Studying art history to many is just a way to get extra credit, while to others they do just because it is mandatory. So why go through a whole undergraduate life just to earn a bachelor’s degree? What is the value of studying art history?
Art has existed for a very long time even before the beginning of formal education. In the ancient times, it was used to appease the gods, frighten enemies, compel people, and distinguish between various cultures and even served reasons for personal and economic importance. Most of the pieces of art that you see have a personal history behind them, and while the average eye only appreciates the aesthetic of that piece of art, an art student would take time to see the main essence of it. For example, going to the museum without prior knowledge of art or a tour guide might not be very worthwhile.
This will happen because you might not know how to interpret the works in the galleries or the edifice in the museum. You may also not notice that the paintings and artworks have been adequately arranged to denote a difference in time and therefore to refer the transition in the history of a particular culture or people. All these, however, are not strange to a student who is enrolled in a programme, as most of his assignment and course works would make sure that heinteracts with most of this artwork and give visual and textural interpretations of them. This is important to consider, as this interest you may have could lead you to take art history jobs.
Art simply refers to the expression of thoughts, intuitions, desires, and emotions. The course will open your eyes to your surroundings, and every piece of artwork you find will have a story to tell. The several aspects of art talk about history in different ways, and from a play showing the rise of a culture to a piece of architectural masterpiece that holds different puzzles about the past. All these come together in art history to help us understand the happenings of the past without using plain words or simple deductions.
What does studying art history mean?
It doesn’t only mean that you have to seat in dusty classes and listen to boring lectures, it involves a deep interaction with nature, and there are a lot of categories even to choose from. You can choose to get an art history bachelor’s degree in the creative arts, music, literature and even performing arts. Also, you don’t need to be exceptional at any of these things before you can study art history, what you are mainly required to do is to have a deep sense of appreciation for the world as a whole and see things from a unique perspective. For example, when looking at a teapot, church painting, jewelry, plates, graffiti, illuminated manuscript, museum design or even listening to classical music, as an artist you have to realize that there is a historical and cultural context behind them. An art historian will simply study this and become more knowledgeable about them.
It involves studying a piece of art by looking at the artist’s use of lines, shape, texture, approach and even composition. Although there are different approaches to art and how to go about interpreting its works, there are still a few approaches that have been standardized into the field. Arts history bachelor’s degree has a solid foundation in courses like liberal arts, education, philosophy, social and natural sciences, a foreign language and more.
What are the benefits of art history?
The discipline, while it is richly involved in the study of arts also incorporates fields like social history, aesthetics, economics, politics, and anthropology. It is important because it gives you exposure to other humanities subjects, relating them to draw conclusions and critical evaluation of different artworks. The learning process also helps to learn about crucial times in history and know exactly how the experience of that timeline was like. The history behind artworks as at separate times helps to learn of different tribes and their cultures. It has also helped in a lot of cases to learn of the transition of time in both social, political and economic stages. It allows its students to gather knowledge and inspiration that eventually contributes to how they speak and view the world around us as a people.
Additionally, this discipline will help you gain very rich insights into various world cultures, tradition and transition in the socio-economic role. It also brings together the meanings and interpretation of encrypted messages in old artworks. So getting an art’s history bachelor’s degree can be a journey to enlightenment while learning a lot at the same time.