I took Art Appreciation 2 years ago and this was our textbook. It's a fabulous book that hits on many aspects of art. Starting with learning how to see art, Fundamentals of art & design, and Materials & Tools it leads through the different types of art (Painting, Printmaking, Photography, Sculpture, Drawing, Architecture, Crafts...). It hits on the different ages of art as well from Ancient China up through Modern Art. The book ends with Contemporary issues of Art. I personally found the discussion of Mapplethorp to be highly intriguing.
If you don't know a thing about art , this book is easy to read & tons of photos make it easier to understand concepts and ideas. If you know tons about art, you'll love this book because it reminds you of all aspects of are such as fauvism, earth art & installations. Even the anti-artist will find something to love in this information rich book.
What a great book to sit down with on a quiet day! Beautiful color pages document the art of man and how changes in history have changed what we call "art." After reading this, you will feel comfortable going to the art gallery and talking to others about various artists like Raphael, Picasso, Monet, Jasper Jones, etc. Great beginner book for those interested in the arts.