While the aim here is admirableto provide an accessible guide for the newcomer to the art worldthe final product is seriously flawed. Arranging subjects by chapters gives few clues to the terms defined in each chapter; thus, the use of boldface for related entries, while potentially helpful, requires searching the index to locate their place in the text. A dictionary format would certainly have been far more simple for the neophyte. Also, the interruption of definitions by columns and even pages of illustrations distracts from, rather than clarifies, the text, as does overuse of quotation marks for standard words. Finally, the bland text may well dissuade rather than inspire readers. Not recommended.Paula Frosch, Metropolitan Museum of Art Lib., New York
A former director of education at New York City's Museum of Modern Art, Yenawine shows his dedication to making art accessible. His goal, to introduce "newcomers to the world of art" as well as to terms "encountered regularly in art galleries and museums and in books about art," is handily accomplished through accessible explanations and more than 140 fully labeled reproductions and photographs that crisscross the entire range of art--from sculpture to photography to painting to graffiti. The organization is alphabetical within broadly topical chapters, and the reproductions, many in color, are nicely chosen. Both art students and museum goers will find the book a great help. That Yenawine's prose style is casual yet down-to-earth is a bonus that will encourage readers to visit their local gallery again and again.