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Comment: This massive hardcover has a clear acrylic dust jacket; Jacket has some minor scratches and bends on the edge but no rips or splits; Looks good; Book itself looks close to new; Tight binding; Clean interior; Very nice copy
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The Art Museum [Hardcover] Phaidon Press (9780714856520) *0714856525* Unknown Binding – 2011

4.5 out of 5 stars 61 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Unknown Binding: 992 pages
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0063T7ZOG
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (61 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #9,701,263 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By L. Schattman on October 21, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I purchased this book for my library, and rather than immediately putting it on the shelves, I have left it out, opened to a different page each day. As I had hoped, everyone who passes stops to look!

This book is noteworthy not only for its large format and myriad illustrations, but for its global coverage. In addition to the "western civilization" art, it includes Native American, Asian, African, and Oceanic art. It begins with cave art and goes through the 20th century, featuring paintings, murals, frescoes, architectural details, sculpture, ceramics, textiles, jewelry, masks, and more. The breadth of coverage is outstanding. It's also wonderful to be able to see together items that are held by museums in different countries.

The image quality is very good. (I wouldn't call it superb: the colors of some seem a little off, and a few aren't as sharp as I expect from Phaidon, but they are definitely very good.) There are many full-page images, and quite a few two-page spreads (for example: the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel). For the price, and particularly given the challenges of photographing many of these works, the quality is astonishing.

I highly recommend this book for any library with an art section, and for anyone who loves art. It's a rare treat to see this many works, this well photographed, all in one volume.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Art: Over 2,500 Works vs. The Art Museum

I purchased both "Art: Over 2,500 Works from Cave to Contemporary" (hereby referred to as "Art") from DK Publishing and "The Art Museum" from Phaidon Press, and found them to be very different books. In summary, if you are looking for a reference book, get "Art;" if you are looking for a visual guide, get "The Art Museum." If you are just looking for a single art book, get "Art."

SIZE
If you drop "Art" at 7lbs., you won't necessarily bend the corners of the cover, and you can kind of awkwardly carry the book in your arms or in your lap. With "The Art Museum" at 18lbs., you will most certainly bend the corners of the cover if you do drop it, and you will need to read this book on a large, clear surface.

PAPER
The paper of the pages of "Art" almost feel twice as thick of "The Art Museum," with "Art" having more of a glossy finish, while "The Art Museum" is more of a matte finish. This makes the pictures of "The Art Museum" a little easier to look at, at the cost of durability. Because the weight of the paper in "Art," this seems a much more hardy book. With "The Art Museum," I have to be extremely careful that I do not tear or crease the pages as I leaf through the book.

PICTURE QUALITY
Hands-down, "The Art Museum" has done a much better job in reproducing the original colors of the artworks. "Art's" pictures, when comparing the same paintings, seem washed-out and under-saturated. And as written by other reviewers, without a doubt, the pictures in "Art" are far too small to be of any real aesthetic use. The large format of "The Art Museum" allows pictures to be seen in far more detail than in "Art," as "The Art Museum's pictures are generally four times as large as those found in "Art.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I love this book. I saw mention of it in an article on art books in a magazine and was intrigued enough to check it out on Amazon. I have misgivings from experience buying art books before I've seen the actual book. Some of the reviews gave me pause but I went ahead and bought it. Last night I was looking through this marvel of a book.

Yes, it is huge. The pages are 16.5" by 13.5" so the book won't fit on the shelf with my other art books and to comfortably view it I had to rest it on a large pillow laid across my lap. I own a lot of art books, including Phaidon's 30,000 Years of Art, and was not surprised by the smell that some buyers complained about. It will lessen with time and bothers me less than some of the cologne and perfume inserts in some magazines. The pages are sturdier than one reviewer's comments suggest. Like the text on museum placards, the overview text for each section and the descriptions of the images are brief. This is a visual tour of the history of art, not a text book. I was a little disappointed by the cover but I think there's an old adage about that.

In addition to the usual text books by Jansen, Stokstad, Gardner/Kleiner, etc. a smaller, more economical books with more text than this one but not as formal as an art history text book that I found very informative is [[ASIN:0789318334 Art: From Cave Painting to Street Art- 40,000 Years of Creativity edited by Stephen Farthing.

What a wonderful book! No buyer's remorse here.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is a good art book and as the title states it is a "museum" book, that is it shows the art work as you would see going through different museums. There is a notation of the work and artist but no real history of the work, it is NOT an art history book or a text book.
I find some of the reasons that people give for their low ratings laughable: The book is BIG and Heavy. Don't they read the description of the book BEFORE buying it? It tells you it is almost 1,000 pages, is almost 18 x 14 x 3 inches in size and weighs over 17 pounds. The paper is not heavy enough (this from the same person complaining about the weight of the book), she was worried about her son tearing the pages. If he is that young should he be looking at an art book unsupervised, especially one that weighs 17 Lbs.? I found the paper quite sturdy enough (for humans).
Another is that the colors are not true to the original art work. DUH! For a book that contains nearly 1,000 pages showing over 2,000 works and lists for only $125.00, what did you expect???????? You can get art books in limited editions, where the publisher will check the printed proofs against the originals and color correct them but they are usually limited to a single artist or even a single group of work from an artist and cost anywhere from several hundred dollars to several thousand. Taschen and Folio Society do this.
Some complained about a "chemical smell". The only smell that came off my edition is the smell of the semi-gloss paper and the printing ink. They may just have very acute sense of smell and find the aromas offensive.
This book is good for what it is, a collection of photos of works that appear in many museum collections and gives you a chance to see many works that you may never get a chance to see in person.
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