The study of art history, ranging from ceramics and oil paintings to architecture, and as varied in time, style, and medium as Medieval manuscripts, Baroque printmaking, and modern sculpture, has spawned a vocabulary as varied as its component parts. The vocabulary describes not only the objects of art but such complex subjects as the processes and materials from which they are made and the new concepts applied by successive critics. The long history of documenting art has produced many different types of record-keeping and descriptions, from museums, archives, slide and photograph collections to bibliographic collection in libraries and printed indexes.
Drawing on these multiple sources, The Art and Architecture Thesaurus encompasses the first part of the full spectrum of terminology for art and architecture of the Western World from the ancient period to the present. Its ongoing maintenance will assure regular updates incorporating new terms and usages. The only standardized vocabulary of the subject for use in bibliographic and visual databases, and in the inventorying of collections, this innovative reference constitutes:
o Some 47,000 terms used by scholars, researchers, and information professionals.
o Entries for art object names in three main categories: the built environment; furnishings and equipment; and visual and verbal communication.
o Twenty-three main hierarchies or "trees," including architectural elements, building types, furnishings, documents, and other artifacts, and that display each term in the context of related words.
o Seven mutually exclusive facets (categories comprising the hierarchies) that represent broader categories of knowledge, including physical attributes, styles and periods, agents, activities, materials, and objects.
Developed as part of the Art History Information Program of the J. Paul Getty Trust, this indispensable reference fills a great need for a comprehensive, controlled, and consistent vocabulary in the fields of art and architecture. Now in its groundbreaking print and electronic formats, the Art and Architecture Thesaurus will be an essential tool for those developing databases of collections, and for researchers who will retrieve information that has been indexed and catalogued.
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