Art History is our Own History

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By Genesis Hernandez Nunez, AEP Student, Keiser International Language Institute

When people see and analyze a painting, a drawing, or a sculpture, they do not only stand in front of some pieces of art, but they also behold a society, an exact moment in time, a specific topic, and a range of different issues. For this reason, art can prove to be an interesting career to pursue. Students could understand the past, learn about periods, artists, techniques and styles while developing another perspective to see the world. Just like fire, art has been part of the human race since the beginning of civilization, and it can reveal more than we think.

First of all, people who study art history can have a better understanding of the past because art is closely related to memory. In other words, through art we can learn what our origins are. For example, “photography has been around for less than 200 years, film is even more recent, and digital images are relatively newcomers. If we want to see any person that existed prior to these technologies, we must rely on an artist” (Why Should I Study Art History?). Also, works of art can depict stories about legends, families or wars. To illustrate this, take “Guernica” by Picasso, a painting about a civil war that took place in Spain from 1936 to 1939. Likewise, “Las Meninas” of Velazquez was painted in 1656 and it is about the family of King Charles IV.

Furthermore, art history teaches students about periods, artists, their techniques and styles. It will become a new field of knowledge, totally different from what they have learned so far. An additional benefit of art history is that it “helps to develop communication skills and promotes interdisciplinary thought. Art history can provide students with basics and original skills in critical and visual thinking like attention to detail, creativity, self-discipline and appreciation of aesthetics” (Art History). If someone studies art history, that person will never see a sculpture of Bernini just like a masterpiece. This person will see beyond that.

Finally, studying art history will open a new window to see the world, a different point of view. It will change the mindset of people. “The discipline (art history) encourages humanity and sympathy by teaching about other individuals and societies through their visual expression. Art history provides intellectual confidence gained through learning how to recognize, order, and interpret facts” (Why art history?). People will appreciate beauty, ugliness, tragedy and drama from a whole new perspective.

Art history gives us the chance to visit a different world in order to understand our own. If someone decides to open this door, it will be the first step to become and open-minded person, more sensible, more understanding and critical. To learn and transmit how art influences our lives is a contribution to humanity.

References
“Art History”. Lansing Community College. Web. March 16, 2016. http://www.lcc.edu/cma/art_history/

“Why Art History?”. School of Arts and Sciences. Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey. Web. March 16, 2016. http://arthistory.rutgers.edu/menu-ii/academica/why-arthistory

“Why Should I Study Art History?”. About.com. 24 Nov. 2014. Web. March 16, 2016. ttp://arthistory.about.com/od/help_advice_for_students/t p/Why-Should-I-Study-Art-History.htm

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