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30,000 Years of Art: The Story of Human Creativity across Time and Space

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30,000 Years of Art presents 1000 great works of art from all periods and regions in the world, arranged in chronological order for a general readership. Breaking through the usual geographical and cultural boundaries of art history, it celebrates the vast range of human artistry across time and space. Each work is accompanied by key caption information (date, title, place 30,000 Years of Art presents 1000 great works of art from all periods and regions in the world, arranged in chronological order for a general readership. Breaking through the usual geographical and cultural boundaries of art history, it celebrates the vast range of human artistry across time and space. Each work is accompanied by key caption information (date, title, place of origin, style or culture, medium, dimensions etc.), and a short text providing more information and explaining the art historical context. The book presents art in a way different from other art history compendia, revealing the huge diversity, or in many cases similarity, of man's artistic achievements through time and around the globe. Ordered chronologically, the resulting timeline of works leads to compelling browsing: surprising juxtapositions offer intellectual pleasure and a sense of wonder and discovery. The selection of works from across the world, arranged in the sequence in which they were made, take the reader on a global and historical journey, as a Chinese Shang urn stands next to a Mycenaean vase, and Michelangelo's Slave is followed by a contemporaneous male sculpture from Nigeria. The chronological arrangement responds to such questions as where does the earliest art appear? What were artists creating in China or Africa while Rembrandt was painting self-portraits in Leyden? How were similar subjects - equestrian themes, landscapes, religious scenes - manipulated by artists in Aztec Mexico and Medieval Europe? Although the sequence of works in the book is strictly chronological, the selection of entries for an individual culture comprises an abbreviated history of the art of that people. Thus, while artworks from ancient Greece or the European Renaissance or pre-Columbian Americas are interspersed with contemporaneous works created in Africa, India or Japan, an extraction of the Greek or Renaissance or American works could stand alone as an essential abridgement of the finest art of that period or culture.


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30,000 Years of Art presents 1000 great works of art from all periods and regions in the world, arranged in chronological order for a general readership. Breaking through the usual geographical and cultural boundaries of art history, it celebrates the vast range of human artistry across time and space. Each work is accompanied by key caption information (date, title, place 30,000 Years of Art presents 1000 great works of art from all periods and regions in the world, arranged in chronological order for a general readership. Breaking through the usual geographical and cultural boundaries of art history, it celebrates the vast range of human artistry across time and space. Each work is accompanied by key caption information (date, title, place of origin, style or culture, medium, dimensions etc.), and a short text providing more information and explaining the art historical context. The book presents art in a way different from other art history compendia, revealing the huge diversity, or in many cases similarity, of man's artistic achievements through time and around the globe. Ordered chronologically, the resulting timeline of works leads to compelling browsing: surprising juxtapositions offer intellectual pleasure and a sense of wonder and discovery. The selection of works from across the world, arranged in the sequence in which they were made, take the reader on a global and historical journey, as a Chinese Shang urn stands next to a Mycenaean vase, and Michelangelo's Slave is followed by a contemporaneous male sculpture from Nigeria. The chronological arrangement responds to such questions as where does the earliest art appear? What were artists creating in China or Africa while Rembrandt was painting self-portraits in Leyden? How were similar subjects - equestrian themes, landscapes, religious scenes - manipulated by artists in Aztec Mexico and Medieval Europe? Although the sequence of works in the book is strictly chronological, the selection of entries for an individual culture comprises an abbreviated history of the art of that people. Thus, while artworks from ancient Greece or the European Renaissance or pre-Columbian Americas are interspersed with contemporaneous works created in Africa, India or Japan, an extraction of the Greek or Renaissance or American works could stand alone as an essential abridgement of the finest art of that period or culture.

30 review for 30,000 Years of Art: The Story of Human Creativity across Time and Space

  1. 5 out of 5

    Peter Tillman

    Your public library likely has a copy of this enormous (12.5 lbs!) and well-produced book. You should check it out and, well, check it out. Make sure you have your sturdiest book-bag to lug the thing out to the car! I'm particularly partial to the prehistoric and ethnographic stuff, but the whole thing is really, really nicely done. One of my 100 (or so) best books ever. Five stars! Your public library likely has a copy of this enormous (12.5 lbs!) and well-produced book. You should check it out and, well, check it out. Make sure you have your sturdiest book-bag to lug the thing out to the car! I'm particularly partial to the prehistoric and ethnographic stuff, but the whole thing is really, really nicely done. One of my 100 (or so) best books ever. Five stars!

  2. 4 out of 5

    Meredith

    You could kill someone with this book. Seriously. It's the biggest book I've ever read. According to Amazon.com, it is 12.1 x 12.1 x 2.8 inches and weighs 13 pounds. You could kill someone with this book. Seriously. It's the biggest book I've ever read. According to Amazon.com, it is 12.1 x 12.1 x 2.8 inches and weighs 13 pounds.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Steve

    Will probably take me another 30,000 years to fully read, but this is one the most prized books in my collection. I hope to pass it on to my children.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Unpil

    An art museum in one's home, spanning the circumference of the globe and the width of the time. Recommended! An art museum in one's home, spanning the circumference of the globe and the width of the time. Recommended!

  5. 5 out of 5

    Courtney

    This book reminded me why I consistently sucked at Art Theory in high school. There's a lot here. And at the same time... not a lot. But that is the subject matter, there is no way to condense 30,000 years of art into a book that everyone would be happy with. Subjectively I think a lot of the art in this collection is male orientated and european focused. But then again, I am also a layman when it comes to art so it's not like my opinion is educated. I think this is a great book to have sitting This book reminded me why I consistently sucked at Art Theory in high school. There's a lot here. And at the same time... not a lot. But that is the subject matter, there is no way to condense 30,000 years of art into a book that everyone would be happy with. Subjectively I think a lot of the art in this collection is male orientated and european focused. But then again, I am also a layman when it comes to art so it's not like my opinion is educated. I think this is a great book to have sitting somewhere where visitors can see it and flick through and maybe you can talk about art together even though that sounds pretentious as hell. There's a nice scope, sure the actual art in the BC section is thin of the ground, a more accurate title would be 30,000 years of art except three quarters is going to be the last two thousand years. Again. Not a connosseur of art, just making an observation. The layout is lovely, the size is nice, heavy as hell and not a book that you can transport around, I wouldn't be reading this on the train to and from work. The last couple of pages include performance pieces and video art and it doesn't translate well to print. But overall an interesting book.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Mark

    This fantastic book avoids the cloistered stylistic chapters of most art history. Instead, it treats its subject strictly chronologically, devoting an entire page to each featured work. This means you sometimes get fascinating juxtapositions on opposing pages. Highly recommended. My only critique is that the binding is not strong enough for such a chunky book. The binding has completely fallen off of mine after years of reading. I don't mind the battered look, and I probably couldn't have afford This fantastic book avoids the cloistered stylistic chapters of most art history. Instead, it treats its subject strictly chronologically, devoting an entire page to each featured work. This means you sometimes get fascinating juxtapositions on opposing pages. Highly recommended. My only critique is that the binding is not strong enough for such a chunky book. The binding has completely fallen off of mine after years of reading. I don't mind the battered look, and I probably couldn't have afforded a binding that would have held something this large together, but it's a good thing to know before you buy.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Andrew

    This was an awesome book I was fortunate enough to find on sale at Barnes and Nobles. The premise is that the authors picked the most influential or definitive pieces from every age (pretty much their favorites) starting 30,000 years ago and working up to the present. I'm not really into "art," but there is a lot of pretty amazing history and there are hundreds of beautiful things in the book to look at. The only gripe is that some of the pictures on the page are kind of small, but otherwise its This was an awesome book I was fortunate enough to find on sale at Barnes and Nobles. The premise is that the authors picked the most influential or definitive pieces from every age (pretty much their favorites) starting 30,000 years ago and working up to the present. I'm not really into "art," but there is a lot of pretty amazing history and there are hundreds of beautiful things in the book to look at. The only gripe is that some of the pictures on the page are kind of small, but otherwise its an amazing book and well worth the price.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Poon

    A great coffee table book dedicated to art. Just flipping through this book to see the photos of artifacts is already a feast to the eyes but once you have time to read on, you will find more information to widen your appreciation in them. This book also makes a great present. I gave couple of them as 2008 New Year gifts to friends and they all raved about it! Highly recommended!!!

  9. 5 out of 5

    Dee

    It truly is human creativity over time and space. 30,000 years is a very long time. 1,000 masterworks from around the world all cultures and countries from cave drawings to the 20th century in chronological order.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Rhonda

    Extraordinarily well done and affordable art book. Lovely to keep open on a table and browse through at random to learn about art from different countries, from different centuries, and in different styles. One of my favorite books ever.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Jane

    I read this book two pages at a time over the course of a few years, which was a great way to do it. I took me not just through the history of art, with beautiful colour plates of all of the art pieces, but also through the history of humans and their time on earth. I learned so much, not to mention discovering some amazing works of art, and this book put so much into historical context for me. Interestingly, for many of the artists whose work I was familiar with the pieces selected for the book I read this book two pages at a time over the course of a few years, which was a great way to do it. I took me not just through the history of art, with beautiful colour plates of all of the art pieces, but also through the history of humans and their time on earth. I learned so much, not to mention discovering some amazing works of art, and this book put so much into historical context for me. Interestingly, for many of the artists whose work I was familiar with the pieces selected for the book were not known to me. I don’t know if this was a concerted effort to feature some less famous pieces, or if these were really seminal works for each artist and I am just not as familiar with them as I thought. At the end of the book are a couple of timelines which I found really fascinating , showing the dates of the various artistic movements in different regions o father world, and then showing art through the ages in the context of significant world events. Published in 2007 by a publisher with offices in London and New York, I did find this a bit American-centric. Also it was shocking how few women artists were featured, however I think this is a reflection of how women’s art has not been valued over the eons, so it has not been preserved until recently. But despite that, I would recommend this book to anyone interested in art - and as a side benefit you will learn a lot of history too! This is not doe the faint of heart, however - it is a physically large, and very heavy book, and it is over 1000 pages long. But it is a great “dipper” and can be read over an extended period of time, as I did. In fact that is the way I would recommend reading it, so that you can fully absorb what you are reading and also examine the art closely.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Jessica Peters

    It is what it is - an art book. Sometimes the descriptions of the art pieces are more about their creators than the pieces themselves - but understandably, sometimes there's really not much to say about another oil painting on canvas. That being said, there's plenty of variety in types of art pieces and I appreciate that. It is what it is - an art book. Sometimes the descriptions of the art pieces are more about their creators than the pieces themselves - but understandably, sometimes there's really not much to say about another oil painting on canvas. That being said, there's plenty of variety in types of art pieces and I appreciate that.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Shahroz Bhatti

    best

  14. 4 out of 5

    Anna

    Hmmm. I've been looking at this book (thank you, Lena) for an hour now, wondering if it will be as good as it sounds, thinking it probably won't - that it can't be.... but it looks absolutely ...delicious. My clearly impaired ability to make straightforward decisions (it's a one-click, totally non-committing thing for crying out loud) and my inner vision of devouringa chocolate cake makes me thik it's time to sign off for dinner. Hmmm. I've been looking at this book (thank you, Lena) for an hour now, wondering if it will be as good as it sounds, thinking it probably won't - that it can't be.... but it looks absolutely ...delicious. My clearly impaired ability to make straightforward decisions (it's a one-click, totally non-committing thing for crying out loud) and my inner vision of devouringa chocolate cake makes me thik it's time to sign off for dinner.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Lisa Vegan

    This is actually an amazing book but it doesn’t get 5 stars from me because so much is left out that I wish was included. I especially like the timeline that shows the history of the art along with general human history. I doubt that I will ever read every page of this book, the way I normally do with art books.

  16. 4 out of 5

    ZC Zhang

    1, A great and perfect composition of Art, History, and Archaeology, 2, No personal views, opinions, 3, Very even in chronology and geography, e.g, 500 pages are Art before A.D 1000, and 500 pages are Art after A.D 1000, etc. A HUGE book ! like a table ! Also a great art book, however is not available anymore.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Stephan

    This book has alot of ground to cover. It goes page by page matching art from all cultures at the same time at the pace of about 100-1000 years per page, picking one particular piece with some short text.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Rhesa

    This looks good actualy, but it's so biggg!!!, almost the size of a small table. I'll need to pay extra baggage to carry this on the plane. Well hopefully gonna see this book in Jakarta soon. I'd rather buy this than the small 10,000 years one also recently published by Phaidon. This looks good actualy, but it's so biggg!!!, almost the size of a small table. I'll need to pay extra baggage to carry this on the plane. Well hopefully gonna see this book in Jakarta soon. I'd rather buy this than the small 10,000 years one also recently published by Phaidon.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Ellis

    Anyone wanna get me this book??

  20. 5 out of 5

    Chloe

    This was a birthday present. It arrived by mail and is the size of a smallish meteor.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Leonard Pierce

    Big and clumsy and pretty much focused on the mainstream, but for the price, you can't beat this, and the layout, design and big, beautiful reproductions of art can't be beat. Big and clumsy and pretty much focused on the mainstream, but for the price, you can't beat this, and the layout, design and big, beautiful reproductions of art can't be beat.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Pamela

    Got this for my birthday. It is exquisite. It will take 30,000 years for me to read, reread and digest.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Gen

    Fabulous book! Love it to bits.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Rob

    If I need some reassurance that there is some good in our species I look at this book for an hour.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Donna Walsh

    Very interesting way to setup the book so one can follow art development across cultures. It is an absolutely beautiful book. Sorry to have to take it back to library, but glad it was available.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Liz Price Patel

    Recommended by 2nd Grade. "Because I love art and it has a hamburger somewhere." Jason G. Recommended by 2nd Grade. "Because I love art and it has a hamburger somewhere." Jason G.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Beck Frost

    This has probably been one of my favorite art books of all time. It has EVERYTHING. I keep it and two other art books on my shelf for reference.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Juli Wisniewski

    There is no way I could ever actually be "finished" with this book because that would mean I will have learned everything which is impossible. This book should be on everyone's coffee table. There is no way I could ever actually be "finished" with this book because that would mean I will have learned everything which is impossible. This book should be on everyone's coffee table.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Mely

    Is a nice thing to say I saw some of these works of arts in person

  30. 4 out of 5

    Paula

    This is a fabulous book! It is large but worth reviewing as an overview of art from the last 30,000 years - we will refer to it over and over and enjoy it!

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