Drawing on History, Pre-Civil War to Vietnam
Just so you know - I'm not particularly an art person. However, I do like to understand the interrelationships between historical events and culture. This book bridges an amazing gap - historical events and art history. Designed to be a brief survey of art (from 1830 to 1970) it functions as an art history, an art appreciation, and an art techniques (doing art) course. Not to mention the insights it provides into the people and places covered in the history course. This not-particularly-an-art-person is totally impressed!
Each of the 16 lessons covers an art history period - romanticism through psychedelic art and tie dye - with impressionism, expressionism, modernism, and surrealism among others in between. Each lesson starts with an overview of the history and art of the time period. The succinct coverage is augmented by suggested web links/books/videos but there are also full-color reproductions (in various sizes) of period works included in the book. Sidebar information includes research questions and learning objectives rounding out the instruction. The lesson then moves into the doing art portion with clearly stated assignments, lists of needed supplies, student and author examples, and step-by-step illustrations. For instance, Lesson 5 is Art Nouveau and Symbolism (an ism I missed earlier) which is coordinated with the BF lessons on The Jungle and teaches us that Art Nouveau was an attempt to apply a new look to all of the applied arts while Symbolism was dramatically different - artists defining their art with dramatic emotions rather than story telling. Among the developments of the period; posters became a fine art medium for the first time. The activity for this lesson is designing a decorative initial in the Art Nouveau style.
Help is available for the young artist (and/or his teacher). The KnoodleU.com website (book purchaser is e