Emblem of The American Spirit
Mickey Mouse first appeared in an animated film in 1928 and helped establish Disney as a national institution. Co-opted by the pop art generation, Mickey became a cultural icon, used and adapted, often ironically, in product design, satirical literature and contemporary art. This illustrated review investigates the character's original conception and traces its development and subsequent adoption as a shorthand for certain aspects of American culture.
Making a Noise
Getting it Right, Getting it Wrong in Life, Broadcasting and the Arts
This candid memoir by Czech-born journalist and arts administrator John Tusa recollects the wrangles with BBC senior management over the creation of Newsnight in 1979 (he was a presenter). It also reveals how as managing director of the World Service (1986–93) he saw off unwanted political influence over its remit. And musing on his stint as head of the Barbican (1995–2007), he demonstrates how his passion for the arts turned the centre’s fortunes around.
Turkish Art and Architecture
From the Seljuks to the Ottomans
Turks first arrived in the Anatolian peninsula in 1071, when the Seljuks, a nomadic people from Central Asia, defeated the Byzantine forces at Manzikert. The empires that they and their successors, the Ottomans, built straddled East and West, and created a new architectural idiom that drew on Graeco-Roman, Persian and Islamic sources. Stunningly illustrated with more than 250 colour photographs, this volume charts the 1,000-year development of Turkish architecture, alongside that of decorative arts such as manuscripts, carpets, ceramics and metalwork.
English Writers, Artists and the Imagination from Virginia Woolf to John Piper
Was it a betrayal of the modern movement to be in love, as John Piper was, with old churches? Harris finds the engagement of artists and writers with the English countryside during the interwar years ‘an expression of responsibility – towards places, people and histories too valuable and too vulnerable to go missing from art’. Among the now much-admired figures discussed are Paul Nash, Edward Bawden, Gertrude Hermes, John Betjeman and Daphne du Maurier, and the book features carefully chosen quotations and reproductions of their works.
Flowers of the Renaissance
Flowers are everywhere in Renaissance art, from the roses strewn across Botticelli's Venus Rising to the daffodils in Leonardo's Virgin of the Rocks. Beyond their evident beauty, why are they there, and what do they mean? The horticulturalist and art historian Celia Fisher unravels the artistic symbolism of 20 flowers – among them, lilies, tulips, poppies and columbines – in a highly original and superbly illustrated study that sheds new light on the art of the period.