James Elkins (art historian)

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James Elkins (1955 – ) is an art historian and art critic. He is E.C. Chadbourne Chair of art history, theory, and criticism at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.[1] He also coordinates the Stone Summer Theory Institute, a short term school on contemporary art history based at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.



  • Pictures and Tears: A History of People Who Have Cried in Front of Paintings[2]
  • Chinese Landscape Painting as Western Art History
  • Pictures of the Body: Pain and Metamorphosis
  • The Domain of Images
  • How to Use Your Eyes[3]
  • What Painting Is[4]
  • The Poetics of Perspective
  • The Object Stares Back: On the Nature of Seeing[5]
  • Why are our Pictures Puzzles?[6]
  • What Happened to Art Criticism?[7]
  • Visual Studies: A Skeptical Introduction
  • Why Art Cannot Be Taught: A Handbook For Art Students[8]
  • Six Stories From the End of Representation
  • Stories of Art[9]
  • On the Strange Place of Religion in Contemporary Art[10]
  • On Pictures and the Words That Fail Them[6]
  • Our Beautiful, Dry, and Distant Texts: Art History as Writing[6]
  • Master Narratives and Their Discontents[1]


  1. ^ a b "Master Narratives and Their Discontents (Book Review)". Reviewer's Bookwatch (Midwest Book Review). October 1, 2005. Retrieved May 13, 2009. 
  2. ^ Hickling, Alfred (April 20, 2002). "Stealing beauty". The Guardian (London). Retrieved May 13, 2009. 
  3. ^ "Wait a minute - did you really see that?". The Christian Science Monitor. November 30, 2000. Retrieved May 13, 2009. 
  4. ^ "Dental Floss Alchemist". Houston Press. April 5, 2001. Retrieved May 13, 2009. 
  5. ^ "Elegant vision of eye-mind concepts". The Washington Times. March 17, 1996. Retrieved May 13, 2009. 
  6. ^ a b c "Close Reading and Looking: Some Recent Books by James Elkins (Review)". Art Journal. June 22, 2000. Retrieved May 13, 2009. 
  7. ^ Romano, Carlin (April 7, 2004). "There goes the judge in today's art criticism, Critic urges peers to be better before the skill dies". Philadelphia Inquirer. Retrieved May 13, 2009. 
  8. ^ "Why Art Cannot Be Taught: A Handbook for Art Students.(Review)". Publishers Weekly. June 4, 2001. Retrieved May 13, 2009. 
  9. ^ "Artworks Feature: EH Gombrich - Changing the Way We See". Radio National. July 6, 2008. Retrieved May 13, 2009. 
  10. ^ "On the Strange Place of Religion in Contemporary Art (Book Review)". Wisconsin Bookwatch (Midwest Book Review). November 1, 2004. Retrieved May 13, 2009. 

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