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Art Hist. 115 Professor W. Denny Lecture+Reading Sept.7-9 week 1

by: Tan-Tan Narcisse

Art Hist. 115 Professor W. Denny Lecture+Reading Sept.7-9 week 1 ART-HIST 115

Marketplace > University of Massachusetts > Fine Art > ART-HIST 115 > Art Hist 115 Professor W Denny Lecture Reading Sept 7 9 week 1
Tan-Tan Narcisse
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These notes will help you get ready for the exam. These notes are not cheat sheets. They are the result of hard work through readings, research, and note takings of lectures. This is a means of con...
Visual Art, Artists, & Cultures
Walter Denny
Class Notes
Art History




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This 6 page Class Notes was uploaded by Tan-Tan Narcisse on Saturday September 10, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to ART-HIST 115 at University of Massachusetts taught by Walter Denny in Fall 2016. Since its upload, it has received 317 views. For similar materials see Visual Art, Artists, & Cultures in Fine Art at University of Massachusetts.


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Date Created: 09/10/16
What is a work of art? What do art Historians do?    What is Art?    ● Creation of an Artist  ● Representation of reality  ○ Ideas could be represented in different ways  ■ Some artists show things in 3­D  ■ Others in 2­D ( which ​could​ be Abstract)  ■ Using color, line, and proportion  Does art exemplify beauty?    ● Beauty is subject to change  ○ In meaning  ○ In definition  ● Beauty during one age is different from beauty from another period  ○ Linked to different cultures (the perception of beauty between cultures)  ○ Artists have the right to make the ​expressive content*​ look in a certain way  ( if the work seems ugly, the artist had a purpose for the art work  appearing that way.)   ■ Expressive content is the work of art which includes the subject  matter with a visual form, according to J.C. Taylor's "Learning to  Look" (pg. 51­52)  ○ Artist attempt to illustrate an idea during a specific time period  ○ The work may or may not be complete for a reason  How is art changed over time?    ● Inevitably time has change art work  ○ A building structure may start to fall apart without maintenance (  According to Professor Denny: ​The Greek archaeological remains Agrigento  of, in Sicily)  ○ A building may take a long time to build because of different architectural designs  from different periods of time within its​ ​composition*​. (According to Professor  Denny: Chartres Cathedral)  ■ Composition is the way a work of art is organized or structured (the  layout), according to J.S. Pierce's "From Abacus to Zeus"(pg.13­16)  ○ The subject matter may no longer be as important as the way the subject matter is  portrayed  ● Labor Theory Value  ○ Appeal is not based on time spent  ○ Rather what the artist is like/thought of mind    What is moral in a work of art?    ● Ex. Nakedness: the logic behind men going to the beach topless, whereas woman go  otherwise (all where a top, unless if they are participating at a nudity beach)  ○ This logic is tested in art (when art work question the morality of certain subjects)    What are some Universal themes in art?    ● Greek Mythology  ● Nature vs. Nurture  ○ Who we are/ what we are  ■ Relationship  ■ Most of us having a relationship with a mother, father, or some  figure that fills in the void during the nurture aspect  ■ The idea of individuality which molds us based on certain  experiences during the nature aspect.   ● Some art may seem like copies of each other based on subject matter however they are  portrayed differently based on the knowledge of that time.  ● Psychological (Boys vs. Girls)  ○ The idea that males tend to design structures that are tall and unstable, while  females design short and stable structures  ● Some works are perceived to have a magical properties  ● Permanent (works that seem to last a long period are still prone to destruction)  ○ Pyramids  ○ Great Walls  ○ Stone age ( cavemen paintings)  ● Art is more than drawings and paintings  ○ Cars  ○ Shoes  ○ Furniture  An analysis of the work* of Art    How can the visual aspect of a painting in itself have meaning?    ● Work: the identifiable objects, incidents, or suggested outside experiences that we  recognize, according to J.C. Taylor's Learning to Look (pg. 51)   What's the difference between subject matter and expressive content?    ● Subject matter is simple objects or incidents (no meaning)  ● Expressive content is when subject matter is combined with visual forms which gives  meaning, according to J.C. Taylor's Learning to Look (pg. 51­52)  ○ Ex. "The Crucifixion of Saints" by Pietro Perugino and "The Crucifixion" by  Carlo Crivelli  What is the purpose of analysis?    ● The purpose of analysis is to heighten our attention to detail which adds to the experience  of viewing expressive content.  ○ WARNING​: coming up with the steps to dissect a work of art into its  components is challenging.  ■ Keep these concepts in mind when analyzing a work of art:  ■ color​: establishes a general key/sets up a relationship of parts.  ■ line​: creates a sense of structure/embodies movement and character  ■ light & dark​: creates expressive forms&patterns?suggest the  character of volumes through light and shade  ■ volume​ (mass): contrast with space  ■ plane​: discuss the organization of space, both in depth and 2­D  pattern  ■ composition​: the way they're put together (part to part...part to  whole)   ○ These terms and procedures can be applicable to experiences of other visual  arts. they can be found on page 63 in J.C. Taylor's "Learning  to Look"  Summary:​ the meaning can only be witnessed within a work of art when various elements are  brought together and is considered for the full experience. Because of the complexity of art  work, there's always something new that contributes to the experience, according to J.C. Taylor's  "Learning to Look"(pg. 68)    Artists and Works of Art    What is an Artist?( not everyone is an artist, but everyone can produce art)  ● Someone who is well­trained  ● Someone who went through a learning process  ● Someone who could be self­taught  ● Someone who is an accident ( creating something without the intentions for the project to  have artistic value)  What are some of the stereotypes of artists?  ● Not normal  ○ Ex. Leonardo da Vinci  ■ Artist  ■ Weird  ■ Paranoid (didn't want other people to steal his work, therefore...)  ■ Developed his own handwriting  ● Not profitable  ○ Ex. Vincent Van Gogh  ■ Produced thousands, but sold one  ● Consciously separated  ○ Artist produce art through a self­perceived identity of themselves  ■ Egocentric  ■ Boastful  ■ Crazy/far out  ■ Corporate types  ■ Aristocratic/dull  What are four ways of looking at an artist?    ● Sociological Paradox​: the way a society functions: yet this society was created by the  people who live in it. In other words, the people in a society influences the society, yet  the society influences the people. Which is how artist are who they are...according to  Newman's Sociology (2004).     1. How do they become what they become?  2. How are they educated in their role?  3. How are they evaluated?  4. How is one compensated?  How is a career path chosen?    ● Did what parents did (more traditional societies)   ○ In some cases goes on for generations  ● Accident  ○ They were in one field of study and then changed  ● Self­Interest  ○ Intrigued by subject matter, thus became inspired  How are they trained?    ● Some artist are precocious (prodigy)  ● Apprenticeship (back then)  ○ Government paid salaries for workshops  ○ We think, right off the bat, that artists work in solitary, yet some artist have  assistance when working on a massive project...basically the equivalent of a  manager or water boy/girl for a sports team...according to Professor Denny    ● Internship (today)  ● Self­Taught  ● Traditional  ○ Traditional as in going to college and completing an x amount of courses.  ○ Most Artists are trained this way  ● Workshops (government paid salaries)  How is an artist evaluated?    ● Democratically by the public ( no newspapers)  ○ Give artist a personal message   ● Exhibition ( newspapers)  ○ Jury must evaluate work to decide whether or not to reveal them to the public  ● Commission ( validation for an artists way of evaluation)  ○ Church/Town  ■ Day­off  ■ If the work is so important, the whole community gets a day off to  see the unveiling of the work.  ● Some don't get evaluated at all, without the help of art dealer  ● Markets of paying  ○ Basically some person, preferably wealthy, sees your art and insist on buying it  from you  How did artists get paid?     ● Some would price their work based on the content  ● The most highly paid artist was into furniture­making, he created a desk for  king or France.  ● Some artist were shrewd in selling their art  ○ Make copies and sell for high price( limited number of copies)  ○ Flatter a subject that is vain  ■ Have a set number of the same subject matter, with each one more  outrageous than the last in expressive content  ● Put on salary and paid by government to create work  ○ Apprenticeship  ○ Communistic countries  Fun facts?     ● Some works are done by anonymous artists.  ● Women artist  ○ no credit  ○ not famous (even if work was worthy of fame)  Evaluation leads to Compensation  ○ With the help of an art dealer, art is sold because of their awareness of popular  trends.  ○ Some art is evaluated later in life and obtains a high sales price  ■ Monetary value is increased when the artist's name is on their work, more  than a work with no signature  ■ Some artist are very subtle in incorporating their signature upon  their art.  ■ facial features  ■ encrypted within design  ■ hidden in plain sight  ○ The artist can change the way something/someone appears in their art work.   


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