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The Arts of Industry in the Age of Enlightenment by Celina Fox

The Arts of Industry in the Age of Enlightenment

Part of the The Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art Series


The Arts of Industry in the Age of Enlightenment by Celina Fox

During the 18th century, the arts of industry encompassed both liberal and mechanical realms-not simply the representation of work in the fine art of painting, but the skills involved in the processes of industry itself. Drawing on a wealth of primary sources, Celina Fox argues that mechanics and artisans used four principal means to describe and rationalize their work: drawing, model-making, societies, and publications. These four channels, which form the four central themes of this engrossing book, provided the basis for experimentation and invention, for explanation and classification, for validation and authorization, and for promotion and celebration, thus bringing them into the public domain and achieving progress as a true part of the Enlightenment.


Fox's study of the 18th century is thorough and impressive. - Choice Choice [A] remarkable book ... an original account of the representation of the mechanical arts by both 'liberal

artists that is of extraodinary scope and depth. Fox makes an important contribution to literature in the history of science and technology that highlights the interaction between artisans and scholars in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries

... Such a short review cannot do justice to the richness of the visual and verbal feast Fox sets before the reader, studded as it is with fascinating nuggets of information and visual discoveries. -Pamela H. Smith, Technology and Culture -- Pamela H. Smith Technology and Culture Winner of the 2011 Historians of British Art Books Prize in the Pre-1800 category -- Art Books Prize Historians of British Art

About the Author

Celina Fox is an independent scholar and journalist, formerly assistant director at the Museum of London.

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Book Info

Publication date

5th January 2010


Celina Fox

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Yale University Press


576 pages


Man-made objects depicted in art (cityscapes, machines, etc)
Industrial / commercial art & design



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