This paper explores the similarities and differences between ancient and modern practices of art appreciation and art history writing in their institutional and cultural contexts. It traces how classical antique practices and concepts of art history and criticism were transformed from the Italian Renaissance to the 18th century. While the specific cultural meanings attributed to practices of art collecting and art criticism are significantly different, as are certain features of their institutional settings, nevertheless, these are simply variant specifications of parallel practices marked by a range of family resemblances. These render the ancient and modern practices mutually intelligible. Notwithstanding their distinctive cultural background, such apparently specifically modern and western concepts as "art" and "aesthetics" can be analytically defined in such a way as to be applicable to the expressive visual culture (in short, the "art") of other cultural traditions without serious danger of distorting their specific character.
Art History Essay Writing Tips Read the essay by wooha
Some of these are classic essays by the figures who helped to define the field (eg. Vasari, Winckelmann, Kant, Hegel and Wölfflin), others mainstays of art history as it developed throughout the twentieth century (eg. Panofsky, Schapiro and Gombrich), and others inspiring or engaging with some of the more current issues and debates in the field (eg. Derrida, Foucault, Bulter, Krauss and Benjamin). Many of these are not really art historians, but have been used extensively in art historical writing (called, in critical circles, “discourse”), and it would be wise for you to get to know them, if you plan on heading to graduate school in art history, or if you are already there.
Guide for Art History Writing by Marie Glackin
These learning goals were developed for DePaul 200-level final Art History papers, but are applicable to a range of Art and Art History writing contexts.
Principles of art history writing
This might sound crazy, but there are art history writing assignments that kids will actually have fun doing! This video highlights one of my favorites called “Blind Date.” It can be used with any two portraits and can serve as a great introduction to an artist, to portraiture, or even just to writing about art. No, we don’t go over the elements and principles of art and we don’t describe/analyze/interpret/judge, but we do something even better: we think critically and creatively, and have fun while we do it. Check it out.
Want even more engaging art history activities? Check out 3 options below!