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Heidegger and the Work of Art History

Heidegger and the Work of Art HistoryHeidegger and the Work of Art History explores the impact and future possibilities of Heidegger’s philosophy for art history and visual culture in the twenty-first century. Scholars from the fields of art history, visual and material studies, design, philosophy, aesthetics and new media pursue diverse lines of thinking that have departed from Heidegger’s work in order to foster compelling new accounts of works of art and their historicity. This collected book of essays also shows how studies in the history and theory of the visual enrich our understanding of Heidegger’s philosophy. In addition to examining the philosopher's lively collaborations with art historians, and how his longstanding engagement with the visual arts influenced his conceptualization of history, the essays in this volume consider the ontological and ethical implications of our encounters with works of art, the visual techniques that form worlds, how to think about ’things’ beyond human-centred relationships, the moods, dispositions, and politics of art’s history, and the terms by which we might rethink aesthetic judgment and the interpretation of the visible world, from the early modern period to the present day.

Introduction > view pdf
Reluzenz: On Richard Estes > view pdf


- Emma Bennett, “Rethinking Hegel and Heidegger on Art,” Art History, vol. 37, no. 5 (2014): 989-992.


Learning from Las Vegas, originally published by the MIT Press in 1972, was one of the most influential and controversial architectural books of its era. Forty years later, it remains a perennial bestseller and a definitive theoretical text. Its authors—architects Robert Venturi, Denise Scott Brown, and Steven Izenour—famously used the Las Vegas Strip to argue the virtues of the “ordinary and ugly” above the “heroic and original” qualities of architectural modernism. Learning from Las Vegas not only moved architecture to the center of cultural debates, it changed our ideas about what architecture was and could be.

In this provocative rereading of an iconic text, Aron Vinegar argues that to read Learning from Las Vegas only as an exemplary postmodernist text--to understand it, for example, as a call for pastiche or as ironic provocation—is to underestimate its deeper critical and ethical meaning, and to miss the underlying dialectic between skepticism and the ordinary, expression and the deadpan, that runs through the text.

Especially revealing is Vinegar’s close analysis of the differences between the first 1972 edition, designed for the MIT Press by Muriel Cooper, and the “revised” edition of 1977, which was radically stripped down and largely redesigned by Denise Scott Brown.

A Not So Well-Reasoned Bibliography > view pdf
Introduction and Chapters 3 & 4 > view pdf
Chapter 3: Of Ducks, Decorated Sheds, and Other Mind > view pdf
Chapter 4: A Monument for Everyone and No One > view pdf
ChapteR 5: Reducks, 1972, 1977 > view pdf


- Ari Seligmann, “I AM A MONUMENT: On Learning from Las Vegas,” Architectural Theory Review. Vol. 18, no. 1 (August 2013): 125-127.

- Sally L. Levine, “I AM A MONUMENT: On Learning from Las Vegas,” The Journal of Popular Culture, vol. 45, no. 6 (December 2012): 1337-1339.

- Eduardo Vivanco, “Must they Mean What They Say?” Design Issues, vol. 26, no. 3 (Summer 2010): 83-91.

- Amanda Reeser Lawrence, “I AM A MONUMENT,” Journal of the Society of Architectural Historians, vol. 69, no. 2 (June 2010): 288-290.

- D.J. Huppatz, “Relearning from Las Vegas,” and “I AM A MONUMENT: On Learning from Las Vegas,” Design and Culture, vol. 2, no. 1 (March 2010): 109-113.

- Deborah Fausch, “Relearning from Las Vegas” and “I AM A MONUMENT: On Learning from Las Vegas,” Journal of Architectural Education, vol. 63, no. 1 (October 2009): 158-160.

- John Hill, “Of Ducks & Sheds,” Architect Magazine (June 2009)

- “Preservation Battles Past and Present,” Architectural Record, vol. 197, no. 6 (June 2009): 41.

- David Morton, “’On Learning from Las Vegas’, by Aron Vinegar,” Urban Design Review (Spring/Summer 2009): 4-6.

- Chris Speed, “I AM A MONUMENT: On Learning from Las Vegas,” Leonardo On-Line: Leonardo Reviews (April 2009) > visit site

- Karl Steinick, “Las Vegas jackpott for arkitekturen,” Svenska Dagbladet, Jan 8, 2009  > visit site

- François Chaslin, “un livre d'Aron Vinegar à propos du Learning from Las Vegas de Venturi et Scott Brown,” Urbanisme, no. 365 (Mars/Avril 2009): 90-91.

- François Chaslin, “Las Vegas de nuevo, génesis de un libro,” Arquitectura Viva, no. 123 (2008): 81.

- See Chaslin’s interview/review of my book on the weekly program “Métropolitains,” Radio France, Tuesday, January 28, 2009.

Relearning from Las Vegas

Relearning From Las VegasImmediately on its publication in 1972, Learning from Las Vegas, by Robert Venturi, Denise Scott Brown, and Steven Izenour, was hailed as a transformative work in the history and theory of architecture, liberating those in architecture who were trying to find a way out of the straitjacket of architectural orthodoxies. Resonating far beyond the professional and institutional boundaries of the field, the book contributed to a thorough rethinking of modernism and was subsequently taken up as an early manifestation and progenitor of postmodernism.

Going beyond analyzing the original text, the essays provide insights into the issues surrounding architecture, culture, and philosophy that have been influenced by Learning from Las Vegas. For the contributors, as for scholars in an array of fields, the pioneering book is as relevant to architectural debates today as it was when it was first published.

Contributors: Ritu Bhatt, Karsten Harries, Jean-Claude Lebensztejn, John McMorrough, Katherine Smith, Dell Upton, Nigel Whitely, Michael Golec and Aron Vinegar.

Chapter 8: The Melodrama of Expression and Inexpression in the Duck
and Decorated Shed  > view pdf


- Aseem Inam, “Relearning from Las Vegas,” Journal of Urban Design, vol. 16, no.1 (2011): 155-157.

- Mikko Näveri, “Kirja Kirjasta (Book About A Book): Relearning from Las Vegas,” Ark: Finsk Arkitekturtidskrift/The Finnish Architectural Review, vol. 107, no. 6 (2010): 86-87.

- Larry Shiner, “Relearning from Las Vegas,” Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism, vol. 67, no. 4 (Fall 2009): 431-433.