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ARTH301: Art Historical Methodologies

Unit 6: Historical, Cultural, and Social Analysis   In the middle to late twentieth century, many art historians have focused on the historical, social, economic, and cultural context in which art is made.  Within these frameworks, three major methodologies emerged that have also been espoused by scholars working in other disciplines: Marxism, Feminism, and post-colonialism.  After completing this unit, you will be able to explain the major elements of these methodologies and how Marxism, Feminism, and post-colonialism can be used to analyze art.

Unit 6 Time Advisory
This unit will take you approximately 29 hours to complete.

☐    Subunit 6.1: 1 hour

☐    Subunit 6.2: 8 hours

☐    Subunit 6.3: 10 hours

☐    Subunit 6.4: 10 hours

Unit6 Learning Outcomes
Upon successful completion of this unit, the student will be able to:

  • Identify and explain major elements of Marxist theory and how they can be used to analyze art.
  • Explain the differences between orthodox Marxist art historians and practitioners of the social history of art.
  • Identify and explain major elements of Feminist theory and how they can used to analyze art.
  • Identify and explain major elements of post-colonial theory and how they can be used to analyze works of art.

6.1 Introduction to Historical, Cultural, and Social Methodologies   - Reading: Marjorie Munsterberg’s “Writing about Art: Historical Analysis” Link: Marjorie Munsterberg's "Writing about Art: Historical Analysis" (PDF)

 Also available in:
[Paperback](http://www.amazon.com/Writing-About-Art-Marjorie-Munsterberg/dp/1441486240/)
$10  

 Instructions: Please read this page as an introduction to the many
different aspects of historical analysis.  
    
 Terms of Use: The linked material above has been reposted by the
kind permission of Marjorie Munsterberg, and can be viewed in its
original form [here](http://www.writingaboutart.org/).  Please note
that this material is under copyright and cannot be reproduced in
any capacity without explicit permission from the copyright holder.

6.2 Marxism and the Social History of Art   - Lecture: Yale University: Paul Fry’s ENGL 300: Introduction to Theory of Literature “Lecture 17 - The Frankfurt School of Critical Theory”  Link: Yale University: Paul Fry’s ENGL 300: Introduction to Theory of Literature “Lecture 17 - The Frankfurt School of Critical Theory” (HTML)
 
Instructions: View this lecture for a comparative discussion of the social theories of art and artistic production of Walter Benjamin and Theodor Adorno. You may also read a transcript of this lecture here.
 
Terms of Use: These resources are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 license. They are attributed to Yale University and the original versions can be found here.

6.2.1 Marxist Art History   - Reading: arthistoryunstuffed.com: Dr. Jeanne S. M. Willette’s “Marxism, Art, and the Artist” Link: arthistorystuffed.com: Dr. Jeanne S. M. Willette's "Marxism, Art, and the Artist" (HTML)

 Instructions: Please read this page as an introduction to orthodox
Marxist views of art and the artist.  

 Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use
displayed on the webpage above.
  • Reading: The University of Chicago: Theories of Media: Keyword Glossary: Michael Czolacz’s “Ideology” and JeeHee Hong’s “Material, Materiality” Link: The University of Chicago: Theories of Media: Keyword Glossary: Michael Czolacz’s “Ideology” (HTML) and JeeHee Hong’s “Material, Materiality” (HTML)
     
    Instructions: Please read the first page (“Ideology”) as an introduction to the Marxist conception of ideology and its relationship to art production and media theory; read the second (“Material, Materiality”) as an introduction to the idea of material and materiality and how they relate to Marxist art history and critique.
     
    Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

  • Reading: Clement Greenberg’s “Avant-Garde and Kitsch” Link: Clement Greenberg’s “Avant-Garde and Kitsch” (HTML)
     
    Instructions: Please read this article by Marxist art critic Clement Greenberg (1909-1994) that was first published in 1939 in the “Partisan Review.”   Note that Clement Greenberg was also a driving force behind the formalist movement during the mid-twentieth century (See subunit 2.3).
     
    Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

  • Reading: The Art Story.org’s “Meyer Schapiro” Link: The Art Story.org’s “Meyer Schapiro” (PDF)
     
    Instructions: Please read this biography of Meyer Schapiro (1904-1996), one of the twentieth century’s foremost art historians.  Schapiro adopted and adapted theories found in the writings of Hegel and Marx.
     
    Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

6.2.2 The Social History of Art   - Reading: Dictionary of Art Historians: Lee Sorenson’s “Clark, T[imothy] J[ames]” Link: Dictionary of Art Historians: Lee Sorenson’s “Clark, T[imothy] J[ames]” (HTML)
 
Instructions: Please read this short biography as an introduction to the life and works of the social art historian, T. J. Clark (b. 1943).  For an analysis of arguments from T. J. Clark’s “Farewell to an Idea: Episodes from a History of Modernism,” see Unit 7.  Art historians who are “social art historians” are varied and include Neo-Marxist as well as non-Marxist art historians.  Social art historians reject the orthodox Marxist determinist account in which art is an element of the superstructure and therefore a reflection of its economic base.  Both Neo-Marxist and non-Marxist art historians focus on the political and social beliefs behind art.
 
Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

6.3 Feminism and Gender Theory   - Lecture: Yale University: Paul Fry’s ENGL 300: Introduction to Theory of Literature “Lecture 20 - The Classical Feminist Tradition”  Link: Yale University: Paul Fry’s ENGL 300: Introduction to Theory of Literature “Lecture 20 - The Classical Feminist Tradition” (HTML)
 
Instructions: View this lecture. It discusses a feminist approach to language in the work of famous women writers. You may also read a transcript of this lecture here.
 
Terms of Use: These resources are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 license. They are attributed to Yale University and the original versions can be found here.

  • Reading: Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles’s “Feminist Art” Link: Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles’s “Feminist Art” (HTML)

    Instructions: Please read this page as an introduction to the Feminist Art Movement, a movement that is closely related to the development of Feminist art history.

    Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

  • Reading: Sweet Briar College: Amanda Switzenberg’s “The Methodologies of Art History” Link: Sweet Briar College: Amanda Switzenberg’s “The Methodologies of Art History” (HTML)
     
    Instructions: Please read the text from “Feminism has been one of the most effective methodologies practiced…” to “Psychoanalysis is a complex methodology.”
     
    Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

  • Reading: Dictionary of Art Historians: Lee Sorensen’s “Linda Nochlin n?e Weinberg” Link: Dictionary of Art Historians: Lee Sorensen’s “Linda Nochlin n?e Weinberg” (HTML)
     
    Instructions: Please read this short biography of the feminist art historian Linda Nochlin (b. 1931) before reading excerpts from her most famous book, “Women, Art, and Power and Other Essays.”
     
    Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

  • Reading: Baker University: Anne Daugherty’s version of Linda Nochlin’s “Why Have There Been No Great Women Artists?” Link: MiraCosta College: Anne Daugherty’s version of Linda Nochlin’s “Why Have There Been No Great Women Artists? (HTML)
     
    Instruction: Please read Linda Nochlin’s seminal article in its entirety.
     
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  • Activity: The Saylor Foundation’s Critical Summary of Linda Nochlin’s “Why Have There Been No Great Women Artists?” and “Guide to the Critical Summary of Linda Nicholin” The Saylor Foundation does not yet have materials for this portion of the course. If you are interested in contributing your content to fill this gap or aware of a resource that could be used here, please submit it here.

    Submit Materials

  • Reading: Dictionary of Art Historians: Lee Sorensen’s “Griselda Pollock” Link: Dictionary of Art Historians: Lee Sorensen’s “Griselda Pollock” (HTML)
     
    Instructions: Please read this short biography of the feminist art historian Griselda Pollock (b. 1949) before reading excerpts from her work.
     
    Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

  • Reading: SUNY College at Oneonta: Dr. Allen Farber’s version of Griselda Pollock’s “Modernity and the Spaces of Femininity” Link: SUNY College at Oneonta: Dr. Allen Farber’s version of Griselda Pollock’s “Modernity and the Spaces of Femininity” (HTML)

    Instructions: Please read these excerpts in their entirety from Griselda Pollock’s "Modernity and the Spaces of Femininity.”  They come from “Vision and Difference: Femininity, Feminism, and the Histories of Art,” published in 1988.

    Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

6.4 Postcolonialism   - Lecture: Yale University: Paul Fry’s ENGL 300: Introduction to Theory of Literature “Lecture 22 - Post-Colonial Criticism”  Link: Yale University: Paul Fry’s ENGL 300: Introduction to Theory of Literature “Lecture 22 - Post-Colonial Criticism” (HTML)
 
Instructions: View this lecture. It defines some of the basic principles of post-colonial thought. You may also read a transcript of this lecture here.
 
Terms of Use: These resources are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 license. They are attributed to Yale University and the original versions can be found here.

  • Reading: Lehigh University: Amardeep Singh’s “An Introduction to Edward Said, Orientalism, and Postcolonial Literary Studies” Link: Lehigh University: Amardeep Singh’s “An Introduction to Edward Said, Orientalism, and Postcolonial Literary Studies” (HTML)
     
    Instructions: Please read this blog webpage as an introduction to Postcolonial Studies and the works of one of its most influential theoreticians, Edward Said (1935-2003).
     
    Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

  • Web Media: The Metropolitan Museum of Art: Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History’s “Orientalism in Nineteenth-Century Art” Link: The Metropolitan Museum of Art: Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History’s “Orientalism in Nineteenth-Century Art” (HTML)

    Instructions: Read this text as an overview of the type of imagery Linda Nochlin critiqued in “The Imaginary Orient.” After you have read the text, click on “View Sideshow” and view some examples of art with orientalist themes in the Metropolitan Museum of Art.  Click on each individual image and read the accompanying text.

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  • Reading: The Getty: The Iris Views from the City: Susan Edwards’s “Rethinking Orientalism, Again” Link: The Getty: The Iris Views from the City: Susan Edwards’s “Rethinking Orientalism, Again” (HTML)
     
    Instructions: Please read this blog post discussing Linda Nochlin’s essay “The Imaginary Orient,” Jean-Léon Gérôme’s artwork, and the complicated reactions which they generate.
     
    Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.