AP Art History
The AP Art History course emphasizes a deep conceptual understanding of art historical concepts. Students will develop the essential skills of visual and contextual analysis. By examining works of art from diverse cultures and the relationship among these works, students develop an understanding of global artistic traditions. Students analyze works of art in their contexts, considering issues of patronage, gender, politics, religion and ethnicity. The interpretation of the work of art is based upon its intended use, audience, and the role of the artist and the work of art in its particular society. Students will expand their knowledge of history, geography, politics, religion, languages, and literature, as they explore the story of people as told through the art they created.
The AP Art History course will enable students to:
CUL- Explain how cultural practices, belief systems, and/or physical setting affect art and art making
MPT-Explain how materials, processes, and techniques affect art and art making
THR- Explain how theories and interpretations of art are shaped by visual analysis as well as by other disciplines, technology, or the availability of evidence
INT- Explain how interactions with other cultures affect art and art making
PAA- Explain how purpose, intended audience, or patron affect art and art making
Course Skills: these skills spiral throughout the course
1. visual analysis
2. contextual analysis
3. comparisons of works of art
4. artistic traditions
5. visual analysis of unknown works
6. attribution of unknown works
7. art historical interpretations
Course Curriculum and Content
Big Ideas and Essential Questions: the AP Art History curriculum and content is structured around the big ideas and essential questions that frame explorations of the nature of art, art making, and our responses to art.
Enduring Understanding and Essential Knowledge Statements: These provide contextual information about the regions and time periods in each content area. Information from enduring understandings and essential knowledge statements is combined with course learning objectives and works of art in the image set to form targets of assessment for the AP Art History Exam. Enduring understanding and essential knowledge statements provide contextual information that serves as a starting point for student learning in the course.
Required Course Content (Image Set): Each content area is represented by a number of exemplary works of art within a prescribed image set of 250 works. AP Art History required course content is defined to support students’ in-depth learning, critical analysis, and understanding of connections among global artistic traditions by focusing study on works representing the diversity of art though time and place. The image set consists of approximately 65 percent works from the Western Tradition and 35 percent from non-Western artistic traditions. Students will also be asked to attribute works of art outside the image set based on their knowledge and understanding of works within the set; attributions should be provided in the same format and with the same level of detail as identifying information for each work of art within the image set. Students will include works they choose to study beyond the image set as AP Art History course content. Students will also be responsible for any other related works covered in class lectures beyond the prescribed set of 250.
The AP Art History course meets for two semesters. Each unit represents one of the ten required content areas. Pacing is based upon the number of works of art in the unit, with flexibility. The goals are to integrate the course learning objectives and enduring understanding statements, the overarching concepts for the content area, with the works of study. These will be supported with the essential knowledge statements through assignments, activities, research and lectures. The teacher and students will expand upon this foundational information in their exploration of each work of art, referring to scholarly resources such as textbooks, primary and secondary source documents, videos, and museum websites. Students will examine, analyze, research, record, discuss, interpret, and compare works in the required course content and works beyond the image set as they develop art historical skills.
Introduction: Methodology, Context, and Visual Analysis
Unit 1: Global Prehistory
Unit 2: Ancient Mediterranean (Egypt, Near East, Greece, Etruria, Rome)
Unit 3: Early Europe and Colonial Americas 200-1750 CE (Early Christian, Byzantine, Islamic, Medieval, Romanesque, Gothic, Renaissance, Baroque)
Unit 4: Later Europe and Americas, 1750-1980 CE (18th & early 19th Century, Early Modern 1850-1900, 20th Century)
Unit 5: Indigenous Americas 1000 BCE-1980 CE
Unit 6: Africa 1100-1980 CE
Unit 8: South, East, Southeast Asia 300 BCE-1980 CE
Unit 7 West and Central Asia 500 BCE-1980 CE (Silk Road Art)
Unit 9 Pacific Art 700-1980 CE
Unit 10 Global Contemporary 1980 CE to Present
The AP exam will follow cycle 5
Independent research projects
Art making and meaning
Enrichment projects and beyond
The course will also utilize a number of primary and secondary resources and websources, including but not limited to:
Fred S. Kleiner and Christin J. Mamiya, Gardner’s Art through the Ages, 13th edition.
James Smith Pierce, From Abacus to Zeus: A Handbook of Art History
Carol Strickland: The Annotated Mona Lisa
Cycle grades are based on the following formula:
75% major grades: tests, presentations, free response essays, etc.
25% minor grades: hub discussions, google notes, enrichment activities, etc.
Late work policy: late work can be submitted within 2 days of the due date for a maximum grade of 70
Retake policy: 2 retakes on major tests per cycle.