Art isn’t everyone’s thing, as artwork historian Jennifer Dasal is quick to confess in her new book, ArtCurious: Stories of the Unexpected, Slightly Odd, and Strangely Wonderful in Art History. But what she also factors out, and what resonates all through the text, is that art “is one of the few things that connects us profoundly to one another and reveals our common humanity.”
Dasal says that one of the pleasant components of her job is meeting fellow artwork fans, but she likes “meeting dedicated non-artwork types just as much.” She used to be an “art doubter” herself and can relate to how they feel. On the path that led her to observe artwork records, she became captivated by stories approximately what drives artists, what certain subjects and themes display approximately art collectors, how artwork become received inside the past and the way it’s perceived over time.
Art history is chock-complete of quirks and mysteries, from murders and stolen masterpieces to rebels and hoarders. As a result, ArtCurious unspools like a juicy novel, detailing the backstories of several art history notables, their families, mentors, fellow artists, enthusiasts and greater. Organized into three categories—the unexpected, the marginally strange and the surprisingly wonderful—a few of the characters are greater than simply artists. They are collectors, scientists and inventors, too. These eccentric geniuses hail from everywhere in the globe, from countries with prominent places in artwork records, such as France and Italy, to relative beginners to the artwork world like the United States. And they lived in the course of a number of time periods, from Renaissance man Leonardo da Vinci to the ultramodern Andy Warhol.
Dasal writes with humor and honesty, offering fact blended with speculation. (There are a few things we nevertheless don’t know, such as whether Vincent van Gogh killed himself or changed into killed through any other person.) All this provides up to a fascinating, active take on a topic this is too regularly reduced to dry facts. Art history buffs or each person who likes a good thriller will find ArtCurious a welcome escape.