Publisher description for The invention of art : a cultural history / Larry Shiner.

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With The Invention of Art, Larry Shiner challenges our conventional understandings of art and asks us to reconsider its history entirely, arguing that the category of fine art is a modern invention--that the lines drawn between art and craft resulted from key social transformations in Europe during the long eighteenth century.

"Shiner spent over a decade honing what he calls 'a brief history of the idea of art.' This carefully prepared and--given the extent and complexity of what he's discussing--admirably concise, well-organized book is the result. . . . Shiner's text is scholarly but accessible, and should appeal to readers with even a dabbler's interest in art theory."--Publishers Weekly

"The Invention of Art is enjoyable to read and provides a welcome addition to the history and philosophy of art."--Terrie L. Wilson, Art Documentation

"A lucid book . . . it should be a must-read for anyone active in the arts."--Marc Spiegler, Chicago Tribune Books

Library of Congress subject headings for this publication: Arts History, Arts Philosophy