Cover image for Art in the modern era : a guide to styles, schools & movements
Art in the modern era : a guide to styles, schools & movements
Dempsey, Amy.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
New York : Harry N. Abrams, [2002]

Physical Description:
304 pages : illustrations (some color) ; 29 cm

Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
N6490 .D415 2002 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks-Oversize Non-Circ
N6490 .D415 2002 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf

On Order



This superb, clearly organized guide to art from 1860 to the present is without peer -- it is the key to understanding more than a century of dynamic change, from Impressionism to the Digital Age. The 300 schools and movements discussed provide an introduction to the major developments in Western painting, sculpture, architecture, and design during one of the most exciting periods in art history.

Who, where, when, how, and why? -- these are the essential questions answered in the 100 main entries that make up the heart of the book. A foldout illustrated time line shows at a glance how modern and contemporary art evolved. Whether for reference, fresh exploration, or pure pleasure, this authoritative, unusually accessible book is a supremely valuable resource for anyone interested in art.

Reviews 2

Library Journal Review

The complex changes during the past 150 years of art history can at times create something resembling a Gordian knot. Dempsey, who has extensive museum experience and a Ph.D. in art history from the Courtland Institute in London, deserves praise for sorting out more than 300 movements, stylistic spin-offs, and convoluted political and interdisciplinary influences in this excellent work. The highly compact yet astute entries are freely cross-referenced, and a good fold-out time line allows for quick visual understanding features that help to clarify the web of relationships among burgeoning theories and practicing artists. In addition, each entry cites important collections and key sources for further study. European and North American painting, sculpture, architecture, and design are emphasized, as are installation, performance, sound, video, and Internet art. (The author felt that, given their scope, photography and film should be treated in a separate volume.) All major and minor movements are mentioned in this very comprehensive guide, which could easily become a standard for modern art survey courses, making it a sensible purchase for most libraries. Susan Lense, Upper Arlington P.L., OH (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Choice Review

Dempsey has done a prodigious job in creating this guide--a compilation of some 300 schools and movements described chronologically from 1860 to the present. Major styles like Impressionism, less significant ones like Funk Art, short-lived ones like Orphism, and others that refuse to die, like Outsider Art--are all included. A foldout time line of 100 of the most significant styles presented in three strands ("Art for the People," "Art and Style," "Art and Mind") helps the reader see the extent of each movement as well as the degree of the temporal overlapping. The text discusses these 100 most significant entities, primarily in painting, sculpture, and architecture (all from the Western tradition), including manifestos, reports of exhibitions, and critical comments, and also includes bits of historical and cultural information useful for presenting a context for the art, as well as suggestions for further reading. Reproductions are large, frequent, and up to the excellent quality expected of Abrams. This encyclopedic resource, an extremely useful reference for anyone seeking insights into the evolution of modern art, offers a direct visual entry to the almost infinite variety of artistic object making. All levels. K. Marantz emeritus, Ohio State University