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Humanities LibreTexts

1: Introduction to the Arts

  • Page ID
    117346
    • 1.1: What is Art?
    • 1.2: Introduction
      Wherever we find human beings, we find visual art. Works of visual art raise questions not only about our ancestors, but also about the nature of visual art itself. What is art? Who is an artist? Why do artists make art? What is the role of the viewer? Does everything count as art? How have people defined art through time? How do we define art today? In this chapter, we will examine these questions in more detail.
    • 1.3: Content
    • 1.4: Why do We Make Art?
      Some of the earliest evidence of recognizable human activity includes not only practical things like stone tools and fire pits, but also decorative objects used for personal adornment.
    • 1.5: The Role of the Viewer
      As the viewer of art, then, we are often aware that we do not have full knowledge of what the artist intended or, at times, even what the artist depicted. Not having that information, however, is not necessarily frustrating nor does it dampen our enjoyment of the piece. Instead, we may find the colors vibrant, or the subject intriguing, or the composition relaxing; in other words, we may simply enjoy looking at the work of art without feeling the need for particulars about it or the artist.
    • 1.6: Reading- Art, Aesthetics, and Beauty
    • 1.7: Reading- Value Judgment
    • 1.8: An Introduction to the Arts and Humanities

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