A World of Art
by H. M. Sayre.
This is a book about basic concepts of the visual arts and critical appraisal of art. The writing is clear and interesting; jargons and technical terms are illustrated with examples of works. I especially like the "Work in Progress" page spreads that appear in many chapters. Each discusses in detail how an artist conceptualise and create a particular work.
Although the author did make an attempt, in the introduction, to present a cross-cultural view, most of the examples throughout the book are modern American art. I for one welcome this: most of the artists are quite unknown, and their works are visually beautiful and conceptually sound. After all, there is never shortage of books on big European classics.