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Michelle Marder Kamhi’s new book Who Says That’s Art? presents a “commonsense view” of the visual arts that owes much to Ayn Rand’s understanding of the essential nature of art. Yet Rand’s idiosyncratic pronouncements about particular works of art, and about individual responses to them, have sometimes proved a stumbling block to full appreciation either of her theory of art or of the rich diversity of the world’s art. Drawing on material covered in the book, Kamhi shows how Rand’s fundamental insights can contribute to a broader understanding and enjoyment of visual art.
Independent scholar and critic Michelle Marder Kamhi is the author of Who Says That’s Art? A Commonsense View of the Visual Arts (Pro Arte Books, 2014) and co-author of What Art Is: The Esthetic Theory of Ayn Rand (Open Court, 2000). She co-edits Aristos (an online review of the arts) with her husband and colleague Louis Torres. Aristos was founded in 1982 as a print journal inspired by Rand’s theory of art. Articles by Kamhi have appeared in the Wall Street Journal, Art Education, Arts Education Policy Review, and the Journal of Ayn Rand Studies, among other publications. For more information, see her website at www.mmkamhi.com.