Friday, February 16, 2007

Afterword and Appendixes of OMOM

In the Introduction to Outdoor Monuments of Manhattan I described how I became interested in art history and (years later) in outdoor sculpture in Manhattan. The Afterword explains how I was introduced to Ayn Rand's esthetics and why I became intent on developing a systematic method for studying art. It concludes with three answers to the crucial question: "Yes, but why would anyone else want to do that?" While writing the manuscript I wrestled with the question of whether to include that question and its three answers in the Introduction, as motivation. I feared that in the Introduction, giving a lengthy explanation based on Ayn Rand's esthetics and epistemology might lead potential readers to assume OMOM was yet another interminable, incomprehensible work of art criticism. By the time readers reach the Afterword, the answers to "Why analyze art?" merely summarize points I've already made. For motivation in the Introduction, I instead tried to describe my own introduction to art and to New York sculpture with such enthusiasm that it would draw readers in. Appendix A, "How to Read a Sculpture," has four sections:

  1. A list of questions to ask when looking at a sculpture, cross-referenced to the OMOM essays in which the topics are discussed
  2. A play-by-play description of the process by which I worked out the theme of Joan of Arc (Essay 44)
  3. Evaluation of the Cid (Essay 54) in esthetic, philosophical, emotional and art-historical terms
  4. Questions for readers to ask themselves about Butterfield (Essay 52), first to determine the theme and then to evaluate the sculpture

Appendix B is a list of OMOM sculptures by date of dedication. Appendix C is an alphabetical list of artists whose works are represented in OMOM. For each, it gives dates, place of birth, major works in the U.S., and all works by the artist that stand outdoors in the five boroughs of New York.

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