At age five, I won my first writing award: a three-foot-long fire truck with an ear-splitting siren. I've been addicted to writing ever since. Today I'm an independent researcher, freelance writer, lecturer, and tour guide. The challenge of figuring out how ideas and facts fit together, and then sharing what I know with others, clearly and concisely - that's what makes me leap out of bed in the morning.
Janson's *History of Art*, lent to me by a high-school art teacher, was my first clue that art was more than the rock-star posters and garden gnomes that I saw in Catawissa, Pennsylvania, and that history wasn't just a series of names, dates, and statistics. Soon afterwards I read Ayn Rand's fiction and nonfiction works, and discovered that art and history - as well as politics, ethics, science, and all fields of human knowledge - are integrated by philosophy. My approach to studying art is based on Rand's *The Romantic Manifesto*. (See my review of it on Amazon.) As an art historian I'm a passionate amateur, and I write for other passionate amateurs. I love looking at art, and thinking about art, and helping other people have a blast looking at it, too.
My latest foray into art history is *Innovators in Sculpture* (Kindle), a jargon-free overview that focuses on 11 innovations that gave artists greater power to make viewers stop, look, and think about sculptures. Two hours, 5,000 years!
Since 2002, I've written extensively on outdoor representational sculpture in New York City. I believe that art at its best is emotional fuel, and while these sculptures don't rival Michelangelo's *David*, many of them are extremely well executed and represent people whose achievements are inspiring. My website www.ForgottenDelights.com was created in 2002 to celebrate such sculptures. *Outdoor Monuments of Manhattan: A Historical Guide* (New York University Press, 2007), which includes 54 sculptures, was described by Sam Roberts in the *New York Times* as "a perfect walking-tour accompaniment to help New Yorkers and visitors find, identify and better appreciate statues famous and obscure" (1/28/2007). In 2014, Guides Who Know published a "translation" of the book as *Monuments of Manhattan*, a videoguide app available in the Amazon Android app store. It includes 108 narrated segments (with much material not in the book), thousands of archival images, original music, and GPS.
For a complete list of my writings and for my blog (which includes a series of posts on *Hamilton: An American Musical* and on favorite paintings and sculptures), visit DianneDuranteWriter.com .