Art for Animals – another very interesting book!
Keri Cronin has just issued a new book. It is filled with over 50 images but the book is not simply about art and visual images . Rather it shows how reformers in animal welfare and animal rights, including anti-vivisectionists, understood in the late nineteenth and early C20th how certain images actually worked for animals.
She considers how people, who engaged with visual culture, brought their own experiences, understandings and ideas to the intended meaning of the pictures. As she shows, the connection between looking at art and then initiating a subsequent kindness to animals became a central component of these campaigns.
In addition to the book being very well documented the images are extremely well covered. Many of the images are displayed from a wide range of archives and publications in different countries. Even in Britain few have been seen in this way. Importantly the writing isn’t about visual images or art as such but more importantly how these forms came across as ideas for animals. As Keri explains, “looking at pictures was seen as a morally improving activity.”
Although just out this year, her publisher, Penn State University Press, is agreeing to bring out a paperback in the next few months. So do please consider ordering it.