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    • Angela L Miller, Janet Catherine Berlo, Bryan J Wolf, and Jennifer L Roberts
    • Washington University in St. Louis, University of Rochester, Stanford University and Harvard University

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    Example and Directions
    Words (or words that have the same definition) The definition is case sensitive (Optional) Image to display with the definition [Not displayed in Glossary, only in pop-up on pages] (Optional) Caption for Image (Optional) External or Internal Link (Optional) Source for Definition
    (Eg. "Genetic, Hereditary, DNA ...") (Eg. "Relating to genes or heredity") The infamous double helix CC-BY-SA; Delmar Larsen
    Glossary Entries



    Image Caption Link Source
    Abstract Expressionism a mid-20th-century school of American painting characterized by abstracted forms-both gestural and "color field" (see Color Field painting) that are intended as the unfettered expression of the artist. Major artists are Jackson Pollock, Willem de Kooning, and Mark Rothko.        
    Abstract; abstraction a modern aesthetic, originating in the early 20th century and in all media. Characterized by a focus on properties of pure form, pattern, and shape, rather than on recording every observable detail. Abstract art can be subject-based (portraits or studio still-lifes), or non-representational constructions of forms, lines, colors.        
    Adobe the primary building material used in the American Southwest and elsewhere by both the native Pueblo people and the Spanish colonizers; sub hardened sand, clay, and straw, either puddled (built up in layers) or formed into brick.        
    Aesthetic movement a late 19th-century European and American artistic movement that emphasized the pursuit of beauty, "art for art's sake," by turning away from literary, narrative, or symbolic content. Produced interior designs integrating painting and decorative arts.        
    Aesthetics a set of principles or a philosophy concerned with the nature of beauty, originating
    in Europe in the 18th century; now more broadly used to encompass the physical form or appearance of a work of art.
    Airbrush an artist's tool for spraying paint propelled by compressed air; associated with commercial artists.        
    Allegory a story, poem, or picture in which abstract or symbolic qualities, moral or political meanings-virtue or freedom, for instance- are embodied in figures-often female.        
    American Moderne another term for Art Deco (see Art Deco)        
    American Scene painting a term loosely designating both Social Realist and Regionalist works between World Wars I and II, depicting various aspects of urban and rural life in a range of styles. Subject-driven, painters of the American Scene rejected European Modernist abstraction in
    favor of readable narrative and broad audience appeal.
    Anasazi a Navajo word meaning "enemy ancestors" formerly used to refer to the Ancestral Pueblo peoples of the Southwest.        
    Ancestral Pueblo (or Puebloan) the ancestors of contemporary Hopi, Zuni, and other Pueblo people. They are best known for the "great houses" at Chaco Canyon, NM, most notably "Pueblo Bonito."        
    Angle shot in which ordinary perspectives on an object are altered by extreme tilting or framing.        
    Animation the film technique of photographing a series of drawings such that when they are shown in rapid succession they create the visual effect of a moving image.        
    Antebellum from the Latin: ante (before); bellum (war). The period before the American Civil War (1861-5) typically encompassing the decades from 1820 to 1860.        
    Anthropologist a scholar who studies the characteristics and development of different human societies and cultural phenomena. The term usually implies the study of non-Western, generally colonized or formerly colonized societies.        
    Applique a sewing technique in which one pattern of cloth is cut and then sewn onto another cloth, resulting in a design.        
    Appropriation art art that unabashedly copies or borrows preexisting images or content, often in order to make a critical statement about the role of creativity and originality in modern art. Associated with Postmodernism (see Postmodernism).        
    Apse in church architecture, the semi-circular space immediately behind the altar, usually at the end of a processional aisle or opposite the church entrance.        
    Arabesque ornate or decorative patterning, usually comprised of a mix of geometric and natural forms, and often derived from Muslim art.        
    Archaism a style popular between the wars, designating forms associated with the origins of the high sculptural traditions of Mediterranean and Middle Eastern antiquity.        
    Art Deco a term originating with the Paris Exposition des Arts Decoratifs (1925), referring to geometric, stylized anti-naturalistic forms widely applied to architecture, decorative arts, textiles, etc.        
    Art Nouveau a French term literally meaning "new art"; an international style of art, architecture, and design characterized by flowing, curvilinear swelling lines often inspired by nature, such as plants or flowers.        
    Articulated architectural elements that are given clear expression and set off from-or in well-defined relation to-each other.        
    Arts and Crafts movement a British and American artistic and design movement that sought authentic and meaningful design, returning creative control to the individual artisan (in theory). A reaction to the industrialized aesthetic of mass-produced Victorian consumer goods, it influenced architecture, interior design, and decorative arts c. 1880-1910.        
    Ashcan a pejorative term given to artists surrounding Robert Henri in New York, c. 1900-20, who painted common or "low" urban and immigrant subjects; term now widely used without negative connotation.        
    Assemblage a form of three dimensional sculpture assembled from found objects and non-art materials.        
    Assembly line a factory configuration in which productivity is maximized by arranging workers and machines to progressively assemble a succession of identical items.        
    Atelier a French term for artist's studio or workshop.        
    Authenticity the notion that a thing is more genuine, or "pure" -closer to its origins and therefore a more legitimate expression-than works employing new materials and methods. Once applied to objects believed to express older, more "traditional" ways of making art, most often from pre industrial cultures such as Native American.        
    Auto-ethnography writing or filmmaking which documents the creator's own ethnic and social history. Often produced by colonized people who represent themselves and their societies to the colonial power. Auto-ethnography is typically subtly critical of the colonizer, emphasizing the superior harmony or efficiency of those who have been colonized.        
    Automatist a term for techniques directed at circumventing the censoring powers of the conscious mind. Used most often in relation to Surrealism and its American followers, as well as early phases of Abstract Expressionism.        
    Axial related to an axis, a strong central line around which a building is designed or a painting is organized.        
    Barbizon the c. 1830s school of French landscape painters working around the forest of Fontainebleau, including Theodore Rousseau and Camille Corot. Characterized by undramatic topography and moody, subdued light.        
    Bargeboard a decorative board that hangs from a projecting gable roof, often lavishly carved and ornamented in imitation of medieval styles.        
    Baroque an artistic style associated with the 17th century and characterized by elaborate ornamentation, dynamic visual oppositions, high contrasts, and dramatic uses of space.        
    Bas-relief a sculptural technique characterized by very shallow depth (" bas ," as in the French for "low") as in representations on a medallion or set into an interior/ exterior wall.        
    Battered characterized by a gradual slope backward in a wall or similar structure, as wall thickness tapers in from ground plane to create a buttressing effect.        
    Bauhaus the German school of design established by Walter Gropius in Weimar in 1919, and closed by the Nazis in 1933. Best known for integrating industrial mass production with good design based on function and simplicity.        
    Benday dots fields of small colored dots, arrayed in various densities and layers, used to reproduce color and shading in mechanically printed images.        
    Biomorphic bio (life) morphic (forms): composed of shapes or forms that resemble life organisms.        
    Board and batten a form of exterior house siding composed of wide wood planks set vertically with a thin strip of wood covering the joints or gaps between the planks.        
    Body art a form of art in which the artist's body is the primary medium of performance, inscription, or transformation.        
    Bourgeois the cultural forms, modes, and manners of the property-owning middle class or bourgeoisie, associated with conventional morals, material comfort, and capitalist forms of production.        
    Broadside a sheet of paper printed on one side only, often as a form of political or social commentary. Broadsides were often posted publicly or widely distributed.        
    Bultos figures of the saints, carved in wood and produced throughout the Catholic cultures of Hispanic settlement in the Southwest, for use in churches and private chapels.        
    Bureaucratization from the French word for desk (bureau); the process of arranging and subdividing the structure of an organization, such as a business or government, so that management is highly segmented by specialty.        
    Burlesque originating after the Civil War, a theatrical variety show, typically comedic or parodic, often with scantily clad women.        
    Burnishing rubbing or polishing to a high gloss.        
    Buttress an architectural structure that projects out from a building while supporting the walls and roof.        
    Cabriole the rounded shape of the leg of a piece of furniture, where the upper curve is convex and the lower curve is concave. The overall shape derives from certain animal legs.        
    Cant a slanting or oblique surface or form.        
    Cantilever a long projecting beam, girder, or other architectural form, which is supported at only one end.        
    Casement a window sash that opens on hinges on the sides.        
    Cast iron a form of metalwork made by pouring molten iron into shaped molds, as opposed to wrought or hammered metal.        
    Catslide a long, sloping roof at the rear of a building that continues over an extension of the building, rendering the back roof longer and lower than the front roof.        
    Celluloid the common term for nitrocellulose, an early plastic produced by combining gun cotton and plant fibre; used for numerous small consumer goods like combs and piano keys, and for early film stock; commonly used to refer to the material basis of film even though celluloid is no longer used for this purpose.        
    Chattel a form of property or possession. "Chattel slavery" designates a system where human beings are legally defined by their status as property.        
    Chevron a decorative element in the shape of a V or inverted V        
    Chiaroscuro the treatment of light and shade in a drawing, painting, or other image in order to create the life-like illusion of three dimensionality.        
    Chicano (fem. Chicana) a term used to denote an American of Mexican descent. Although it originally emerged as a derogatory term, its connotations shifted in the 1960s and 1970s, when it was embraced by Mexican-American activists as a designation of pride and heritage.        
    Chromatic related to or produced by color (chroma).        
    Chromolithograph a color picture printed by lithography (using multiple stone plates).        
    Classical referring to architectural or representational styles originally derived from ancient Greece and Rome; associated with proportional systems and with idealization in the treatment of the human figure.        
    Cold War an ideological battle between the United States and the Soviet Union, and their allies in Western and Eastern Europe, respectively; c. 1945-89.        
    Collage the technique of producing a picture by pasting together pieces of paper or other materials; from the French verb coller. to paste.        
    Colonnade an even row of columns along a hall or arcade, typically supporting a roof or arches.        
    Color Field painting an abstract style of painting that emerged in the 1950s within Abstract Expressionism, but was taken up by a subsequent generation of painters, characterized by large areas of color stained onto unprimed canvas in abstract patterns.        
    Conceptual art a form of art in which a detailed prescription or idea for the work precedes and often supersedes the work's physical execution. Conceptual art explores the tension between ideas and their embodiments in the real, material world.        
    Conestoga wagon named after a town in Pennsylvania, a large wagon covered with canvas and used to transport people and goods long distances. Typically associated with the westward migration of pioneers.        
    Constructivism an artistic and architectural movement in Russia after 1919 that prized art as an instrument for social purposes, especially the establishment of a Socialist system. Defined by pure geometries and non representational forms signifying the utopian possibilities of a new society. Currently applied to an international style of abstract art that uses industrial materials, geometric formal elements, and precise methods of construction that are fully evident in the final work.        
    Contrapposto an Italian term used to describe a relaxed standing posture in which a figure's hips and shoulders are off center but balanced, as when standing with the weight on one leg.        
    Cornice a horizontal element spanning the top of a building, typically above an ornamental frieze.        
    Cosmopolitan cosmo (world) polis (city / citizen of): familiar with or at ease with many places, cultures, or countries; worldly.        
    Counterpoint an element designed to create a contrast with the main element in a composition, musical or otherwise.        
    Counting coup the ultimate act of male bravery in Native American cultures of the Plains. Involves getting within reach of the enemy and touching him with a special coup stick rather than injuring him.        
    Crane shot in motion pictures, a scene shot by a camera mounted on a crane allowing the capture of a broad panorama, long uninterrupted takes, or the dramatic withdrawal of the camera up and away from the actors.        
    Cross gable a triangular section (gable) of a roof at right angles to the main roof.        
    Cruciform cross-shaped.        
    Cubism; Cubist an artistic style inaugurated in France c. 1907 by painters Pablo Picasso and Georges Braque, characterized by faceted forms designed to represent simultaneous views of a subject from multiple angles. Americans were first exposed to Cubism at the 1913 Armory Show (New York City).        
    Cultural nationalism the use of forms of cultural expression (art, architecture, and literature) to produce, cohere, and perpetuate a sense of national identity.        
    Cultural patrimony historical objects or places of extreme cultural importance to a nation or ethnic group. The Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act of 1990 is a federal law that concerns the legal rights to objects of cultural patrimony (see Repatriation).        
    Dada an artistic and literary movement which began in Zurich, Switzerland and peaked between 1916 and 1920; protested World War I and oppressive intellectual rigidity of bourgeois culture which they believed inspired the war; characterized by irony, caustic humor, and challenges to bourgeois convention. New York dada launched by French artists fleeing World War I-preceded European dada; employed irony to subvert high-minded aesthetic attitudes and mocked Americans' obsessions with technology.        
    Daguerreotype an early photographic image made with mercury vapors and an iodine-sensitized silvered plate. Unlike most photographic images and prints, a daguerrotype is a single image that cannot be mechanically reproduced as multiples.        
    "Degenerate art'' (Entartete Kunst) the derogatory characterization of modern European art by the Nazi Party for the famous "Degenerate Art Show" in Munich, in 1937.        
    Dentil a small rectangular or tooth-like block that forms part of an architectural series or molding.        
    Direct carving a movement initiated among European modernist sculptors such as Constantin Brancusi, involving direct engagement with the materials of sculpture, most often wood and stone. Relinquishing the use of intermediate models or maquettes, the sculptural idea responds to the process of carving, in theory, and to the unique visual or tactile qualities of the material.        
    Disjunctive serving to divide or having the effect of dividing; revealing the seams.        
    Documentary a filmic, photographic, or televisual genre involving specific devices or narrative styles that convey the aura of "truth"; aiming to record and convey as accurately as possible the nature of its chosen subject, often political, social, or historical,
    through the appearance of transparency (or the absence of a subjective point of view).
    Doppler (effect) a perceived change in a sound as the distance between the source and the listener changes, as in the shift one detects in a police siren as it approaches the listener. Caused by the distorting  effects of distance on sound waves.        
    Dry-plate process a photographic technique developed in the 1870s that recorded an image on a silver-gelatin coated surface; more durable and light sensitive than the wet-plate process.        
    Eclecticism ideas, styles, or taste derived from a broad range of historical and formal sources.        
    Effigy mound an earthwork, generally very large in size, in the shape of an animal or other figure. These earthworks were inspired both by the natural world and by the religion and astronomical observation of Native Americans in the Eastern Woodlands.        
    Elevated rail (the 'El') elevated mass-transit railway built in American cities such as Chicago and New York, starting in the early 20th century.        
    Elevation an architectural drawing that shows a side view (the vertical elements) of a building, interior or exterior.        
    Engraving a process for making prints by incising lines into a hard, flat surface.        
    Entablature in classical architecture, the decorative beam carried by the columns and composed of architrave (below), frieze, and cornice (above).        
    environments three-dimensional, multimedia artworks that occupy an entire room or space. Viewers are surrounded by the work rather than approaching it as a discrete visual or sculptural object.        
    Etching a process for making prints by exposing a metal plate to acid. The plate is first coated with a protective substance and then drawn upon by a needle-like instrument, which cuts through the coated surface. The acid eats only the unprotected areas, which are then inked for printing.        
    Ethnic pertaining to the cultural heritage of a group of people understood as sharing a common history and a set of cultural practices.        
    Ethnological pertaining to the study of non-Western, typically colonized, cultures. In the late 19th century, ethnological exhibits of cultural artifacts equated non-Western societies with the "primitive" prehistoric origins of humanity. Also, cultural anthropology.        
    Evangelical pertaining to any Protestant Christian Church whose members believe in the authority of the Bible and salvation through personal acceptance of Jesus Christ.        
    Existential concerned with the nature of human existence; existentialist: a philosophy originating in post-war France but having a broad international influence, involving the idea that human meaning is immanent; rejecting transcendental sources of meaning beyond nature and human existence.        
    Expatriation to leave one's place or country of birth (patria) to live or work in another for an extended period of time, even permanently.        
    Expressionism a literary and artistic movement originating in pre-World War I Germany, seeking to represent internal subjective realities, often through lurid color and distortions in form (in Germany), or through abstraction from nature (U.S.).        
    Extruded in an architectural drawing or model, to extend upward from the floor plane or plan, at a consistent angle, to give the appearance of three-dimensional architectural form.        
    FAP (Federal Art Project) a division of the Works Progress Administration; one of the New Deal projects that provided federal sponsorship of the arts through non-competitive, needs-based funding; led to creation of hundreds of thousands of prints, murals, paintings, and posters for public exhibition.        
    FSA (Farm Security Administration) a division of the federal government (1935- 43) inaugurated under the New Deal intended to mitigate rural poverty; under the Historical Section of the FSA, a team of photographers, directed by Roy Stryker, captured some of the most moving and memorable images of the effects of the Great Depression on rural America.        
    Fascism a political movement or tendency that favors dictatorial government, centralized control of business, industry, media, and culture; repression of political opposition; and extreme nationalism; as in National Socialism (Nazism) in Germany.        
    Favrile a type of iridescent glass patented in 1894 by Louis Comfort Tiffany, obtained by mixing together different colors of glass when hot.        
    Fern-pocket a niche or corner within a piece of furniture for holding ferns and other vegetation.        
    Film noir French for "black film," dark both in outlook and style; popular in the 1940s and 1950s, it was characterized by shadowy, high contrast lighting, cynicism toward human nature and ideals, and an antiheroic stance.        
    Flat relief a carving, embossing, or casting that protrudes moderately from the background plane.        
    Fluxus an international group of artists, flourish -ing in the 1960s and 1970s, devoted to the democratization of the production and reception of art. They focused on the broad distribution of inexpensive works ("multiples") and the staging of experimental performance events that emphasized the play of chance within repetition.        
    Folk, "folk" art a term applied to the culture of groups of people understood by outsiders as less modern and more in touch with tradition than most "modern" people. In the United States, the term "folk" is commonly used in reference to the cultures of Appalachia, New England, and the Southwest.        
    Footprint the shape or outline of the ground level of a building.        
    Formal pertaining to the relationship of formal elements in an artistic composition, as opposed to the narrative or iconographic elements, or historical context of its production or reception.        
    Frieze in architecture, a horizontal band of decoration or sculpture forming part of the entablature of a building, above the wall but below the roof;
    also, a band of decoration on an interior wall.
    Futurism an artistic and literary movement originating in Italy c. 1909-18 that violently rejected traditional forms in favor of styles that celebrated the energy and dynamism of modern technology.        
    Gable a triangular wall section that either forms the vertical end of a building, or that sits at right angles to the roof. The latter is called a "cross gable."        
    Garret a room that sits just under the roof.        
    Genre a hierarchical categorization of artistic works, set into place by academic theory, according to subject matter as in the division of painting into history painting, portraiture, landscape, and still life; also scenes of domestic and everyday life.        
    Gilded Age a term employed by Mark Twain (1873) for the historical period between the end of the Civil War (1865) and the presidential election of 1896 characterized by the flowering of American arts and architecture, mass industrialization and urbanization, social and labor unrest, and the influx of European immigrants; refers to the idea of "gilding the lily," indicating wasteful opulence and ostentation.        
    Glass-plate a photographic technique in which images are recorded on a glass plate negative coated with light-sensitive solution that is then used to produce an unlimited number of photographic positives (photographs).        
    Globalization the increasing interconnection and interdependence of economic, technological, and biological world systems.        
    Graphic design the art or skill of combining text and pictures in advertisements, magazines, or books in order to convey a message, often commercial but also political or social in nature.        
    Groundline a drawn or painted line that illustrates the break between earth and sky; or the place where figures stand in a landscape in drawings or paintings, especially in the European tradition.        
    Hacienda a large estate or landholding across the Spanish-speaking areas of the Americas; the main residence on such an estate.        
    Half-tone a printing technique which transforms a color or black-and-white image into tiny dots of various sizes which allows the image to be printed with a limited number of colors; enabling the printing of shaded or continuous tone images.        
    Happenings performance events first developed and theorized by Allan Kaprow in the late 1950s. Happenings were staged in non-theatrical locations like lofts and basements and were characterized by immediacy, unpredictability, and the direct involvement of the audience.        
    Hasp a device for fastening, for example, a lid or door.        
    Highbrow a 20th-century term originating in the 19th-century pseudoscientific belief that the shape of the skull was linked to intelligence and moral elevation; used in contrast to "lowbrow" culture, to distinguish cultural content associated with "high" moral or intellectual concerns, according to governing assumptions at the time.        
    Hispanic of or relating to Spanish-speaking people or people descended from ancestors of settlers from Spain, but frequently intermingled with other cultural groups.        
    Historicize to place in original historical context.        
    Horsecar suburb in the 1830s, horse-drawn cars provided the first mass transit systems, allowing individuals to live in suburbs outside of urban centers.        
    Hypostyle a roof directly supported by columns, typically arranged in several rows.        
    Iconography symbols and images which carry conventional meanings in art; also the study of such symbols by later historians, once their original meanings have been lost or displaced.        
    Illusionism the use of pictorial techniques to create the illusion of the real.        
    Impasto in painting, the thick application of pigment to the canvas.        
    Impressionism a late 19th-century French art movement whose paintings were characterized by loose application of unmixed colors, outdoor execution, and landscapes and bourgeois social subjects; style taken up by American artists in the Northeast in the mid-1880s through the 1910s.        
    Inlay an artisanal technique that sets one material, such as wood or stone, into another to form a decorative pattern.        
    Institutional critique a cluster of art practices, unfolding in the late 1960s and beyond, that aim to reveal and critique the social and political dimensions of art institutions (their funding structures, class biases, etc.).        
    Intaglio a form of printing in which the image is engraved or bitten into the plate, and only the lines thus formed are printed, as opposed to "relief" printing.        
    International exposition a series of large exhibitions or world's fairs held throughout Europe and the United States beginning in 1851, designed to encourage trade between nations and to showcase the technological, artistic, and agricultural progress of the participating nations.        
    International Modernism a major architectural style of the 1920s and 1930s, practiced by modernist architects throughout Europe and by their American associates. First introduced to American audiences in 1932 by the Museum of Modern Art's International Style exhibition. A movement beyond historical styles and applied ornament, and toward abstract properties of balance and volume.        
    Japanning a European technique of imitating Asian lacquerwork that developed in 18th-century England.        
    Japonisme a late 19th-century European and American style in fine and decorative arts that imitated or was influenced by Japanese prints, painting, and furniture.        
    Jim Crow the legal segregation of black people in the U.S., put into place by the 1896 Supreme Court decision Plessy v. Ferguson, and only reversed during the movement for Civil Rights that began in the 1950s. Originally the name of a black character in a 19th-century plantation song.        
    Judson Dance Theater based at the Judson Memorial Church in Greenwich Village in the early 1960s, the Judson Dance Theater served as a venue for the experimentations of dancers and choreographers such as Yvonne Rainer, Steve Paxton, and Trisha Brown. Performances at the Theater helped introduce everyday movement, non-hierarchical pacing, and improvisational techniques into choreographic practice.        
    Jut or Jutt a projection, protruding point, or architectural overhang.        
    Kachina; Katsina an important Pueblo spirit and ancestral being thought to influence the affairs of living people. Public performances by the various male Pueblo Kachina societies are believed to bring these spirits and ancestors to the village.        
    Kill hole a hole punctured in the bottom of a Mimbres funerary bowl. The hole renders the bowl unusable in this world and turns it into a symbolic object. It is believed that Mimbres people meant this hole to symbolize a passage of the dead between worlds.        
    Kitsch a derogatory term famously deployed by critic Clement Greenberg to describe art forms that- in- his view- catered to the tastes of a mass public preferring sentimental, realist, or other easily consumed forms of culture.        
    Kiva the private ceremonial building at the heart of a Pueblo village. It is the modern descendent of the Ancestral Pueblo pit house (see Pit house). Both are partly underground with an entrance in the roof and a symbolic hole in the floor (see Sipapu).        
    Koshare ritual clowns in Pueblo performances that act out improper behavior. Their absurd antics encourage community members to value the moral and social order.        
    Lacquer, lacquerware a clear or colored coating used primarily in the decorative arts, which dries to a hard, shiny, durable finish; originally from China.        
    Lancet window a narrow window with a sharp pointed arch typical of English Gothic architecture and gothic revival styles.        
    Land Art a term sometimes used to denote large-scale sculpture that takes the earth and natural substances as its medium. Land Art is usually, but not always, sited and created outdoors.        
    Lapidary industry stone, or other hard natural material, finishing, working, or forming industry.        
    Limited edition a production of prints, books, or photographs issued in a limited, typically small, number with the effect of increasing their collectibility and value.        
    Lithograph a print made from an image drawn on a large flat stone with water resistant crayon. A planographic technique (image on same plane as the surface being printed), lithographs were drawn directly by the artist rather than copied after an original drawing.        
    Lowbrow a derogatory term that originated in the 20th century, used to characterize forms of cultural expression by "common," 'low," or working class people; unsophisticated, tasteless, etc. (see Highbrow).        
    Luminism a style of American landscape painting of the 1850s-1870s stemming from the national school based in New York, and characterized by effects of light in landscapes through the use of aerial perspectives and the suppression of visible brushstrokes.        
    Lynching a form of extrajudicial punishment meted out against African Americans between 1877 and c. 1940, mostly in the South, characterized by mob violence, gruesome torture, and hanging until death. The first federal prosecution for lynching was in 1946; no federal law against the practice exists, despite repeated campaigns.        
    Magic Realism a style of figurative painting, drawing, and photography c. 1940-60 that depicted enigmatic narratives and dreamlike scenarios using traditional techniques and materials.        
    Mannerism a style in architecture and other arts between 1530 and 1600 that was particularly prevalent in Italy and was characterized by an unconventional or exaggerated use of traditional elements.        
    Maquette a small-scale model of a sculpture or building made to visualize forms and shapes before incurring the cost of making the full-scale work.        
    Mass media modern forms of standardized communication, such as newspapers, magazines, radio, or television, which reach very large audiences due to the capabilities of new telecommunications and print technologies, and national distribution networks.        
    Maulstick a light stick, often with leather padding at one  end, used by a painter to steady his or her hand while working.        
    Mechanomorph; mechanomorphic having the form (morph) of a mechanical object; a term used to describe New York dada drawings endowing humans with machine like qualities.        
    Metaphor a figure of speech in which an object or word is used to evoke broader associations through layers of meaning that expand beyond the literal, or denotative significance.        
    Minimalism a style of abstract painting and sculpture developed in the 1960s. Characterized by pared down forms, the use of industrial, often prefabricated, materials, serial compositions, the removal of the artist's personal gesture, and a close attention to the viewer's bodily experience with the object and the space surrounding it.        
    Modernism; Modernist in painting and sculpture, refers to a wide range of art practices, including abstraction, distortion, and anti-naturalism, departing from the naturalism and illusionism that defined academic art of the later 19th century. Modernism's origins are usually traced to France, among artists trained in but working outside of the academic establishment. Modernism eventually became institutionalized in art academies, patronage, and museums.        
    Modernity refers to an epoch in cultural history that some historians date back as far as the 16th century, and which is marked by movement toward scientific rationalism, the growth of largescale social institutions, and the transformation of production by mechanization.        
    Montage the process of selecting, editing, and piecing together discrete images- in film or photography- to create new meanings greater than the individual elements.        
    Morada a long, low adobe building, dedicated to the devotional practices of the Catholic lay religious confraternities known as the Penitente, in New Mexico.        
    Mortise and tenon a wood joining technique in which a projection of wood (tenon) is inserted into a corresponding hole (mortise) in another piece of wood to join the two together, often seen in wood furniture and older forms of house construction.        
    Mosaic a decorative technique in which a design or picture is created on a flat surface such as a floor or wall through the arrangement of small pieces of colored stone, tile, or glass.        
    Motion picture camera a photographic camera that captures a moving subject through a series of still images which, when later projected in rapid succession, creates the visual impression of a moving image.        
    Multimedia installation an artistic exhibition, typically by a single artist, composed of a wide variety of materials.        
    Mural a large flat painting covering a wall or similar surface.        
    Mysticism a term loosely denoting philosophies or tendencies that look to supernatural agency and union with a force beyond the self, through meditation, prayer, or other spiritual practices.        
    Naturalism a strategy of art making that focuses on reproducing the appearance of the external, observable world. Typically the human body, animals, and other forms of life are carefully rendered. Also, a literary and artistic movement originating in the late 19th century, rooted in the direct engagement with the subject, whether social, religious, or historical, unfiltered by obvious moralistic or literary content, and rooted in close observation of life, dress, and environment.        
    Neoclassical / Neoclassicism an international movement beginning in the late 18th century and associated with the revival of classical architecture and design, inspired by archaeological excavations of sites from antiquity.        
    Neue Sachlichkeit "new objectivity": a movement in German art of the post-World War I period, representing a reaction to the highly fraught subjective Expressionism of the pre-war period, and a turn to surgically precise draftsmanship deliberately drained of emotive qualities.        
    New Deal a colloquial term to describe the series of social, governmental, and fiscal reforms and relief programs enacted under President F. D. Roosevelt to remedy the effects of the economic recession of 1929-39.        
    New York School in formal group of modernist painters and poets active in New York City c. 1950s- 1960s; most closely linked to the rise of Abstract Expressionism.        
    Notan a Japanese design concept involving the placement of light and dark next to each other to enhance abstract properties of form.        
    Organic abstraction referring to an approach to abstraction associated with the circle of artists around Alfred Stieglitz, involving abstraction of natural forms and organic rhythms.        
    Organicist a creative tradition in the arts stemming from the 19th century, drawing inspiration from the resonance between the human and the organic realm of nature.        
    Orthogonal in art, the diagonal lines that converge at the vanishing point and thereby create the traditional system of Renaissance perspective.        
    Painterly the use of color rather than line to represent shapes or structure a composition.        
    Palladian window a large window divided into three parts. The center section is bigger than the flanking two segments and is generally arched. Named for the great Renaissance architect Andrea Palladio.        
    Pan-Americanism in relation to the ideals of the Mexican muralists between the wars, a belief that the political and cultural destinies of North and South America were intertwined as a product of shared historical circumstances and patterns of migration from Africa, Europe, and indigenous America.        
    Patina a chemical compound forming on the surface of metals as a result of oxidation. Most often used in relation to bronze, where a lustrous darkening  occurs.        
    Patronage the financial underwriting or sponsorship of an artist or work of art, either institutional or private in nature.        
    Pediment a gable-shaped (triangular) architectural form that sits either at the end of the roof above the horizontal cornice or above a façade, doorway, or window, and often contains sculpture.        
    Penitente Brotherhood Secret lay Catholic male societies in the Rio Grande Valley of northern New Mexico, whose penitential practices- involving flagellation (ritual whippings) and re-enactments of Christ's Passion- stemmed from medieval Spain.        
    Peonage a system used in Latin America and southern United States in which a debtor was forced to work for a creditor until a debt was paid.        
    Performance a form of art consisting of live performances given by artists that blur the boundaries of theater, music, and visual art. Allows the artist to engage with the audience and reject the centrality of the art object as commodity.        
    Peristyle a colonnade that encloses either the exterior of a building or the interior of a courtyard.        
    Photoengraving a method used mostly for reproducing illustrations, in which a printing plate is coated with photosensitive, acid resistant chemicals, then exposed to light through a negative. The resulting image is then etched with acid and printed.        
    Photogravure a process invented in 1850 and used into the 20th century to reproduce photographs, fine arts prints, and paintings, in which a photographic glass transparency is transferred and etched onto a copper plate.        
    Photojournalism a documentary style of photography typically connected to a journalistic enterprise such as a magazine or newspaper, and associated with mass media.        
    Pictographic pertaining to a system of symbolic images used to record and communicate personal accomplishments, historical events, and ideas.        
    Pictorial narrative the story told by a painting or print, constructed through an implied sequence of events.        
    Pictorialist a style of photography (c. 1885- 1914) that subscribed to the idea that art photography needed to emulate current styles of painting and printmaking to achieve personal artistic expression; characterized by soft focus; black and white or sepia-toned images; and manipulation of the image in the darkroom.        
    Picture plane the material surface of a two-dimensional image such as a print, painting, or photograph; term typically used to contrast the material surface of the image with the illusion of depth that the image creates.        
    Piecework a sewing technique in which small pieces of cloth are sewn together, as in a quilt.        
    Pit house an Ancestral Pueblo architectural form that was built partly underground and included a round room, an entrance hole in the roof, and a symbolic hole in the floor (see Sipapu).        
    Planar flat, rwo-dimensional.        
    Polychrome literally, many-colored. The term is often used to distinguish pottery styles that use multiple colors (such as Hopi) from those that use only one color (monochrome) or black and white.        
    Polyptych a group of images, usually paintings, typically with a common theme or subject, meant to be displayed or exhibited as a single whole.        
    Pop art emerging in the late 1950s and associated primarily with painting and sculpture, Pop Art drew upon the styles, subject matter, and production techniques of commercial art, product design, and mass-medi a imagery.        
    Populism politics or forms of cultural expression based on the perceived interests of ordinary people as opposed to those of cultural or economic elites.        
    Portal in adobe architecture, a covered walkway.        
    Posterboard heavy paper or thick cardboard used as a ground or support for drawing or painting.        
    Postminimalism a mode of sculpture and sculptural installation developed in the late 1960s. Usually characterized by soft or pliable materials, scattered, slumping, or random arrangements, and an emphasis on process.        
    Postmodernism a movement in art, architecture, culture, and theory, flourishing in the 1970s and 1980s. Postmodernism challenged the cornerstones of originality, progress, essence, and rationality that had exemplified many forms of Modernism in the 19th and 20th centuries.        
    Potlatch feasts and give-away ceremonies in Northwest Coast Native American societies. These typically mark the passing of power through an elite family line, or a major social event, such as a marriage.        
    Prairie Style a term associated with the architecture of Frank Lloyd Wright, dating from his earliest work in Oak Park, Illinois; a style of low-slung roofs, horizontal expanse, and stylized decoration associated with the landscape and flora of the Midwest.        
    Precisionist a style of painting and photography from the 1920s associated with precisely rendered, static, or somewhat abstracted views of urban landscapes and technology (see Neue Sachlichkeit). Contrasting with the mobile dynamic forms of organic abstraction and other modernist styles of the 1910s and 1920s.        
    Primitive an outmoded term formerly applied to small-scale, usually colonized societies with limited social hierarchy. The "lack" of a state was used co suggest they were at a lower developmental stage of human history than Western Europe and other large, hierarchal societies. The term also came co be used in a "positive" sense by Western artists and intellectuals critical of their own societies. These disenchanted Westerners believed "primitive" people were less socially alienated, more in touch with unconscious impulses. Therefore, in the minds of Western artists, "primitive art" was more "natural," free, and creative.        
    Psychic automatism see Automatist.        
    Puddling a form of adobe construction, originally used by pre-contact Pueblo societies of the Southwest, involving successively layering mud, clumped by hand into balls, into courses to create walls. Contrasted with methods used by the Spanish, involving brick molds.        
    Pueblo the Spanish word for "people," referring both to the native inhabitants of New Mexico, so named by the colonizers and used up to the present, and to the settled villages where they lived (as in "pueblos").        
    Quillwork a type of embroidery using dyed porcupine and bird quills, practiced by Native American women of the Eastern Woodlands and Plains. Passed on through the generations by specialized quillworking guilds.        
    Quoin a masonry term referring to a hard brick or stone used to reinforce an external corner or edge.        
    Readymade a term originated by the French artist Marcel Duchamp referring to found, mass-produced objects resituated into new non-utilitarian contexts and designated as art.        
    Realism a general term for literature or art engaged with the social worlds of the artist's own time and place. Also referring to a set of conventions conveying a studied understanding of that world as opposed to fantastic, imaginary, or historical subjects.        
    Recessional chat which appears to recede or become more distant from the observer.        
    Regionalism the identification of artists or artworks with a particular geographic region such as the Southwest or Midwest; specific movement of the 1930s including painters Thomas Hart Benton, Grant Wood, and John Steuart Curry.        
    Register; registration mark a mark made on printing blocks or stone with which the printing paper can be aligned for successive printings in different colors.        
    Relief a form of sculpture in which representations of figures and objects are raised from a flat surface as with a coin, medallion, or plaque; see also bas-relief        
    Repatriation the return of objects of cultural significance to their original owners or makers. This is a major contemporary issue involving Native American objects in museum collections; also to send a person or thing back to its original culture, society, or nation, as in the return of an immigrant to the birth country or the return of cultural artefacts to the people that produced chem.        
    Retablo usually a religious image of a saint, typically painted on wood panel, either separate or part of a larger ensemble. Also, the frame, situated behind the altar in a church, which holds images of the saints.        
    "Retinal" art Marcel Duchamp's term for the emphasis, in high Modernist art of the early 20th century, on the flat painted surface, and on the visual structure of Modernism, as opposed to his conceptual approach which questioned received aesthetic categories and approached "arc" as an operation of the mind.        
    Rhyming forms forms that echo each other visually through color, shape, size, or volume.        
    Romantic movement an artistic, literary, and philosophical movement chat arose in Europe in the late 18th century and shaped American intellectual and artistic life in the first half of the 19th century. Romanticism tended to view the world as a living, organic force, where intuition is valued over reason, and the importance of the individual imagination in the discovery of truth is stressed.        
    Rorschach test a type of analytical test used in psychoanalysis in which a subject is shown a series of random ink blots on paper and asked to report what the blots resemble or suggest.        
    Rotogravure a print or printmaking process in which photographic images are etched onto copper cylinders to print using a rotary press.        
    Salon (Paris) the official art exhibition of the French Académie des Beaux-Arts, the national art school, held annually in Paris throughout the 19th century.        
    Santero an itinerant artist in Hispanic New Mexico, trained within a tradition of local production devoted to images of the saints painted for use in village churches and private chapels.        
    Scaffolding a temporary wooden structure or platform erected adjacent to a wall or building allowing workers to build, repair, clean, or decorate a building.        
    Scrimshaw a technique of incising lines on ivory or horn and then darkening chem with ink, graphite, or some other medium.        
    Shaman an individual recognized in a great many societies as possessing an extraordinary receptivity to visionary experience and the power to receive spiritual protection. These important individuals could use their powers for constructive purposes, such as healing, or destructive purposes, such as injuring.        
    Sharecropper a tenant farmer who farms the land for a share of the crop yield.        
    Shot; counter-shot a form of cinematic editing in which a conversation between two people is conveyed by first showing a shot of a person speaking then a counter-shot of the second person speaking, etc.        
    Sipapu a hole in the floor of a pit house or kiva (see Pit house, Kiva). In Pueblo cosmology it symbolizes the hole in the earth from which Pueblo people entered the world.        
    Social Realism an artistic and literary movement that sought to depict working-class subjects; artists often had Socialist leanings and politically activist sensibilities.        
    Social Surrealism the name given to a set of tendencies among artists in the 1930s who felt that Social Realism was inadequate to convey the absurdities of an unjust capitalist society; artists adopted the illogical juxtapositions and enigmatic narratives of Surrealism to convey judgements on contemporary society.        
    Soil spirit a term, originally used with sarcasm in the 1920s, to identify the aesthetic nationalism of the artists around Alfred Stieglitz: the idea that the spiritual life of the nation's culture derives from its attachment to the landscape and the organic life of nature.        
    Still camera a conventional photographic camera used to take single images of a subject as opposed to a motion picture camera, which records a series of images to convey a moving subject.        
    Still-life a subject genre of painting typically composed of artfully arranged flowers or objects.        
    "Straight" photography the technique of taking photographs so that the resulting image mimics as closely as possible the way the world is seen with the naked eye; a movement out of "Pictorialist" photography, in which photographers emulated painterly effects.        
    Streamlined style a style of product design between World Wars I and II inspired by the principles of aerodynamic design deriving from the flight industry.        
    Stringcourse a horizontal band of masonry that extends decoratively across the façade of a structure, often marking off one story from another.        
    Stucco; stuccoed a fine plaster used for surfacing interior or exterior walls.        
    Stucco-on-lathe a wall covering consisting of stucco plaster applied over narrowly spaced thin strips of wood.        
    Stylistic obsolescence a strategy devised by marketers to promote continual new sales of consumer items by redesigning such products as refrigerators each new season through minor modifications in exterior appearance, rendering previous models obsolete in relation to up-to-date styling trends.        
    Subculture a minority or subversive cultural group or practice within a larger or dominant one.        
    Sublime in aesthetics, a quality of transcendent power that exceeds all measure, calculation, or comprehension and, as such, often induces a sense of awe or fear in the beholder.        
    Supernatural a realm beyond the observable world. Generally it is distinguished from the natural world by the breaking of laws of space and time, gravity, and other restrictions of natural movement. Understandings of the line between natural and supernatural vary greatly between cultures.        
    Surrealism an early 20th-century European and American artistic and literary movement that sought to express the energies of the unconscious by uncensoring the mind and releasing creativity. Characterized by fantastic imagery and illogical scenarios.        
    Swallowtail joint a joint used in carpentry to hold together wood parts by creating a tapered projection that resembles a swallow's tail or a pair of open scissors.        
    Symbolism a late 19th-century European literary and artistic movement that sought to evoke rather than describe ideas or feelings through the use of literary allusions and symbolic images.        
    Synaesthesia the production of an impression in one bodily sense by stimulating another, as in the perception of visual sensation through listening to music.        
    Synchromist/Synchromism an early 20th-century Modernist movement, centered on the work of Stanton MacDonald Wright and Morgan Russell, which produced among the first fully abstract works of painting. Paralleling the work of the French Orphists around Robert Delaunay, they developed a theory and practice centered on abstract color harmonies evoking musical effects.        
    Syncopation in music, a rhythmic technique in which the accent is shifted to a weak beat of the bar.        
    Tambour a circular or drum-shaped wall, door, or partition.        
    Technology from techne, Greek word for "craft"; loosely referring to devices, machines, or techniques by which humans alter or control their environment; in the 20th century, refers to largescale industrial manufacturing and production processes which increasingly dominate over the handmade.        
    Technophilia the love or admiration of technology, especially machine technology.        
    Territorial style a 19th-century style of architecture in New Mexico, postdating the Mexican- American War (1846-8) and the opening of rail lines from the east, characterized by a marriage of adobe style and European classical motifs such as pedimented windows and brick coping at the roofline.        
    Tihu among Pueblo peoples of American Southwest, wooden replicas of Kachina spirits. Also known as "Kachina dolls."        
    Tonalism an art historical term which describes a late 19th-century style of painting that used harmoniously modulated color schemes to convey a "moody" or atmospheric image.        
    Transept the section of a church that crosses the nave, or main axis, at a right angle, producing a cruciform plan.        
    Transverse clerestory an invention of the colonial frontier of New Spain for introducing natural light into the sanctuary holding the altar in adobe mission churches. Created by an opening running the breadth of the church nave at the change of elevation between the nave and the altar.        
    Trompe l'oeil a French term, literally "fool the eye"; a form of realistic painting, typically artful arrangements of objects such as books, domestic objects, or musical instruments, which aims to mimic as  closely as possible the illusion of real life.        
    Truss in architecture, a beam forming part of a network of rigid forms that support a roof or floor.        
    Tudor a late medieval style (1485-1603) that played a transitional role between Gothic and Renaissance forms. Tudor architecture is characterized by steeply pitched gables, elaborate chimneys, brickwork, and half-timbering on the exterior, and rich plaster relief ornament in interior spaces.        
    Two-dimensional generally referring to flat works of art such as paintings, photographs, drawings, prints, or architectural plans.        
    Urban realists artists creating work featuring everyday urban scenes, usually in reference to the early 20th century.        
    Vanguard the cutting edge or forefront of culture; the avant garde.        
    Vaudeville a popular urban entertainment form in the early 20th century consisting of live singers, dancers, and comedians on stage.        
    Vault; vaulted a roof in the form of an arch or series of arches, typical of churches or other large architectural structures.        
    Vector a line or shape indicating a trajectory of movement through space.        
    Vernacular everyday or common culture or forms of speech, as opposed to elite, special, or fine; also, a term commonly applied to art made by non-professional artists working outside of academic, gallery, and other art world institutions. These works are often understood to express the "tradition" of a particular locality or sometimes to express a more spontaneous or more original approach to art making. Sometimes used interchangeably with the terms "folk art" or  "popular art." In architecture, a mode of building based on regional materials and forms and everyday usages.        
    Victorian in art history, styles associated with the reign of Queen Victoria (1837- 1901), distinguished by eclecticism and historical references.        
    Viga in adobe architecture, a projecting ceiling beam.        
    Vignette a manner of composing a picture or landscape that circumscribes or miniaturizes it; forms of closed composition emphasizing the ornamental or decorative functions of a subject; or discrete episodes within a broader visual field.        
    Visionary artist an artist whose art making is inspired by a divine message or calling.        
    Vitalism a 19th-century European and American philosophy which posited that life energies underlie all forms of creativity and give structure to the random flux of reality.        
    Wampum strings or woven belts of white and purple shell beads that carry the force of law, like contracts or treaties. Patterns and images formed by the beads are symbolic, able to be read by specialized wampum keepers.        
    Wattle-and-daub a mode of construction that involves weaving twigs between vertical poles and then plastering the whole together with mud.        
    Wet-plate process an early photographic process involving a chemically treated (collodion) plate exposed in the camera while still wet. Considered one of the great developments in photographic technology, the wet-plate process dominated the medium from the early 1850s until the introduction of gelatine dry plates in the 1880s.        
    Xenophobia from xeno, the Greek word for guest, stranger, or foreigner; thus fear (phobia) or dislike of foreigners .        
    Yeoman historically, a man who owns and works his own plot of land and therefore embodies ideas of freedom and independence.        
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