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Art History Classes

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Laurie Block Spigel
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When I teach art history, I begin by defining history and prehistory. When does history actually begin? If it begins with the use of written documentation, then perhaps “history” is really the history of the written word (written mostly by educated, aristocratic men). But history also includes “prehistory,” the life of cave men for example, dinosaurs, and the history of our planet before man ever existed.
— Laurie Block Spigel, from Education Uncensored

Art History of the Ancient World

  Description Activity
1. Cave Painting (central Europe) Timeline, drawing with charcoal on paper
2. Ancient Egypt Reading tomb paintings, hieroglyphic writing on papyrus scrolls
3. Early China Brush & ink on paper, calligraphy
4. Ancient Greece and Rome Mosaic art
5. Pre-Columbian Latin America Symbolic animal art
6. Ancient Islamic Art Block printing, rotational symmetry
7. Native North America Designing a shamanic shield
8. Early Japan Designing a kimono, origami
9. Ancient Africa Masks
10. Aboriginal Australia and New Zealand Animal X-ray dot drawings
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Art History of the Middles Ages and the Renaissance

  Description Activity
1. Illuminated manuscripts and Books of Hours Illuminated letters
2. Medieval cathedral architecture and stained glass Stained glass windows using markers on acetate
3. Medieval bestiaries, misericords, tapestries Make your own composite beast
4. Early Italian masters: Giotto Make our own egg tempera, homemade paint on paper
5. Dutch Masters: Van Eyck, Rembrandt Three-panelled paintings
6. Italian Masters I: Uccello and the birth of perspective Drawing perspective, pencil on paper
7. Italian Masters II: Leonardo Da Vinci, his art, inventions and scientific discoveries Measuring the human body and drawing in proportion
8. Italian Masters III: Michelangelo, the Sistine Chapel Fresco painting
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From Impressionism to Modern Art

Note: there are other classes yet to come.

  Description Activity
1. Author Emile Zola and Édouard Manet, Berthe Morisot, Auguste Renoir, and Claude Monet Watercolor Painting
2. Edgar Degas, Mary Cassatt, Toulouse-Lautrec. Colored Pastels
3. Paul Gauguin, Vincent Van Gogh Impasto Painting, thickened tempera with sand
4. Georges Seurat, Paul Signac Pointillism — dot paintings with markers
5. Camille Pissaro, Paul Cézanne, techniques that led to Cubism Pastels and oil pastels
6. Pablo Picasso, Georges Braques, Juan Gris, Cubism Cubism: Collage and mixed media
7. Pablo Picasso and Henri Matisse Papercuts and Collage
8. Wassily Kandinsky and his theory of color and sound Improvisational painting to music using watercolors
9. Paul Klee Colored pencils and markers
10. Dada — Marcel Duchamp, Man Ray, and others Dadaist portrait collages
11. Surrealism — Yves Tanguy, Marcel Jean, and Salvador Dali . Surrealism
12. Surrealist collages — Giorgio de Chirico and Rene Magritte Surrealist collages
13. Surrealism and symbolism — Joan Miró Surrealism and symbolism
14. Alexander Calder Wire sculpture
15. Henry Moore Clay sculpture
16a. Louise Nevelson Stabiles
16b. Louise Nevelson Found object sculpture
  Romare Bearden Collages
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