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This book treats the historiography of ancient Near Eastern and Classical art, examining the social, intellectual and institutional contexts that have shaped the way that the history of ancient art has been and continues to be written. It demonstrates how, from the Renaissance to the present, the study and interpretation of ancient art reflect contemporary ideas and practices. Among the subjects considered are the classical tradition in the post-antique West, the emergence of academic disciplines, the role of museums in the evaluation of ancient art, and issues of race, gender and cultural authority in the interpretation of ancient civilizations.