Tuesday, March 14, 2006

why study art history?

I read this on a listserv and reproduce it here because I think it's important to remember why we do what we do, why museums and art history are important:

"Off the top of my head, here's why I think one should study art history:

1. To become an educated person
2. To achieve visual literacy
3. To have historical referents for making sense of the world around you
4. To translate visual information into verbal form (both spoken and written)
5. To understand the past in the way historical peoples saw their cultures or wanted their cultures understood
6. To make sense of the present realities, one must be aware of how those realities became the way they are
7. To know how to research visual art to integrate our society with the distant and recent past
8. To comprehend how visual imagery communicates information
9. To understand the mechanisms of culture
10. To make the connections afforded by a liberal arts education and its different disciplines
11. To provide the reasons for societies to cohere
12. To recognize the motivations behind creativity
13. To become a better person

Anne Swartz, Ph.D.
Professor of Art History
Savannah College of Art and Design

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