New Art History Books and CAA 2015

This week we head to the 103rd annual meeting of the College Art Association in New York City. UW Press Editor in Chief Larin McLaughlin, Senior Acquisitions Editor Regan Huff, and Advancement and Grants Manager Beth Fuget will be representing the Press, unveiling several new books, meeting with partners to discuss our Mellon Foundation-funded collaboration, the Art History Publication Initiative, and hosting a book signing with photographer Margaret Morton.

Here’s a sampling of some of the new titles we’ll be unveiling at the conference, but be sure to stop by our booth (#1007) or check out our CAA program ad to see the full slate of titles we’ll feature.

Imperial Illusions: Crossing Pictorial Boundaries in the Qing Palaces
By Kristina Kleutghen
Art History Publication Initiative
In the Forbidden City and other palaces around Beijing, Emperor Qianlong (r. 1736-1795) surrounded himself with monumental paintings of architecture, gardens, people, and faraway places. The best artists of the imperial painting academy, including a number of European missionary painters, used Western perspectival illusionism to transform walls and ceilings with visually striking images that were also deeply meaningful to Qianlong. These unprecedented works not only offer new insights into late imperial China’s most influential emperor, but also reflect one way in which Chinese art integrated and domesticated foreign ideas.

Great Qing: Painting in China, 1644-1911
By Claudia Brown
This comprehensive overview of painting in China’s last dynasty, the Qing (1644-1911), fills a need in the field of East Asian art history and will be welcomed by students and collectors. Claudia Brown provides a thorough chronological account of painting in the Qing period, from the tumultuous Ming-Qing transition to the end of imperial rule, while examining major influences along the way. Among topics explored are the relationship between painting and mapmaking, the role of patrons and collectors, printmaking and publishing, religious themes, and Western influences. Great Qing is innovative in providing many fine examples of Qing painting in American museums, works from all regions of China, and paintings by women.

Excavating the Afterlife: The Archaeology of Early Chinese Religion
By Guolong Lai
Art History Publication Initiative
In Excavating the Afterlife, Guolong Lai explores the dialectical relationship between sociopolitical change and mortuary religion from an archaeological perspective. By examining burial structure, grave goods, and religious documents unearthed from groups of well-preserved tombs in southern China, Lai shows that new attitudes toward the dead, resulting from the trauma of violent political struggle and warfare, permanently altered the early Chinese conceptions of this world and the afterlife. The book grounds the important changes in religious beliefs and ritual practices firmly in the sociopolitical transition from the Warring States (ca. 453-221 BCE) to the early empires (3rd century-1st century BCE).

Image Problems: The Origin and Development of the Buddha’s Image in Early South Asia
By Robert DeCaroli
This deft and lively study explores the questions of how and why the earliest verifiable images of the historical Buddha were created. In so doing, DeCaroli steps away from old questions of where and when to present the history of Buddhism’s relationship with figural art as an ongoing set of negotiations within the Buddhist community and in society at large. By comparing innovations in Brahmanical, Jain, and royal artistic practice, DeCaroli examines why no image of the Buddha was made until approximately five hundred years after his death and what changed in the centuries surrounding the start of the Common Era to suddenly make those images desirable and acceptable.

Book Signing

Margaret Morton, author and photographer of Cities of the Dead: The Ancestral Cemeteries of Kyrgyzstan, will sign copies of her book in UW Press’s CAA booth (#1007) from noon to 1:00 p.m. on Thursday, February 12. The book features 75 stunning duotone photographs of Kyrgryzstan’s otherworldly cities of the dead and represents the latest work from award-winning photographer Margaret Morton.

Click over to this photo essay for a preview of Cities of the Dead. And if you’re gallery hopping around New York, stop in and see Margaret’s photos on display at Cooper Union’s Arthur A. Houghton Jr. Gallery.

1 thought on “New Art History Books and CAA 2015

  1. Pingback: Announcing the Global South Asia Series and New Books in Asian Studies | University of Washington Press Blog

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