Thinking and Writing About Art History / Edition 3

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Overview

Designed to provide readers with the tools necessary to glean a solid understanding of art history, this succinct and accessible guide offers a practical introduction to the methodology of art history and an overview of writing in the discipline. Helping readers to think as art historians, this Third Edition encourages reflection of the “givens” in this field, explains how to ask questions and how to answer them, and challenges readers to seek new insights through their readings, discussions, and written work. For professionals with a career or interest in art, art history, writing, and/or education.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780131830509
  • Publisher: Pearson
  • Publication date: 6/20/2003
  • Series: Art Basics Ser.
  • Edition description: Subsequent
  • Edition number: 3
  • Pages: 43
  • Product dimensions: 5.66 (w) x 8.81 (h) x 0.78 (d)

Read an Excerpt

Thinking and Writing about Art History is designed to provide you with the tools to be a successful student of art history. In the past, professors of introductory art history courses tended to concentrate on the content of the course (that is, on what is known about the subject). Discussions of methodology (that is, how we approach the subject) were usually left for courses taken later by art history majors. With the new emphasis on critical thinking, however, college professors have become increasingly conscious of the need to instruct their beginning students in the methodology of their disciplines, to teach students how to ask questions and how to answer them. Memorization has traditionally played a large role in art history courses, and most professors will still require you to memorize at least some significant works. This book is not concerned with that. Instead, my intention in writing the book is to help you to function as an art historian functions—to ponder the "givens" in the subject and to seek new insights, in reading an art history text, in discussions, and in your written work.

The book is divided into four sections. The first is concerned with what art history is and approaches that can be used in thinking about the history of art. The second part is concerned with researching and writing about art history. It discusses choosing a subject, locating information, using information from sources, writing and revising essays, and writing essay examinations. Sample student essays, the third part, presents several student essays and a research paper with comments. The fourth section, Selected Glossaries, defines terms that students often find challenging in their reading.

So how do you use this guide to the study of art history?

At the beginning of the course, study Part 1, Thinking about Art History, and then refer back to it throughout the course.

When you are ready to write a paper, study the appropriate sections in Part II, Researching and Writing Essays in Art History, and read Part III, Sample Student Essays.

When you are preparing to take an essay exam, read Writing the essay, An essay revision checklist, and Answering essay examination questions in Part II.

When you are reading and encounter art historical terms or technical terms that are not in the glossary of your art history textbook, refer to Part IV, Selected Glossaries.

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Table of Contents

I. THINKING ABOUT ART HISTORY.

What is Art History? Why Study Art History? Getting Started. Understanding and Analyzing a Work of Art. Describing a Work of Art. Purposes of Art. Describing Style. Interpretive Approaches in Art History. Art Criticism.

II. RESEARCHING AND WRITING IN ART HISTORY.

Introduction. Determining the Type of Essay. Choosing a Topic. Locating Information. Resources. Search Strategies. Evaluating Sources. Working with Sources. Writing the Essay. An Essay Revision Checklist. The Principles of Using Sources. Proofreading Hints. Answering Essay Examination Questions.

III. SAMPLE STUDENT ESSAYS.

A Formal Research Paper. An Art Criticism Essay. An Informal Response Essay. Three Essays on the Same Topic. Comments on the Student Essays.

IV. SELECTED GLOSSARIES.

Selected Materials and Processes of the Visual Arts. Some Art Historical Terms.

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Preface

Thinking and Writing about Art History is designed to provide you with the tools to be a successful student of art history. In the past, professors of introductory art history courses tended to concentrate on the content of the course (that is, on what is known about the subject). Discussions of methodology (that is, how we approach the subject) were usually left for courses taken later by art history majors. With the new emphasis on critical thinking, however, college professors have become increasingly conscious of the need to instruct their beginning students in the methodology of their disciplines, to teach students how to ask questions and how to answer them. Memorization has traditionally played a large role in art history courses, and most professors will still require you to memorize at least some significant works. This book is not concerned with that. Instead, my intention in writing the book is to help you to function as an art historian functions—to ponder the "givens" in the subject and to seek new insights, in reading an art history text, in discussions, and in your written work.

The book is divided into four sections. The first is concerned with what art history is and approaches that can be used in thinking about the history of art. The second part is concerned with researching and writing about art history. It discusses choosing a subject, locating information, using information from sources, writing and revising essays, and writing essay examinations. Sample student essays, the third part, presents several student essays and a research paper with comments. The fourth section, Selected Glossaries, defines terms that students often find challenging in their reading.

So how do you use this guide to the study of art history?

At the beginning of the course, study Part 1, Thinking about Art History, and then refer back to it throughout the course.

When you are ready to write a paper, study the appropriate sections in Part II, Researching and Writing Essays in Art History, and read Part III, Sample Student Essays.

When you are preparing to take an essay exam, read Writing the essay, An essay revision checklist, and Answering essay examination questions in Part II.

When you are reading and encounter art historical terms or technical terms that are not in the glossary of your art history textbook, refer to Part IV, Selected Glossaries.

Read More Show Less

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