Advanced Placement Art History Syllabus Essay

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Advanced Placement Art History Syllabus
Juan Carlos Gonzalez, PhD.
Room 5-218
Grades 9-12 - 1 Year - 1 Credit
Prerequisite: Recommendation/Special Permission

Course Description:
This course is designed to give students the opportunity to discover, appreciate, and acquire knowledge of art history through the ages, from the Paleolithic era to the present. The course involves critical thinking and students will learn to examine and analyze major forms of artistic expression from diverse cultures and the contributions these cultures have made to the arts. A variety of art media and styles will be studied. Students will look at architecture, manuscripts, painting, drawing, printmaking and sculpture, as a reflection of a given civilization and time period. This class will give students the opportunity to use their prior knowledge of history, geography, politics, religion, languages, literature, and the visual arts.

The history of art will be taught to and learned by the students through a combination of materials such as, selected readings, visual presentations, research papers, educational videos, and museum visits. Students’ active participation and discussions related to reading assignments and slide show lectures are required for the class. They will learn to write about art using a specialized vocabulary to describe and critically analyze works of art.

The curriculum is modeled after introductory college level art history survey courses and reflects the College Board AP Art History Course Description. Tests and quizzes are given throughout the year using the format of the AP Art History Exam with multiple choice, short answer, and long essay questions, some of which are based on slides. Students are to approach their study in a self-disciplined manner, including preparation for class, reading, visual and written note taking, essay writing, and class participation. Students enrolled in this course will take the AP Art History examination on May 7, 2015. Course Objectives:
Students will:
Recognize trends and visual commentary that may give insight into the political, social, religious and cultural aspects of the artist’s world in which he lived or lives.
Develop strong critical thinking and writing skills in identifying, describing, and analyzing works from different periods, styles, artists and media.
Recognize the relationship of artworks to the culture of a time period and understand them on the aesthetic criteria of those cultures.
Examine art and create comparisons from one work to another, including comparisons between Western and Non-Western art in order to broaden the perceptions of its value, importance and continuous influence.
Learn to restrain judgment as a viewer of art by first cultivating an appreciation for all styles of art.
Gain an appreciation and enjoyment of the history of art with the motivation to pursue further study through college courses and seek the intellectual and emotional pleasure of aesthetic experiences.

Course Content:
The art objects reviewed in this course will be identified through the study of their formal qualities, such as design, materials, techniques, subjects, artists, schools and styles. Contextual studies on how art reflects culture are emphasized in the study of art history. Therefore, such topics as religious beliefs, politics, societal issues, patronage, ethnicity, geography and economics will be included in the course.

Themes to be studied:
The Human Figure
Nature/ Landscapes
The Spiritual World/ Images of Religious Figures/Ritual Objects/Sacred Sites (temples, basilicas, and cathedrals, and objects of worship/ritual)
Power and Authority
Family and Family Groupings
Context (reason or location)
Violence in Art
Public sculpture
Narrative Art
Genre (scenes of everyday life)

Student Evaluation:
Tests/Quizzes 50%
Homework 25%