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When Writing Met Art


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Denise Schmandt-Besserat is Professor Emeritus in the Department of Art and Art History, College of Fine Arts. Schmandt-Besserat won the 2008 Grand Prize of the Robert W. Hamilton Book Awards for this book.
View author's profile here.

In When Writing Met Art, Schmandt-Besserat expands her history of writing into the visual realm of communication. Using examples of ancient Near Eastern writing and masterpieces of art, she shows that between 3500 and 3000 BC the conventions of writing—everything from its linear organization to its semantic use of the form, size, order, and placement of signs—spread to the making of art, resulting in artworks that presented complex visual narratives in place of the repetitive motifs found on preliterate art objects. Schmandt-Besserat then demonstrates art's reciprocal impact on the development of writing



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