by Peter Hecht
Paul Holberton Publishing, 2024
eISBN: 978-1-914532-22-1 | Cloth: 978-1-915401-08-3

Art historian Peter Hecht shares his philosophy and methods of interpreting art.

Listening to What You See brings together more than twenty-five scholarly essays, reviews, and shorter contributions by Peter Hecht, preceded by an introduction on what he thinks his life in art history has taught him. The title indicates what his collected papers have in common: together they represent an attitude of listening to what you see. Hecht is very suspicious of applying a method and believes that looking at an image until it speaks is essential to understanding it. Apart from a few scholarly reviews, Listening to What You See also contains a sample of Hecht’s writings for the public at large, and some of his best-known critical papers are included here. It covers a range of different topics, including defending public art collections, showing what art can mean in times of crisis when it is not accessible (as was the case when Covid forced the museums to shut down), and talking about what art may do for us–provided that we listen.

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