What is the relation of art and history? What is art today? Why does art affect us? In Field Notes on the Visual Arts, seventy-five scholars, curators, and artists traverse chronology and geography to reveal the meanings and dilemmas of art. Organized under seven major headings—anthropomorphism, appropriation, contingency, detail, materiality, time, and tradition—the contributions are written by historians of art, literature, culture, and science, as well as archaeologists, anthropologists, philosophers, curators, and artists. By bringing together voices that are generally separated both inside and outside the academy, Field Notes on the Visual Arts makes clear that the work of art is both meaningful and resistant to meaning.