Who Says That's Art? A Commonsense View of the Visual Arts

Today's artworld experts accept virtually anything as "art"—from an all-black painting to a facsimile of a supermarket carton or a dead animal preserved in a tank of formaldehyde. Many art lovers reject such work, arguing that it is not art. This book explains why they are right and the presumed experts are wrong. More

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About Michelle Marder Kamhi

Michelle Marder Kamhi is an independent scholar and critic and the co-editor of Aristos, an online review of the arts. She is the author of Who Says That’s Art? A Commonsense View of the Visual Arts (Pro Arte Books, 2014).

Ms. Kamhi previously co-authored What Art Is: The Esthetic Theory of Ayn Rand (Open Court, 2000). It dealt with all the major arts, and was praised by the American Library Association’s Choice magazine for its "well-documented . . . debunking of twentieth-century art . . . and art theory." The Art Book (published by the British Association of Art Historians) called What Art Is a "balanced critical assessment of Rand's idiosyncratic arguments." The book was also lauded for its "breadth and depth" by the eminent cultural historian Jacques Barzun, who deemed it "a splendid piece of work."

After graduating from Barnard College, Ms. Kamhi earned an M.A. in Art History at Hunter College. Before joining Aristos in 1984, she had been an editor at Columbia University Press, where she worked on titles in its distinguished Records of Civilization series. She was also active as a freelance writer and editor. Among her independent projects was Books Our Children Read, a film documenting a constructive approach to resolving communal conflict over controversial literature in public school classrooms and libraries.

Ms. Kamhi is a member of the American Society for Aesthetics, the National Art Education Association, and the National Association of Scholars.

Articles by her have appeared in the Wall Street Journal, Art Education, Arts Education Policy Review, and the Journal of Ayn Rand Studies, among other publications.

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