Review of John La Plante's Asian Art

★★★★★ A small book packed with insights, May 29, 2018

I read the 1968 (first) edition. This little book attracts my attention with a bold statement in the preface, "Korea, Burma, Thailand, ... are not included [in this book], since they were, for the most part, cultural recipients, rather than disseminators, of fundamental changes in Asian thought and art." I want to see what other interesting words this Stanford-trained Dr. La Plante has to say. Indeed, my pencil marks and underlines are everywhere in the book. The following are a selection (some with my comments):

Overall, except for poor printing quality of the pictures, this is an excellent book on Asian art. According to Memorial Resolution: John La Plante on, Dr. John La Plante is a painter himself, a fact that particularly appeals to me as I believe the historian of certain subjects such as art and philosophy must be well versed in the subject to say anything other than any layman can also say. The author must be a humble character judged by his late promotion to professorship and by Stanford's acknowledgement that "His combination of uncommon talents fell outside the institution's evaluation system". In my view, he deserves as much fame as Kenneth Clark if given a chance to talk on BBC or its US equivalent.

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