Art Appreciation 

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Art Appreciation Course Outline

What is Art?

Concepts Covered:

  • Introduction
  • What is Visual Art?
  • Who is considered an artist? What does it mean to be an artist?
  • The role of the viewer
  • Why do we make art?
  • What else will we learn?
  • Before you move on

The Structure of Art

Concepts Covered:

  • Introduction
  • Art Specific Vocabulary
  • Art Forms: Two – Dimensional Art
  • Art Forms: Three – Dimensional Art
  • Art Forms: Four – Dimensional Art
  • Elements of Design: Form and Composition
  • Elements of Design: Principles of Design
  • Before you Move on

Significance of Materials Used in Art

Concepts Covered:

  • Introduction
  • Utility and Value of Materials
  • Precious Materials, Spolia, and Borrowed Glory
  • Liquidation of Treasures
  • Wood, Inlay, and Lacquer
  • Intrinsic Values and Enhanced Worth of Metals
  • Rare Materials and Prohibited Uses
  • Material Connotations of Class or Station
  • Before you Move on

Describing Art

Concepts Covered:

  • Introduction
  • Formal or Critical Analysis
  • Types of Art
  • Styles of Art: Cultural Style
  • Styles of Art: Stylistic Periods or Movements
  • Styles of Art: Individual Style
  • Before you Move On

Meaning in Art

Concepts Covered:

  • Introduction
  • Historical Context
  • Social Context
  • Personal or Creative Narrative Context
  • Political Context
  • Scientific Context
  • Changes in Meaning of Symbols and Iconography
  • Symbolism, Iconography, and Visual Literacy
  • Symbolism and Iconography in Mythology and Storytelling
  • Exploring Symbolic and Iconographic Motifs
  • Before you Move On

Connecting Art to Our Lives

Concepts Covered:

  • Introduction
  • Aesthetics
  • Expression (Philosophical, Political Religious, Personal)
  • Unification/Exclusion
  • Communication
  • Protest and Shock
  • Celebration and Commemoration
  • Worship
  • Information, Education, and Inspiration
  • Before you Move On

Form in Architecture

Concepts Covered:

  • Introduction
  • Residential Needs
  • Community and Government
  • Commerce
  • Worship
  • Before you Move On

Art and Identity

Concepts Covered:

  • Introduction
  • Individual vs Cultural Groups
  • Nation
  • Cultural Heritage and Ethnic Identity
  • Sex/Gender Identity
  • Class
  • Group Affiliation & Personal Identity
  • Before you Move On

Art and Power

Concepts Covered:

  • Introduction
  • Propaganda, Persuasion, Politics, and Power
  • Imagery of War: Historical/Documentary
  • Imagery of War: Reflective/Reactionary and Anti-War
  • Prohibition or Destruction of Imagery: Iconoclast
  • Before you Move On

Art and Ritual Life

Concepts Covered:

  • Introduction
  • Exterior Ritual Spaces
  • The Sacred Interior
  • Masks and Ritual Behavior
  • Funerary Spaces and Grave Goods
  • Before you Move On

Art and Ethics

Concepts Covered:

  • Introduction
  • Ethical Consideration in Making and Using Art
  • Censorship
  • Ethical Considerations in Collecting and Display of Art
  • Before you Move On

About the book

Introduction to Art: Design, Context, and Meaning

Introduction to Art: Design, Context, and Meaning combines the best elements of both a traditional textbook and a reader, it introduces such issues in art as its meaning and purpose; its structure, material, and form; and its diverse effects on our lives. Its digital nature allows students to follow links to applicable sources and videos, expanding the students’ educational experiences beyond the textbook.

About the authors:

Senior Contributing Authors

Pamela Sachant
Peggy Blood
Jeffery LeMieux
Rita Tekippe 

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