Find a beautiful piece of art. If you fall in love with Van Gogh or Matisse or John Oliver Killens, or if you fall love with the music of Coltrane, the music of Aretha Franklin, or the music of Chopin - find some beautiful art and admire it, and realize that that was created by human beings just like you, no more human, no less.- Today we mourn the loss of one of the world’s greatest voices, Maya Angelou. (via hydeordie)
Asian History has a variety of resources. They have been recently updated.
- Resources Page - including bibliographies, study centers, scholarly databases, language learning resources, Museums, Art History databases and other similar references.
- Frequently Asked Questions - General FAQs, a guide to the tagging system, a basic (all subjects) research guide, and links to articles, websites, and charts about historiography, periodization, historical literacy, a link to a flashcard program, and links to thinking like a historian.
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- Other blogs: The Museologist and US History Minus White Guys.
insignuspictor said: Hi! I saw your post where you mentioned that you're critical about art history periodization in general. Can you explain what you mean by that? Sorry if you've covered this before.
I’d caution against looking at Periodization this way. The very same article you drew from here:
I cannot emphasize how actually terrible the situation is.Here is one sentence froma paper on the historiography of the history of art history periodization (click this link if you enjoy farting into paper bags and then huffing your own farts):
Does this mean that the ‘chronotopological’ principles of historiography are to be abandoned?
Was, in fact, a paraphrase of someone else’s argument.
You say, quote:
It’s worse than periodization in History, and that’s bad enough. And I’d probably punctuate it with the literally a hundred messages and comments from people who seem to think that I don’t “understand” History/Art History periodization, when I’m doing my best to blatantly ignore it because it’s completely counter to learning about historical context of ANYTHING.
And again, from the prior article:
Periodization relies on the historicist assumption that not everything is possible in all times, but it is also true that not everything is possible in all places. Attempts to periodize must therefore take into account the dimension of space or place as well as that of time. As many scholars have argued in the last decades, painting is, for example, not the same all over fifteenth-century Italy (if that geographical notion itself is valid and not anachronistic as a framing conception). Fifteenth-century Ferrara, Venice, Milan, and Naples all have been seen to possess their own distinctive visual cultures, related to experiences that are different from those encountered in Florence or Umbria. Moreover, as the study of the history of art has continued to expand throughout the world, interests as well as practices in the discipline have become increasingly global. The geographical parameters of art history have thus become ever more evident.
This is very easily evident in most scholarship being produced today. Periodization is not perfect, but it isn’t useless, either. Things happen in specific times and places. This is how historiography works.
Why is your url “MedievalPOC”, and why are you posting art I consider non-Medieval?
Historiography is the study of how history is recorded. And simply doing away with parts of Historiography because it’s complex or too simple is a large error because it supposes that history is flat. The same article (I googled Art History Periodization too) discusses the idea that “Generalization is a necessary evil.” Why? Because things are categorized to be understood in the context of other things. History is always changing because of historiography and new scholarship. It is in the process of being written, it is a complex and evolving and dynamic subject.
Saying the period of “medieval” is a useless concept because it is a flexible time period variant on place, location, and scholarly debate is erroneous because it would be like saying species classifications are useless concepts because of issues like hybridization and because “Giraffe” may have several sub-species but they’re all Giraffes anyways.
In fact, if we saw a giraffe, and pointed to it and said “That’s a giraffe” we would be 100% right. It is. But the scholars (the scientists) would research if we mean a G. c. reticulata or a G. c. angolensis. We know that new species are constantly being found, that species crossbreed, that science discovers new things daily and that things are generalized based on 1.) Making sure the information is understandable to non-specialists 2.) The information we have 3.) the time, location, and factual/physical evidence we have.
Like science, History makes progress and thus updates, debates, and critically considers the information we have. Periodization is a generalizing concept which has merits — as long as you understand that’s all it is. It’s why you don’t have decade or century specific “chunks” when other designations make more sense (like the Long 19th Century) and why for places not in Europe, other designations are also used (Dynasties, for example, in China.)
It’s why Historians use generalizing and specific terminology, as mentioned here:
The creation of an agreed-upon controlled vocabulary for periods therefore requires either highly local definitions or definitions that are so broad and vague as to be all-encompassing. Both types exist: local vocabularies in use in the UK heritage community, for example, define the “Iron Age” as a period (presumably only in Britain) lasting from 800 BC to AD 43, the year of the Roman conquest (e.g.http://www.fish-forum.info/i_apl_e.htm), while the Getty Thesaurus of Art & Architecture, which seeks to offer more universal concepts, describes a global “Iron Age" in terms of the three-age system and notes generally that it has different dates in different places. It also offers a facet for the European Iron Age, which has several stylistic-chronological subgroups: here, the only value associated with Britain is the La Tène period/culture, which is placed in space in “Northern Europe and the British isles” and in time from “the mid-fifth century BCE” to the “mid-first century BCE”. Though this definition and that of the UK heritage community overlap partially in time, space and concept, they employ different terms; conversely, a single period term such as “Iron Age” can change dramatically in meaning according to where it is used, or by whom. - Source
That doesn’t mean the term “Iron Age” is useless, it means it has multiple definitions and it can be applied differently to different places.
It means that History, like Science is up for critical debate and interpretation by a variety of scholars.
PERIODIZATION RAKS AMONG THE MORE ELUSIVE TASKS of historical scholarship. As practicing historians well know, the identification of coherent periods of history involves much more than the simple discovery of self-evident turning points in the past: it depends on prior decisions about the issues and processes that are most important for the shaping of human societies, and it requires the establishment of criteria or principles that enable historians to sort through masses of information and recognize patterns of continuity and change. Even within the framework of a single society, changes in perspective can call the coherence of conventionally recognized periods into question, as witness Joan Kelly’s famous essay “Did Women Have a Renaissance?” [Source]
It also means that for your average 100-200 level history course at University, you are going to receive a necessarily condensed and simplified explanation of the debate and scholarship because A.) Lacking in time periods or any real definitions leads to a categorical mess and overcomplicates something that should be accessible to everyone and B.) Everyone must have a basic concept and grasp of what is already known before trying to wade into the debates regarding what we know. You learn the lay person’s history long before you receive a rigorous scholarly training in historiography.
Why? Because not everyone wants to be a historian. Again, compare to science: A biology 101 or astronomy 101 tells us the basics of a subject, and then says “Well, there’s debate about this, but we don’t want to over-complicate the basic concept before you understand it.” It’s why Physics 101 is a series of perfectly non-complicated formulas which assume most of the true variables you might have to consider aren’t in play. Don’t calculate friction before you understand the basic concepts.
Dismissing periodization dismisses historiography and saying something is useless fails to engage in it. Periodization is criticized because it needs to change and update with new information.
I’ve covered it. Summary: it doesn’t make any sense, very few people in the discipline like it, and attempts to make it make sense most of the time just make it worse.
Periodization can be regarded as intellectually restrictive if it is accepted as the inevitable foundation of art history and theory rather than as a trigger for critical analysis and debate. Revisions to accepted periodizations often arise when researchers recover materials that have been ignored or dismissed.
Read more: Periodization of the Arts - What Is A Period? - Periods, Artworks, Baroque, and Qualities - JRank Articles http://science.jrank.org/pages/10626/Periodization-Arts-What-Period.html#ixzz30mkxEhkf
Please don’t lead people to falsely believe that History is simply too complex to be understandable and therefore its complexities should be ignored. History is complex, and is broken down into non-complex terms for teaching. Although even my “Renaissance History in Europe” course blatantly demarcated that “Renaissance” is a loose and fluid definition dependent on geography. Even in basic history courses in college, these debates about terminology are held, doubly so for Art History 101-102 classes and non-European Art/History. But History also has a strong debate and is a growing and evolving discipline, like science, and is tested, altered, and updated with new information.
Periodization can be a useful tool within a series of other tools. Something being generalist, or not always 100% accurate doesn’t make it a waste of time. Criticism is not “it’s useless and people don’t like it.” That’s a complaint. Criticism involves actually engaging with the thing you are criticizing.
This is probably the most comprehensive article written on the state of the Corcoran thus far. A must read.