John Harrison (Eton College)'s Top Book Recommendations

Want to know what books John Harrison (Eton College) recommends on their reading list? We've researched interviews, social media posts, podcasts, and articles to build a comprehensive list of John Harrison (Eton College)'s favorite book recommendations of all time.

"The art historian after Erwin Panofsky and Ernst Gombrich is not only participating in an activity of great intellectual excitement; he is raising and exploring issues which lie very much at the centre of psychology, of the sciences and of history itself. Svetlana Alpers's study of 17th-century Dutch painting is a splendid example of this excitement and of the centrality of art history among current disciples. Professor Alpers puts forward a vividly argued thesis. There is, she says, a truly fundamental dichotomy between the art of the Italian Renaissance and that of the Dutch masters. . . .... more
Recommended by John Harrison (Eton College), and 1 others.

John Harrison (Eton College)This is a wonderful book, but it is not an easy read. She’s arguing that maps and mapping are a way of understanding much of Dutch art. She’s absolutely brilliant in the way that she shows that Dutch art is, in many ways, following the mariners, the tradition of seagoing. (Source)

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Women, Art, and Power—seven landmark essays on women artists and women in art history—brings together the work of almost twenty years of scholarship and speculation. less
Recommended by John Harrison (Eton College), and 1 others.

John Harrison (Eton College)One of the most exciting things that’s happened in the last 50 years has been the feminist interpretation of everything, but not least the feminist interpretation of art. Along with Griselda Pollock, Linda Nochlin was the great pioneer of this. “Why Have There Been no Great Women Artists?” is her most famous initial essay, which was a question actually put to her by a gallery owner. She went away... (Source)

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In this highly acclaimed reference work David Watkin traces the history of western architecture from the earliest times in Mesopotamia and Egypt to the eclectic styles of the twenty-first century. The author emphasizes the ongoing vitality of the Classical language of architecture, underlining the continuity between, say, the work of Ictinus in fifth-century BC Athens and that of McKim, Mead and White in twentieth-century New York. Authoritative, comprehensive and highly illustrated, this sixth edition has been expanded to bring the story of western architecture right up to date and includes... more
Recommended by John Harrison (Eton College), and 1 others.

John Harrison (Eton College)This book is a great celebration of the skills of architecture. What he admires are patrons working with architects to produce great masterpieces. It covers Western architecture, not world architecture. (Source)

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A World History Of Art

Presents various developments in archeology and art historical research. This book offers a fresh perspective on various developments shaping our cultural history. less
Recommended by John Harrison (Eton College), and 1 others.

John Harrison (Eton College)This book holds the field as the most comprehensive as well as the most intelligent survey of the whole of the world’s history of art. (Source)

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Ways of Seeing

John Berger’s Classic Text on Art
John Berger's Ways of Seeing is one of the most stimulating and the most influential books on art in any language. First published in 1972, it was based on the BBC television series about which the (London) Sunday Times critic commented: "This is an eye-opener in more ways than one: by concentrating on how we look at paintings . . . he will almost certainly change the way you look at pictures." By now he has.

"Berger has the ability to cut right through the mystification of the professional art critics . . ....

Robert JonesHe’s a Marxist and says that the role of publicity or branding is to make people marginally dissatisfied with their current way of life. (Source)

David McCammonWays of Seeing goes beyond photography and will continue to develop your language around images. (Source)

John Harrison (Eton College)You have to understand the Marxist interpretation of art; it is absolutely fundamental to the way that art history departments now study the material. Then you have to critique it, because we’ve moved on from the 1970s and the collapse of Marxism in most of the world shows—amongst other things—that the model was flawed. But it’s still a very good book to read, for a teenager especially. (Source)

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