Cover image for Art beyond the west : the arts of Africa, India and Southeast Asia, China, Japan and Korea, the Pacific, and the Americas
Art beyond the west : the arts of Africa, India and Southeast Asia, China, Japan and Korea, the Pacific, and the Americas
Kampen-O'Riley, Michael.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
New York : H.N. Abrams, [2001]

Physical Description:
344 pages : illustrations (some color), maps ; 29 cm
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
N5300 .K292 2001 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area-Oversize

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From an African mask to a Maya temple to a watercolor by the great Indian poet and artist Tagore, this richly illustrated book presents the vast and fascinating range of arts that lies outside the Western tradition.

Michael Kampen O'Riley treats Asian, African, and American cultures from their early, often prehistoric beginnings through the present day, explaining what makes each distinctive. The only one-volume overview of the subject available today, this solid, cogent work is an ideal introduction for students, art lovers, and travelers.

Reviews 2

Booklist Review

Kampen O'Riley covers a colossal amount of time and territory and a dizzying array of cultures in this unprecedented survey of the art of, for lack of a better term, non-Western traditions. Each of the continents, regions, and countries listed in the subtitle has been home to myriad languages, belief systems, customs, and aesthetics over the centuries, and each has influenced the art of the other and the West. Undaunted, Kampen O'Riley, formerly of Yale, focuses on the fundamentals, the "all-important ideals, beliefs, and principles that shaped" the art and thought of each culture. Drawing on a deep well of knowledge, a fluent sense of organization (time charts and sidebars abound), and attunement to the synergy within and among cultures (the chapter on African art, for instance, embraces the African diaspora and African American folk art), he succeeds in defining the essence of each distinct artistic tradition. Add to that impressive feat a clear, relaxed, and engaging prose style and superb illustrations, and the sum is a prime introductory guide to much of the world's art. Donna Seaman

Library Journal Review

Pulling from art history, anthropology, and religious studies, dedicated educator O'Riley has attempted to encapsulate the entirety of non-Western art in one volume, which is no small task. Chapters jam-packed with information range over Africa, India, Southeast Asia, China, Japan and Korea, the Americas, and the Pacific and consider such issues as post- and intercolonialism and postmodernism. An extensive glossary, a basic bibliography, and a useful index help organize the material. Throughout, supplementary material is presented in block form to give background information or present alternate ideas or ways of thinking. The book is as complete as a single volume on this topic can be and would serve as a sturdy jumping-off point for further study in a specific non-Western field. But while the publisher claims that this is "the only one-volume overview of the subject available today," Lynn MacKenzie attempted the same thing in Non-Western Art: A Brief Guide (Prentice-Hall, 1995). Still, O'Riley's book offers more coverage and is a bit more detailed. Recommended for public libraries and art history, cultural studies, or anthropology collections. Nadine Dalton Speidel, Cuyahoga Cty. P.L., Parma, OH (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.