AP® Art History
Students learn to use terms and concepts:
The processes & words that artists and critics use
to describe visual life: (art and architecture)
Students discuss the “topography” of Images:
Or, peel the proverbial onion of potential resources
and possible responses to works of art
Quality over quantity…
Elliot Eisner. Professor Emeritus of Education at
Stanford University.
"The act of representation is more of a dialogue
than a monologue, more of a conversation than
a lecture" (1983).
“With the arts, children learn to see…
…We want our children to have basic skills. But
they also will need sophisticated cognition, and
they can learn that through the visual arts.”
In, “The Arts and the Creation of Mind” (2002),
Elliot Eisner, professor of education and art at
Stanford University, writes…
Experience is central to growth because experience
is the medium of education. Education, in turn, is
the process of learning to create ourselves…Work in
the arts is not only a way of creating performances
and products; it is a way of creating our lives by
expanding our consciousness, shaping our
dispositions, satisfying our quest for meaning,
establishing contact with others, and sharing
culture. (p. 3)
Connecting Visual and Verbal Literacy
Speak and write with appropriate Use of Art “Formalisms”:
When you talk about art, consider how the “elements and
principles of art and design” are deployed to communicate.
Elements are parts: (lines, shapes, colors, forms, textures, spaces,
value, etc.).
Principles apply to the whole. (rhythm, balance, proportion, emphasis,
and unity).
In speaking and writing, we will pair elements and principles,
using word phrases like “value” + “contrast” for example. Or,
we could use “rhythmic + line” or “movement”.
lines and
contours used to make
textures and forms
Composing forms & the “classical” pyramid
Historical and Cultural Literacy
Students will interpret historical and contextual connections: Learn
to analyze the importance of artistic technologies &
techniques. For example, in15th Cent Germany the wood block
print and engravings did as much as printing press to
communicate Western Religion to the intended audience.
On the following slide, compare the combined religious, literary,
and artistic impact of contemporaries, Martin Luther and
Albrecht Durer…
Durer’s symbolisms of
Christian Humanism
Personifications of a Catholic artist, influenced by Protestantism, surmised in Durer’s diary
reference to Martin Luther as `that Christian man who has helped me out of great anxieties''.
Art History: How old is it? Why is it
important to know; and so what then?
How old? (4 types of chronological evidence):
1) physical evidence (dating the materials);
2) documentary record (a dated written account with it)
3) visual evidence (period clothing and decorative arts)
4) stylistic evidence (the way the art looks; the art historian’s
special area of professional expertise is often personally biased)
What is a “style”, also called a “movement”:
Period style refers to the characteristics that unify an artistic manner
of approach that is repeated and refined across a culture or a time.
Regional style, sometimes associated with “provenance”, refers to
where a certain group of art works come from geographically
Personal style: El Greco or Georgia O’Keefe: personal styles
figured prominently in the development of 20th century modernisms.
“Style Wars” in the French
Salon (Les Academies Des
Beaux Arts): The
Poussinistes (below) vs.
the Rubenistes (rt)
Personal Style
El Greco, late 16th c.
Georgia O’Keefe
Thomas Hart Benton: Personal & Regional
American Gothic by Grant Wood
“Classical Revival” is a great example of
Period Style that evolves into Regional
Styles in Art & Architecture
Original Federal Period of 1780s and 1790s
Thomas Cole founding the “Hudson River
Valley School” of Painters of the Upper
Hudson & Niagara Valleys, respectively.
The Neoclassicism of Thomas Jefferson
Regional Variations on the classical revivals
of Greek styled buildings in the American
North and South in the early 1800s
American “Classicizing Transcendentalist”:
Thomas Cole’s “Course of Empires”, 1830s
Greek Revival in the U.S. began with Jefferson’s efforts to revive the
classical past during America’s new Constitutional Period (1785 to
1792), now called the “Federal” Period (Virginia State Capitol).
Detail from Jefferson’s State Capitol
1824 Second Bank of the United States,
by William Strickland
1832 Chapel, UGA
Greek Revival Period Style in Public Buildings
Greek Revival Regional Styles in American
Architecture of the 19th Century
Greek Revival home in
Marshall built 1838; oldest
brick residence in Michigan
More than a Ninja
Michelangelo, Raphael
#26 thru 28
What style is
Claude Monet, Impression Sunrise, 1872
One of the first “MODERN” Paintings? . . .
What do you remember about Van Gogh? Is
there much more to say about him?
Dali’s Surrealism,
“The Persistence of Memories”
What medium or approach to art is this?
“F-111,” from the art movement of American
Consumerism in the 1960s
How did Pop Art influence Pop Culture, and vice versa?
Ladies Jeans Pockets: An extra credit opp.
Michelangelo’s Prisoners
Additive (Lost Wax Bronzes of Benin Culture and Rodin)
Learn to read architectural plans & elevations
Van Gogh. Flowering plum tree –
Japonaiserie (1887). (Asian
influence in the West)
Perspective in a
Japanese Silk
Delightfully different goals from Western Art!
Hope that you will
sign up, and I look
forward to seeing
each of you in
enrolled in my AP
Art History course!
Winslow Homer. “The New
Novel” (1877). Watercolor
Museum Visit Example

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