A History of Visual Culture is a history of ideas. The recent explosion of interest in visual culture suggests the phenomenon is very recent. But visual culture has a history. Knowledge began to be systematically grounded in observation and display from the Enlightenment. Since them, from the age of industrialization and colonialism to today's globalized world, visual culture has continued to shape our ways of thinking and of interpreting the world.
Carefully structured to cover a wide history and geography, A History of Visual Culture is divided into themed sections: Revolt and Revolution; Science and Empiricism; Gaze and Spectacle; Acquisition, Display, and Desire; Conquest, Colonialism, and Globalization; Image and Reality; Media and Visual Technologies. Each section presents a carefully selected range of case studies from across the last 250 years, designed to illustrate how all kinds of visual media have shaped our technology, aesthetics, politics and culture.