Thinking about 1913...

Max Marmor
Mar 2, 2013 9:57PM

In the run-up to the 2013 Armory Show, Artsy has been looking back to celebrate one hundred years of Armory Show history. But 2013 is not just the centennial of the first Armory Show. It’s also the centennial of the publication of one of the earliest, and certainly the fattest (489p.!), book ever written on the methodology of art history – in German of course: Happy 100th birthday to Hans Tietze’s monumental “Die Methode der Kunstgeschichte” (The Method of Art History), published in Leipzig in 1913! 

What, you might wonder, could this possibly have to do with Artsy? Simple enough. Tietze (born Prague 1880, died New York 1954) devoted particular attention throughout his treatise to the array of visual resources available to the contemporary art historian, finally lamenting with palpable despair that “the number of image sources of interest to the art historian is simply monstrous” (p.222, my italics). Now bear in mind, this was exactly 100 years ago. What would poor Tietze have done if confronted with a resource, such as Artsy, whose stated mission is “to make all the world’s art accessible to anyone with an Internet connection”?

Max Marmor