Visual Communication + Design
AP Art History
Mastering the Approach
How do we talk with a work of art, and how does it talk to us?
Why do some subjects, by artists from different times and places, look so similar, while others look so different?
Why don’t we always agree about what we see?
Thematic Overlay: History and Memory. How does art have an effect on our ideas about historical events? What are the roles and responsibilities of artists in presenting historical depictions?
Global Prehistory and the Pacific
How are groups of people shaped by their relationships with the natural world?
How is that expressed through
How have artists adapted human and animal forms to depict both natural and supernatural beings?
Thematic Overlay: The Natural World. How have representations of nature in art been associated with spiritual beliefs? What do artistic renderings of the natural world tell us about a culture or society and its geographic locale?
Indigenous Americas and Africa
How can works of art and architecture communicate the power of a patron?
How can religious structures communicate the beliefs and practices of their users?
How do artists communicate religious beliefs and practices? How do they differentiate between the natural and the supernatural?
Thematic Overlay: Cosmology and Beliefs. Globally, people strive to understand their reason for being and their place in the universe. Art can be an instrument for recording spiritual beliefs, creating myths, and communing with ancestors.
What differences can you identify between objects meant for personal worship or devotion and those meant for public view?
South, Central, East, and Southeast Asia
How does art and architecture reflect beliefs and practices?
How does art and architecture reveal cross-cultural connections and influences?
Thematic Overlay: Writing. In ancient cultures, writing was considered a gift of the gods. Since few people could read or write, having the ability to write was associated with exclusivity and power. What do the works covered convey to those who can’t read or understand what is written?
How does geography shape a culture’s world view, concerns, and values? How is that reflected in their art and
Guiding Questions: How do works of art and architecture reflect their historical and cultural context? How can we understand a structure by interpreting its plan?
Thematic overlay: The Urban Experience: How has the organization of a city (its plan or organic layout) represented the values and beliefs of the citizens within it or their leaders?
Guiding Question: How do information technology and global awareness together shape contemporary art?
Thematic Overlay: Dreams and Visions. Art, is about seeing. But it is not always about representing the world as it exists. Sometimes it allows us to see with more than our eyes. For some, their work is an expression of the inner self.
What is the significance of the real world materials and objects Sandy Skoglund uses in her work? What is she is trying to convey?
Guiding Question: How are patronage, artistic training, artistic tradition, and perceived functions of art transformed in Europe and the Americas during this time period?
Thematic Overlay: Conflict and Resistance. Throughout history, Visual art has played an important role in documenting conflict and resistance. It also has served as a means for expressing personal views on politics, war, social inequities, and the human condition. What makes art an effective form of social or political protest? What are the similarities and differences between a glorified battle scene and one that shows the horrors
Guiding Question: How do 20th century artists challenge and redefine their roles as artists and the content, materials, and forms of traditional art? How do 20th-century artists respond to contemporary world events and social trends?
Thematic Overlay: Portraits. . Far from being mirror reflections, portraits are complex constructions of identity that serve a range of functions from expressing power and declaring status to making larger statements about society at a given point in history. How do artists use iconic symbols to convey images of power and/or status in their portraits? Which
symbols are universal, and which are specific to a particular culture?
Guiding Question: How are religious and geographic differences reflected in artistic patronage and production?
Thematic Overlay: Domestic Life. Depictions of everyday life are best understood as complex documents melding real-world observations with ideal social expectations. What makes a functional object of everyday life, such as a quilt, a chair, or a porcelain vase,
an art object?
Guiding Question: How are cultural exchanges reflected in art?
Thematic Overlay: Converging Cultures. How did trade impact the arts of the Ancient Aegean and Ancient Greece?
West and Central Asia and Early Europe,
through 1400 C.E.
How does patronage affect artistic and architectural production?
Early Modern Atlantic World,
How are historical developments of this period reflected in its art and architecture?
Later Europe and Americas,
How do works of art reflect the rapidly changing modern world of the late 18th, 19th, and 20th centuries?
Later Europe and Americas,
What is the impact of new materials and technologies on 20th-century art and architecture?
How do contemporary artists move beyond traditional concepts about art and artists?
Art History 5
Art Past Art Present
Gateways To Art
by Marilyn Stokstad
by David Wilkins
by Debra DeWitt