The Archaeology of Art in the American Southwest by Marit K. Munson

By Marit K. Munson

Archaeologists seldom examine historical paintings, although paintings is prime to the human event. The Archaeology of paintings within the American Southwest argues that archaeologists may still research old artifacts as art, as employing the time period "art" to the earlier increases new questions about artists, audiences, and the artistic endeavors themselves. Munson proposes that stories of historical paintings be in line with typical archaeological methods to fabric tradition, framed by means of theoretical insights of disciplines comparable to artwork historical past, visible experiences, and psychology. utilizing examples drawn from the yankee Southwest, The Archaeology of artwork within the American Southwest discusses inventive perform in ancestral Pueblo and Mimbres ceramics and the consequences of context and accessibility for the audiences of painted work of art and rock paintings. experiences of Hohokam collectible figurines and rock artwork illustrate tools for learning historical pictures, whereas the aesthetics of old artwork are steered via paintings on ceramics and kivas from Chaco Canyon. This publication should be of curiosity to archaeologists operating within the Southwest who are looking to develop their standpoint at the prior. it is going to additionally entice archaeologists in different elements of the realm and to anthropologists, paintings historians, and people who are intrigued via the cloth global, aesthetics, and the visible.

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Ironically, the focus on individual artistic practice also calls attention to cooperation among multiple artists on a single work of art, as shown by Patricia Crown’s work on collaboration between skilled potters and novices. Finally, these studies of the individual and of collaboration highlight some of the tensions between individual creativity and tradition in middle-range societies (Smith 1962:1167). The Artist Contemporary Western thought lionizes artists as unique individuals, unusually skilled creative geniuses who are set apart from the rest of society (Haynes 1997).

Papers in Conkey and Hastorf 1990; Conkey et al. 1997). indb 36 1/24/11 3:00 PM THE PROBLEM OF ART IN ARCHAEOLOGY 37 ing the term to prehistoric visual and material imagery (Aldhouse-Green 2004; Conkey 1987; Soffer and Conkey 1997:2–3; Tomásková 1997; White 1992). Even archaeologists who openly discuss art or who recognize the aesthetically pleasing aspects of ancient objects remain hesitant about the notion of art. Colin Renfrew, for example, argues that the term art is “highly culture-specific” and has “very little usefulness” for archaeology (1994:264–66).

2006). This is merely a brief sketch of contemporary archaeological research on art in the Southwest. A more complete overview is provided in chapters 3 through 6, which focus on specific concepts related to art. , Bradley 2009; Domingo Sanz et al. 2008; Heyd and Clegg 2005). indb 40 1/24/11 3:00 PM THE PROBLEM OF ART IN ARCHAEOLOGY 41 where, if it is so difficult to determine what is—and is not—art in the archaeological record? Instead of focusing on the question of art versus artifact, we should accept the idea that art objects “are not necessarily different in kind from other objects.

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