Art and Art History Faculty Book-Length Publications (selected works)
Felice Beato: Photographer in Nineteenth-Century Japan
Introduction by Eleanor M. Hight
Catalogue from the Felice Beato: Photographer in Nineteenth-Century Japan exhibition at the Museum of Art, University of New Hampshire. Intro by Eleanor M. Hight with essays from collectors Tom Burnett and Terry Bennett.
A British subject of Italian ancestry, Felice Beato (1832-1909) was one of the most successful early photographers in Japan, which was newly opened to Westerners in the 1850s. Arriving in Yokohama in 1863, Beato quickly established the model for commercial photography in terms of subjects, style, and marketing to a Western audience. The first in the United States devoted exclusively to Beato’s photographs of feudal Japan, this special exhibition features nearly 100 albumen photographs, many of which were hand painted by Japanese artists. Beato’s subjects include geisha, samurai, landscape views, and historic sites.
The exhibition featured photographs from the private collection of Tom Burnett, New York City. Guest curator was Eleanor M. Hight, Professor of Art History at the University of New Hampshire. She is the author of Capturing Japan in Nineteenth-Century New England Photography Collections (Ashgate, 2011), Picturing Modernism: Moholy-Nagy and Photography in Weimar Germany (MIT Press, 1995), and the co-editor of Colonialist Photography: Imag(in)ing Race and Place (Routledge, 2004).
Capturing Japan in Nineteenth-Century New England Photography Collections
by Eleanor M. Hight
Ashgate Publishing, 2011
excerpt from book cover: Capturing Japan in Nineteenth-Century New England Photography Collections examines the evidence left behind from a famous first encounter--that of prominent New England Americans with the remnants of feudal Japan in the 1870s and 1880s. The study reveals that, despite these Americans' varied reasons for travelling to Japan and studying its culture, a common desire united all of their collecting activities: to gather photographic documentation of a Japan they believed was disappearing under the pressures of trade and industrialization.
from the book cover: Why did Renaissance art come to matter so much, so widely, and for so long? Patricia Emison's answer depends on a recalibrated view of the long Renaissance--from 1300 to 1600--synthesizing the considerable evolution in our understanding of the epoch since the foundational 19th-century studies of Jacob Burckhardt and Heinrich Wölfflin.
Demonstrating that the imitation of nature and of antiquity must no longer define its limits, she exposes the self-consciously modern aspect of Renaissance style. She sets the art against the literary and political interests of the time, and analyzes works both of very familiar artists--Leonardo, Michelangelo, and Raphael--and of lesser-known figures, including Cima da Conegliano and Federico Barocci, as well as various printmakers. Succinct yet expansive, this treatment of the period also explores its layered significance for subsequent generations, from the Old Masters to the Post-Modernists.
excerpt from book cover: This new addition to Phaidon's Colour Library series on the great masters and movements in art contains 48 colour plates of Leonardo's most exceptional works including: "Mona Lisa," "The Last Supper," and the "Virgin of the Rocks," as well as many of his remarkable studies, plans and sketches. The illustrations are accompanied by an insightful essay and detailed explanatory notes on each plate by respected specialist Patricia Emison.
The Shaping of Art History: Meditations on a Discipline
by Patricia Emison
Pennsylvania State University Press, 2008
excerpt from book cover: In this provocative book, Patricia Emison invites the reader to consider and reconsider how past thinkers—from Pliny and Alberti to Freud and Fried—have conceptualized the history of Western art. What a book review attempts to be for a book, this extended essay attempts to be for several hundred years’ worth of books in a field: an indicator of problems with the old attempts and hopes for the new ones. It is a defense of art history for those outside the field who question its reliability or even its importance; it is a critique of art history for those in the field who may have been preoccupied with looking at trees but who might be interested in trying to see the forest.
"truly a pleasure to read" and "a new kind of historiography of art history" Kathryn Rudy, Sixteenth Century Journal, XLI, 2010
"It is refreshing to find a seasoned scholar stepping back and calmly appraising the strengths and weaknesses of the profession...The author herself is noted for boldness in tackling traditional subjects from unusual points of view. This book, in effect a long essay, is no exception.'' Debra Pincus, Choice
"This wise and thoughtful book would make an excellent text for a methodology course and should be read by all who are interested in the field." David Wilkins, Renaissance Quarterly, 2008