Cover Image: The 12-Hour Art Expert

The 12-Hour Art Expert

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Member Reviews

I’m a huge art fan since I was a little kid. I admittedly slacked on diving deep into art history as I got older, and this was the best way to get up to speed quickly. I once tried to buy a used art history textbook and work my way through it, but this was much more approachable and easier for somebody like me to understand. Thank you so much for the opportunity to read!
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Entertaining and accessible. The 12-Hour Art Expert is a recommended purchase for most general NF collections.
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I’ve been pecking away at this book for a few weeks and it was delightful. An absolute treasure trove. Equal parts brilliance, humor, knowledge, and entertainment, this had no right being as cool as it was. 

I highly recommend this to anyone with any passing interest in art. Not just because it introduces, or reintroduces the reader to art techniques and terms, but because of all the weird little art facts that you probably will never hear about unless you dedicate some serious time to study art history. This was like one really satisfying dip into the vast ocean of art history and I loved every minute of it. 

The only critique I have, if you can even call it that, is that by design this book is streamlined so it doesn’t have photos of the vast majority of works spoken about. The author does give plenty of satisfactory and realistic reasons for this but I would love a companion book with all of the images in order to look through at the same time, rather than having to stop and google several works per page. Beyond that though this book is amazing.
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As the author clarifies, this book will not take an average reader 12 hours to finish.   The time remaining after reading the book is earmarked for homework--namely getting out and experiencing art armed with a brand new knowledge base.   This is definitely not a comprehensive history of all art, nor does it represent much outside of Western Europe, but the author is clear about that too.  It isn't meant to.   Instead it's meant to offer a casual enthusiast the context and basic foundation needed to appreciate and discuss art in the situations they're most likely to do so, like visiting a museum or in conversation.   

That said, this was very interesting reading.  I loved the thorough discussion of the pre-history of art, as well as an exploration of why and how we came to view art as we do and why certain art is esteemed more than other kinds.   The survey of various "isms" was helpful and the bits at the end about the business of art and the future of technology of art (I still don't get NFTs, but I'm a little closer!) were an unexpected bonus.  The tone is light and unpretentious, with plenty of humor and fun asides.    I felt a little smarter after I finished it, and that's good enough for me!

Many thanks to the publisher and NetGalley for the opportunity to read and review!
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The 12-Hour art Expert is a comprehensive guide on art, its history, and its nuances. Charney's narrative and writing style are also very entertaining and are a wonderful element that made this book even more interesting to read. This book tackles a wide array of topics related to art. It is a brilliant starting point and even supplements to anyone who is beginning their journey or would want to learn more about art. 

Thanks to NetGalley and Rowman & Littlefield Publishers for an eARC. Opinions are my own. 

#The12HourArtExpert #NetGalley
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This title offers a concise (about 176 page) guide to art history and related topics. Much is included here in chapters organized by everything from “Is it Even Art?,” to “The isms Cheat Sheet in Thirty Paintings,” to “The Complete(ish) History of Sculpture,” and more, including sections on topics like conservation. The text is accompanied by many artworks. A wide variety and range of genres, time periods and cultures are represented in these pages. I have taken a number of art history classes and still found many, many works unknown to me and much to learn.

Readers are in excellent hands with Noah Charney as instructor and guide. Those wanting a better knowledge of art written by someone who believes that art is for all, will want to take a look at this title.

One suggestion, there are more mentioned art works than illustrations, so know that you can look a painting up via the internet in order to see it.

#The12HourArtExpert #NetGalley

Many thanks to NetGalley and Rowan & Littlefield Publishers for this title. All opinions are my own.
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Art has always been a passion of mine and, even if I don’t consider myself an expert, I’ve been fortunate enough to visit most of the greatest museums, and have taken art history classes. Even if I’m not the target audience, I was curious as to what Noah Charney could teach my in 12 hours. Turns out, quite a lot. He doesn’t just focus on the artworks and artists themselves, but also on the people who made art what it is now. It’s surprising to learn how one man, Giorgio Vasari, could shape the way we view art even today. He also shares fun anecdotes and secrets of his specialty, art crime and forgeries. He includes tidbits on how the modern art market works and there is also a part devoted to abstract,  performance and digital art. Charney didn’t manage to turn me into a fan of this movements, but he explained them enough that at least I can begin to understand their purpose. Will this book turn a newbie into an expert? Probably not, but it’s fun for people curious about the art world. 
I chose to read this book and all opinions in this review are my own and completely unbiased. Thank you, #NetGalley/#Rowman & Littlefield Publishers!
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I loved this one.  The authors voice/writing style in this book kept me interested all throughout.  I gained an interest for art history in high school and have read and looked at art on and off since.  The descriptions and the way the art is discussed seem to be a great starting point for anyone who thinks they may be interested in learning more about art history.
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Art for All and All for Art

This is the sort of book that probably makes academics and professionals crazy, but I didn't care. Our author, Noah Charney, is often breezy and occasionally downright flippant, with a tendency to tweak the noses of the cognoscenti. Since it's not malicious, doesn't go too far, and doesn't dominate the narrative, I'm willing to go along with a bit of personality to spice up what is, essentially, a condensed lecture series.

And this is a fine lecture series. The content is both deep and broad, and while it may be at an introductory level it is at a well informed, broad ranging, thorough, and comprehensive introductory level. Charney writes the way a popular professor lectures - with insight, good humor, and a competent command of the material. A joke here and then keeps the reader awake and focused, pretty much in the same style as in any freshman lecture hall. 

As to content, the blurbs for this book might lead you expect that deep exegesis of twelve masterpieces will be used to introduce some twelve equally deep art concepts. The blurbs for this book also seem to hint that it is intended for "Dummies" who are "intimidated" by art. As to the first issue, while there are a few masterpieces that are used to introduce some chapters, that linkage doesn't dominate the discussion. The content here is broader and much more wide ranging than you might expect, (although despite the author's best expressed intentions, the majority of the text addresses the settled Western canon). As to this intimidation baloney, not to put too fine an edge on it, if you aren't intimidated when reading nonfiction about dark matter and quantum physics, or nonfiction about current political issues, or fiction about the dark midnight of some millennial's soul, I don't see how looking at the work of Renaissance painters is going to give you nightmares or lead you to question your self worth.

As to the course outline -- we consider what it is we choose to call art; we take a deep, fascinating dive into technique. Our attention turns to the covert language of art and reading symbolic elements, and then a review of the various "-isms", movements, eras, and styles in art. There's a complete chapter that's intended to be a "sprint" through the entire history of sculpture. We consider modern forays into conservation and high tech approaches to analysis. We stop at psychoanalysis, reductionism, and neuroscience before turning to value and art markets. We consider the state of art history, and then we peer into the future.  That's the short version of the syllabus, but you get the general idea that this course is a pretty wide ranging and fairly idiosyncratic affair.

So, every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday you should sit with a cold cup of coffee, on a hard wooden chair, in a drafty poorly lit room and read one chapter of this book. After a month you will have finished the best Art 101 course ever. And there will be no tests.

(Please note that I received a free advance ecopy of this book without a review requirement, or any influence regarding review content should I choose to post a review. Apart from that I have no connection at all to either the author or the publisher of this book.)
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This book was fun. I really enjoyed the voice and tone of the author, and I found the topics covered enjoyable. I don’t know that much about art, but as the title suggests, you will get through this in under 12 hours. I’m not sure I feel like an expert by the end, but there is lots of history about artists, famous works and techniques throughout.

A major disappointment was that not all the art works mentioned or covered are actually shown in this book. There is a list of key works of art right at the beginning and all of those are included in each chapter, but there were many other smaller mentions that had no image. Yes, they are listed, but no, I was not going to go on a Google hunt for them. Gotta take a star off for the inconvenience tbh. 

Special thanks to the publisher and NetGalley for the eARC in exchange for an honest review.
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