ASHS Coursebook: 1ARH (Level 1 Art History)

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Information icon.svg 1ARH
NCEA Level:
Primary Qualification:
Primary Learning Area:

What is this course about?

Have you ever wondered who decides what is 'art' and what is not? Is a preserved cow, an unmade bed or a pile of rubbish really art? Is Banksy's graffiti art? How is it that paintings by artists like Vincent Van Gogh or Claude Monet sell for so many millions when the artists lived in poverty? Why are certain types of art popular at some times and not others? What type of processes are used in art making? How do you 'read' an art work?

In level 1 Art History, we will explore aspects such as those above through examining a wide range of New Zealand and international art works. We will investigate the place of art in our lives and visit art sites and galleries as part of this exploration.

What will I learn?

You will develop understanding of different purposes of art, of the symbolism and language artists use; of the various influences that affect art works and how they do this; of a variety of methods and materials artists use to create their works. Because we will be doing a considerable amount of discussion and analysis of art works, you can also expect to improve your analytical skills considerably - a factor which will help your other subjects.

What sorts of things will I do?

You will be involved in a variety of learning activites in both group and individual situations. Close reading is an important skill that you will practise and contributing to discussion in group and class situations is an important means of clarifying ideas and gaining confidence in the subject. Some areas of study will involve research and you will be expected to build on what we do in class by visiting galleries and exhibitions in your own time as well as with our group.

What standards can I enter?

A course of 20 credits will be selected from the standards below.

Summary of standards:
NCEA Level: Standard Number: Name of standard: Version Number: Credits: Assessment:
1 AS91015
1.1 Demonstrate understanding of formal elements of art works, using art terminology
1 AS91016
1.2 Demonstrate understanding of the subject matter of art works
1 AS91017
1.3 Demonstrate understanding of links between context(s) and art works
1 AS91018
1.4 Demonstrate knowledge of media and methods used to produce art works
1 AS91019
1.5 Demonstrate understanding of developments in an artist's work
1 AS91020
1.6 Explain why selected objects may be considered as art

Total available credits:

Frequently asked questions:

Do I need to know anything about art?

No - Art History is usually the first experience of really looking at art for students, and most will not have done any practical art either.

Why is this learning important?

Building an understanding of art enriches our lives as well as broadening our understanding and empathy with others. It also helps develop our conceptual skills. It increases the pleasure we can take in viewing and participating in art, and the knowledge gained and ideas explored are relevant to many other areas of study. Literature, practical art and media are just some of the fields that draw from art of the past to express ideas in our own time.

Are there costs involved in this course?

Class trips may incur transport and entry costs.