What We Are Reading Today: Protest! by Liz McQuiston

Updated 01 November 2019

What We Are Reading Today: Protest! by Liz McQuiston

Throughout history, artists and citizens have turned to protest art as a means of demonstrating social and political discontent. From the earliest broadsheets in the 1500s to engravings, photolithographs, prints, posters, murals, graffiti, and political cartoons, these endlessly inventive graphic forms have symbolized and spurred on power struggles, rebellions, spirited causes, and calls to arms. Spanning continents and centuries, Protest! presents a major new chronological look at protest graphics, says a review on the Princeton University Press website.

Beginning in the Reformation, when printed visual matter was first produced in multiples, Liz McQuiston follows the iconic images that have accompanied movements and events around the world. 

She examines fine art and propaganda, including William Hogarth’s Gin Lane, Thomas Nast’s political caricatures, French and British comics, postcards from the women’s suffrage movement, clothing of the 1960s counterculture, the anti-apartheid illustrated book How to Commit Suicide in South Africa, the “Silence=Death” emblem from the AIDS crisis and murals created during the Arab Spring.


What We Are Reading Today: A Wonder to Behold

Updated 11 December 2019

What We Are Reading Today: A Wonder to Behold

Authors: Anastasia Amrhein, Clare Fitzgerald, and Elizabeth Knott

In the ancient Near East, expert craftspeople were more than technicians: They numbered among those special members of society who could access the divine. 

While the artisans’ names are largely unknown today, their legacy remains in the form of spectacular artworks and monuments. One of the most celebrated works of antiquity — Babylon’s Ishtar Gate and its affiliated Processional Way — featured a dazzling array of colorful beasts assembled from molded, baked, and glazed bricks. 

Such an awe-inspiring structure demanded the highest level of craft; each animal was created from dozens of bricks that interlocked like a jigsaw. Yet this display of technical and artistic skill also served a ritual purpose, since the gate provided a divinely protected entrance to the sacred inner city of Babylon.

A Wonder to Behold explores ancient Near Eastern ideas about the transformative power of materials and craftsmanship as they relate to the Ishtar Gate, says a review on the Princeton University Press website. This beautifully illustrated catalogue accompanies an exhibition at New York University’s Institute for the Study of the Ancient World.