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art history

When I began my first semester here at Fontbonne this spring I knew that I was going to learn a lot. With three studio art classes and one modern art history class, how could I not? The thing that surprised me the most was how much I’ve learned in my modern art history class. In general I don’t care for most modern art. I know that art is generally subjective, and everyone likes different things, but I admit I wasn’t looking forward to being visually assaulted by elongated figures, arbitrary color, and abstractions.

The surprising thing was the information behind the art that my professor supplied to us. Historically, art has been influenced by society, technology, politics, religion, etc. Modern art is no exception to these influences. I learned that social upheaval, the Industrial Revolution, and both world wars had a huge impact on the art being produced at the turn of the century. Logically, this all made sense to me, but to see the visual progression of this process was something else entirely. The artists of this time period were literally trying to change the world around them through their art; they had a message they wanted to impart to the general public and they did so fearlessly. Their spirit and passion is something to be admired. Learning each artists’ story and seeing the resulting work has been a fascinating journey and I’m very grateful to my professor for each lesson.

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Which Fontbonne course has made the biggest impact on me so far in my college career? Well, I must say that I’ve had many fantastic courses since my freshman year, but I’m going to have to choose my Art History course. I completed both Art History 1 and 2 my freshman year, and somewhat regret it, but only because I will no longer be taking that class again. I firmly believe that the professor has everything to do with the way you learn, and the one I had for Art History was nothing short of that expectation.

The professor I had was named Kevin Wilson, and anyone who has had him knows that he is truly one-of-a-kind. Not only does his sarcasm reign supreme over the course of the hour and a half, but his dry sense of humor really connected with me. He made the class interesting, and quite frankly, made me seriously consider having Art History as a minor. Because I’m already an art student, and took art history in high school, this class only verified the fact that I truly do love learning about how art has evolved through the ages.

Whether you are an art student, or a non-art student, I highly recommend you take this class, even if it’s just for the heck of it. I guarantee you will have humorous stories to tell, and more than likely learn more in one semester than you would in a year.

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