Art History Minor Learning Objectives

i. Depth and Breadth of Knowledge

  • Analyze the social, political, historical and religious contexts of Western art and architecture from Antiquity to the present with an appreciation for the historical, philosophical and cultural contexts for works of art.
  • Chart the philosophical underpinnings of the changing definition of art: Antiquity (mimesis), Mediaeval (proportion, light symbol), Renaissance (beauty), Romanticism (sublime), Modern (expression).
  • Recall the diversity of ways in which Biblical texts and Christian beliefs and practices have inspired artistic responses over many centuries
  • Identify the connection between various iconoclastic movements and historical divisions with the Orthodox, Roman Catholic and Protestant traditions.
  • Test the historical suspicions of art in various Christian traditions against an integral Christian worldview that upholds art-making as a legitimate Christian task.
  • Situate a variety of artistic techniques, media, styles, and genres within the historically conditioned discourses of art history, art theory and art criticism.
  • Recognize connections between art practice/art history and other disciplines of study in the humanities, natural and physical sciences.
  • Compare, associate and link art from Antiquity to present to the broader history of religion and society.
  • Comprehensively evaluate a work of art from the aesthetic, formal, technical, and historical points of view.
  • Demonstrate comprehension of art theory and aesthetics.
  • Develop faculties of observation and capacities for verbal or textual comprehension.
  • Develop sensitivity to aural, visual, spatial, temporal and allusive aspects of the art making.
  • Demonstrate familiarity with some of the ways that contemporary art practice creatively and critically works between or across established disciplines.
  • Interpret and engage with existing visual culture and media as a form of creative intelligence.

ii. Knowledge of Methodologies

  • Recognize key theoretical debates within the discipline of contemporary art practice.
  • Articulate the fundamental concepts, questions, and approaches within art criticism and history
  • Critically engage with historiographic, theoretical, or methodological questions in art history and theory.
  • Recognize that art is a witness to both our fallen world and hope for its redemption.
  • Develop strategies for navigating the difficult intersection of religious belief and contemporary art.
  • Articulate Biblically-informed opinions about censorship, sexuality, violence, kitsch and appropriate emotional responses to art.
  • Develop an awareness of the ethical and spiritual issues that exist in discipline and be able to respond in a manner consistent with Christian worldview.

iii) Application of Knowledge

  • Research and persuasively analyze art-historical issues and/or theoretical aesthetic positions.
  • Read, summarize, and evaluate key theoretical arguments in art history/theory and apply a variety of theoretical and methodological approaches to the interpretation of art.
  • Conduct research, write effectively and synthesize acquired knowledge in art historical and critical contexts.

iv) Communication Skills

  • Apply critical approaches to works of art and use these approaches to describe, analyze and critically judge works of art through oral and written communication.

v) Awareness of the Limits of Knowledge

  • Gain an understanding of diversity by studying artworks and artists from a variety of cultures and backgrounds.
  • Identify key features of postmodern art such as fragmentation, irony, paradox and juxtaposition of style; connect to a larger postmodern mistrust of truth claims.
  • Develop the capacity for critical discernment in relation to contemporary art theory and practice that acknowledges and critically dialogues with postmodern concerns.
  • Differentiate between the God-given task of aesthetic obedience and the historical conditioning of artistic expression.

vi) Maturity and Professional Capacity

  • Articulate a diversity of marketable applications for Art History.
  • Integrate as Christian thinkers with other organizations of Christian cultural service to redemptively affect the culture and community in which you live and work.
  • Be equipped to serve both the church and community as an advocate for artistic expression with responsibility, respect and the wisdom of the Holy Spirit.