Format Hardcover
Publication Date 01/02/24
ISBN 9781639365494
Trim Size / Pages 6 x 9 in / 512

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The Power of Art

A Human History of Art: From Babylon to New York City

Caroline Campbell

An epic work of art history that will transform our understanding of the world by unlocking the human stories behind millennia of art.

Taking readers from ancient Babylon to contemporary Pyongyang, the eminent curator Caroline Campbell explains art's power to illuminate our lives—and inspires us to benefit from its transformative and regenerative power.

Unlike the majority of contemporary art history, this book is about much more than the cult of artists’ personalities. Instead, each chapter is structured around a city at a particularly vibrant moment in its history, describing what propelled its creativity and innovation.

The emotions and societies she evokes are highly recognizable, revealing how great art resonates powerfully by transcending the boundaries of time.

Dr. Caroline Campbell is the director of the National Gallery of Ireland. She was previously the director of Collections and Research at the National Gallery in London, a curator at the Ashmolean Museum, curator of Paintings at the Courtauld Gallery and The Jacob Rothschild Head of the Curatorial Department at the National Gallery. Caroline was educated at University College, Oxford and the Courtauld Institute of Art and is a former fellow of the Center for Curatorial Leadership in New York. She is passionate about widening public engagement with art and has spoken to audiences around the world on numerous subjects from art history.

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Endorsements & Reviews

"Campbell, director of the National Gallery of Ireland, debuts with an enriching tour of 15 cities. Conjuring each of her settings in vivid detail, Campbell offers both a lively narrative and a corrective to the “genius” model of art history. Readers will come away with fresh insights into how art gets made." Publishers Weekly
"The director of the National Gallery of Ireland argues that innovative artistic expression reflects the character of the cities that drive it. Campbell covers a huge expanse of territory as she explores the nexus of culture, cities, and artists.” Kirkus Reviews