Vessels: The Object as Container (Hardcover)

Vessels: The Object as Container By Claudia Brittenham (Editor) Cover Image

Vessels: The Object as Container (Hardcover)

By Claudia Brittenham (Editor)


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What is a vessel? As objects made for human interaction and handling, both containing and bounded by space, vessels can take many forms and be constructed of a wide variety of materials. However, they are all unified in signifying a potential for practical functioning, whether or not a particular object is in fact used in this way in its particular context.

In this second volume in the Visual Conversations in Art & Archaeology series, and the first in the Center for Global Ancient Art sub-series, four essays by leading scholars tackle the category of vessels in ancient Greece, late antique Rome, pre-Columbian Mesoamerica, and ancient China. By considering the material properties of the object as container, the interactions between user and vessel, and the power of the vessel as both a conceptual category and material metaphor, they argue that many vessels - and assemblages of vessels - were in their own time sites of considerable intellectual power, smart and sophisticated commentaries on the very categories that they embody.

In collecting these individual case studies together, the volume offers an art historical and cross-cultural study of vessels from ancient societies, drawing illuminating comparisons and interpretations between traditions. In keeping with the aims of the series, it serves as a model for a new kind of comparative art history, one which emphasizes material culture and is attentive to questions of evidence and method, yet remains historically grounded and contextually sensitive.
Claudia Brittenham, Associate Professor of Art History and the College, University of Chicago Claudia Brittenham is Associate Professor of Art History and the College at the University of Chicago. Her research focuses on the art of Mesoamerica, especially Central Mexico and the Maya area, with particular interests in the materiality of art and the politics of style. She is the author of The Murals of Cacaxtla: The Power of Painting in Ancient Central Mexico (University of Texas Press, 2015), The Spectacle of the Late Maya Court: Reflections on the Murals of Bonampak (University of Texas Press, 2013; co-authored with Mary Miller), and Veiled Brightness: A History of Ancient Maya Color (University of Texas Press, 2009; co-authored with Stephen Houston, Cassandra Mesick, Alexandre Tokovinine, and Christina Warinner).
Product Details ISBN: 9780198832577
ISBN-10: 0198832575
Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
Publication Date: November 5th, 2019
Pages: 208
Language: English