Lisa Small, A Distant Muse: Orientalist Works from the Dahesh Museum of Art. New York, Dahesh Museum of Art, 2000, 36pp.
Orientalist art engages both the emotions and the intellect as much as, if not more than, any other aspect of 19th-century art. Representations of the Middle East were created with a variety of motives and collected passionately in the Western world. The Dahesh Museum of Art, the only museum in the United States dedicated to European academic art of the 19th and early 20th centuries, has from its inception recognized the importance of Orientalism in the cultural history of the West and now has an extensive collection of Orientalist art in all media. A Distant Muse offers a comprehensive discussion of the subject, illustrated with examples from the Museum’s collection, which analyzes this very complex movement and its effect on Western perceptions of the Middle East.