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Art History & Reproductions
Grammar Stage Art History
These books and materials will help grammar stage children (elementary grades) learn about the pageant of artistic expression throughout Western civilization, and its great artists.
Dialectic and Rhetoric Stage Art History
These books and materials will teach dialectic and rhetoric stage students (secondary grades) not only about the facts of art history, but the philosophies, politics, and even fads that have influenced artistic expression in Western civilization.
Fine Art Reproductions
Reproductions and prints of the fine art of Western Civilization can be utilized by any stage student to learn the facts of art history, to identify similarities and differences in style between the various schools and periods of art, to study the philosophical worldviews held by the artist, and for practice copying from the great masters.
Grammar Stage Art History
God and the History of Art
This wonderful new art history curriculum from Barry Stebbing covers the whole history of western art from Ancient Egyptian to American and 20th century art. It is especially wonderful because of its focus on the great Christian artists that other texts leave out, (or if they are mentioned, such as Michelangelo or Rembrandt, they neglect to mention the influence Christianity had on their life and work). But even that is not all. The very first lesson is a sound and godly teaching on dealing with frustration in creating artwork, and the second lesson deals with the Scriptural and historical purpose of art. One tasteful lesson, in the Renaissance section, on dealing with nudity in art is a very big help to Christian homeschoolers struggling with this issue. The curriculum contains hundreds of lessons, and interspersed throughout those on art history are brief drawing, color, perspective, etc. lessons on many of the same topics as those found in Feed My Sheep. As a matter of fact, an excellent grammar stage art education could be had by combining the work in Feed My Sheep and God & the History of Art over the course of the 3rd through 6th grades in the grammar stage. The art reproductions throughout the text are in black and white; the course does come with over 30 color art reprodution postcards to complement the text. There are even some lessons on copying the masterworks! This curriculum is CCHs top recommendation for a foundational art history course. The other art history books, Sister Wendys Story of Painting and The History of Art for Young People can also be used as references for the beautiful color photographs of the artwork or for more detail on specific works. For ages 8 and up. CCH recommends this text throughout the grammar stage so that art history can be integrated with history studies. Younger children in 1st and 2nd grade may need some additional parental assistance with some of the lessons on Ancient Egypt, Greece, and Rome.
A Childs History of Art
V. M. Hillyer
Divided into three sections: painting, sculpture, and architecture, V. M. Hillyers art history for children is just as engaging as his famous history for children. Each section covers the history of that art form chronologically, beginning with ancient civilizations. With chapter titles such as Ü and Jr. for the chapter describing Albrecht Dürer and Hans Holbein the Younger, or Speaking of Spaniards for the chapter describing El Greco, Velasquez, and Murillo, the book is full of interesting details that help children distinguish the differences between artists and their styles. It is illustrated with a representational painting or sculpture for each artist studied, or each style discussed. Additional works that are famous or might be of interest are mentioned in the text, and can be looked up at one of the museum sites listed below. This book is an excellent overview of the subject for all grades in the grammar stage.
Out of print: search AddAll.com via a title search using childs history of art and an author search using hillyer.
Hendrick Willem van Loon
This refreshing narrative tackles the subject of art in a different way: it includes painting, sculpture, architecture, and the history of music, and attempts to integrate the events of history into the narrative and show how history and politics influenced the arts over the centuries. Chapters on the great musicians are included right along with chapters on the great artists, everything proceeding chronologically from the art of prehistoric man to Claude Debussy. With chapter titles such as The Jews: the people of one building and one book, Early Christian Art: The old gods die and mankind turns its back upon a sinful world, The Italian Picture Factory Gets Under Way: Send us a dozen prime Florentines and half a dozen medium priced Venetians., and The Dutch School of Painting: A strange epidemic of pictorial exuberance affects an entire nation, the book succeeds admirably in all it sets out to do, well worth the effort to find. For the later grammar stage.
Out of print: search AddAll.com via a title search using arts and an author search using van loon.
Dialectic / Rhetoric Art History
Sister Wendys Story of Painting
Sister Wendy Beckett
While the book does not dwell on worldviews or philosophical considerations behind the art, it does mention them, and the reading level of the text is better suited for an older student, as well as the parent wanting to give themselves a crash course. This survey of western art is thoroughly and lavishly illustrated with over 450 masterpiece reproductions. The chapters cover painting before Giotto, with a brief survey of ancient and early Christian art, then Gothic, Italian and Northern Renaissance, Baroque and Rococo, Neoclassic and Romantic, Impressionist and Post-Impressionist, and 20th century art. Sister Wendy analyzes more than 30 of the worlds most famous paintings in depth, using enlarged details from the paintings. She reveals hidden meanings (such as Christian symbolism in medieval art) and highlights painting techniques. Her text is an interesting and engaging narrative, including details about the artists and their lives and times that bring art history to life, making it enjoyable.
History of Art for Young People
H. W. & Anthony F. Janson
An exceedingly comprehensive volume covering every aspect of art history by the leaders in the field. Ancient civilizations get just as thorough treatment as the latter eras, and the discussion of art is not limited to painting, but includes sculpture, architecture, and other forms of art as well. The book is well-illustrated with color and black and white reproductions throughout. Timelines and sidebars highlight important details. The text is drier than Sister Wendys, but the scope and coverage in this book is complete, leaving no stone unturned. It makes an excellent art history reference for the parent, as well a complete art history course for secondary students.
The Annotated Mona Lisa
Subtitled: A Crash Course in Art History from Prehistoric to Post-Modern. The Annotated Mona Lisa demystifies art history. Its a brisk, clearly stated survey, from cave painting to conceptual art, that doesnt talk down to its reader and doesnt assume a prior art education. And, most important, it never bores. Dynamic design, with succinct, page-length essays, frequent sidebars, and abundant color illustrations incorporated into the text, make The Annotated Mona Lisa a browsers delight, as well as an authoritative reference that can be read from cover to cover. Thorough, highlighting the history and politics that influenced art, but without the comprehensive detail in History of Art for Young People.
Adventures in Art
See the worldviews of western culture unfold before your very eyes. Do you wish you and your children could visualize the significant changes in ideas throughout history, and then relate those changes to their cultural meaning? Adventures in Art features those artists recognized by Dr. Francis Schaeffer in How Should We Then Live? as having made the most significant impact on the development of art. The program includes 51 quality reproductions highlighting the major art periods. Instruction focuses on the differences between the periods and the shifts in ideas and worldviews. A dramatic, well-organized program.
How Should We Then Live?
Subtitled: The Rise and Decline of Western Thought and Culture. This book is a personal analysis of the key moments in history which have formed our present culture, and the thinking of the men who brought those moments to pass. Art throughout history has served as a permanent expression of that culture and thinking, and Dr. Schaeffer discusses the impact of worldviews on art as part of his overall study in this book, and is the complement, or rather the inspiration, for the Adventures in Art curriculum.
Fine Art Reproductions
National Gallery of Art
Obtain the catalog of fine art prints by writing to:
- National Gallery of Art
- Publications Mail Order Department
- 2000 B South Club Drive
- Landover, MD 20785-3230
and requesting their 11"x14" Reproductions by Artist and Postcards by Artist mail order listing. Hundreds of artist's works are listed which can be purchased in either a 11"x14" or 4"x6" postcard size. The works are listed alphabetically by artist, then title, and also includes the art period in which the work was produced. The listed works can be viewed online at the National Gallery of Art website. The 11"x14" reproductions are $1.75 each, and the postcards are $0.50 each. The reproduction quality is the best available for the great price.
Obtain the catalog of 7500 fine art prints by sending $3.00 to:
- University Prints
- P.O. Box 48
- Winchester, MA 01890
and requesting their complete catalog of fine art prints. Their reprints are 5-1/2"x8" and the quality is not up to the level of the National Gallery of Art, but still quite sufficient for the purposes of the grammar stage. University Prints offers a greater selection of works from which to choose. You can custom design your own set of prints according to your planned study for $0.15 per print (color), or you can take advantage of their inexpensive pre-packaged sets (30 prints for $2.00.)
Online Art Museum Sites
for help in finding art reproductions that can be viewed online:
- Carol Gertens Fine Art Museum
- Metropolitan Museum of Art
- National Gallery of Art
- National Museum of American Art
- Webmuseum: Bienvenue!
Return to CCHs Online Catalog: Art
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Homeschooling: Classical Education at Home
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Classical Curriculum & Online Catalog: Art History Curriculum
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