Art in Oceania: A New History

Yale Univ. 2013. 536p. ed. by Peter Brunt & . illus. notes. bibliog. index. ISBN 9780300190281. $100. REF
Brunt (art history, Victoria Univ. of Wellington, New Zealand; Tatau/Tattoo) and Thomas (historical anthropology, Univ. of Cambridge, United Kingdom; Entangled Objects) present a classic regional art history survey. The visual art of Oceania is not just masks and figures, and this resource presents additional creative forms—rock engravings, tattoos, beaten and stained fabrics, woven cloth and containers, sand drawings, installation art, and more. Covering works discovered in earliest archaeological evidence through those created in the last 50 years, the book pays credence to the impact of changing relations among Pacific peoples as well as their resilience and creativity in the face of globalization. The result is a portrait of Oceanic art as both traditional and innovative. This work is rich with illustrations (over 500), and includes maps of the region. The main text is punctuated by feature and voice essays.
VERDICT A crucial resource for teaching that will be of interest to those wanting to form or change their broad perceptions of Oceanic art.
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