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How to Look at Art and Why: An Introduction to the History of Western Painting

1B
Subject: 
ARTHIST

This course explores the relation of art to life¿how and why works of art, even from hundreds of years ago, matter in a person¿s life. It trains students to find the words to share their thoughts about art with their peers, friends, and family. Some fundamental questions the course considers: How do we get beyond the idea that the study and making of art are elite, ¿privileged¿ activities apart from the real world? How do we develop a sense of discernment¿of deciding for ourselves which artists matter, and which don¿t¿without being a snob? How can works of art teach us to feel the wonder of being alive and our deep debt to the past, to the dead? Focusing on painters such as Michelangelo, Rembrandt, Goya, Manet, Morisot, and Charlotte Salomon, this course will pursue these questions with the aim of challenging and encouraging students to develop their own ways of thinking and feeling¿generously and ethically¿about the past and the present. Sections will focus on original works of art at the Cantor Arts Center. No prerequisites required.