You are on page 1of 10

AP ART HISTORY SYLLABUS

Art is the signature of civilizations Beverly Sills


Teacher: Ms Kotcher
Email: akotcher@wbasis.net
APAH Website: amberkotcherapah.weebly.com

Course Description
AP Art History is a course intended to prepare students for the AP Art History Exam. Students will
develop visual literacy and increase their ability to write critically about art works at a college level of
expertise. The study of art history allows students to discover anew the world in which they live.
Throughout the year students will learn about how people have responded to and communicated
their experiences through art, as well as the historic and cultural contexts in which it was created.
Students will explore the global art world as active participants, engaging with its forms and content
as they research, discuss, read, and write about art, artists, art making, and respond to and interpret
art. As part of the course, we will take field trips to local art museums.
Course Curriculum and Content Standards
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. Twelve learning
objectives are associated with the big ideas and essential questions.
Required Course Content (250 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 designed 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 through time and place. The image set
consists of approximately 65% works from the Western tradition and 35% works 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.
AP Art History Content Areas:
This list includes the AP College Boards recommended percentage of time spent on each content area, as
well as the distribution of their selected works of art for each content area.
Content Area 1: Global Prehistory, 30,000 500 B.C.E.
4%
(11 works)
Content Area 2: Ancient Mediterranean, 3500 B.C.E 300 C.E.
15%
(36 works)
Content Area 3: Early Europe and Colonial Americas, 200 1750 C.E.
20% (51 works)
Content Area 4: Later Europe and Americas, 1750 1980 C.E.
22% (54 works)
Content Area 5: Indigenous Americas, 1000 B.C.E. 1980 C.E.
6%
(14 works)
Content Area 6: Africa, 1100 1980 C.E.
6%
(14 works)
Content Area 7: West and Central Asia, 500 B.C.E. 1980 C.E.
4%
(11 works)
Content Area 8: South, East, and Southeast Asia, 300 B.C.E. 1980 C.E.
8%
(21 works)
Content Area 9: The Pacific, 700 1980 C.E.
4%
(11 works)
Content Area 10: Global Contemporary, 1980 C.E. to Present
11% (27 works)
Total = 100% (250 works)

Enduring Understanding and Essential Knowledge Statements


These provide contextual information about the regions and time periods in each content area.
Information from enduring understanding 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.
Enduring Understanding 1: Artists manipulate materials and ideas to create an aesthetic object/act
Essential Question: What is art and how is it made?
Learning Objective 1: Students differentiate the components of form, function, content, and/or context of a
work of art
Learning Objective 2: Students explain how artistic decisions about art making shape a work of art
Learning Objective 3: Students describe how context influences artistic decisions about creating a work of art
Learning Objective 4: Students analyze form, function, content, and/or context to infer or explain the possible
intentions for creating a specific work of art
Enduring Understanding 2: Art is shaped by tradition and change
Essential Question: Why and how does art change?
Learning Objective 1: Students describe features of tradition and/or change in a single work of art or in a group
of related works
Learning Objective 2: Students explain how and why specific traditions and/or changes are demonstrated in a
single work or group of related works
Learning Objective 3: Students analyze the influence of a single work of art or group of related works on other
artistic production
Enduring Understanding #3: Interpretations of art are variable
Essential Question: How do we describe our thinking about art?
Learning Objective 1: Students identify a work of art
Learning Objective 2: Students analyze how formal qualities and/or content of a work of art elicit(s) a response
Learning Objective 3: Students analyze how contextual variables lead to different interpretations of a work of art
Learning Objective 4: Students justify attribution of an unknown work of art
Learning Objective 5: Students analyze relationships between works of art based on their similarities and
differences
Primary Themes and Ideas:
The ever presence of art
The relationship between artist and society
Establishing contexts for a work of art,
artist, or style
Analyzing works of art for their formal
qualities and the meanings that they
convey to others
The changing notions of beauty and
appeal of art
Making connections by relating works of
art from one period to another, and one
culture to another
Viewing and understanding the work of art
by placing it in within the philosophical,
cultural, literary, religious, political and
historical contexts
Defining the question What is Art?

Major Cross-Cultural and Global Themes or Concepts:


Representations of nature
Representation of seasons
Vertical Elements (e.g. Columns)
Circle Concepts in Art
Significance of light and dark -Representations of everyday
life (genre)
Representations of Animals (e.g. beasts and birds) -Site
art/environmental art
Images of pregnancy, childbirth and progeny
Art that documents a historical event
Objects used in rituals,
Funerary practices -Dreams and fantasy images
Patronage and Art/Artist
Images of mother and child
Family portraits -Sacred Spaces
Power and Authority War
Art as propaganda
Human Body in Art

Textbook
Gardners Art Through the Ages
Kleiner, F. S., & Mamiya, C. J. (2008). Gardners art through the ages: A global history (13th ed.).
United States: Wadsworth Publishing Co.
Additional Class Resources
Books
Nici, J. B. (2008). Barrons AP art history. United States: Barrons Educational Series.
Barnet, S. (1999). A short guide to writing about art (6th ed.). New York: Pearson Education.
Wilkinson, P. (2010). Religions (visual reference guides series) Metro Books.
Classroom collection of books about individual artists, techniques, schools of art, and
collections, and several large poster sets are available in the classroom.
Websites and supplemental class resources
Khanh Academys SmartHistory AP Art History: Online Art History TextbookFeatures Useful
Images of Artwork, Podcasts, Diagrams, Maps, Illustrations, Descriptions, etc.
Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History: The Mets Helibrunn Timeline of Art History pairs essays and
works of art with chronologies, telling the story of art and global culture through the Museums
collection
AP Art History College Board: Course information for students
Art Through Time: A Global View
National Geographics Ancient Megastructures series
PBS Series Art21
Unesco World Heritage: A World Heritage Site is a place that is listed by the United Nations
Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization as being of special cultural or physical
significance.
The History Guide: resources for historians (primary and secondary sources)
PowerPoint Presentations by APAH Teacher
Videos located on teacher website for each Unit
Teacher website many supplemental resources and links
Student Expectations

Reading and review of assigned pages from the preliminary textbook


Completion of all assigned online site literature, podcasts, diagrams, museums
APA Format must be used in all writings completed by student
Completion of all assignments on time
Develop and demonstrate visual literacy
Demonstrate readiness: Always be ready for me to call on you for an answer, or to add to a
group discussion
Demonstrate active daily note taking and active communication during class discussion
Demonstrate ability to work actively and engagingly in small groups

Material Requirements: All students must bring the following to each class.

A 3-Ring Binder with Binder Dividers for each Unit


3

Flash Cards 4x6 blank index cards


Highlighters pens, pencils, erasers, paper
Set of colorful Gel-Pens for concept mapping, aesthetic note taking & illustrations
Textbook

Course Schedule
Each unit develops the students understanding one of the ten required content areas. 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 the textbooks, primary and secondary source documents,
videos, and museum websites, etc. 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.
Unit (1-11) Sequence:
1. Introduction: 8 (50 min) class periods
Guiding Questions: How do we talk with a work of art, how does it talk to us? Why do some
subjects, by artist from different times and places, look similar, why others look so different? Why
dont we always agree about what we see?
Overview of basic Art History concepts: What is Art? What is Culture? Where does Art come
from? What does Art do? (function and purpose)
Sample Unit Activities and Assignments:
Student online discussion board on What Is Art prior to class discussions.
Class discussion on contextual background of King Menkaura and Queen, including function
for ka substitute. Is it art if that is not its intended function? Discuss how medium, function,
form and context connect in an artwork. Discuss Spiral Jetty, Terra Cotta Warriors and
Fountain using the same approach.
Scaffold on contextual understanding in art to discuss tradition and change. Teacher
explanation of naturalistic idealized and stylized details in the context to explore Egyptian
works. Kritios Boy, Riace Warrior, Doryphoros, Heremes and Dionysus and Seated Boxer are
discussed in partner groups and then with the whole class to better understand innovation,
tradition, influence and change in art.
Differing Interpretations: Students read Horace Mitchells Body Ritual among the Nacirema
(http://www.sfu.ca/~palys/Miner-1956-BodyRitualAmongTheNacirema.pdf) before class and in
class discuss how outsiders can easily misinterpret work of art when they do not have the
cultural context. The class will look at several artworks to discuss misinterpretations outside
viewer may have without the cultural context.
Students develop techniques for successful study habits including note taking and Art Card
production.
Students will assume the role of historian and discuss the nature of history and how it is
constructed.

2. Global Prehistory and the Pacific: 30,000 500 B.C.

10 (50 min) class periods

Guiding Questions: How are groups of people shaped by their relationships with the natural
world? How is that expressed through art? How have artists adapted human and animal forms to
depict both neutral and supernatural beings?
Kleiner reading: Introduction, Chapter 1 (Prehistory) Chapter 36 (the Pacific)
Sample Unit Activities and Assignments:
Read Prehistoric chapter in textbook prior to class. Take a virtual tour
(https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2hiFqqqjTxQ) of Lascaux cave for perspective. Great Hall of Bulls
and Beaker with Ibex motifs: discuss relationship between prehistoric peoples and natural
world.
Art as protection: Discussion board/blog students look at two masks to explore ways to
communicate power and protection.
Death and Memory: Partners discuss how saints and other less personal figures that can be
appealed to for protection and mediation. In looking at Oceanic groups we address the
worship of ancestors as protectors and mediators referring to mana and tapu. Students sketch
artwork and we discuss the cross-cultural use of the abstracted human form to represent
spiritual beings. Watch National Geographic video on Easter Island
(https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gfbQA-Krx9Q) and then discuss Maori formal elements.
Discussion Groups: Students together will answer the essential questions through discussion
and short essay responses and give presentations to their group and class.
Art Cards: Students will create study cards for this unit. Each card will include the image, its
credit line, subject, style, significance, and essential vocabulary associated with it.
Creative application: Create an Ahu ula (feather cape) Museum of New Zealand Te Papa
Tongarewas video (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ToImucpdVic) on 'ahu 'ula cloak was given to
Captain Cook.
Comparative graphic organizers: make connections between artworks of the same
period/culture as well as to other periods/cultures.
Unit quiz: multiple choice questions, 2 short timed essay questions
Thematic Connection: Student pairs scan chapters on Prehistory and the Pacific for two
artworks we have not discussed that 1) reflect enduring understanding/essential knowledge
questions and statements, and 2) relate thematically to those students. Students work together to
analyze and develop thematic connections between works they select and those we have
students with respect to form, function artistic intent (if known) and audience response. Students
use specific, detailed visual and contextual evidence to support their ideas in a video or
presentation teaching the new works and justifying their pairings.
3. Indigenous Americas and Africa: 1000 B.C.E. 1980 C.E.

15 (50 min) class periods

Guiding Questions: How do artists communicate religious beliefs and practices? How do they
differentiate between the natural and the supernatural? How can works of art and architecture
communicate the power of a patron? How can religious structures communicate the beliefs and
practices of their users?
Kleiner reading: Chapter 18, 35 (Indigenous Americas) Chapters 19,37 (Africa)

Sample Unit Activities and Assignments:


Discussion Groups: Students together will answer the essential questions through
discussion and short essay responses and give presentations to their group and class.
Art Card Production: Students will create study cards for this unit. Each card will include the
image, its credit line, subject, style, significance, and essential vocabulary associated with it.
Creative application: personal painted hide (on rice paper/coffee stained paper) inspired by
Indigenous American artists
Comparative graphic organizers: make connections between artworks of the same
period/culture as well as to other periods/cultures.
Video resources: Old Town of Djenne Mali, (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yaxuqvswnu0)
City of Cuzco (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H9Dd3hZVqMU&feature=player_embedded)
Unit quiz: multiple choice questions, 2 short timed essay questions
4. South, East and Southeast Asia: 30,000 500 B.C.E.

10 (50 min) class periods

Guiding Questions: How does art and architecture reflect beliefs and practices? How does art
and architecture reveal cross- cultural connections and influences?
Kleiner reading: Chapters 15, 16, 17, 32, 33, 34
Sample Unit Activities and Assignments:
Discussion Groups: Students together will answer the essential questions through
discussion and short essay responses and give presentations to their group and class.
Art Cards: Students will create study cards for this unit. Each card will include the image, its
credit line, subject, style, significance, and essential vocabulary associated with it.
Creative application: Koi fish calligraphy painting
Comparative graphic organizers: make connections between artworks of the same
period/culture as well as to other periods/cultures.
Unit quiz: multiple choice questions, 2 short timed essay questions
5. Ancient Mediterranean: 3500 B.C.E 300 C.E.

20 (50 min) class periods

Guiding Questions: How does geography shape a cultures worldview, concerns, and values?
How is that reflected in their art and architecture? How do works of art and architecture reflect
their historical and cultural context? How can we understand a structure by interpreting its plan?
Kleiner reading: Chapters 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7
Sample Unit Activities and Assignments:
Research extension: Partners draw from the following categories:
Ancient Near East
Ancient Egypt
Ancient Greece
Ancient Etruria
Ancient Rome
o Task is to choose an artwork we have not discussed in class from the category,
research it in the context of the units guiding questions and enduring
understanding/essential knowledge statements, and create a teaching video. The
video must include source citations. Once the videos are uploaded, students view

three, leaving written commentary on the effectiveness with which the videos
address the units guiding questions.
Discussion Groups: Students together will answer the essential questions through
discussion and short essay responses and give presentations to their group and class.
Art Cards: Students will create study cards for this unit. Each card will include the image, its
credit line, subject, style, significance, and essential vocabulary associated with it.
Creative application: clay figure self-portrait in Egyptian or Greek style
Comparative graphic organizers: make connections between artworks of the same
period/culture as well as to other periods/cultures.
Unit quiz: multiple choice questions, 2 short timed essay questions
6. West and Central Asia and Early Europe, through 1400 C.E.: 13 (50 min) class periods
Guiding Questions: How does patronage affect artistic and architecture production? How are
cultural exchanges reflected in art?
Kleiner reading: Chapters 10 (West and Central Asia) 9, 11, 12, 13, 14, 20, 21 (Early Europe)
Class Field Trip to Jerusalem, Israel and Petra, Jordan: Students are provided opportunity to
analyze relationships between works of art across cultures and from different content areas.
Petra: Students will create a video/photo blog entry in which they act as historian/tour
guide explaining contextual information and detailing works visited.
Dome of the Rock: In class prior to trip, we explore performative aspects involving this
sacred space and ongoing artistic creating in the structures annual redressing. We
investigate its significance, history, renovations over time and its decorative motifs.
Students sketch the Dome of the Rock from observation. Small groups compare its form
and ornamentation with San Vitale, noting similarities and differences. Guiding question
What are the religious reasons for the aniconic tradition in Islamic sacred structures?
Sample Unit Activities and Assignments:
Discussion Groups: Students together will answer the essential questions through
discussion and short essay responses and give presentations to their group and class.
Art Cards: Students will create study cards for this unit. Each card will include the image, its
credit line, subject, style, significance, and essential vocabulary associated with it.
Creative application: class trip video/photo essay and observation drawing
Comparative graphic organizers: make connections between artworks of the same
period/culture as well as to other periods/cultures.
Unit quiz: multiple choice questions, 2 short timed essay questions
7. Early Europe and Colonial Americas: 1400-1750 C.E.

17 (50 min) class periods

Guiding Questions: How are historical developments of this period reflected in its art and
architecture? How are religious and geographical differences reflected in artistic patronage and
production?
Kleiner reading: Chapters 8, 9, 11, 12, 13, 14, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25
Sample Unit Activities and Assignments:
Research extension: Partners draw from the following categories:

Dutch genre scenes


Counter-reformation religious art
Art created for royal patrons
Art reflecting international conflict
Art reflecting transoceanic colonization and trade
o Task is to choose an artwork we have not discussed in class from the
category, research it in the context of the units guiding questions and
enduring understanding/essential knowledge statements, and create a
teaching video. The video must include source citations. Once the videos are
uploaded, students view three, leaving written commentary on the
effectiveness with which the videos address the units guiding questions.
Discussion Groups: Students together will answer the essential questions through
discussion and short essay responses and give presentations to their group and class.
Art Cards: Students will create study cards for this unit. Each card will include the image, its
credit line, subject, style, significance, and essential vocabulary associated with it.
Creative application: One-point perspective drawing
Comparative graphic organizers: make connections between artworks of the same
period/culture as well as to other periods/cultures.
Unit quiz: multiple choice questions, 2 short timed essay questions

8.

Later Europe and Americas: 1750-1900 C.E.

16 (50 min) class periods

Guiding Questions: How do works of art reflect the rapidly changing modern world of the late
18th, 19th, and 20th centuries? How are patronage, artistic training, artistic tradition, and
perceived functions of art transformed in Europe and the Americas during this time?
Kleiner reading: Chapters 26, 27, 28
Sample Unit Activities and Assignments:
Discussion Groups: Students together will answer the essential questions through
discussion and short essay responses and give presentations to their group and class.
Art Cards: Students will create study cards for this unit. Each card will include the image, its
credit line, subject, style, significance, and essential vocabulary associated with it.
Creative application: Impressionist style brushstroke exploration
Comparative graphic organizers: make connections between artworks of the same
period/culture as well as to other periods/cultures.
Unit quiz: multiple choice questions, 2 short timed essay questions
9. Later Europe and Americas: 1900-1980 C.E.

15 (50 min) class periods

Guiding Questions: What is the impact of new materials and technologies on 20th century art
and architecture? How do 20th century artist challenge and redefine their role as artist and the
content, materials, and forms of traditional art? How do 20th century artists respond to
contemporary world events and social trends?
Kleiner reading: Chapters 29, 30
Sample Unit Activities and Assignments:

Discussion Groups: Students together will answer the essential questions through
discussion and short essay responses and give presentations to their group and class.
Respond to the following prompt: Stuart Davis wrote: I am an American, born in
Philadelphia of American stock, I studied art in America, I paint what I see in America, in
other words, I paint the American sceneI dont want people to copy Matisse or Picasso,
although it is entirely proper to admit their influence. I dont make paintings like theirs, I
make paintings like mine, I want to paint and do paint particular aspects of this country
which interest me. --- How does Davis interpret his own work?
Art Cards: Students will create study cards for this unit. Each card will include the image, its
credit line, subject, style, significance, and essential vocabulary associated with it.
Creative application: Dada sculpture
Comparative graphic organizers: make connections between artworks of the same
period/culture as well as to other periods/cultures.
Unit quiz: multiple choice questions, 2 short timed essay questions
10. Global Contemporary: 1980 C.E. to Present

14 (50 min) class periods

Guiding Questions: How do contemporary artists move beyond traditional concepts about art
and artists? How do information technology and global awareness together shape contemporary
art?
Kleiner reading: Chapter 31
Class Field Trip to Tel Aviv Art Museum: Students are provided opportunity to analyze
relationships between works of art across cultures and from different content areas.
Contemporary artist visit to class for art talk on life as a contemporary artist today vs past.
Sample Unit Activities and Assignments:
Text and meaning: Half of the class reads Lin articles (Vietnam War Memorial) and the other
reads Xu Bing Articles. In pairs, students do formal comparison and explain artists intentions.
We examine the relationship between text and meaning, beginning with Lins minimalist work.
How is meaning revealed experientially? After viewing Lin videos, students compare negative
reactions with those toward Burghers of Calais. We discuss Xu Bings experiences in Chinas
Cultural Revolution with Maos propagandistic language, anti-intellectualism, and censorship.
Students examine Xu Bings combing traditional materials and techniques with the
invented/nonsensical characters. How does these challenge connections between text and
meaning? After Book from the Sky videos, we explore Duchamps and Warhols influence on
Xu Bing.
Discussion Groups: Students together will answer the essential questions through discussion
and short essay responses and give presentations to their group and class.
Art Cards: Students will create study cards for this unit. Each card will include the image, its
credit line, subject, style, significance, and essential vocabulary associated with it.
Creative application: Stencils and street art
Comparative graphic organizers: make connections between artworks of the same
period/culture as well as to other periods/cultures.
Unit quiz: multiple choice questions, 2 short timed essay questions
Thematic Connections: Using Prezi, student pairs create a thematic virtual exhibit with art in

the Global Contemporary unit and work we did not discuss in class. Students work together to
analyze and develop thematic connections between works they select and those we have
students with respect to form, function artistic intent (if known) and audience response.
Students use specific, detailed visual and contextual evidence to support their ideas in a video
or presentation teaching the new works and justifying their pairings.
11. Curating Project (after the exam): 5 (50 min) class periods
Sample Unit Activities:
Students will recreate Judy Chicagos Dinner Party using artists/artwork studied
throughout the course. Students each draw from a hat two artworks from different units to
create a personalized place setting for their artists/artworks. Students will invite staff
members and the upcoming years APAH students to the dinner party. In their invitations
they will give a contextual overview of their artists/artwork to present with their place
setting. Students will create a video to share project with other APAH classes.
Grading Criteria
Students are expected to complete each assignment on time and to the best of their ability. The total
semester grade will be an average of the following parts:
50 % Formative Assessments: Quizzes, Class work, Notes, Visuals for group work
45 % Summative Assessments: Tests, Exams, Projects, and Presentations
5 % Homework, Readings and Class Participation: (highlighted, outlined, handouts for class
discussions, engagement in class)
Academic Dishonesty
Students are expected to do their own work. Copying or stealing the work of others, whether on a
project, written assignment, quiz or test, is considered plagiarism and is a violation of the College
Board. Any student who plagiarizes will earn an F for the assignment and may be subject to further
disciplinary action depending on the seriousness of the incident.
Reassessment and Missed Tests
Students may redo work submitted on time. Reassessed work is due one week after the work is
graded and with teacher permission.
Missed Test: Students take the make-up test within two days of the original test date.
AP Art History Exam
The AP Art History Exam is 3 hours long and includes a 60-minute multiple choice and a 120 min
free response section.
Section 1: Multiple Choice - 60 minutes
80 questions total
50% of exam score

Section 2: Free Response -120 minutes


6 questions total, two 30 minutes
essay questions and four 15 minute
essay questions
50% of exam score
10