Copyright © The Malta Historical Society, 2005.
Source: Melita Historica. [Malta Historical Society]. 7(1978)3(293-294)
EDWARD SAMMUT, Handlist of Writings on Art in Malta, The Library Association, MUP 1978, 39 pp. including indexes to artists and authors.
The Library Association is to be congratulated for making this publication possible. A worthwhile publication is a monumentum aere perennius. It is indeed a pity that a highly interesting exhibition on the History of Printing and Publishing in Malta mounted on behalf of the Library Association [p.294] in 1975 was not followed by the publication of a researched, annotated catalogue of exhibits (through no fault of the present writer!). The 1978 organising committee was more lucky, as it clinched the present worthwhile contribution by Dr Sammut. Here is a lawyer, businessman, and man of culture, particularly an art lover and critic, such as we are used to know about on the Continent. His contribution to the study and diffusion of art criticism in Malta is second to none. This particular study is the usual labour of love. It is in fact a revised and enlarged edition of the Handlist published in Melita Histories. 1964. Over 400 entries are included and appropriately classified. A few items will undoubtedly be pinpointed by the connoisseur as echappè, including the very recent interventions by J Spike in Burlington. But we are all grateful to Dr Sammut. Art and art criticism in Malta, unlike literature and literary criticism, have enjoyed a free hand and uninterrupted development, and their prospects appear to be ever so good.