One of the first definitions that I found was that art is the “conscious creation of something beautiful or meaningful using skill and imagination”, and while I don’t think this is necessarily a bad definition, I disagree with the use of the word ‘conscious’. I think that a lot of great art comes from making accidents and things not going how you planned, and not just decisions that were consciously made or things that were deliberately included.
The definition that I do agree with is “Art is a diverse range of human activities in creating visual, auditory or performing artifacts, expressing the author’s imaginative, conceptual ideas, or technical skill, intended to be appreciated for their beauty or emotional power.” I feel like this is a good definition because it doesn’t limit art in any way. Art isn’t always beautiful, and it isn’t always visual, and this definition seems to include those other forms of art.
Part 2: I think art history is how art has changed over time and how it related to events throughout history. We study the history of art because art gives us insight into how people were feeling and thinking throughout history. It helps us understand the world in which we live because art is generally considered the purest form of self expression, so looking at art throughout history can really help with understanding the beliefs and actions of people. Another interesting thing about art over time, is how it is perceived by others. There are so many artists who were under appreciated and misunderstood while they were alive, but years after they died became some of the most famous artists. I think its really interesting how social circumstances alter how people feel about art.