Home Forums What is Art? Art History? What is Art? What is Art History?

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    • #458
      Zoe Marie Jones
      Participant

      Part I: What is Art? If you do just a quick internet search you will come up with many definitions of art. None of them are perfect but all make for good discussion. Choose a definition that you disagree with and one that you see merit in and tell us why.

      Part II: What is Art History? Why do we study the history of art? How does it help us understand the world in which we live?

    • #5714
      Kaitlyn
      Participant

      1. The first definition says art is “the various branches of creative activity, such as painting, music, literature, and dance.’I think this is too simple. The second states art as being “the expression of application of human creative skill and imagination, typically in visual form such as painting or sculpture, producing works to be appreciated primarily for their beauty or emotional power.’ I really like that this definition includes that art can be any work that is appreciated for its beauty or emotional power. In my personal opinion I think good art has to make you feel something, whether that be noticing how pretty a painting is, or a much deeper emotional response.

      2. I found a definition that states “Art history is the study of objects of in their historical development and stylistic contexts; that is genre, design, format, and style. The study includes painting, sculpture, architecture, ceramics, furniture, and other decorative objects.’ I think it’s important to study the history of art to see what was influential to people in different time periods all around the world. I think art is an easier way to relate or understand the past, versus reading a textbook, looking through past art can helps show you how the world has changed over time.

      • #5831
        Jessi Willeto
        Participant

        1. RE: krgrey3: I agree that the first definition is too simple; it doesn’t regard the personal and emotional aspect of art. The second definition is a great one because it includes this. I believe that art can not only make us feel something, but can be educational in terms of art history. It is meant to relay the makers intentions to the viewer, however interpreted. I enjoyed your response.

        2. RE: Laura Barber: Part I: I really like the second definition as it is specific and to the point, without making too much of a boundary of what art is. Like you said, it is layered and multifaceted. I also like how you pointed out that art history involves the culture, I had forgotten to mention that in my reply.

      • #5983
        Guy Gaswint
        Participant

        What is art?
        Disagree: The expression or application of human creative skill and imagination, typically in a visual form such as painting or sculpture, producing works to be appreciated primarily for their beauty or emotional power.
        I do not disagree completely, I feel the part about art being primarily for beauty or emotional power should also include teaching and history.

        Has Merit: The various branches of creative activity, such as painting, music, literature, and dance.
        This one is so vague that it is hard to say that it does not have merit. My personal idea is that; if we are all nothing but energy than emotions a intangible expression of our energy. Therefore, art is nothing but a tangible expression of our personal energy.

        What is art history?
        Art History is the study of human expression — visual, but also tactile, spatial and sometimes aural — through history.
        I found this from Carleton University and found it to be very well worded and inclusive.

    • #5717
      Aalieyah Creach
      Participant

      1. What is Art?
      Simple definition of Art is a way for people to express themselves through creative outlets. Whether it be through music, panting, sculpting or even dancing. This is something I completely agree with because art is an amazing way to express yourself when words fail you. I didn’t really find a definition that I disagreed with for what is art. They were all pretty spot on with what I think art is.

      2. What is Art History?
      Art history is as the definition states, the study of history and development of painting and other visual arts. We study it because it allows us to discover and understand past techniques and the different forms or art they used as compared to the present. Studying the art of history helps us to understand what happened in the past because people where able to document important times in history through their art. Whether it be mistakes a past president made or war they were able to help us in the future learn about the past through the stories in their art.

      • #5823
        Aubri Stogsdill
        Participant

        abcreach- I totally agree with you! Art is a wonderful way for humans to express themselves!

      • #5865
        Miranda Johansson
        Participant

        abcreach – I love your definition of what art is. I agree, art is a wonderful way to express yourself. Also, it is interesting to see how art has changed throughout history! I am interested in reading the significance that art has had in history.

        • #6211
          jlchamberlain
          Keymaster

          Can you elaborate or give examples? Do you have any personal experience?

      • #5873
        csayreswoody
        Participant

        What is Art?
        I too agree that art is a way of expressing oneself rather it is through drawings, paintings, music, dance and so on. There are many types of arts that allow humans to be creative and expressing their emotions etc in the way that seems fit for them.
        What is Art History?
        Art history is the academic study of the history and development of painting, sculpture, and the other visual arts. It tells us the stories of different artist and the meaning, inspiration and understanding behind ones art.

        • This reply was modified 1 year, 10 months ago by csayreswoody.
        • #6035
          Celina Batchelder
          Participant

          Hello,

          I like both of your definitions – they are simple and to the point. You are right about art being used as a platform to document wars, among other things. In a way, pieces of art are history in itself. Art is definitely a way for artists to express themselves.

          Thank you for your insight.
          Celina Batchelder

          • #6213
            jlchamberlain
            Keymaster

            Hi Kei, can you elaborate a little more. Give some examples maybe.

      • #5975
        Guy Gaswint
        Participant

        I could not agree more!

      • #6209
        jlchamberlain
        Keymaster

        Great discussion going on here! I love to see a variety of perspectives on such a broad topic.

    • #5720
      Laura Barber
      Participant

      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.

    • #5721
      Laura Barber
      Participant

      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.

      • #5855
        Raven Shaw
        Participant

        I like that you brought up that art is not an objective science, but must be studied by historians to figure out what happened and how those people lived. It’s interesting that the heavier end of our human history happened before we came up with the scientific method, but here we are studying poetry from biblical texts and paintings on bowls in order to understand how culture developed over time. I wonder if future historians will look at our art to understand us?

      • #6210
        jlchamberlain
        Keymaster

        Great discussion Laura! Good use of the definitions you have found, very through explanations!

    • #5728
      Kaylyn Kelly
      Participant

      Part 1:
      After a quick search on the internet for “what is art” two definitions popped up. The first definition is, “the expression or application of human creative skill and imagination, typically in a visual form such as painting or sculpture, producing works to be appreciated primarily for their beauty or emotional power.” This is the definition that portrays art to its best ability. It explains that art is created through an individual’s creative skills and emotional skills and gives its readers examples of what art can usually be. I believe art is really about emotions and that when someone looks at a piece of art, they don’t just see how creative one individual can be. They can see the emotions of the piece/artist if they keep an open mind.
      The second definition is, “the various branches of creative activity, such as painting, music, literature, and dance.” This definition is not necessarily wrong, but I believe that it is to simple when explaining what art truly is. Art is so much more than creative activity, and some of the information about art is left out of this definition.
      Part 2:
      The definition of Art history is “the academic study of the history and development of painting, sculpture, and the other visual arts.” Art is studied because it allows us to go back in time and somewhat see historical events. Individuals also get to experience past events through the lens of someone else. Each period is different and the art in each period changes due to the experience the artist had or felt. Art can show and tell us different stories about our history and also show us how much the world has changed.

      • #6212
        jlchamberlain
        Keymaster

        Great point and great question! I think that is something we all cant help but think about.

    • #5729
      Aubri Stogsdill
      Participant

      Part 1: What is art?
      Agree- “Art is the expression or application of human creative skill and imagination, typically in a visual form such as painting or sculpture, producing works to be appreciated primarily for their beauty or emotional power.”
      I agree with this definition of art. Art is a tools that can be used to press the limits of human expression.

      Disagree- “Art is not, as the metaphysicians say, the manifestation of some mysterious idea of beauty or God; it is not, as the aesthetical physiologists say, a game in which man lets off his excess of stored-up energy; it is not the expression of man’s emotions by external signs; it is not the production of pleasing objects; and, above all, it is not pleasure; but it is a means of union among men, joining them together in the same feelings, and indispensable for the life and progress toward well-being of individuals and of humanity.” Leo Tolstoy
      I do not agree with Tolstoy’s understanding of art. Art IS a manifestation of a mysterious idea of beauty. It is a way that we let off our energy, and it IS a way to express our emotions and perspectives. At the same time, art connects us to each other– it helps us to see our humanity and appreciate beauty. Tolstoy’s perspective is far too narrow.

      Part 2: What is art history and why do we study it? How does it help us to understand the world in which we live?
      In art history we take a close look at the art of those who have come before us– is asks the why behind the art. Art history considers the context of the work of art as well as it impacts on the culture from which it came. We study it because it gives us insight into the minds and perspective of the culture from which it came. Is causes our appreciation for humanity to grow. Studying art helps us to understand the world around us because it forces us to see the world through glasses that we are not accustom to. We are also able to learn and develop as artists as we look back at the risks that artists before us have taken. This understanding broadens our skill and taste and opens our eyes to the role that art has played in many poeple’s lives.

      • #6214
        jlchamberlain
        Keymaster

        Great post and great addition to the discussion.

    • #5821
      Kaitlyn
      Participant

      Hi Aleah! I really like that you included that art is a way to express yourself through creative outlets, I didn’t even think of that even though it is such a huge part of what art is.

      • #6215
        jlchamberlain
        Keymaster

        Really interesting points you bring up here. I am really enjoying the dialog you guys have going. Good job finding definitions that are a little unique.

    • #5824
      Aubri Stogsdill
      Participant

      Krgeay3, I love your point about art being ‘anything that is appreciated for its beauty’! That is so true. People often put art in a box. They think that it has so be some sort of painting or a song, but art can be so much more than that!

    • #5828
      Jessi Willeto
      Participant

      DISAGREE: “Art is harmony.”— Georges Seurat (1859—1891), French painter, letter to Maurice Beaubourg (1890)
      Part I:
      I disagree with this statement because I personally define art as various emotions, depictions, interpretations, of anything and everything. By saying art is harmony, we are denying ourselves the right to express discord within our own lives. Art isn’t just harmony, art is chaos. Art encompasses all emotions we can have if we so choose. Art is history, and as we all know, history can be very ugly. War, blood, death, decay, can be interpreted as ugly. I truly think it cannot be simply defined through harmony.
      AGREE: “Ideas alone can be works of art….All ideas need not be made physical.…A work of art may be understood as a conductor from the artist’s mind to the viewer’s. But it may never reach the viewer, or it may never leave the artist’s mind.”
      — Sol LeWitt (1928—2007), American artist, “Sentences on Conceptual Art,” in Art and Its Significance, edited by Stephen David Ross (1994)
      I really love this statement because it makes art so personal. It is completely subjective and up to the artist themselves on whether or not they choose to share their own art. We can all have our personal definitions of art, and that is what is beautiful about it. I don’t like it being confined to a simple space and definition, because that leaves room for comparative art– we should not be comparing our progress with one another. We should enjoy our individuality and own interpretations.
      Part II:
      “What is Art History? Why do we study the history of art? How does it help us understand the world in which we live?”
      Art history is simply history. Without the art we have found from various centuries we would not have history. Take for example the the Lion Hunt of Ashurbanipal — that entire piece depicts clothing, styles, ways of life within that timeline. Yes, it is art, but more so, it holds the perspective of a point of time that is long-lost. That is quite precious. We study the history of art to study history of people, and to see how different OR similar elements of art can be and develop within completely different societies. It gives us something linear about the development of art styles. It helps us understand the world we live in because our society is built upon older societies. It’s amazing that we can find such well-preserved pieces.

      • #5846
        Lucas Warthen
        Participant

        Hey Jessi,

        I most definitely agree with your point on disagreeing with art being harmony. Harmony is such a weird word to use, because it feels like everything needs to be perfect and in sync, but with that there is (like you said) no room for the chaos / real emotion.

        • #6216
          jlchamberlain
          Keymaster

          Wonderful! Great points here as well. Really interesting definitions, they sparked quite the discussion!

      • #5881
        tmbergan
        Participant

        Jessi, I really like the definition you have by Sol LeWitt. Art is extremely personal and sometimes the artist’s definition or understanding might not correctly get across to anyone. “Or it may never leave the artist’s mind’ is really interesting to think about. There may be plenty of artists out there that have a picture in their mind but can’t create it for whatever reason, but that doesn’t make them any less of an artist because their idea alone is artwork for them.

      • #5919
        Tamara Toy
        Participant

        Jessi, I too disagree with art being harmony. Sometimes art needs disharmony and chaos to show it’s beauty. I found that quote to be a bit odd, as if all art needs to be a boat on a calm lake in the middle of the cloudless afternoon. Sometimes we need the thunderstorm instead of the sunshine, even in art.

    • #5834
      Maggie May
      Participant

      Part 1:
      Disagree:
      Paul Gaugin said that “art is either a revolution or plagiarism”. While I understand the point being made and the dramatic language being used to convey it, I also think this definition of what art is neglects all that falls between the lines of plagiarism and “revolution”. I wouldn’t call all paintings revolutionary, by definition, but I think they all serve a specific purpose while still remaining art.
      Degas said that “art is not what you see, but what you make others see”. This definition focuses on art as a means of creating dialogue and sharing ideas within a community. I think is true. I think for a lot of people they are motivated to create art as a way to express themselves, an idea, or something which might otherwise be difficult to truly communicate. Creating art is a practice which takes you outside of yourself and forces you to create something which will in turn create dialogue, something tangible and visual.
      Part 2:
      Art history is the study of the history of the visual arts and how they developed and progressed over time through many different cultures and societies. As I said earlier, I believe art can be a powerful means of communication. I believe through studying the art of different time periods and societies, we can come to a better understanding and a deeper knowledge of that history. I also believe that an understanding of art history is vital to truly understanding contemporary or modern art. If we don’t know how we got here, it’s difficult to know exactly where we are.

      • #6031
        Guy Gaswint
        Participant

        Hello, I do not agree with Gauguin either there is just to much in between that definition. Christopher Booker also said in 2004 that “there are only seven plots to a story”. I am not sure I can agree with that either. Thanks for the insight.

        Guy Gaswint

    • #5836
      Gabe
      Participant

      Part 1

      “Swan, my mother said, sensing my excitement. It pattered the bright water, flapping its great wings, and
      lifted into the sky.

      The word alone hardly attested to its magnificence nor conveyed the emotion it produced. The sight of it
      generated an urge I had no words for, a desire to speak of the swan, to say something of its whiteness, the
      explosive nature of its movement, and the slow beating of its wings.

      The swan became one with the sky. I struggled to find words to describe my own sense of it. Swan, I
      repeated, not entirely satisfied, and I felt a twinge, a curious yearning, imperceptible to passersby, my
      mother, the trees, or the clouds.”
      -Just Kids by Patti Smith

      This is more of an explanation than a definition, but it gets at the intent of art, which tells you something about what art really is. For Patti Smith, art is the attempt to describe her experience in a deeper way than can be offered by a simple word or description. There is something sublime about the world that is difficult to describe, and the mission of art is to express that essence. This is the definition of Art that I most agree with.

      “Works produced by human creative skill and imagination.” – Oxford Living Dictionaries

      I disagree with this definition because I think that more is required for Art than just skill and imagination. Something can be technically impressive, but without impact and meaning it is not Art. Of course, it is probably impossible for an Artist to put much skill and effort into something without finding meaning in it, so a showcase of creative skill and imagination will almost certainly be Art, however those qualities alone are not reason why it is art. An unskillful amateur can produce a piece poorly imagined and bereft of technical skill, however because of what it means to them and the impact it has, it is still very firmly Art.

      Part 2

      Art History is the gathering of Human Artwork from across time and space. This Artwork is organized so that one can say ‘These people over here made this while those people over there made that, and then after that some more people over there made that too.’ This provides you with a story of who made what where when, and this story tells you a lot about who those people were, what they were doing, who they knew, and what they cared about.

      We study the Art History because it is one of the most interesting things that exists! Art History can give us a perspective into, not just what other humans did, but what they cared about and were inspired by. Personally one of my interests is Jungian Psychology and Carl Jung’s theory of psychological archetypes. Art History is where one goes to find these archetypes, or universal human themes, and see these themes expressed in manifold ways through human history.

      The understanding that we gain from this study comes in the form of answers to fundamental questions of human psychology and motivation. Humans are inspired by the stories and images which are conveyed in their art. When a universal human theme, such as the Hero’s Journey, is discovered and (to the best of our ability) understood, then we can see how that theme is being actively lived by people we know, and also actually by ourselves. ‘Why do I do what I do?’ ‘How do I find meaning in what I do?’ These are difficult questions that Art History won’t necessarily answer, but the study of Artwork and Art History will give understanding of the efforts other humans have made to approach these issues.

    • #5845
      Lucas Warthen
      Participant

      Part 1:
      Definition of Art:
      I looked up “art” on dictionary.com and the first definition I saw I disagreed with. It states that “the quality, production, expression, or realm, according to aesthetic principles, of what is beautiful, appealing, or of more than ordinary significance” and I don’t really agree with the second part of the definition. It might just be me, but it feels very subjective. It feels weird having the words ‘beautiful’ and ‘appealing’ in there, though they are some of the most common adjectives used to describe art of any kind. I can’t really put my thoughts in to words, because it feels weird to me that this definition states that art almost has to be beautiful, and I don’t think that necessarily all art is.

      Part 2: What is Art History? Why do we study the history of art? How does it help us understand the world in which we live?
      Personally, when I think of Art History I think of pieces that have been in existence for an extremely long time and we still marvel at today (I immediately think of stuff like Notre Dame, Mona Lisa, or the Statue of David). We study art because I believe it is another way of storytelling – there is something behind each piece whether we know it or not. It is fascinating to know why (if there is a why) each piece was created and to look at the circumstances of the time to see the potential influence that had on it as well. I think all of that combined helps us understand the world in which we live because it shows what we value, or what we valued at the time of a certain art’s conception. There is a lot that goes into any art, especially what is valued, whether it is directly at the forefront of the piece or hidden behind layers and layers of hard work.

      • #5871
        mbsimington
        Participant

        I agree with your frustration at the “appealing” part of the definition, it’s why I chose my quote as well. I think a lot of artists deliberately make their art to appear “ugly and unappealing” either to make a point or simply because it’s enjoyable. I certainly enjoy making something ugly, looking at it, and saying “that’s horrible, I love it”.

      • #5877
        ckocsis
        Participant

        I completely agree. I don’t think art has to be beautiful or appealing at all. Personally, I think some of the best art is art that wouldn’t normally be considered ‘appealing’. I think that kind of art really makes people think and is for more interesting than just a pretty picture, although I like those too of course. That definition feels sort of basic and is excluding a large portion of art.

        • #6218
          jlchamberlain
          Keymaster

          I totally agree! This might be a trait unique to artists, what do you think?

      • #6217
        jlchamberlain
        Keymaster

        Awesome post, Gabe! Great use of definitions and quotes to expand upon your opinion.

    • #5847
      Aaron Topkok
      Participant

      1} “Art is work.” – Frank Albinder
      I partially agree with this because art takes a lot of time and effort to make. Working hard definitely can make art. To some people it’s their job to make art. they make a living off of it. Without art people will have nothing, because art is how we show affection. Art can take us out of reality and give us creativity of our own world. We need to work for it though. That is how some people feel about art and I agree with it.
      “Art is a constant struggle.” -Carmen Aiello
      I disagree with this because art can become natural. Once you get in the flow it seems easier. I’ve been in the Pavva Inupiaq Dancers for 20 years. since I was a baby. At first I had struggles but once I practiced more it got easier.
      2} Art History
      Art history is the study of art from long ago possibly in their natural place. We study art history to experience what humanity was long ago. We experience the evolution throughout the centuries.

    • #5850
      Bob Hook
      Participant

      What is art? To define it I made several serious dives into the depths of Google, you know way beyond page 3, I discovered that there were very few definitions for art beyond those in various dictionaries and those of Leo Tolstoy in his book, What Is Art. My personal thoughts are that art is an outward expression of our inner feelings and emotions expressed in any medium the artist chooses. I then felt that maybe a comparison between what is art and what is craft would help me to answer the original question.
      Thankfully my search was satisfied with a web article that compared art and craft. Probhat states that “Art is a form of work that is the expression of emotions.’ Further stating that ‘art is often defined as unstructured and open-ended, it has no limitations of expression.’ (Prabhat 2011) I agree with these thoughts.
      I disagree when the other identifies craft as “a form of work, which results in tangible output, for example, molding and carving. In addition, Prabhat states that in art, it is the emotions that flow out, whereas, in craft, no emotion is involved. Pottery, metal works, glass works, and jewelry are some examples of craft works.’ It seems to be rather arbitrary to classify these are only crafts when there are many examples of each of these items in art museums.
      After considering these thoughts for several days I think art can only be defined as art by the person who creates it and those who view it.
      Cite
      Prabhat S. “Difference Between Art and Craft.” DifferenceBetween.net. January 14, 2011 < https://www.differencebetween.net/miscellaneous/difference-between-art-and-craft/ >.
      Question #2 What is Art History?

      The editors of Encyclopedia Britannica define art history in the manner. “Art history also called art historiography, historical study of the visual arts, being concerned with identifying, classifying, describing, evaluating, interpreting, and understanding the art products and historic development of the fields of painting, sculpture, architecture, the decorative arts, drawing, printmaking, photography, interior design, etc.’(Britannica 2019) Art history provides another view of past cultures. Their language and written words may be long ago lost or forgotten but through their expressions in art, we can still make a human connection with what the artist was experiencing.
      Cite
      Marco Sampaolo, Grace Young “Art History’ Encyclopedia Britannica, January 16, 2019, https://www.britannica.com/art/art-history

    • #5854
      Raven Shaw
      Participant

      What is art?

      My own best definition of art is that it’s a conversation between the older part of our brain that was shaped by biological evolution and the younger part in the front that was shaped by social evolution. Then your blind, fumbling hands try to bang out a physical product based on this game of telephone between the unconscious and the conscious. The physical product is then a way for the creator’s unconscious mind to communicate with the consumer’s unconscious mind — it reminds me of the backwards way our cells produce proteins from DNA instructions.

      What I found online:

      Art is described as the various acts of creation, such as painting or sculpting, that a person can use to express their internal thoughts. Art is also described as making something pleasing to the eye, but I think some people wouldn’t want to call any of the prints at Walmart ‘art.’ Those two descriptions suppose that art is an ‘act of doing’ or a finished object. I don’t think either is very accurate. Plenty of people can pick up a lump of clay and express their inner thoughts, but few people are any good at it. Art is meant arrest your attention and provoke emotional response, not just look good over your couch.

      I think the definition of art is hidden in phrases like “raise ____ to an artform,’ or “The Art of War.’ These phrases point out that art isn’t just the individual action or results, it’s time and dedication to getting better at your specific mode of creation. Strumming your bow across your violin one hundred times before the sound you make catches and resonates perfectly in the heart of your listener. Each finished product may as well be a petal falling from the outer layer of a lotus as the flower continually unfurls.

      What is art history? Why do we study the history of art? How does it help us understand the world in which we live?

      Art history looks like a timeline of individual artists that have stood out, or at least have not been stamped out – leaving behind evidence of how we are basically the same creatures we have always been. It is easy to understand past cultures by looking at their art because we care about the same things they did, and we understand beauty like we can understand a smile in any language. Seeing ourselves mirrored in the past is weirdly inspiring instead of disheartening – art history is a torch-relay that we are all still taking part in. Like an individual artist that spends his life honing his craft in pursuit of perfection, the collective We are doing the same — passing the torch to the future inspired artists.

      I think that when we take a look at art history and understand that we are basically as we have always been, it takes the pressure off of feeling like we have to get something right the first time we try it. It’s easier to make a painting if you can accept that it’s only one in an endless timeline. That your next will be better, and the next after that.

      • #6219
        jlchamberlain
        Keymaster

        This is great, Bob. Your deep dive was worth it!

    • #5862
      Tamara Toy
      Participant

      Part 1-What is art? “Art is the unceasing effort to compete with the beauty of flowers — and never succeeding.’— Marc Chagall (1887—1985) Russian-French artist, remark, 1977

      Disagree. This would imply that there is a comparison in natural beauty and artistic beauty. The difference between the two is that art speaks also in emotion, not just the aesthetic. Different styles of art tend to evoke different emotions, ranging from beautiful emotions to tragic ones. While natural beauty can, and does, evoke emotions, the difference is that art’s source is emotion, not just the beauty of a sunrise or a flower blooming in its prime. As well, art is more individualistic than natural beauty. There are works of art that make me feel wonder and awe while others remind me of a darker feeling, ranging from fear to bewilderment, each work that may not bring forth the same feeling for most anyone else. Meanwhile, few people would argue the beauty of a rosebud. There is something about seeing something in a work of art that makes us think deeper than the aesthetic appeal. For example, a dying flower may make us sad that the season of life is coming to an end while seeing a similar scene in a work of art tends to make the viewer think on a deeper level. In my mind, there is no competition between a flower a work of art. Each has its place as something to be admired.

      “What is art? Art grows out of grief and joy, but mainly grief. It is born of people’s lives.’— Edvard Munch (1863—1944), Norwegian artist, in Edvard Munch: The Man and His Art, by Ragna Stang (1977)

      Agree. I know the saying is that artists half to suffer to be artists and I feel there is some truth to that. Not that pain makes one more in touch with being artistic but that one has to live to see not only the beauty of things, as well as the darkness of them. Everything has to have a contrast to be seen so if one does not live, and experience the good and the bad of life, it would be impossible to create something that exhibits those contrasts.

      Part 2-What is art history? In researching this question, I found it interesting that there seem to be two different ways this can go. Some answers are straight forward and say it is the study of art in a historical context. Others state that defining the “history’ part is as difficult as defining the “art’ component of the question. For me, I feel that while defining what is art is difficult, that the history part is much more exact. It is important to study art in a historical context because not only do we learn about art, but we also learn about our own history, in a sociocultural context. Every work of art has a story and a reason for its existence. To not study that would be a tragedy lost to time.

      • #5866
        Miranda Johansson
        Participant

        tdtoy – the definitions of art that you chose are very well formulated. I agree that art is not supposed to compete with natural beauty, and that the purpose of the two are incomparable. I also like your explanation of a suffering artists, this concept is often misunderstood. I agree that artists tend to see both the dark and light components of life and this is why they can create are that brings forth emotion.

      • #6220
        jlchamberlain
        Keymaster

        This is great, Raven. I love that you begin by introducing us to a part of our brain. Again, mixing art and science fascinates me. Good discussion and great use of definitions and personal experiences to back up your opinion.

    • #5863
      Tamara Toy
      Participant

      Part 1-What is art? “ Art is the unceasing effort to compete with the beauty of flowers — and never succeeding.’— Marc Chagall (1887—1985) Russian-French artist, remark, 1977
      Disagree. This would imply that there is a comparison in natural beauty and artistic beauty. The difference between the two is that art speaks also in emotion, not just the aesthetic. Different styles of art tend to evoke different emotions, ranging from beautiful emotions to tragic ones. While natural beauty can, and does, evoke emotions, the difference is that art’s source is emotion, not just the beauty of a sunrise or a flower blooming in its prime. As well, art is more individualistic than natural beauty. There are works of art that make me feel wonder and awe while others remind me of a darker feeling, ranging from fear to bewilderment, each work that may not bring forth the same feeling for most anyone else. Meanwhile, few people would argue the beauty of a rosebud. There is something about seeing something in a work of art that makes us think deeper than the aesthetic appeal. For example, a dying flower may make us sad that the season of life is coming to an end while seeing a similar scene in a work of art tends to make the viewer think on a deeper level. In my mind, there is no competition between a flower a work of art. Each has its place as something to be admired.

      “What is art? Art grows out of grief and joy, but mainly grief. It is born of people’s lives.’— Edvard Munch (1863—1944), Norwegian artist, in Edvard Munch: The Man and His Art, by Ragna Stang (1977)
      Agree. I know the saying is that artists half to suffer to be artists and I feel there is some truth to that. Not that pain makes one more in touch with being artistic but that one has to live to see not only the beauty of things, as well as the darkness of them. Everything has to have a contrast to be seen so if one does not live, and experience the good and the bad of life, it would be impossible to create something that exhibits those contrasts.

      Part 2-What is art history? In researching this question, I found it interesting that there seem to be two different ways this can go. Some answers are straight forward and say it is the study of art in a historical context. Others state that defining the “history’ part is as difficult as defining the “art’ component of the question. For me, I feel that while defining what is art is difficult, that the history part is much more exact. It is important to study art in a historical context because not only do we learn about art, but we also learn about our own history, in a sociocultural context. Every work of art has a story and a reason. To not study that would be a tragedy lost to time.

    • #5868
      mbsimington
      Participant

      1. What is Art?
      The first definition is “The expression or application of human creative skill and imagination, typically in a visual form such as painting or sculpture, producing works to be appreciated primarily for their beauty or emotional power.’ I find that I disagree with this on the grounds that there are many forms of art that aren’t visual. I feel that it completely ignores music as an artform, though I believe it is definitely the most popular, since it’s everywhere (radio, concerts, in movies, etc). The definition I agree with is, “Art is an activity such as music, painting, literature, film, and dance, which people can take part in for enjoyment, or to create works that express certain meanings or ideas of beauty.’ Though it isn’t a perfect definition, as creating one would be difficult due to the subjective nature of the subject, this one definitely makes an attempt, and was by far the closest one I could find to perfect for my personal view.

      2. What is Art History?
      The definition of art history is fairly self explanatory, as it’s the study of art and its place in the society from which it originates. What isn’t explained in the name is the reasoning behind studying art and the significance art has historically when studying cultures or societies long since past. Art is a form of expression, and as such, the art itself contains many of the feelings and perspectives of the artist. Through analyzing this, we can get a much closer look at what people believed, how they interacted, and how society worked during that time period for the artist. With this knowledge, it becomes possible to see how societies have changed over time, the needs behind certain inventions or innovations, and how they are likely to change in the future.

    • #5869
      Miranda Johansson
      Participant

      1. What is art?
      “Art is an expression of our thoughts, emotions, intuitions, and desires, but it is even more personal than that: it’s about sharing the way we experience the world, which for many is an extension of personality” (Nieters, Philosophy Now).
      I like this definition of art, because it highlights that art is personal. I strongly believe that art is a component of how an individual processed an experience or something that they have seen. It probably will have something to say about the artist as well as the object. Another thing that stood out to me in this definition is the word sharing. My favorite thing about art is that it can be shared with others, but even better the interpretations of art may say something completely different than the artist intended. This is very interesting to me.

      “The fundamental difference between art and beauty is that art is about who has produced it, whereas beauty depends on who’s looking” (Leonardi, Philosophy Now). I somewhat agree with this explanation. What I don’t like about it is that it is somehow separating beauty and art. There is some truth to it though, that beauty is in the eye of the beholder. But I think that beauty more so is a part of the process of creating art. The artist may notice beauty as an inspiration for creating art, and wish to interpret this beauty in some form of art to capture and keep it. Now, what is beautiful is subjective. This means that what the artist finds beautiful is not going to be interpreted the same by everyone.

      2.What is Art History? Why do we study the history of art? How does it help us understand the world in which we live?
      Art history is probably the study of art through history, and the impact that it has had in history. By studying the history of art and how it has changed over time, we can understand various components of the culture of a certain era or country and we can find inspiration and understanding for how art is made today. There are many mediums for art today, but realistically I don’t think there are too many genuine ideas. Most ideas for art have been remixed from previous ideas, and this is just how the brain works. But looking at how art has changed over time can help us understand a history from which we come and how we can best move forward.

      • This reply was modified 1 year, 10 months ago by Miranda Johansson. Reason: removed coding
      • #5875
        csayreswoody
        Participant

        I must agree with you when you say most art has been remixed from pervious ideas. It amazes me how artist can remake another’s art but put there own twist to it.

    • #5876
      ckocsis
      Participant

      Part 1:
      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.

      • #6221
        jlchamberlain
        Keymaster

        This is so true, almost everything has already been done before. This is a hot topic in ceramics in particular. As artists we sometimes struggle with this but in my opinion I believe we should embrace it and do justice to the ideas that we are borrowing, sharing or remixing.

    • #5879
      Valene
      Participant

      Part I: What is Art? Creative activity resulting in the production of paintings, drawings, or sculpture. I’d say I disagree with this as it only covers a few areas of art. I’d say art is really any expression of one’s creativity in any medium. Personally, since I love pottery and feel it is a beautiful form of art the first definition completely leaves that out.

      Part II: What is Art History? Art History is the academic study of the history and development of painting, sculpture, and the other visual arts. I believe we study art history, so we understand all the previous versions of art and how they apply to throughout history. I think art helps us understand a creative part of everyone and how people were being creative throughout the ages.

      • #5939
        Kaylyn Kelly
        Participant

        Hey Valene,
        I enjoyed your response to the post. After reading what you had to say I fully agree with your opinions. Art cant be narrowed down to just three things which you explained when you disagreed with a definition about art. Art can be considered anything in my opinion that has to do with any creative mind.

        • #6222
          jlchamberlain
          Keymaster

          Good definitions, can you elaborate or give examples? Did you come across any other definitions that were at all controversial or counter to you opinion?

    • #5882
      tmbergan
      Participant

      What is art?
      Disagree- Art, defined by the Cambridge dictionary, is “the making or doing of something whose purpose is to bring pleasure to people through their enjoyment of what is beautiful and interesting, or things often made for this purpose, such as paintings, drawings or sculptures.’ While I do agree with parts of this, I don’t agree that art is always something beautiful. It can be hideous and interesting but definitely isn’t always beautiful if it shows gore or any true horrors.
      Agree- Merriam-Webster dictionary says that art is “something that is created with imagination and skill and that is beautiful or that expresses important ideas or feelings.’ I believe that this definition is a lot more accurate for what art is. Art could be telling a story to convey powerful emotions, and sometimes those emotions aren’t always going to be beautiful. But it can get the point across show the viewer which emotions the artist may have been feeling as they created the piece.

      What is art history and why do we study it? How does it help us to understand the world in which we live?
      Art history is the study of history and human development through the means of painting, sculptures, and other forms of visual art. It’s a timeline to show us who we used to be in the past, and how we’ve changed to who we are in the present. Art history is human history shown in visual terms rather than in the form of a textbook. It shows us how humans and societies have changed through war, across borders and decades, and even shows how our definition of beauty has been altered throughout time.

    • #5891
      Celina Batchelder
      Participant

      What is art?
      “Art is often considered the process or product of deliberately arranging elements in a way that appeals to the senses or emotions.” I disagree with this definition in that art isn’t necessarily something that is created to be appealing, and can often not be deliberate. I also think art can appeal to more than the senses and emotions.
      An understanding of what art is is as unique as the creation of art is to each individual. Certainly, some definitions may parallel my specific definition of art better than others, but I think the point of art is catered to the person analyzing their own thoughts. I always like to think of Duchamp’s famous Fountain. For those of you who are unfamiliar with this piece, I encourage you to look it up. Some may argue that this piece is not art, but I disagree. Some get a rise out of this, suggesting there’s no way it’s art, without realizing that their emotionally gauged reaction resulting from this piece is part of the reason it exists, and is characteristic of art’s ability to give an emotional response. There are many forms of art that come from already manufactured items, such as Nam June Paik’s Electronic Highway, composed of old televisions stacked and juxtaposed with neon. Art is an outlet to express oneself, whether this be an emotion, a message, a depiction or an undetected, subconscious need to create.

      What is Art History?
      Art History is an analysis of artistic styles and content from previous eras. Studying art from previous time periods allows us the opportunity to not only gather a historical context of human behavior, but grants the opportunity for the viewer to immerse themselves into a perspective they would not have otherwise known. Through examination and analysis, we can consider different ideas of how the human behavior has shaped into what it is today; whether this be through grotesque images of death and destruction, family dynamics, or what the creator saw as beauty or worthy of depiction.

    • #5892
      Miranda Jackovich
      Participant

      Part 1:
      When searching “What is Art?’ I was given a few examples. “The expression or application of human creative skill and imagination’ seemed to be simplified definition to me. Art can be made with emotions; someone doesn’t need to be skilled to create art. “Subjects of study primarily concerned with the processes and products of human creativity and social life, such as languages, literature, and history.’ gives a more complex example of what is art. Arts meaning changes through languages, but the idea of art is found in every language.
      Part 2:
      The definition I found of Art History says, “Art history is the study of objects of art in their historical development and stylistic contexts, i.e. genre, design, format, and style’ I believe one of the main motivations in why we study the history of art is to make a connection with our past. Different styles of art can help distinguish people and where they came from. Learning about the history of art helps us understand the individuals who created the piece. Giving insight to beliefs, emotions, and thoughts through style and techniques.

      • #5945
        Miranda Jackovich
        Participant

        To dmriley3
        I agree with what you said about the first definition. There are many different aspects and variations in art and can’t be described easily. As for the second definition I don’t believe art necessarily needs skill to create it. A picture drawn by a child is art but doesn’t have skill. Your last comment of what benefits we get out of the history of art I think is accurate. It can give us perspective on how a individual sees the world. Overall great ideas and good luck in class!

    • #5893
      Miranda Jackovich
      Participant

      Part 1:
      When searching “What is Art?’ I was given a few examples. “The expression or application of human creative skill and imagination’ seemed to be simplified definition to me. Art can be made with emotions; someone doesn’t need to be skilled to create art. “Subjects of study primarily concerned with the processes and products of human creativity and social life, such as languages, literature, and history.’ gives a more complex example of what is art. Arts meaning changes through languages, but the idea of art is found in every language.
      Part 2:
      The definition I found of Art History says, “Art history is the study of objects of art in their historical development and stylistic contexts, i.e. genre, design, format, and style’ I believe one of the main motivations in why we study the history of art is to make a connection with our past. Different styles of art can help distinguish people and where they came from. Learning about the history of art helps us understand the individuals who created the piece. Giving insight to beliefs, emotions, and thoughts through style and techniques.

    • #5898
      rdnelson4
      Participant

      What is art? Art is passion-led creation. Whether the medium be physical like painting, or intangible like opera, expression of emotion and evoking emotion are the desired outcome.

      What is Art History? Well…most simply put, it is the history of art; but it is also a progression. Masters teach apprentices. Student learns from teacher and alters something slightly. New innovations, new social norms tested and broken, and ever changing creations all recorded throughout history.

    • #5899
      Allie Eby
      Participant

      Part I: What is Art? If you do just a quick internet search you will come up with many definitions of art. None of them are perfect but all make for good discussion. Choose a definition that you disagree with and one that you see merit in and tell us why.

      One definition I largely agree with defines art as “the expression or application of human creative skill and imagination, typically in a visual form such as painting or sculpture, producing works to be appreciated primarily for their beauty or emotional power.” I agree very much with this definition, in that it specifies “art” as a general term for skill-based creative works created by humans (though I would argue that some other intelligent creatures such as birds and apes are also capable of making art, but that is a completely different debate).
      One definition I find a good bit of fault in defines art as “subjects of study primarily concerned with the processes and products of human creativity and social life, such as languages, literature, and history (as contrasted with scientific or technical subjects).” This not only discredits the role of creative thinking within scientific fields, but also severely limits the range of what art can be. It also completely discounts the technical skills and aspects that are present and in fact necessary in many forms of art, defining them as non-scientific and non-technical, which is in many ways inaccurate to my understand of art as a field.

      Part II: What is Art History? Why do we study the history of art? How does it help us understand the world in which we live?

      Art history is, in a nutshell, the study of art as a medium and its technical and cultural significance throughout human history. We study art for many reasons. For example, art produced in a specific time period and culture can hold a great deal of information about said time and place. Knowing the history of art helps artists know where we have come from in regards to technical advancements and methods, give references to methods of producing art that would otherwise not exist, and also allows the general public to better grasp where they come from culturally.

      • #6224
        jlchamberlain
        Keymaster

        Hey Rachel,
        Can you elaborate on these definitions? Did you come across any definitions that were contrary to what you think art is?

    • #5900
      Allie Eby
      Participant

      Part I: What is Art? Choose a definition that you disagree with and one that you see merit in and tell us why.
      One definition I largely agree with defines art as “the expression or application of human creative skill and imagination, typically in a visual form such as painting or sculpture, producing works to be appreciated primarily for their beauty or emotional power.” I agree very much with this definition, in that it specifies “art” as a general term for skill-based creative works created by humans (though I would argue that some other intelligent creatures such as birds and apes are also capable of making art, but that is a completely different debate).
      One definition I find a good bit of fault in defines art as “subjects of study primarily concerned with the processes and products of human creativity and social life, such as languages, literature, and history (as contrasted with scientific or technical subjects).” This not only discredits the role of creative thinking within scientific fields, but also severely limits the range of what art can be. It also completely discounts the technical skills and aspects that are present and in fact necessary in many forms of art, defining them as non-scientific and non-technical, which is in many ways inaccurate to my understand of art as a field.

      Part II: What is Art History? Why do we study the history of art? How does it help us understand the world in which we live?
      Art history is, in a nutshell, the study of art as a medium and its technical and cultural significance throughout human history. We study art for many reasons. For example, art produced in a specific time period and culture can hold a great deal of information about said time and place. Knowing the history of art helps artists know where we have come from in regards to technical advancements and methods, give references to methods of producing art that would otherwise not exist, and also allows the general public to better grasp where they come from culturally.

    • #5915
      Jess
      Participant

      What is Art? Choose a definition that you disagree with and one that you see merit in and tell us why.

      The definition of Art that I disagree with is “Creative activity resulting in the production of paintings, drawings, or sculpture.’ I disagree with this definition because art is much more than just paintings and drawings. It can be a poem that someone writes or a novel. Art can also be a way someone stages an open house for someone selling a home. How are those art? Because it is something creative that someone saw and created. When a poem is read, we create an image, the “Art’ if you will, in our minds. When we tour the open house, we see the creative eye that someone else saw. In my opinion, Art is more than just a picture or sculpture in a room.
      The definition of Art that I believe has merit is “Works produced by human creative skill and imagination.’ Because as I stated previously, Art is much more than just a picture of sculpture. It is something that we as individuals create and then share with one another. Its music, movies, books, poems, paintings and photographs. Art is how we see the world and then interpret what we have seen.

      What is Art History? Why do we study the history of art? How does it help us understand the world in which we live?

      Art History is just that. The study of Art and its development through the years. We study Art’s history because it shows us how we have evolved and changed through time. You hear the phrase “a picture is worth a thousand words,’ and I believe that can be used for all forms of art. Each piece of Art we study has its own story to tell or even a secret to reveal that we may not find anywhere else. The history of art allows us to learn about what resources a certain time period may have had access to or the art may show us what type of people were important. We can learn about what people wore or how they spoke. We can learn so much from Art that would otherwise be lost without it.

    • #5921
      Lacey Miller
      Participant


      a skill at doing a specified thing, typically one acquired through practice.

      This is a definition that I don’t necessarily disagree with but rather a definition that doesn’t encompass art as a whole. In my opinion, art is found everywhere and doesn’t necessarily require skill or the label of “artist” to be created. It can simply occur.
      I suppose any definition of art can be up for debate and ultimately requires a human to define or recognize.

      the expression or application of human creative skill and imagination, typically in a visual form such as painting or sculpture, producing works to be appreciated primarily for their beauty or emotional power.

      This definition comes closer to my own definition, recognizing that imagination and appreciation of beauty are really the only way that art can exist.

      Art history is the study of how society has defined and recognized art in the past. It is important, I think because it shows human brain development, our ability to find beauty and also pays respect to the artists of the past.

    • #5925
      Lacey Miller
      Participant

      a skill at doing a specified thing, typically one acquired through practice.
      This is a definition that I don’t necessarily disagree with but rather a definition that doesn’t encompass art as a whole. In my opinion, art is found everywhere and doesn’t necessarily require skill or the label of “artist’ to be created. It can simply occur.
      I suppose any definition of art can be up for debate and ultimately requires a human to define or recognize.

      the expression or application of human creative skill and imagination, typically in a visual form such as painting or sculpture, producing works to be appreciated primarily for their beauty or emotional power.

      This definition comes closer to my own definition, recognizing that imagination and appreciation of beauty are really the only way that art can exist.

      Art history is the study of how society has defined and recognized art in the past. It is important, I think because it shows human brain development, our ability to find beauty and also pays respect to the artists of the past.

    • #5926
      Lacey Miller
      Participant

      Hi Jess- I hope this posts as a reply. One statement you made, “Art is how we see the world and then interpret what we have seen.”, struck a chord with me. This is very much also my definition of art. Without interpretation, art couldn’t exist. In my opinion, art is hugely the responsibility of the observer.

    • #5943
      Sam Saccomen
      Participant

      Part 1:
      What is art?
      After searching on google I read that “Art is something we do, a verb. Art is an expression of our thoughts, emotions, intuitions, and desires, but it is even more personal than that: it’s about sharing the way we experience the world, which for many is an extension of personality.” I believe this is a great explanation of art. Art isn’t just something someone made, it was their mark on the world and their perspective of the world around them. Art is a way to understand someone better and get to know them before even meeting them. Art gives everyone the ability to express how they are feeling inside.

      Part 2:
      What is art history?
      Although I do think “the academic study of the history and development of painting, sculpture, and the other visual arts.” is a great definition of art history, I believe it missed a few things. Art history takes us back in time to how people expressed themselves back in various times. We can understand their emotions and hardships through various works of art around the world. We can see the good times of back then. We also can see how various areas around the world used art to communicate among one another. Art history isn’t just an academic study but all we have to learn the people before us.

      • #6225
        jlchamberlain
        Keymaster

        Great point, I totally agree! As artists and humans we can not help but be influenced by our surroundings and how we interpret them.

    • #5944
      Dean Riley
      Participant

      The first definition of art I found was the quality, production, expression, or realm, according to aesthetic principles, of what is beautiful or appealing. Even though I do feel this describes art, I feel the definition does no fully encompass what art can be. There have been many photographs that have captured images of war that I would not describe as being beautiful or appealing, but should be considered art.

      The second definition of art is the conscious use of skill and creative imagination especially in the production of aesthetic objects. I feel that this definition better describes art because art does involve some skill and must also include a certain degree of imagination.
      I think one of the most beneficial aspects of art history is it can show a great deal of what was happening at that place and time in history. Art has always been an avenue to show the artist’s thoughts on different topics. It allowed people to show opposition to popular topics without the artist having to risk being opening vocal about it.

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