James Elkins (art historian)

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James Elkins (born 1955) is an American 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][8]
  • Visual Studies: A Skeptical Introduction
  • Why Art Cannot Be Taught: A Handbook For Art Students[9]
  • Six Stories From the End of Representation
  • Stories of Art[10]
  • On the Strange Place of Religion in Contemporary Art[11]
  • 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. Archived from the original on October 25, 2012. 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. ^ Naves, Mario (September 13, 2004). "Art Criticism in Crisis? James Elkins Studies the Evidence". Observer. Retrieved 30 November 2018.
  9. ^ "Why Art Cannot Be Taught: A Handbook for Art Students.(Review)". Publishers Weekly. June 4, 2001. Retrieved May 13, 2009.
  10. ^ "Artworks Feature: EH Gombrich - Changing the Way We See". Radio National. July 6, 2008. Retrieved May 13, 2009.
  11. ^ "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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