Writing the perfect art history book
by Matt Solomon, Staff Writer
Unbeknownst to most students at West G., art teacher Ms. Lori Nells has been secretly writing her own book on art history. Unsatisfied with her current, Art Through the Ages, she hopes to make her book a little more student friendly. While Art Through the Ages uses minimal pictures, mostly black and white with long, wordy summaries of the art, Ms. Nells' book will be in annotated form, meaning bullets covering specific, key points. She plans for it to be formatted with one art piece per page, with a large color picture for each. The format of the book will very closely resemble that of her classroom lectures, specifically covering the identification, history, style and iconography of each piece. It will be broken down into one chapter per art period with a paragraph-style summary at the beginning of each chapter. The only existing book even remotely resembling the style of the book Nells is writing is The Annotated Mona Lisa, which is also in bullet form but is not nearly as in- depth as Ms. Nells'. Ms. Nells has been compiling this book for the past three years, working during the summer and in whatever free time she has. She expects it to be 400 - 500 pages long: her goal is to be finished by 2008. She is not sure whether this book will be ideal for AP high school classes but believes it will be well suited for colleges. Her goal is to become a college professor and she is currently halfway towards achieving a Master's degree. After her Master's she aspires to earn a PhD. Once she has a PhD, she will be required to publish and, while most professors are content with articles, she ambitiously is hoping to have her book published. She intends to find a publisher when her book is completed and must still obtain publishing rights for the photos to be used. While she doesn't have a first choice of colleges to work at, she plans to use the same teaching style she does at West Geauga. When asked what her favorite art period is, she said, "It's so hard to decide; I love so many… but I'd have to say Proto Renaissance and early 15th century." As for touring museums, she gravitates to the pieces she knows because, " Its hard to appreciate a piece without knowing the history and context."