Art History and Emergency Crises in the Visual Arts and Humanities David Breslin, Darby English, Caroline Arscott, Manuel Borja-Villel, Thomas Crow, Patrick D. Flores, Theaster Gates, Kajri Jain, Anatoli Mikhailov, Mary Miller, Molly Nesbit, Our Literal Speed, Howard Singerman

Clark Studies in the Visual Arts
Publication date:
26 Apr 2016
Clark Art Institute
200 pages: 241 x 178mm
36 b-w illus.
Sales territories:


Art History and Emergency assesses art history’s role and responsibilities in what has been described as the “humanities crisis”—the perceived decline in the practical applications of the humanities in modern times. This timely collection of critical essays and creative pieces addresses several thought-provoking questions on the subject. For instance, as this so-called crisis is but the latest of many, what part has “crisis” played in the humanities’ history? How are artists, art historians, and professionals in related disciplines responding to current pressures to prove their worth? How does one defend the practical value of knowing how to think deeply about objects and images without losing the intellectual intensity that characterizes the best work in the discipline? Does art history as we know it have a future?

David Breslin is John R. Eckel, Jr. Foundation Chief Curator, the Menil Drawing Institute. Darby English is Carl Darling Buck Professor in the Department of Art History, the University of Chicago, and consulting curator in the Department of Painting and Sculpture, the Museum of Modern Art.