This course surveys the history of painting, sculpture, and architecture from the cave paintings of Lascaux to the splatterings of Jackson Pollock. The course is taught at a college level, and has four aims:

  1. Students will gain a Christian understanding of the nature of art as such via the insights of Francis Schaeffer’s colleague at L’Abri, Hans Rookmaker, and other Christian art historians and philosophers. We will trace the different aesthetic theories and concepts of beauty that have motivated artists past and present.
  2. Students will become familiar with the masterpieces and masters of art in all periods, so that they will be able to recognize styles and trace influences.
  3. Students will be trained in analysis of art’s techniques and vocabulary, which will heighten their ability to appreciate art. Careful attention to the visual language of iconography will help students unlock hidden meanings in paintings. Among other sources, we will use Joshua Taylor’s Learning to Look.
  4. Students will be well prepared to take the College Board’s AP Art History exam.

Assignments will include presentations and written analysis of art; quizzes and tests designed to aid in mastery of the canon; and historical, comparative, and stylistic analysis of paintings and sculptures, sight unseen.

Required texts:

  • Barron’s AP Art History, Resnick
  • Gardner’s Art Through the Ages: A Global History (13th edition)
  • Art Needs No Justification, Hans R. Rookmaaker
  • Modern Art and the Death of a Culture, Hans R. Rookmaaker
  • Learning to Look: a Handbook for the Visual Arts, Joshua Taylor
  • The Annotated Mona Lisa: A Crash Course in Art History from Prehistoric to Post-Modern, Carol Strickland.
  • My Name is Asher Lev, Chaim Potok

2020-2021 Book List