Phaidon Press just published a ten year in the making comprehensive art book–The Art Museum. The book includes the most “important” works of art since cave painting–the art history of art history. I am dying to get my hands on this book to see which Korean artists were included, to see how they organized and labeled the works, and see who contributed to this project.
I listened to a chat about the book on NPR and was very curious to see the format of the book. It is meant to simulate going to an art museum, to see all the most important works from your coffee table. I think the idea is a good one but you can never replace the museum experience and at the cost of the book it is unlikely that it will make those works more accessible to those who couldn’t access them before. I have only clicked through some images online and need to see the book in person but overall I was hoping to see the traditional art history book format challenged. That being said, from the bit of reading I have done and from listening to the NPR interview, I think Phaidon’s goal was one of consolidation rather than challenging cannon.
If you are curious, click through the photos of the book here!