Reality Through the Arts

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  • Edition: 5th
  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2004-01-01
  • Publisher: Prentice Hall
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Supplemental Materials

What is included with this book?

  • The New copy of this book will include any supplemental materials advertised. Please check the title of the book to determine if it should include any access cards, study guides, lab manuals, CDs, etc.


This introductory exploration of basic artistic concepts and terms applies them to a skeletal multi-disciplinary and multi-cultural history of artistic styles. It treats all the artspainting, printmaking, photography, sculpture, music, theatre, dance, film, architecture, literatureuniformly, and uses a common outline to reinforce the relationship of terms and concepts to the perceptual process. The book also ties both artistic media and history to the theme of art as a reflection of human realityThis examination focuses on the media of the arts, pictures, sculpture, music, theatre, cinema, dance, architecture, literature, the styles of the arts, ancient approaches, artistic reflections in the pre-modern world, as well as artistic styles in the emerging modern world and, the beginnings of modernism, pluralism in a post-modern age.For art enthusiasts and others interested exploring how artists express themselves.

Table of Contents



1. Pictures: Drawing, Painting, Printmaking and Photography.
2. Sculpture.
3. Music.
4. Theatre.
5. Cinema.
6. Dance.
7. Architecture.
8. Literature.


9. Ancient Approaches.
10. Artistic Reflections in the Pre-Modern World.
11. Artistic Styles in the Emerging Modern World.
12. The Beginnings of Modernism.
13. Pluralism: Beyond the Modern and Post-Modern Age.


This book teaches basic principles and practices of the arts--drawing, painting, printmaking, sculpture, music, theatre, dance, cinema, literature, and architecture--in Western and other cultures. Designed for individuals whose experience of and in the arts is limited, it treats definitions and concepts in Part I in a cursory fashion, using general terms that can apply readily to the diverse cultural materials examined in Part II. The overall approach seeks to provide a convenient, one-volume outline with sufficient flexibility to serve a variety of classroom purposes.Part I examines the media of the arts, defining and explaining important terminology, discussing how artworks are composed, and suggesting ways in which art can effect responses. The primary purpose of this compendium approach is to assist readers in polishing skills of observation and gaining confidence in sharing responses. Selection of materials is arbitrary. This text is neither a comprehensive history nor an introduction to aesthetic theory.Part II is arranged chronologically in order to present a snapshot of arts from around the world that occurred at roughly the same time in history. The focus of Part II, however, is style, not history, and not every culture has been included. Decisions as to what to omit or include were made for two reasons: feedback from instructors and the practicalities of size set by the publisher.This work is a product of many sources. In many instances it reflects the general knowledge of its author, who has spent nearly fifty years in formal and experiential relationship with the arts in the classroom and around the world. It reflects notes taken here and there as well as formal research. In the interest of readability, however, and in recognition of its generalized purpose, the text avoids footnoting wherever possible. I hope that the method selected for presentation and documentation of others' works meets the needs of both responsibility and practicality. The bibliography gives a comprehensive list of works consulted.This edition, the fifth, contains several new features. First is a new Introduction which overviews the text and presents a more thorough and transparent approach than previous editions. Each chapter ends with a new "Thinking Critically" feature to assist in developing analysis and insight. That is followed by a "Cyber Study" section for finding additional materials on the Internet.Within the chapters, an in-text pronunciation guide has been added so that readers can pronounce names and terms without having to look elsewhere for assistance. Also, each of the thirteen chapters contains a "Personal Journey" essay designed to give a personalized view of a specific work of art (designed, however, so as not to break the flow of the text). The intent is to show how experiencing artworks outside the classroom can become a meaningful part of one's life. In addition, a Humanities CD-ROM is available to bring to life several concepts, styles, and processes in the arts. The CD-ROM includes narration and fourteen video clips, with a listing of key terms and definitions that students can download to their hard drive for creating study notes and easy reference material. A web site, developed specifically for the CD-ROM, contains web links specific to each discipline. The CD-ROM also contains a starter kit for each discipline which provides general information for the arts genres, explaining why they are studied and how to study them effectively. Finally, a new section on Latino Art has been added to Chapter 13 in order to bring a better balance of materials to the realities of the contemporary classroom. The music CD available with previous editions continues to this edition. References to its selections are noted as "music CD."In 1977, when I wrotePerceiving the Arts(Prentice Hall, 7th edition, 2002), I asked Ellis Grove, my colleague at The Pennsylvania State U

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