Sunday, August 10, 2014

A Virtual Art Appreciation Text

Dear Art Appreciation Students,

The following list of links to web resources will serve you as a text for your art appreciation course. The links are organized by topic, and they include both readings and web-based videos. Although these assembled resources do not cover every topic completely, when read and viewed in conjunction with a well-designed art appreciation course they offer substantial and relevant supplementary content.

All resources have been chosen because of the quality of their content and their appropriateness for college students. For some topics where an overview is needed I have provided links to Wikipedia pages. In many cases, where the topics are extremely broad, I have provided links to a few works of art that will serve as examples of a style or movement.

Many of the readings and videos are from Smarthistory, which is an online multimedia art history text maintained by the Khan Academy. You will notice that the Smarthistory links lead to both embedded videos and readings. Also, you will see that Smarthistory will lead you to a variety of related articles and videos for each topic if you feel like learning more broadly.

To help you organize your time each reading has an estimated reading time based on the statistic that the average adult reads 300 words per minute. Viewing times for videos are also listed. Keep in mind that you are encouraged to pause videos for note-taking and that you may replay portions of videos to help you understand the topics presented.

This entire set of resources can be viewed and read by the average adult in about 10 to 12 hours. 

Please give these resources your full attention, just as you would to any college text. All of these resources are provided to you at no cost so that you can further your education and gain a deeper appreciation of art in using the best possible free resources.

  Last updated: July 22, 2016


Unit One: The Role and Value of Art 
Time to view and read: 14 minutes

Why look at art? (video - 1:56)

What good is art? The value of creative thinking (video - 3:16)

Art Museums are for Everyone (video - 8:30)

Unit Two: Looking at Art
Time to view and read: 45 minutes

Approaching Art in a Media Society by John Seed (video - 9:17)

The skill of describing (video - 3:42)

John Berger: Ways of Seeing, Episode I (video - 30:05)

Unit Three: Visual Elements
Time to view and read: 17 minutes

Elements of art (Wikipedia) (reading, approx. 2 minutes)

Basic Color Theory (reading, approx. 5 minutes)

Understanding Formal Analysis and Elements of Art (reading, approx. 10 minutes)

Unit Four: Design and Composition
Time to view and read: 30+ minutes

A series of short videos on design principles by Matt Kohr of
Videos range from 3 to 5 minutes total: allow approximately 20 minutes to view the series

Unit Five: Evaluation and Criticism
Time to view and read: 26 minutes

Feldman’s Method of Art Criticism (video - 4:15)

Christopher Knight, LA Times Art Critic, speaking at Superscript 2015 Conference (video - 11:07)

Art and Context (Smarthistory)

Unit Six: Drawing
Time to view and read: 27 minutes

Drawings by Jean-Baptiste Greuze  (The Getty Museum) (video - 2:34)

How to Shade a Drawing (video - 12:01)

Portrait Drawing with Gary Geraths

Unit Seven: Painting
Time to view and read: 32+ minutes

Oil paint (video - 6:37)

Tempera paint (video - 11:47)

Art Terms in Action (set of 7 videos, approx. 10 minutes total)
Note: look on the left side of the browser to see links to all 7 videos. They are: Viscosity, Tint Shade and Tone, Enamel, Emulsion, Stain, Palette Knife and Turpentine Burn)

Duane Keiser paints a PBJ (peanut butter & jelly sandwich) wet on wet oil painting demo (video - 3:48)

Unit Eight: Printmaking
Time to view and read: 20 minutes

Printmaking (Wikipedia) (reading, approx. 10 minutes)

Woodcuts and Etchings (focus on Durer) (video - 4:54)

Unit Nine: Photography, Film and Digital Art
Time to view and read: 45+ minutes

Early Photography (reading, approx. 3 minutes)

A concise history of the origins of cinema (video - 25:57)

Digital Art (Wikipedia) (reading, approx. 5 minutes)

Unit Ten: Graphic Design
Time to view and read: 13 minutes

The Universal Arts of Graphic Design (video - 6:26)

Unit Eleven: Sculpture
Time to view and read: 30+ minutes

Bronze Casting (video - 10:25)

Quarrying and Carving Marble (video - 8:57)

Equestrian Sculpture of Marcus Aurelius (video - 3:47)

Robert Arneson's Sculpture of Mayor Moscone (video - 4:35)

Richard Serra: Torqued Elipse #4 at MOMA (video - 3:11)

Unit Twelve: Craft (Clay, Glass, Wood and Fiber)
Time to view and read: 20 minutes

Ceramics for Beginners: Throwing a bowl with Emily Reason (video - 5:55)

Dale Chihuly in Seattle (Glass) (video - 5:30)

Legendary woodworker Sam Maloof (Wood) (video - 5:22)

Fiber artist Carol Ann Waugh (video - 2:17)

Unit Thirteen: Architecture
Time to view and read: 32+ minutes

The Pyramid of Khufu (reading, approx. 5 minutes)

The Classical Orders (video - 11:07)

Cathedral of Notre Dame de Chartres (French Gothic) (video - 5:31)

St Peter’s Basilica (Italian Baroque) (video - 4:28)

Frank Lloyd Wright’s Fallingwater (modern) (video - 3:08)

Gilbert’s Woolworth Building (reading, approx. 3 minutes)

Unit Fourteen: Paleolithic to Bronze Age
Time to view and read: 40+ minutes

Prehistoric Art: Paleolithic Origins (Reading 5 minutes)

The Cave Art of Lascaux (video - 2:26, no narration)

The Venus of Willendorf (video - 4:20) (video - 4:19)

Ancient Near Eastern and Egyptian Art by Dr. Nancy Ross (video - 6:18)

Thutmose: Bust of Nefertiti (video - 4.00)

Mortuary Temple of Hapshetsut and Large Kneeling Statue (video - 7:36)

Harp Player (Early Cycladic) (video - 4:20)

Unit Fifteen: The Classical and Medieval West
Time to view and read: 40 minutes

Ancient Greece and Rome (video - 7:17 plus reading, approx. 2 minutes)

A Medieval Textbook (video - 6:44)

The Aminated Bayeux Tapestry (video - 4:24)

Unit Sixteen: Renaissance and Baroque Europe
Time to view : approx. 45 minutes

Cimabue's Santa Trinita Madonna and Giotto's Ognissanti Madonna (video: 6:58)

Botticelli, The Birth of Venus (video: 3:59)

Michelangelo,  Sistine Chapel Ceiling (video: 6:46)

Bronzino and the Mannerist Portrait (video: 10:29)

Caravaggio's Calling of St. Matthew (video: 6:21)

St. Peter's Basilica (video: 4:27)

Bernini: The Ecstasy of St. Teresa (video - 7:32)

Unit Seventeen: Asian Art
Time to view and read: 35+ minutes

Arts of Asia: Ceramics – innovations in clay (video 8:14)

The historical Buddha (reading, approx. 3 minutes)

Bodhisattva (China) (video - 7:46) 

The caves at Ajanta (India) (reading, approx 6 minutes)

The temple at Borobudur (Indonesia) (reading, approx. 10 minutes)

Supplemental Reading:

South and East Asia (text and timeline)

Unit Eighteen: Islamic Art
Time to view and read: 25 minutes

Introduction to Islam (reading, approx. 5 minutes)

Introduction to arts of the Islamic World (reading, approx. 10 minutes)

Unit Nineteen: African Oceania and the Americas

Time to view and read: 25 minutes

Nkisi Nkondi figures (Africa) (reading, approx. 5 minutes)

Classic Maya Portrait Stele (reading, approx. 5 minutes)

Pre-Columbian Cup (video - 4:43)

Great Serpent Mound (reading, approx. 5 minutes)

Supplemental Reading:

Africa, Oceania and the indigenous Americas - Khan Academy (text and timeline)

Unit Twenty: Late 18th and 19th centuries
Time to view and read: 35+ minutes

1700-1800 Age of Enlightenment (reading, approx. 5 minutes)

Gericault: Raft of the Medusa (video - 6:33) Romanticism

Jacques-Louis David: Oath of the Horatii, 1785 (video - 6:10) Neoclassicism

1848-1907: Turning Points in History: the Industrial Revolution  (video - 3:31)

Becoming Modern (reading, approx 6 minutes)

Unit Twenty-One: Early 20th century
Time to view and read: 35+ minutes

Fauvism (reading, approx. 3 minutes)

Matisse: Luxe, Calme et Volupte (video: 3:25)

Expressionism: Kirchner's Street (video - 9:54)

Cubism: Picasso's Still-Life with Chair Caning (video - 13:35)

Futurism (reading, approx. 5 minutes)

Unit Twenty-Two: Between world wars
Time to view and read: 25+ minutes

Surrealism (reading, approx. 3 minutes) 

German Art Between the wars: Otto Dix's Portrait of the Journalist Sylvia Von Harden (video - 7:57)

Unit Twenty-Three: Postwar art
Time to view and read: 28 minutes

Abstract Expressionism: Pollock's Number One, 1950 (video - 7:34)

Donald Judd’s “Untitled” (Minimalism) (video - 3:50)

Conceptual Art (reading, approx. 2 minutes)

Unit Twenty-Four: Postmodernity and global art
Time to view and read: 37+ minutes

Art in the 21st century (reading, approx. 5 minutes)

Performance Art (reading, approx. 5 minutes)
Smithson Spiral Jetty (Earthworks) (video - 3:44)

Eva Hesse: Untitled Rope Piece (video - 3:46)

Cindy Sherman, Untitled Film Still #21 (video - 4:22)

Ai Wei Wei: Sunflower Seeds (video - 14:41)

For Optional Additional Study
Supplementary Video Series:

Art Through Time: A Global View (13 thirty minute segments)

Robert Hughes: The Shock of the New (an 8 part series on modern art, each 60 minutes)

Modern Art History Videos by Parme Giuntini for Otis College (13 videos, varied lengths)

Art 21: Art of the 21st Century (An archive with episodes and excerpts from 7 seasons of video segments)

An index of art videos/documentaries available online:

Free Online courses in Art History: