New Book | Global Objects

Posted in books by Editor on December 12, 2022

From Princeton UP:

Edward Cooke, Global Objects: Toward a Connected Art History (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2022), 336 pages, ISBN: 978-0691184739, £28 / $35.

Art history is often viewed through cultural or national lenses that define some works as fine art while relegating others to the category of craft. Global Objects points the way to an interconnected history of art, examining a broad array of functional aesthetic objects that transcend geographic and temporal boundaries and challenging preconceived ideas about what is and is not art. Avoiding traditional binaries such as East versus West and fine art versus decorative art, Edward Cooke looks at the production, consumption, and circulation of objects made from clay, fiber, wood, and nonferrous base metals. Carefully considering the materials and process of making, and connecting process to product and people, he demonstrates how objects act on those who look at, use, and acquire them. He reveals how objects retain aspects of their local fabrication while absorbing additional meanings in subtle and unexpected ways as they move through space and time. In emphasizing multiple centers of art production amid constantly changing contexts, Cooke moves beyond regional histories driven by geography, nation-state, time period, or medium.

Beautifully illustrated, Global Objects traces the social lives of objects from creation to purchase, and from use to experienced meaning, charting exciting new directions in art history.

Edward S. Cooke, Jr. is the Charles F. Montgomery Professor of American Decorative Arts at Yale University. His books include Inventing Boston: Design, Production, and Consumption, 1680–1720 and Making Furniture in Preindustrial America: The Social Economy of Newtown and Woodbury, Connecticut.



I. Making
1  Materials
2  Realization

II. Movement
3  Circulation and Interchange
4  Function

III.  Meaning
5  Memory and Gift
6  Appearance
7  Touch


Photo Credits

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