Look! Art History Fundamentals / Edition 2

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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.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780131745056
  • Publisher: Prentice Hall
  • Publication date: 3/28/2006
  • Edition description: 2ND
  • Edition number: 2
  • Pages: 176
  • Sales rank: 911,597
  • Product dimensions: 5.20 (w) x 8.48 (h) x 0.31 (d)

Meet the Author

Anne D’Alleva

University of Connecticut

Storrs, Connecticut
Associate Professor of Art History and Women’s Studies PhD, Columbia University

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Table of Contents

(NOTE: Each Chapter ends with a Conclusion)

1. Introducing Art History

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

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

Why is art history important? Art history and related disciplines

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

Art history’s toolbox: formal and contextual analysis

2. Formal Analysis

Formal analysis Formal elements

Color / Line / Space and mass / Scale / Composition

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

Wölfflin and formal analysis



Installation art

Performance art

Digital art

Textile and decorative arts

3. Contextual Analysis

Art and context

Contextual questions

Art out of context? Museums and art history.

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

The process of interpretation: confronting your assumptions.

The challenges of cross-cultural interpretation / The challenges of historical interpretation

Is African art anonymous?

Art and its controversies

Style and meaning

4. Writing Art-History Papers

Structuring art-historical arguments: interpretation vs. opinion

Formal-analysis papers

Taking notes / Structuring your paper / The comparison paper

Research papers

Developing a topic and starting your research / Keeping notes

How many sources should I use?

Resources for research

Books / Periodicals / Websites / Reference works

Critical moments in art-history writing

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

The conclusion / Editing

Citations and bibliographies

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

If you experience writer’s block

Writing style

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

Putting together illustrations

5. Navigating Art-History Examinations

Slide identifications and short-answer questions

Why are slide identifications important? / Why are slide identifications so hard? / How to succeed at slide identifications /

Three-step slide memorization / Memory aids / Unknowns

Test-taking strategies for art-history exams

Art-history essays

Studying for essay tests / Types of essay questions

Effective note-taking

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

Class participation — why bother?

6. Art History’s Own History

Ancient world

Excerpt from Pliny’s Natural History

Middle Ages


Excerpt from Vasari’s Lives of the Artists

Age of Enlightenment

Winckelmann on the Laocoön

The nineteenth-century: foundations of modern art history

Twentieth-century formalists, iconographers, and social historians

After 1970: the “new” art history

The feminist art-history revolution

Do other cultures practice art history?

China / West Africa

Early art history in China



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