial Reviews

Review


"The best guide yet to understanding the complexities of Native North American art....a solidly ground, sophisticated history, combining art history, anthropology, and cultural studies...splendidly well-written...useful and timely."--Gerald McMaster, Curator of Art, Canadian Museum of Civilization


"An outstanding new volume in the Oxford History of Art series. Designed to introduce readers to the depth and diversity of Native regional art, it is also a highly readable introduction to Native North American history and anthropology."--Foreword


"A fine statement, covering in fewer than 300 pages the artistic output of most Native American tribes across the northern hemisphere over a period of more than eight centuries.... Illustrations are especially fresh, varied, and well chosen."--Library Journal


"Nicely organized and clearly written-- very good illustrations."--Pat McDonald, Calhoun Community College


"This book has it all--a fresh, readable style, wonderful supporting photos and diagrams, and it's inexpensive. Berlo and Phillips also present a holistic view of Native American Art--just as it should be. Brava!"--Helen Barnes, Wichita State University


"An excellent textbook--politically aware and well-written. An especially good bibliographic essay. One of the best aspects of this text is the integration of arts from all periods--ancient through contemporary."--Matthew Looper, California State University at Chico


"An excellent book which includes information on various ethical issues surrounding the collection, display, and documentation of native American arts."--Maude Wahlman, University of Missouri, Kansas City


About the Author


Janet Catherine Berlo is the Susan B. Anthony Chair of Gender and Women's Studies and Professor of Art History at the University of Rochester, New York.
Ruth Phillips is Director of the Museum of Anthropology and Professor of Fine Art and Anthropology at the University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada

Product Details

  • Series: Oxford History of Art
  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA (November 19, 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0192842188
  • ISBN-13: 978-0192842183
  • Product Dimensions: 9.5 x 6.6 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #196,922 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
24 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars a must-have, for all levels. September 17, 2003
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
Berlo's and Phillips' erudite, critical voices are a welcome change from the often glossy, sales-driven world of Indian art writing. True to form, they have together crafted a sophisticated and highly readable survey of pre-contact, historic and contemporary Indian art, suitable for undergrads, grads, and the casual layperson. This book fills a HUGE gap, and stakes out a territory that few other scholars would dare venture; between connoisseurship, anthropology, visual culture and criticl theory. It is therefore to be expected that specialists of a particular region might take issue with some of their finer details. But specialist nit-picking misses the larger point of this book: to show how Native tribes across North America continued their cultural traditions despite colonialism and intertribal contact. It is a complex, interwoven history, but Indian art emerges, through this book, as one of the most vital, politically engaged arts in America today. This book sets the standard for Indian Art surveys.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful photos, excellent overview of the subject April 26, 2009
Format:Paperback
This book was required for an Introduction to Native American Arts class that I took just for fun at school. It is an easy and interesting read, and the punctuation of gorgeous photographs of a wide range of art from all over the North American regions, makes it a pleasant experience. While I do not keep all of my textbooks, this is one that will remain in my collection as a reference and as one that I anticipate using as I research Native American cultures in upcoming classes.

My only criticism of this book is that "art" is by default, defined as only visual arts, rather than including performance, literary and musical arts. It is also only an overview, and will not provide a complete explanation of every type of Native American art tradition, or even represent every tribal group.

Quite honestly, I would recommend this book to anyone researching or studying Native American culture, history and/or tradition, since the art is much more interesting to many people, and the culture, history and tradition are such an important part of the art, reading about Native art will also give a good overview of the other subjects.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars superb one-book resource March 30, 2003
By E Rice
Format:Hardcover
one book can only give the reader a brief overview of the wealth of american indian art. the traditional art (i don't acknowledge a split between art and craft) was produced by all the nations, spans pre-historic and historic eras, and has been collected for centuries. the contemporary art is flourishing and much is breathtaking. that being said, this book does a wonderful job of covering such an immense subject.
the only complaint i have is the relative paucity of photos. but i would feel that way if the book were nothing but photos.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Great book... February 18, 2014
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This book is unique in that it covers a serious historical overview of Native North American Indian Art plus the inclusion of the best contemporary first American artists...!
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5.0 out of 5 stars great book June 12, 2013
By kelly
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
i ordered this for class, its an easy read, lots of images. i'm not much of a reader but i enjoyed reading this. even if it was for class. i learned a lot, great book.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Native North American Art June 10, 2013
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Revealing the value of art as the key to discovering and interpreting pre-contact and post contact native lifestyle, culture, trade, customs, traditions, and values, this book is a keepsake resource for those interested in Native North Americans!
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