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Scoundrels, Cads, and Other Great Artists

Jeffrey K. Smith



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Rowman and Littlefield
05 January 2021
Scoundrels, Cads, and Other Great Artists examines the lives of 12 great artists who were less than exemplary human beings in their lives outside of their art.

It explores the question, Why do we like magnificent art from artists who were awful human beings? For example, the great Baroque painter, Caravaggio, who developed the chiaroscuro style of painting, was in constant trouble with the law, even having killed a man in a dual. Frederick Remington, the great painter of the American West, was an incredible racist and bigot. His evocative paintings of native Americans on the trail on horseback give no hint of Remington's enmity toward them or other ethnic groups in America. John James Audubon? He mostly shot the birds he painted; if in doing so, he damaged a part that he wanted to paint, he shot another one. Whistler and Courbet were philanderers and libertines.

Scoundrels introduces people to great art by showing the more salacious side of the personal lives of great artists over time. The book not only tells the stories of a dozen artists, but explores how to look at art and the separation between art and artist.

This lively narrative is enhanced by over 100 full-color reproductions of great paintings and details from them.
By:   Jeffrey K. Smith
Imprint:   Rowman and Littlefield
Country of Publication:   United States
Dimensions:   Height: 264mm,  Width: 185mm,  Spine: 16mm
Weight:   689g
ISBN:   9781538126776
ISBN 10:   153812677X
Pages:   192
Publication Date:   05 January 2021
Audience:   General/trade ,  ELT Advanced
Format:   Hardback
Publisher's Status:   Active

Jeffrey K. Smith holds a chaired professorship at the University of Otago in New Zealand. He is also Associate Dean for University Research Performance at the University. Prior to Otago, he was Professor and Chair of the Educational Psychology Department at Rutgers University, where he had been a faculty member for 29 years. His AB is from Princeton University and his PhD is from the University of Chicago. From 1988 through 2005, he also founded and served as Head of the Office of Research and Evaluation at The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. He studies issues in the psychology of aesthetics, learning in cultural institutions, and educational assessment.

Reviews for Scoundrels, Cads, and Other Great Artists

As a scholar of creativity who is passionate about art, I am often frustrated by mythologized portraits of creative artists my students encounter as they explore creativity. I was pleased to see there's not a boring, cardboard-cutout profile in this entire book! Jeff Smith tells the stories of these highly creative people in captivating prose that makes the stories come alive. More to the point, he also shares plentiful insights into the psychology of art and the creative process while entertaining us. I will never view art or artists the same way again!--Jonathan Plucker, Julian C. Stanley Professor of Talent Development, Johns Hopkins University Scoundrels, Cads, and Other Great Artists is a cold gin and tonic on a hot afternoon! Jeff Smith takes you on a roller coaster ride of the lows of the personal behavior of nine artists juxtaposed with the highs of the incredible art they created. Equal parts sardonic, insightful, witty, and touching, Scoundrels will leave you a different person from where you started.--Scott Barry Kaufman, author of Transcend: The New Science of Self-Actualization, and Ungifted: Intelligence Redefined Scoundrels, Cads, and Other Great Artists is a joy to read, and I could even see it as a television show. Jeffrey Smith has brought these artists alive--sometimes across centuries--making their art sparkle while their personal lives astound. The trangressions described in Scoundrels speak directly to issues in arts and entertainment (and beyond) today. And, as a bonus, I've found a new heroine in the amazing Artemisia Gentileschi.--Kimberly Arcand, visualization scientist and author of How to Color the Universe

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