History and the Arts
New Upcoming Sessions - Winter 2023 - Renaissance to Modern Times
Each meeting is planned for one hour (or longer with extended discussion) and will begin with a short introductory slideshow presentation from the facilitator as we work our way from past to present and then each participant is invited to bring up something of interest from that period i.e. art, literature or an idea - really anything and how it may have represented the time. Theme for discussion is simply what the time was like, what can we learn, how did and how do we change - as we look into what historian Barbara Tuchman called A Distant Mirror (US National Book Award in 1980). In case participants are looking for examples of artwork that they may want to discuss or question, this website provides a list with pictures and backgrounds of key works of art from every era and region: Required works of art for AP Art History - SmarthistoryIn the first series (Fall 2022) we looked at Early Man and Early Art, the Cosmic Calendar and Yuval Harari's Sapiens; Art and Early 'Civilizations' of Egypt & Tigris, Greece & Persia, India, Rome and China; Ages and Artistic Expressions of Faith; and finally Art and the Late MIddle Ages, the Columbian Exchange and the Early Renaissance.
Schedule (Fall 2022)
November 29 and December 6 - Late Middle Ages and Columbian Exchange: 1491 vs 1493 by Charles Mann, meeting of worlds, the vernacular and Renaissance Art as agent of change slideshow, comparison of Arts from Europe and elsewhere.
Schedule (Winter 2023)
January 24 –Renaissance and Reformation: Arts as vehicles of challenge to traditional authority; Why are sacraments, idolatry and art at centre of major Wars of Religion?; Four Horsemen of Apocalypse, Education and literalism
February 7 –Commerce and the Baroque: Global trade companies bring the arts of the world together but at a global cost; Extravagance has a political point - fanfares, palaces, divine rights, empires, joint stock ventures and the arts
February 21 --Enlightenment, Revolution, Romantic to Realistic: Philosophers, physiocrats, salons, encyclopedia and revolt in Rococo & Neoclassical eras; Nature and the arts, new ideologies of equality in the arts, and the camera!
March 7 -- Modern Art for Modern World: Impressionism to modern art reflects new ways to see the world while new media provide new lenses to reach new audiences and still deliver messages to make us question & wonder
If demand warrants, a second group can be created in intervening weeks.
(Images courtesy of M. Rennie and Smart History.org)
Facilitator Bio: Malcolm Rennie, M.A. History & past History teacher. Malcolm's experience includes three decades of teaching Grade 12 and first year university level European History, Social 30 and coaching students in World History and American History, however my Art History background is limited to how key works were seen as revealing about the period.
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