ABOUT THIS BOOK
This unique book is the first comprehensive introduction to Marxist approaches to art history. Although the aesthetic was a crucial part of Marx and Engels's thought, they left no programmatic statements on the arts. In meeting this gap, succeeding Marxists have inevitably devised a wide variety of approaches to both aesthetics and the writing of art's history. Although there is an abundant scholarship on Marxist approaches to literature, the historiography of the visual arts from a Marxist perspective has been largely neglected despite the large impact it has had within academic art history since 1970.
This book encompasses a range of influential thinkers and historians from the period of the Second and Third Internationals down to the heyday of the New Left. Among the individuals it covers are William Morris, Mikhail Lifshits, Frederick Antal, Francis Klingender, Max Raphael, Meyer Schapiro, Walter Benjamin, Henri Lefebvre, and Arnold Hauser. It also includes three essays addressing the heritage of the New Left. In the spirit of Marxism itself, the authors interpret the achievements and limitations of Marxist art history in relation to the historical and political circumstances of its production and provide an indispensable and lucid introduction to contemporary radical practices in the field.