Sporre, Dennis J. Visual Arts Guide

ISBN 13: 9780130416131

Visual Arts Guide

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9780130416131: Visual Arts Guide
From the Back Cover:

Buildings, paintings, sculptures, photographs, and films confront us at every turn and give our lives richness and diversity. They call on us to use both halves of our brains in order to meet the challenges and opportunities of life. Enjoying and getting the most from relationships with works of visual art depend on knowing what to see in them and how they occurred throughout history. The more we understand about cathedrals, paintings, prints, photographs, sculptures, and works of architecture, the more exciting and interesting our experiences become. This concise volume offers readers a foundation for understanding the details of art and architecture by introducing terminology and concepts as well as a basic outline of the history of visual art in the Western tradition. In addition to the kinds of illustrations that might be expected in a book about art, Visual Artsguide also provides connections to examples on the internet.

In this edition:

  • Profile boxes featuring selected artists
  • Cyber Examples connecting the reader to additional artists and works of art relevant to the current chapter
  • Cyber Sources for additional materials for further study
  • Timelines beginning the history chapters
  • Inset features to draw attention to important concepts and applications relevant to the actual text
  • Building a Basic Analysis outlines in each chapter to assist the reader in critical application of the material studied to actual works of art
  • Glossary to assist understanding of basic concepts and terminology

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:

The purpose of a textbook is to provide information that meets its intended audience where they are. Visual Artsguide seeks a specific niche as a basic, concise, and inexpensive compendium for courses that introduce art to general students. ( Its length and illustration program are dictated by its purpose.) Visual Artsguide also attempts to stimulate an active pursuit of new experiences in a familiar venue: the Internet. This book will not serve every circumstance nor meet every expectation. It is for those who wish a skeletal compendium of basic information. It provides an outline that allows instructors room to fill in the spaces according to their own predilections and the specific needs of their courses and students.

Visual Artsguide accepts the challenge that most artistic terms and concepts are complex and subject to change. Definitions and concepts in this text are treated at a basic and general level. If a course demands greater sophistication, an instructor easily can add those layers. Knowing what to look at in a work of art is one step toward developing discriminating perception and getting the most from a relationship with art. Introducing the aesthetic experience through terminology may be arguable, but this approach gains credence from the College Board's statement on Academic Preparation for College, where use of "the appropriate vocabulary" is emphasized as fundamental. Vocabulary isolates characteristics of what to see in individual works of art and focuses perceptions and responses. We cannot understand or recognize how art works nor communicate our discoveries with others without the command of an appropriate vocabulary.

This step, however, is only the beginning. When we develop confidence in approaching works of art by knowing certain basic terms and concepts, then we want more, and that leads to making study and involvement with the arts a lifetime venture. That lifetime involvement (as a consumer of and respondent to rather than a maker of art) ought to be the goal of every general art introduction course.

I humbly bring to this project nearly half a century of studying, practicing, teaching, and experiencing the arts. Even that, however, does not make every piece of information in this book a reflection of my own general knowledge. With regard for readability and the general nature of the text, I have tried to avoid footnotes. In that regard, the bibliography at the end of the text (under the heading "Further Reading") provides a reference list of the works used in preparation of this text. I hope this method of presenting and documenting the works of others meets the requirements of both responsibility and practicality.

I wish to acknowledge the following Prentice Hall reviewers: Stephen Smithers, Indiana State University; Alberto Meza, Miami-Dade Community College; Sarah McCormick, Kapiolani Community College; Herbert R. Hartel, Jr., John Jay College, City University of New York; Gene Hood, University of Wisconsin Eau Claire; Michael R. Kapetan, University of Michigan; Dennis Dykema, Buena Vista University; and Mary Francey, University of Utah. I am grateful, as always, to Bud Therien at Prentice Hall, who, for more than twenty years, has been my editor, publisher, and guide, for the idea for this book. I am even more grateful to my wife, Hilda, for her patience, editorial and critical assistance, and love.

DENNIS J. SPORRE

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