The Ultimate Art Museum

Phaidon. . Sept. 2021. 232p. Tr $39.95. ISBN 9781838663780.
Gr 5 Up–Readers can rest their feet while they meander through an imagined art museum in this comprehensive review of human history and art through the ages. Produced in collaboration with art experts and educators, this volume presents exhibits from the Stone Age to the present. It is organized like a world famous museum. The table of contents is rendered as a color coded museum map—including three wings, several galleries, and over a hundred rooms that are grouped by time periods and themes. Each gallery includes a period overview and a colorful geographic map. The galleries are labeled with catchy titles such as “Holy Moly” and “Acting Out.” The panels include photographic views and descriptions of the most significant artifacts and structures of the era. Smaller panels provide magnified views and fascinating facts about the featured works. Critical thinking questions and activities will encourage students to make multifaceted connections. A museum guide, glossary, index, and picture credits are included in the back matter. The lack of formatting of the picture credits may cause confusion if source or location information is needed. This reference work does not have the visual appeal of Aaron Rosen’s A Journey Through Art: A Global History, which provides contextualized learning through its expressive illustrations; however, it covers more cultures and works of art from six continents of the world. Include both titles in your library to give readers a thorough overview of the history of civilization and art.
VERDICT A recommended world art survey that can be utilized for art history instruction, school reports, and inquisitive browsing.

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