Skip to comments.Art History is integral to Catholic education
Posted on 08/29/2018 11:50:56 AM PDT by CondoleezzaProtege
After more than 35 years as a teacher of art history in the Catholic school system, I am convinced that the study of art history is an integral part of a well-defined and superior Catholic high school education.
I believe that when students study art history, they become closer to the church on an intellectual and cultural level that greatly enhances their relationship with God. I have already alluded to the important role that the church had in the development of Western art. Investigating that role in a study of art history, from medieval to modern times, enhances spiritual and intellectual enlightenment.
Let us begin with a question: Why was art created in the first place? The scholarly consensus is that the first works of art probably were associated with ancient ceremonial practices.
Incredibly beautiful paintings of stylized leaping and running animals have been found in remote caves throughout Europe and elsewhere in the world. Scholars suspect that these fantastic drawings must have had some spiritual meaning surrounding the importance and success of the hunt. Perhaps they were associated with ceremony and prayer. We will never know their exact purpose, but the likely function of the cave paintings was probably religious.
It is interesting to consider that art up until around 600 years ago had been dominated by religious subject matter. The use of art for arts sake is relatively recent, if you consider how long humans have been creating art.
I am convinced that by the time every Catholic high school student graduates from high school, he or she should understand how when Christianity was legalized, the art of the church had to establish an entirely new identity and appearance distinguishing it from other faiths...and through art, early Christians would understand and identify with their new faith...
(Excerpt) Read more at ncronline.org ...
I grew up in the New York school system which every Friday handed out a postcard of a classic painting. I clearly remember the Vermeer which fascinated me. The teacher or nun would give a little explanation of it and then we were required to write a little essay.
How much could that have cost, I wonder? And yet it set off a lifelong interest in art. Kids today have no idea unless their parents drag them to a museum.
“The Art of the Deal” Trump had lunch with a well known artist. Anyone care to describe the scene when he showed up at the studio?
An interest in art also often leads to, and enhances, an interest in history.
That art history?
No it is not.
And in fact it has been scrubbed in public school.
Pagan religious art is fine. Christian art is verboten.
I'm a rather religious person, and I'm also an artist, and was an artist from birth. I can tell you with assurance that having the ability to see proportions and perspective clearly and draw realistic pictures as a result of that gift is not experienced as religious by the child so gifted. He or she might use the gift for spiritual purposes eventually, or even experience spiritual feelings while using the gift, but for the most part, it is like picking up a guitar if you are born musical -- you just do it because you can.
Ok my friends. Trump shows up. The well known artist threw 3 cans of paint against a wall. Then he said to Trump “I just made 25,000 bucks. Let’s go to lunch.”
de Kooning? Warhol?
Good question. Trump wouldn’t say.
Even a cursory examination of art--particularly Western art will require an encounter with paintings such as the one below: Rembrandt's "The Return of the Prodigal Son." And while art itself may not convert a soul, it can uplift the mind and heart to look above the immediacy of one's day to day realities. A tendency so desperately needed and called for in the modern world.
And on that note, *modern* art has spiritual meaning as well: as much of it forces to confront the nature of a reality where God is not central, or considered absent. It is worth noting, for example, the chaos, absurdity, and ugliness of much of art at the advent of the 20th Century as the Western world became enmeshed in World Wars 1 and 2. Civilization seemed to be going down the toilet. (See other work below.)
Both pieces of art beg the question: which reality do we prefer?
"Return of the Prodigal Son" - Rembrandt van Rijn 1669
"Fountain" - Marchel Duchamp 1917
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.