Advanced Art History

Advanced Art History, Thurs., 1:00 pm - 3:00 pm

Art with an Inquisitive Eye, Tues., 1:00-3:00 pm

30 semester hours --- $300 per semester (year long course)

Art History With an Inquisitive Eye

Why do people make art?  How have civilizations expressed their triumphs, their questions, their
beliefs through art?  Is history only defined by
the conquerors?  What makes art powerful?
Interesting? Emotional?

This course focuses on the "big picture" questions of art and civilization.  We begin by developing ways of seeing and describing art, examining elements of design and exploring artistic viewpoints:  formal
( what objects look like), contextual (how the object is influenced by time and history) and subjective
(how we react to the object).

A cross-section of civilizations and historical eras will be represented each week, addressing major themes that occur across art.  Topics include: 
Power and Propaganda; Search for the Sacred; Rebellion; Love and the Human Ideal; Beauty vs Ugliness; The Inward Mind; Magic and Symbolism; Tales of the Times.

Throughout the year, we will look for
opportunities to step outside to learn by visiting
the wealth of museums in our area, testing our
skills of observation and analysis.  Each student
will create an art timeline, developing a chronological perspective of works and eras covered.  Weekly reading and written exercises will be assigned, but students will be encouraged to go beyond the boundaries, exploring their interests and questions.

Text: Bersson, Responding to Art, McGraw-Hill, 2003
(also rec.): Petras, World Access, Fireside Press, 1996

Advanced Art History with an AP Focus  

In this course, we focus on contextual references in art.  Why was an artwork created?   How does it reflect the values and culture of society?  What questions does it ask?  What influenced its creation?

This class blends three disciplines:  art, history and writing.  Not only do we explore art within the context of its societies and historical time, but also, we develop expressive skills to describe these connections.  Students will practice writing cogent and informative essays, blending both formalist and contextual analysis.  The goal for many will be taking the AP Art History exam in the spring, preparing by knowing 300-500 examples of art throughout the ages.

text: Gardner's Art Through the Ages, 13th edition

On-line Art References:

   A very comprehensive art history outlline.  Includes world art and pre-historic timelines.

   Need to read a quick definition of a time period or check out a bio of an artist?  Go to this site.

   This timeline published by the Metropolitan Museum of New York includes interactive maps of the world as well as examples from their extensive art collection.

About the Teacher

Alison Baker has been an educator for 25 years, working for the past 12 years at Sandy Spring Friends School (SSFS) as a teacher and administrator.  At SSFS, Alison's many roles included: teaching art and music history in the Upper School; working as Assistant Head of the Lower School; teaching music in the Lower School; developing and directing the School's Community Service Program.

Her true love is art, and she relishes passing that passion on to others.  Working primarily in oils and acrylics, Alison has displayed her paintings in galleries and shows along the East Coast.  Her pieces have been chosen for magazine and CD covers, and she recently has finished a public art commission of 30 panels for the city of Takoma Park, MD with her husband, artist Jim Colwell.

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