(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
Textile and decorative arts
3. Contextual Analysis
Art and context
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
Taking notes / Structuring your paper / The comparison paper
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
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
Studying for essay tests / Types of essay questions
Taking good notes in class / Developing a consistent shorthand / Taking notes on readings
Class participation — why bother?
6. Art History’s Own History
Excerpt from Pliny’s Natural History
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