This book is essentially an introduction to art through selected essays by some of the greatest historians, critics and artists of the past century. Unique in its approach, it is more of a tapestry than a map as it is woven of many different perspectives and ideas. The essays, selected by Professor Mansfield from more than thirty years of teaching the visual arts in America and China, have been assembled here to provide the reader with a unique window to the many worlds of art. It is dedicated to the student of the visual arts and the idea that art communicates to us through time and space while engaging us on historic, cultural, aesthetic, and personal levels. It presents a broad chrological and geographic span beginning with the sacred world of the ancient past continuing through cultural, sociopolitical, critical, ethnic, gender, archeological, architectural, historic, and techlogical issues that have shaped the contemporary world and a esthetic consciousness. The book is devoted to presenting a multicultural view while providing a variety of critical, historic and methodological approaches to seeing, thinking, and appreciating art. Robert Mansfield is an internationally acclaimed artist with a specialization in large scale architecturally oriented public sculpture and a tenured professor of art at San Diego State University. He has taught at Smith College and Hampshire College in Massachusetts and the University of Minnesota. He has also taught at the Chinese Academy of Art in Hangzhou and the Suzhou Academy of Art in China. He has written and lectured extensively on public art, architecture and public spaces, in the US and in China. He has also served on the U.S. General Service Administration's Art in Public Places program. Professor Mansfield lives in La Mesa, CA, Merrifield, MN, and Hangzhou, China with his wife Mingya and son Brendan.