Academic Guidance Anybody Have Any Tips for an AP Art History Student?

Jun 2015
121
United States
#1
Littile old me thought it would be a good idea to take an AP Art class this year. It is not that difficult, however, I am finding myself struggling with certain aspects of the class.
Primarily, I am having a difficulty memorizing the dates of certain pieces and the materials/methods used to make the piece. I understand the historical aspect well enough; but the artistic parts of the class are killing me.
Any tips or suggestions on how to survive this class?
 
Aug 2016
789
USA
#2
There aren't any good tricks for memorization.

You should take note of how you learn best, and try to apply that as much as possible.

Generally academics is memorization, and memorization is hitting a wall with your head until you're reasonably sure the wall has fallen and you can move on to the next.

I'm a visual learner, so I'd try making flashcards with the pieces on one side and the dates/materials on the other. Then I'd try to play games with them, ordering them by date, grouping them by material-type, that sort of thing. Keep doing that until you get it right every time.

You can resize the pictures in MS word so they're the right size for your flashcards. I'd suggest color printing if you got the option. Glue the pictures to your cards with a glue-stick and write the dates/materials on the back of the card.

Just my two-cents.
 

Asherman

Forum Staff
May 2013
3,172
Albuquerque, NM
#4
Things seldom stand alone, they are elements in a larger picture. Understand the large picture, and details of the elements make more sense. In your case, knowing the historical record should be a big help. Another principle is that earlier works tend to be simpler as crude experimentation gives way to increasing skill. Pottery, for instance, seems to have developed around the world in much the same way. Need drives utility, and utility is never enough for humans, so we begin perfecting forms, and then design.

Similar development can be seen in other art forms. Stiffly posed statuary generally precedes the naturalism seen in Grecian and Roman models. Painting seldom lasts so long as sculpture, but the divisions also are closely related to history. Setting aside painting from the Classical Antiquity, and pieces stylistically related to other cultures, we can see a progression in style, fashion and media. Prior to the Renaissance, the Catholic Church was the Big Daddy of Patrons, and so the works tended to be large and immobile within cathedrals and churches. Religious themes were predominant, and the media was often pigment mixed into plaster, or egg tempera.

After the Black Death, attitudes changed and so did the art produced. The Church could not prevent the Plague, and people began to question its ultimate authority. Newly wealthy individuals and groups were more focused on daily living and the pursuit of individual reward. They wanted art to reflect their status in the world, and they wanted a break from the past. Classical Art was rediscovered, and inspired many of the Renaissance Artists. Even more important the fundamentals of oil media were invented, and oil media is a different skill set. Renaissance Patrons wanted smaller and more portable art that could move with them from palace to palace. So we see in Renaissance Art touchstones to the Classical Antiquity, an emphasis on humanism as opposed to spiritual preaching, use of small formats created with oil pigments.

What followed the Renaissance? The shift from Feudalism to nascent modern States as monarchs gathered power into their hands. Merchants were becoming wealthy and wanted a larger share of power within the State. Aristocrats and Commons, played off against one another was an opportunity that wasn't missed by either monarchs or the Church. The Reformation and Counter-Reformation was tumultuous, and for a time art took a secondary role to religious and political strife and up-upheaval. Decoration became elaborate, and there was a revival of Neo-Gothic and Neo-Romanesque architecture. Paintings grew large again. This was a period when many of the "Old Maters" worked and stylistically the works in Northern Europe are quite different than in Sunny Italy, France or Spain. These are often works that tell a story with elaborate and colorful details. Art Academies within the modern States rose, and success in Art became associated with complying with the dictates of the Academy.

Baroque and Rococo Styles belong to the 17th and 18th centuries, and the differences between them is often a challenge for Art students. The difference is mainly in the details, with the Rococo being more elaborate.

Thereafter, we can trace the beginnings of Modern Art as Artists began challenging the authority of the Academy.
 
Oct 2013
5,464
Planet Nine, Oregon
#6
I used to visualize the numbers of the dates within the shapes in the paintings themselves. It gets more difficult with objects and architecture sometimes, though used the same method. Another thing I used to do was make a dense miniature cheat sheet, and then not use it; the process of creating it in that format caused me to remember the information.
 
Likes: Futurist

Futurist

Ad Honoris
May 2014
13,495
SoCal
#7
Littile old me thought it would be a good idea to take an AP Art class this year. It is not that difficult, however, I am finding myself struggling with certain aspects of the class.
Primarily, I am having a difficulty memorizing the dates of certain pieces and the materials/methods used to make the piece. I understand the historical aspect well enough; but the artistic parts of the class are killing me.
Any tips or suggestions on how to survive this class?
Creating a table of all of the relevant information for various works of art appears to be a good idea. Then, you could have all of this information in one place and use this table as a study guide. You can then have someone test you on this information until you remember it.
 

Futurist

Ad Honoris
May 2014
13,495
SoCal
#8
I used to visualize the numbers of the dates within the shapes in the paintings themselves. It gets more difficult with objects and architecture sometimes, though used the same method. Another thing I used to do was make a dense miniature cheat sheet, and then not use it; the process of creating it in that format caused me to remember the information.
All of these--except the last sentence here--appear to be good suggestions. :)
 
Oct 2013
5,464
Planet Nine, Oregon
#9
All of these--except the last sentence here--appear to be good suggestions. :)
The temptation would be there I suppose... I have acted as a test proctor for quite some time, and ocassionally students are allowed one page of handwritten notes; some of the notes I have seen are exquisite examples of miniature handwriting, suspiciously like cheat cards, but I suppose that's what they are --just minus the cheating part!
 
Likes: Futurist
Oct 2013
12,767
Europix
#10
the materials/methods used to make the piece. I understand the historical aspect well enough; but the artistic parts of the class are killing me.
Do it Yourself!

For example, if it's painting, take some cheap oil, water, acrylic colors then try to paint the same thing with the different paints on different materials (on wooden pannel, on paper, in fabric). Compare, look, feel.

The problem might be it's simply too theoretical, there's nothing to "stick to".

Imagine a bit how's learning grammar, but never reading a book, never writing a letter. As long as You don't have the practical part, You'll keep suffering.


_____________
PS: Ok, not writing a letter. Posting.
 
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