A Short Guide to Writing About Art 11th Edition by Sylvan Barnet, ISBN-13: 978-0205886999


A Short Guide to Writing About Art 11th Edition by Sylvan Barnet, ISBN-13: 978-0205886999

[PDF eBook eTextbook]


  • Publisher: Pearson; 11th edition (January 15, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • 384 pages
  • ISBN-10: 9780205886999
  • ISBN-13: 978-0205886999


The best-selling guide to writing about art.

Sylvan Barnet’s A Short Guide to Writing About Art guides students through every aspect of writing about art. Students are shown how to analyze pictures (drawings, paintings, photographs), sculptures and architecture, and are prepared with the tools they need to present their ideas through effective writing. Coverage of essential writing assignments includes formal analysis, comparison, research paper, review of an exhibition, and essay examination. New to the 11th edition is a chapter on “Virtual Exhibitions: Writing Text Panels and Other Materials.”

Sylvan Barnet was born in Brooklyn, New York and attended Erasmus Hall High School. His father was a leather tanner. Barnet served in the U.S. Army at the tail end of World War II. He earned his bachelor’s degree at New York University in 1948, and then his M.A. in 1950 and Ph.D in 1954 at Harvard University. In 1951, Barnet met William C. Burto. The two became life partners in 1952.

Barnet spent his entire career at Tufts University, where he taught English literature from 1954 to 1984 and served for several terms as chair of the English department. He was the first Jewish member of the department.

Barnet authored numerous books and articles on William Shakespeare, including A Short Guide to Shakespeare. In the early 1960s, Barnet successfully proposed to the New American Library the creation a new series of Shakespeare’s plays, one that would be aimed at college students. Each low-cost volume in the Signet Classics Shakespeare series focused on a single play. Every book included a general essay by Barnet about Shakespeare’s life and times, an introductory essay about the specific play by an eminent scholar, and excerpts of some of Shakespeare’s sources and inspirations.

Barnet was the co-author (with Burto) of essays on aspects of Japanese art. Their writings on art drew inspiration from the couple’s impressive personal collection, which was donated to four different museums after their deaths. Barnet also wrote several textbooks about art, writing, and literature. In total, Barnet wrote, co-wrote, or edited over forty books during his lifetime.

Barnet lived in Cambridge, Massachusetts with Burto until the latter’s death in 2013. Barnet died of brain cancer at his home on January 11, 2016, at the age of 89.

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