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Every time an artist portrays a human subject, a decision has to be made about the posture of the figure. Will they be standing, sitting, or reclining? Smiling, screaming, or weeping? Never before given such dedicated attention, Postures argues that the gestures portrayed in a work of art can reflect the mores of a particular period in history, the customs of a certain culture, or a fashion in artistic styles. Exploring these with masterful subtlety, celebrated artist and anthropologist Desmond Morris uncovers fascinating insights about changing social attitudes and conventions throughout history, finding surprising similarities and significant differences. Morris's vast selection of gestures, from the handshake to the glove-slap, are analyzed and grouped according to wider forms of communication--greetings, threats, insults, and more. All are illustrated with full color works, ranging from prehistoric masks and Greek statues to contemporary paintings and sculptures. Postures uniquely combines Morris's expertise in both art and social science, shedding new light on even the most familiar paintings.
A lavishly illustrated revised edition of the 70s cult book, updated by the author and with a bold new design and contemporary images. Before Franklin Foer, Bill Bryson, and Simon Kuper wrote about soccer, best-selling author and highly respected academic Desmond Morris became a director of a soccer club in order to properly analyse the world s most popular sport. In this revelatory book, Morris shares his experiences, guiding the reader through the marked tribal components of soccer, from the life of a team, the players, and their supporters to its symbols, rites, and rules. The Soccer Tribe is a tribute to the game, seen from the perspective of a lifelong fan and specialist. The book is divided into forty-four short chapters, each examining a vital aspect of the life of the Soccer Tribesmen. Included are Rituals (the taboos and punishments, goals and strategies); Heroes (their skills and superstitions, triumphs and defeats); Trappings (balls, costumes, banners and badges, trophies and medals); Elders (directors and referees, managers and trainers); Followers (old and young, celebrities and fans); and the Tribal Tongue (chants and slogans, cheers and curses). From Liverpool to Lyon, Bayern to Barcelona, and Manchester to Milan, Morris passionately dissects and examines every detail, all the way to the jerseys and stadium songs.
Animals rule the world. Humanity is extinct...This new photographic collection from Henk van Rensbergen, the godfather of urban exploring, invokes many questions. The beauty and desolation of Abandoned Places is still present, but it is given a new dimension as animals seek and find their place in a world that once belonged to humanity. Van Rensbergen's photographs inspired the world famous biologist and bestselling author Desmond Morris. Morris' preface paints a picture about the planet after the extinction of mankind. Award-winning author Peter Verhelst contributes a short story in which he gets inside the head of the last man on earth.
No other art movement in history has contained two artists as different as Magritte and Miro. This is because Surrealism was not in origin an art movement, but a philosophical strategy. It was a way of life - a rebellion against the establishment that had given the world the hideous slaughter of the First World War. Instead of trying to analyse the work of the Surrealists, bestselling author and Surrealist artist Desmond Morris concentrates on them as people - as remarkable individuals. What were their personalities, their predilections, their character strengths and flaws? Did they enjoy a social life or were they loners? Were they bold eccentrics or timid recluses? Drawing on the author's personal knowledge of the Surrealists, this book captures their life histories, idiosyncrasies and often-complex love lives, vividly illustrated with images of the artists and their works. The arts of Surrealism were both spectacular and international, shaped by the darkest, most irrational workings of the unconscious. Shocking, witty and always entertaining, Morris' tales illuminate the striking variation in approaches to the Surrealist philosophy, both in the artist's work and in their lives.
This study concerns the city dweller. Morris finds remarkable similarities with captive zoo animals and looks closely at the aggressive, sexual and parental behaviour of the human species under the stresses and pressures of urban living.
The cat has been a favourite subject of artists across cultures from prehistory until the present day. A spectacular 7,000-year-old rock engraving in Libya shows the oldest catfight in feline art; Babylonians believed that the souls of priests were escorted to paradise by a helpful cat; Pablo Picasso was known to have loved cats and often portrayed them as savage predators, while Victorian cats were shown in loving family groups with mothers caring for their playful kittens. Today, the cat is one of the most popular domestic pets on the planet and feline art is hugely popular across the world.In this eye-catching book, bestselling author Desmond Morris tells the compelling story of cats in art, tracing its history from ancient rock paintings and spectacular Egyptian art to the work of Old Masters, modernist representations and cartoons, as well as Naive and Outsider art. Morris weaves illuminating stories with specially selected images that have rarely been seen before. Anyone who has a pet cat, or a fascination for our feline companions, will enjoy this beautifully illustrated book.
First published in 1967, this work has become a benchmark of popular anthropology and psychology. Morris considers humans as being simply another animal species.
The owls are not what they seem. From ancient Babylon to Edward Lear's The Owl and the Pussycat and the grandiloquent, absent-minded Wol from Winnie the Pooh to David Lynch's Twin Peaks, owls have woven themselves into the fabric of human culture from earliest times. Beautiful, silent, pitiless predators of the night, possessing contradictory qualities of good and evil, they are enigmatic creatures that dwell throughout the world yet barely make their presence known. In his fascinating new book, bestselling author and broadcaster Desmond Morris explores the natural and cultural history of one of nature's most popular creatures. Morris describes the evolution, the many species, and the wide spread of owls around the world excluding Antarctica, owls are found on every land mass, and they range in size from 28 centimetres (the Least Pygmy Owl) to more than 70 centimetres tall (the Eurasian Eagle Owl). As a result of their wide distribution, owls also occur in the folk-tales, myths and legends of many native people, and Morris explores all these, as well as the many examples of owls in art, film, literature and popular culture. A new title by an acclaimed author, and featuring many telling illustrations from nature and culture, "Owl" will appeal to the many devotees of this emblematic bird. Despite the fact that many have never seen or even heard an owl, he illustrates through this enticing read that the owl's presence is still very real to us today.
How does city life change the way we act? What accounts for the increasing prevalence of violence and anxiety in our world? In this new edition of his controversial 1969 bestseller, THE HUMAN ZOO, renowned zoologist Desmond Morris argues that many of the social instabilities we face are largely a product of the artificial, impersonal confines of our urban surroundings. Indeed, our behavior often startlingly resembles that of captive animals, and our "developed" and "urbane" environment seems not so much a concrete jungle as it does a human zoo. Animals do not normally exhibit stress, random violence, and erratic behavior--until they are confined. Similarly, the human propensity toward antisocial and sociopathic behavior is intensified in today's cities. Morris argues that we are biologically still tribal and ill-equipped to thrive in the impersonal urban sprawl. As important and meaningful today as it was a quarter-century ago, THE HUMAN ZOO sounds an urgent warning and provides startling insight into our increasingly complex lives.
The sleek, spotted leopard may be the smallest of the big cats, but
its ferocity and solitary style makes lions and tigers seem puny in
comparison. Lacking the social mentality of other animals, the
leopard is stealthy and selfish, ambushing its prey and carrying it
high into a tree where it can dine alone. Humans call leopards the
"perfect predator." In "Leopard," renowned zoologist Desmond Morris
seeks to show all sides of the cat, delving into the fascinating
history of these incredible animals.
Monkeys populate our culture, from the adorable hijinks of Curious George and the loyal friendship between Aladdin and Abu to the menacing gait of the winged ones in "The Wizard of Oz." We visit them in zoos and even sometimes keep them as pets a la Catherine de Medici and Michael Jackson. As renowned zoologist Desmond Morris shows, it is not surprising that we are so attracted to them. While we sometimes view monkeys as trivial or comic, their mischievousness is delightful, and their urge to explore and love of activity fascinate us. "Monkey" unpacks human attitudes toward these animals, tracing our connection with them throughout history. -Morris reveals that our fascination with monkeys extends through many cultures and eras--ancient Egyptians revered baboons, monkey deities featured prominently in ancient Chinese and Japanese religions, and sacred status was given to the langur monkey by some groups in India. He also describes how our relationship with monkeys has changed since Darwin, and even become more troubled--this in-depth knowledge of our own origins amplifies our identification with and concern for the idea of monkeys' primitivism and destructive behaviors. Drawing a vibrant picture of these beguiling animals and their continued popularity with humans, "Monkey" brings a new understanding to our complicated relationship with the ever-curious George.
Bison once ranged across the Great Plains of North America in vast herds - early eighteenth century explorers described them as 'innumerable' - and at the beginning of the nineteenth century they numbered in the tens of millions. However, during the next century or so humans were responsible for the bison's near extinction in North America, slaughtering an estimated 50 million for their meat, pelts and fur, reducing the bison population to less than a thousand by 1890. Hunting of bison became so prevalent that travellers on longhaul trips in the Midwest would shoot them from their trains. Notable developments have been made in recent years to revive the decimated bison population of North America: farming of bison has increased their population to nearly 150,000, and the American bison is no longer considered an endangered species. In Bison renowned zoologist Desmond Morris explores the animal's evolution and habitat, from their first evidence in fossil records 2 million years ago to today. He reveals the different sides to its personality - bison are extremely unpredictable and, while they normally appear lazy and calm, can attack at any moment - and describes the important differences between the European wisent and American bison, the only two species now surviving. The book also discusses depictions of the bison in art, from early painting to contemporary metal sculpture. This vibrantly illustrated book will appeal to anyone curious about the natural and cultural history of this iconic creature.
Consisting of his timeless classic Manwatching, completely revised and updated, with much new material gathered since the book's original publication, and for the first time incorporating the text of Bodywatching, this new edition is set to become the definitive 'body language bible'. Lavishly illustrated throughout with line drawings and two 16pp colour plate sections, Peoplewatching is a handsomely designed and fitting tribute to one of the most thought-provoking and popular scientists of his day.
Internationally bestselling author and world-famous human
behaviorist Desmond Morris turns his attention to the female form,
taking the reader on a guided tour of the female body from head to
toe. Highlighting the evolutionary functions of various
physiological traits, Morris's study explores the various forms of
enhancement and constraint that human societies have developed in
the quest for the perfect female form. This is very much vintage
Desmond Morris, delivered in his trademark voice: direct, clear,
focused, and communicating what is often complex detail in simple
language. In THE NAKED WOMAN, Desmond builds on his unrivalled
experience as an observer of the human animal while tackling one of
his most fascinating and challenging subjects to date.
From ancient Babylon to Edward Lear's The Owl and the Pussycat and the grandiloquent, absent-minded Owl from Winnie-the-Pooh to David Lynch's Twin Peaks, owls have woven themselves into the fabric of human culture from earliest times. Beautiful, silent, pitiless predators of the night, possessing contradictory qualities of good and evil, they are enigmatic creatures that dwell throughout the world yet barely make their presence known. In this classic Reaktion title, now available in paperback, bestselling author and broadcaster Desmond Morris explores the natural and cultural history of one of nature's most popular creatures. He describes the evolution, the many species and the wide spread of owls around the world, as well as their appearance in folk tales, myths and legends, art, film, literature and popular culture. Originally published in 2009, this new format edition features many telling illustrations from nature and culture and will appeal to the many devotees of this emblematic bird.
This is a groundbreaking work in the field of ethology- the zoological study of animal behaviori1/2which was rapidly gaining ground in the 1960s when this collection was first published. These specially commissioned papers bought together studies of monkeys and apes from both the laboratory and the field. All of the contributors had been trained in the Lorenz/Tinbergen school and included Jane Goodall, R. Hinde and Y. Spencer-Booth, M. Moynihan, T.E. Rowell, Caroline Loizos, John Sparks, Wolfgang Wickler, and J. van Hooff. Many broad aspects of primate life, including facial expressions, sexual signals, grooming, play, social organization and parental care, are covered by the contributors and provided a whole new approach to primate behavior.
As Morris points out in his introduction: "Most primate research behavior workers have, in fact, been drawn from the worlds of psychology and anthropology, and too little attention has been paid to detailed observation and motor pattern description." From 1956 he became seriously involved in the making of films and television programs about animal behavior and began studying the artistic abilities of apes. This was followed by the authorship of a number of natural history books and by the hosting of a popular TV program "Zootime" over several years. In 1959 he was appointed curator of mammals at the London Zoo. Between 1959 and 1967 he was responsible for the authorship of many natural history books, sometimes in co-authorship with his wife.
From impish two-year-olds to inquisitive preschoolers, this
engaging and informative guide to early childhood development
describes the extraordinary milestones and progresses of the most
important formative years of a child. Childhood gestures and body
language are interpreted to help parents understand the
personality, thoughts, and emotions of the youngest children. Each
chapter includes photographs that capture the activities and
typical reactions of children when confronted with everyday
experiences. Foldout sections are included that list the physical
and mental characteristics of children from the ages of two through
five. Parents and educators alike will consider this an essential
How intelligent are horses/ Why do they toss their heads, and what makes them paw the ground? Why do they swish their tails, and what makes them flare their nostrils? In Horsewatching Desmond Morris gets out to answer these and numerous other questions of consuming interest to horse-lovers. As a zoologist and a lifelong student of animal behaviour, Desond Morris approaches the horse world in an unusual way, dealing with topics often ignored in the equine literature. In addition to examining the details of horse behaviour he answers a wealth of fascinating cultural and sociological questions, such as why horseshoes bring good luck, why we (at least in this country) don't eat horses, why jockeys are allowed to whip their mounts, and why we call a bad dream a nightmare. Desmond Morris even applies his zoological mind, and his superb writing skills, to the all-important question why some horses run faster than others.
Everyone is equal before the law. And anyone who accepted David Bailey's recent invitation to his studio to be photographed in the nude became part of this astonishing book. Bailey laid down some strict rules: he shot all subjects in the same light and without props. Makeup and retouching were shunned. He took six photographs of each person, and selection and composition were his own affair. These rules, his imposed democracy, result in a celebration of the naked body in all its lovely (and not-so-lovely) splendor. Naked, Bailey specifies, not nude: "All that worrying about poncy lighting, making people look like landscapes or rocks. If I wanted to photograph a rock, I'd photograph a rock." And of the project's conception 30 years ago? "This is going to sound pretentious, but I was reading Plato's Republic and I thought, why not Bailey's Democracy? I wanted to do something organic. I didn't cast it, I didn't tell people where to sit or how to stand. They chose their own pose. I didn't worry about Rembrandt lighting or any crap like that. You could almost do it in a photo booth."
No life form has had a greater impact on this planet than the human
male. What is it that has made his legacy so utterly distinct from
that of all other life forms, including even the human female?
Following on from the international success of The Naked Woman,
Desmond Morris investigates this intriguing evolutionary success
story. The Naked Man is a study of the masculine body from head to
toe, examining biological features of the male anatomy in
illuminating detail, and describing the many ways in which these
features have been modified, suppressed or exaggerated by local
customs and changes in social fashions. This is a natural history
of man, viewing him as a fascinating specimen of a far from rare,
but nevertheless endangered species.
What exactly is it about the canine personality that has singled out the dog, from all the 4,236 species of non-human mammals, to be man's best friend? In his international bestseller Illustrated Dogwatching Desmond Morris gives fascinating answers to this and many other questions. why does a dog bury a bone? Why does a dog wag its tail? Do dogs have a sixth sense? Do dogs show remorse? and many more. Now published for the first time in paperback, the book is packed with dazzling colour photographs to illustrate the author's exploration of canine behaviour. No dog lover should be without it.
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