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Art And Education And Tumblr
June 10, 2013 9:23 AM   Subscribe


 
Also good: Caravaggista and on the lighter side, Beyonce Art History.
posted by jetlagaddict at 9:29 AM on June 10, 2013


I love this. It made my day. Though, I can neither confirm not deny whether I let out a squeal of joy. Coworkers may or may not be staring.
posted by C'est la D.C. at 9:43 AM on June 10, 2013


Yet another reason why browsers need transport controls for GIFs.
posted by b1tr0t at 9:56 AM on June 10, 2013 [1 favorite]


Ah, you mean Westeran art history.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 10:03 AM on June 10, 2013 [2 favorites]


I think that the reason I actually sort of dislike these is that I feel uncomfortable with Art History presented as a few random paintings and a collection of fact-lets. And many of these little tidbits are themselves disputable.

In fact, one of the most interesting things about some of these pieces, once you get beneath the surface, is how little we do know about them and the controversies they've stirred. Just take as an example, the "Arnolfini" portrait. That it is a portrait of Arnolfini is a weak attribution. We don't really know who it is. Or what they are doing. The statue looks like St. Margaret but thats not definitive. The pregnant look of the woman has been shown to be a fashion of the day, whether or not you were pregnant. The man appears to be doing a blessing but why, as the groom, would he be doing that? And so on...

So the little amusing tidbits here are not only misleading, they also fall prey to that old didactic routine of presenting things as a collection of known facts. Too bad, because it is the controversial that is both more interesting and more educational.
posted by vacapinta at 10:24 AM on June 10, 2013 [9 favorites]


It won't let me click "like" more than once, but vacapinta, you really nailed it. This boils art history down to its least interesting aspects.
posted by goatdog at 10:35 AM on June 10, 2013


So the little amusing tidbits here are not only misleading, they also fall prey to that old didactic routine of presenting things as a collection of known facts

On the other hand, this way of presenting the paintings and details about them makes me think about people (for example high schoolers taking Art History) look at the works of art with new eyes. For me Art History at the basic level is about art appreciation, not about having all the facts completely straight. I remember being amazed at the amount of information a painting can reveal, when I first took Art History in high school. What I took with me is the interest in looking at a work of art and trying to figure out what the artist was traying to express.
posted by CrazyLemonade at 10:40 AM on June 10, 2013 [3 favorites]


I wanted to like this, I really did. But, vacapinta and Brandon Blatcher have pointed out, it has Issues.
posted by The River Ivel at 11:08 AM on June 10, 2013


It is really unfortunate if these are putting forth supposition as fact. However, I still think things like this are a net positive. For all their flaws, they make the art much more accessible than my old high school textbook. It's a great window into something I normally would not get to spend much time learning about, and gives me a springboard to explore certain facets of art and history.
posted by C'est la D.C. at 11:12 AM on June 10, 2013


These are cool. They're not earth-shattering but as a project by some person they're interesting, especially for someone like me who doesn't have the slightest clue where to start interpreting symbolism, etc. in these paintings.

I was going to write up more of that sort of mild defense but it seems like that responding to such criticisms was the subject of the latest post.
posted by mountmccabe at 1:26 PM on June 10, 2013 [1 favorite]


This is absolutely brilliant. I've no doubt that Random Site On The Internet's Animated GIFs don't reflect the best and latest scholarship and I don't care: the best is the enemy of the good!
posted by alasdair at 1:47 PM on June 10, 2013 [1 favorite]


Also, I should mention that second Art History grad student tumblr is freaking hilarious.
posted by The Whelk at 2:20 PM on June 10, 2013 [1 favorite]


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