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Art History

Santa Ana College’s Art Program offers courses in Art History to meet the requirements for General Education Study, Ethnic Studies, and the Major in Art.

Art History is the academic study of man-made objects in their historical development and their cultural context.

As a scholarly exercise, art history

  • investigates the work of art as an embodiment of the values, goals and aspirations of the time and place of origin of the work.
  • views how a work is made in terms of the material and tools that make it and construct it into a composition.

The Art Historian uses a variety of perspectives to understand a work of art through

  1. examining the formal structure,
  2. identifying the subject matter, and
  3. comprehending it in the cultural period that made it.

Traditionally, works of art are classified as architecture, sculpture, the pictorial arts (painting, drawing, printmaking and photography), and the craft arts, or arts of design that comprise utilitarian objects such as ceramics, metalwork, textiles, jewelry, and similar accessories of ordinary living.

Today the boundaries among these categories are often blurred to make multimedia works and even to include the performing arts of music, dance, and drama as in “performance art” and computer-generated images.

Courses in Art History at Santa Ana College include Art Concepts, The Survey of Western World Art from Prehistory through the Twentieth Century, The History of Modern and Contemporary Art, Mexican and Chicano Art History, Asian Art History, and African Art History.