Art History Classes

Course Overviews

Art History With an Inquisitive Eye
Tues., 1-3pm

Why do people make art?  How have civilizations expressed their triumphs, their questions, their
beliefs through art?  Is history only defined by
the conquerors?  What makes art powerful?
Interesting? Emotional?

This course focuses on the "big picture" questions of art and civilization.  We begin by developing ways of seeing and describing art, examining elements of design and exploring artistic viewpoints:  formalist
( what objects look like), contextual (how the object is influenced by time and history) and subjective
(how we react to the object).

A cross-section of civilizations and historical eras will be represented each week, addressing major themes that occur across art.  Topics include: 
Power and Propaganda; Search for the Sacred; Rebellion; Love and the Human Ideal; Beauty vs Ugliness; The Inward Mind; Magic and Symbolism; Tales of the Times.

Throughout the year, we will look for
opportunities to step outside to learn by visiting
the wealth of museums in our area, testing our
skills of observation and analysis.  Each student
will create an art timeline, developing a chronological perspective of works and eras covered.  Weekly reading and written exercises will be assigned, but students will be encouraged to go beyond the boundaries, exploring their interests and questions.

text:  Bersson's Responding to Art.




Advanced Art History-with an AP Emphasis   

Continuing with our studies, we begin to focus on  contextual references in art.  Why was an artwork made? How does it reflect the values and culture of  society?  What questions does it ask?

This class blends three disciplines:  art, history and writing.  Not only do we explore art within the context of its society and historical time, but also, we develop expressive skills to describe these connections.  Students will practice writing cogent and informative essays, blending both formalist and contextual analysis.  The goal for many will be taking the AP Art History exam in the spring, preparing by knowing 300-500 examples of art throughout the ages.

text: Gardner's Art Through the Ages, 13th edition

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