The latest issue of West 86th: A Journal of Decorative Arts, Design History and Material Culture (vol 2, no 23, Fall-Winter 2016) is now available through the University of Chicago Press. For only the second time the issue is devoted to a singular theme: the Material before Modernism. Guest edited by Roland Betancourt (Institute of Advanced Study, Princeton; University of California, Irvine), the volume features three articles exploring how meaning accrues to materials over time and use the examples of marble, gold, and crystal to delve into the historiography of different historical periods. Betancourt writes in his introduction:

“Together these three interventions contribute to an understanding of medium as the event of manifestation, harnessing those moments where transparency, abstraction, or formlessness gives way to the revelation of form in momentary flashes of representation.”1

Explore the full table of contents here and pick up a print or digital copy online, from your library, or our store.
[1] Roland Betancourt, “Introduction: The Medium before Modernism,” West 86th: A Journal of Decorative Arts, Design History, and Material Culture 23, no. 2 (Fall–Winter 2016): 166.