Look! Art History Fundamentals

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  • Edition: 3rd
  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2010-06-22
  • Publisher: Pearson

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Supplemental Materials

What is included with this book?


For one or two semester Introductory Art History Survey#xA0;courses. #xA0; This handbook is designed to accompany the major textbooks used in the art history survey, presenting various methods for analysis of art as well as extensive tips on writing about art. #xA0; Professor Anne D#x19;Alleva created this handbook to accompany the major textbooks used in art history survey courses. Because the main survey texts focus on the artworks themselves, she saw the need for a complementary handbook that introduces students to the methodologies of art history in an open, accessible way. Look!discusses basic art historical practices, such as visual and contextual analysis, and provides guidelines for writing papers and taking examinations in art history. It provides a short history of the discipline and provides links to related academic disciplines to provide students with a sense of intellectual context for their work.

Author Biography

Anne D'Alleva is Associate Professor of Art History and Women's Studies at the University of Connecticut. Her publications include Look! The Fundamentals of Art History (Prentice Hall) and Art of the Pacific Islands (Harry N. Abrams, Perspectives series), as well as Look Again! Art History and Critical Theory (Prentice Hall) and Sacred Maidens and Masculine Women: Art, Gender, and Power in Post-Contact Tahiti (University of Hawai'i Press). She has held grants from the Getty Foundation, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Woodrow Wilson Foundation, and the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Professor D'Alleva received her A.M. and Ph.D. in Art History from Columbia University, where she also completed a Graduate Certificate in Feminist Theory from the Center for Research on Women and Gender, and her A.B. in Fine Arts (art history) from Harvard University.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments               7


Introduction       How to use this book             8


Chapter 1    Introducing art history       

What do art historians do? The object of art history        11

         What is “art”? / A working definition of art / What is “history”?

Why is art history important?                16

Art history and related disciplines        19

           Art criticism / Sociology / Anthropology / Aesthetics / Cultural studies / Visual culture studies / Connoisseurship

Art history’s toolbox: formal and contextual analysis       22

           Museum accession numbers

Reading captions for information          23

Conclusion                26


Chapter 2    Formal analysis

Formal analysis        27

Formal elements       28

           Color / Line / Space and mass / Scale / Composition

Two-dimensional art: painting, graphic arts, photography               31

Sculpture 35

Wölfflin and formal analysis  36

Architecture              40

Installation art          42

Performance and video art      43

Digital art 46

Textile and decorative arts     48

Patrick Heron analyzes a painting by Matisse    51

Conclusion                51


Chapter 3    Contextual analysis

Art and context        52

Contextual questions              53

Art out of context? Museums and art history     56

         A brief history of museums / Museums and the experience of art

Sarah Symmons analyzes a print by Goya           57

The process of interpretation: confronting your assumptions        61

         The challenges of cross-cultural interpretation / The challenges of historical interpretation / Historical interpretation in practice

Is African art anonymous?     65

Art and its controversies        69

Style and meaning   71

Conclusion                73


Chapter 4    Writing art-history papers

Art-historical arguments: opinion vs. interpretation          74

Formal-analysis papers           76

           Taking notes / Structuring your paper / The comparison paper

Research papers       83

            Developing a topic and starting your research / Keeping notes

Resources for research           91

            Books / Periodicals / Websites / Reference works

How many sources should I use?         91

Critical moments in art-history writing 97

            Developing a thesis / Writing an introductory paragraph / Sustaining the argument / Dealing with intentions / The conclusion / Editing

If you experience writer’s block             107

Citations and bibliographies  108

            MLA citations / Chicago citations / Bibliography or Works Cited / Plagiarism’s gray zone

Writing style             113

          Common stylistic pitfalls of art-history writing /  Finding a voice

Putting together those illustrations      116

Conclusion                117


Chapter 5    Navigating art-history examinations

Slide identifications and short-answer questions              118 identifications

         Why are slide identifications important? / How to succeed at slide identifications / Three-step slide memorization / Memory aids / Unknowns

Test-taking strategies for art-history exams        126

Art-history essays       128

          Studying for essay tests / Types of essay question

Effective note-taking   140

           Taking good notes in class / Developing a consistent shorthand / Taking notes on readings

Class participation–why bother?        142

Conclusion  143


Chapter 6    Art history’s own history

Ancient world           144

Excerpt from Pliny’s Natural History   145

Middle Ages             146

Renaissance              147

Excerpt from Vasari’s Lives of the Artists             148

Seventeenth-century writers on art      150

Félibien in conversation with Poussin 151

Winckelmann on the Laocoön               153

Age of Enlightenment             154

The nineteenth century: foundations of modern art history             155
Twentieth-century formalists, iconographers and social historians               158

After 1970: the “new” art history          160

The feminist art-history revolution       163

Do other cultures practice art history? 165

       China / West Africa

Early art history in China        166

Conclusion  169


Glossary       170

Bibliography                172

Table of parallel illustrations in art-history surveys           178

Index             180

Picture credits              184



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