Paper $42.95 ISBN: 9781933253671 Published February 2013

The Quality Instinct

Seeing Art Through a Museum Director's Eye

Maxwell L. Anderson

The Quality Instinct

Maxwell L. Anderson

Distributed for American Alliance of Museums Press

236 pages | 60 color plates | 7 x 10 | © 2012
Paper $42.95 ISBN: 9781933253671 Published February 2013
 How do we judge what is good in art? And more to the point, can we even judge art? These questions have long spawned heated conversations about objectivity, subjectivity, and qualitative judgment that span both the academic and art worlds. Acclaimed museum director Maxwell Anderson, newly named Eugene McDermott Director of the Dallas Museum of Art, enters the fray with The Quality Instinct. Part memoir, part primer on museum culture, The Quality Instinct brims with wit and humor, utilizing anecdotes and insights from the author’s thirty years in the highly competitive, often contentious art world. Anderson takes us on a grand tour of ancient and contemporary art, sharing five simple metrics of quality that help us to increase our visual literacy as we learn to see and, yes, even to judge art.

Introduction: How I See It

1. An Apprenticeship in Seeing
2. Defining Quality in Art
3. How to See: The Detective’s Reflex
4. On Originality
5. Crafted with Skill
6. Confident in Subject or Theme
7. Compositional Coherence
8. Memorable for the Viewer
9. Finding Quality in the Art of Our Time
10.  Art and Muscle

Review Quotes
Daniel Silva, New York Times best-selling author
“Erudite and entertaining, Max Anderson is the perfect tour guide to the world of art. The Quality Instinct is both educational and enlightening from start to finish, the thinking person’s guide to museums. This is a must-read for anyone who wants to truly understand what makes a masterpiece.”
For more information, or to order this book, please visit
Google preview here

Chicago Manual of Style |

RSS Feed

RSS feed of the latest books from American Alliance of Museums Press. RSS Feed