Home Forums What is Art? Art History? What is Art? What is Art History? Reply To: What is Art? What is Art History?

Laura Barber

Part I:
Disagree — “The academic study of the history and development of painting, sculpture, and the other visual arts.’ — Dictionary.com
I disagree with this definition because it is oversimplified. Art history is more complex than assigning art pieces styles and time periods. The below definition is more accurate.
Agree – “Art History is the study of human expression…through history. Art Historians develop ways to translate from the visual to the verbal, through analysis and interpretation, using a number of different approaches and methodologies. Art Historians develop a special sensitivity and understanding of the way visual, material, and — in contemporary art sometimes immaterial — expression makes meaning in the world, and how those meanings contribute to our social, political, and spiritual life. ‘ — Carleton University
I agree with this definition because it provides a more layered view of art history. It is not just the study the various time periods, genres, and styles of art. It analyzes art in a wider scope of the world. It creates a link from the past to current day in order to broaden our understanding of the world.

Part II:
Art history is the study of historical events and people viewed through the lenses of art. Essentially, it is the study of how culture develops over time. Since art is an expression of something, rather than an objective science, it is the job of the art historian to sort out fact from fiction and to analysis why certain pieces have more fiction than others. Society studies the history of art in order to learn more about the past and how that affects the modern world. The more one knows about history, the more educated they are about the present.