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Look! Art History Fundamentals / Edition 3

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For one or two semester Introductory Art History Survey courses.

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.

Professor Anne D’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.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

“Look! is a concise, helpful supplementary text that introduces students to accepted principles and methods of writing about art history.”

John Seed, Mount San Jacinto College

“D’Alleva is inclusive with both her methodology and her materials. The text and the illustrations offer a wide range of objects and ideas from various cultures and periods.”

Stephanie L. Taylor, New Mexico State University

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780205768714
  • Publisher: Pearson
  • Publication date: 7/15/2010
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 3
  • Pages: 184
  • Sales rank: 135,961
  • Product dimensions: 5.40 (w) x 8.20 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Meet the Author

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.

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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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