for asking this question

anonymous asked:

Hi Amy, I'm a high school student who wants to major in art history. I know that a large part of history in general is asking questions, however I'm unsure about how to ask better questions, would you give some suggestions and examples of higher level questions to ask about an art work? P.S. you blog is amazing and thank you for all the resources!

Wow, what a great question! Some of my college students don’t ask how they can ask better questions, so I was so excited when I saw that you are a high school student thinking ahead. Thank you! 

I assume you are taking art history at your high school. This is good - your class has already given you the framework you need to move from basic questioning to more in depth questioning. Who? What? Where? When? Why? How? You would think that with art history, the Five Ws + How? would be simple enough to answer. This is not always the case, however, and sometimes the simple questions of Who? or How? or Where? can take an art historian years to answer. A good example of this is attribution: who made a work of art? It sounds like an easy question, but as someone who has shed blood, sweat, and tears on attribution, I can tell you it isn’t. The same is true of iconography (’what’?). On the surface, subject matter shouldn’t be hard to identify or propose, but it can be.  All this to say that if you are worried that asking some of these questions is too basic, you shouldn’t be - you will undoubtedly keep asking them as an art history major, and the answers will not always be easy (or even possible) to find.

Asking (sometimes deceptively) basic questions is all well and good, but how can you ask more in-depth questions about works that are already the subject of lengthy discourse, like the Mona Lisa or the Sistine Chapel? This is, essentially, the writer’s question. To arrive at a probing question, you may want to: 

Practice slow looking. Slow looking is exactly what it sounds like - sitting in front of a work of art and taking time to really look at it. This will be hard to do during a class session, but you can do this after class (or beforehand, if you know the period or artist being covered). As part of the slow looking exercise, write down your initial response to the work, and note throughout your time looking how your initial response has evolved and why.

Question a work of art’s formal elements. Think about color, line, texture, light, shadow, space, perspective, volume… Why do you think the artist made the decisions s/he did? Here is a list of formal analysis questions to get you started. If you email me,  amy [at] caravaggista [dot] com, I can send you the “Questions Sheet” I give to my students.

Ask yourself what ascribes meaning to a work. In a similar vein, you can consider why a work of art is being discussed in class (in other words, why it has been deemed important). Is it the subject matter? The composition? The work’s cultural or historical context? The fame of the artist? The expense of materials used? All of the above, and more? Why or why not?

Look at a work of art using a particular methodology. Art historians use lots of different methods to analyze works of art. If you haven’t yet learned about art theory or methods, consider picking up a copy of Michael Hatt and Charlotte Klonk’s Art History: A critical introduction to its methods (Manchester University Press, 2006). The authors examine the origins of art history as a discipline and explain each major method in practice, from formalism to semiotics (and more!). Examining a work of art using a particular framework can yield surprising and inspiring results!

Read about a work of art you are having a hard time formulating questions for. Specifically, read art historical articles about the work and consider the author’s argument. Do you agree with their analysis? Why or why not? Is there an aspect of the work or its context that you think should be more fully addressed (or considered, in the first place)? What evidence does the author use to support their analysis? 

This is by no means an exhaustive list of ways to ask better questions, but I hope it helps get you started!  There are no bad questions; all questions help deepen your understanding and analysis. 

I’m going to include a break here. After the break, you’ll find recommended reading and resources.


Recommended Reading

Many of these resources are geared toward how to write about art, but I recommend them because the first step in writing is asking questions, and these authors’ discussions could be informative!

Barnet, Sylvan. A Short Guide to Writing about Art. Boston; Toronto: Little, Brown, and Company, 1985.

Berger, John. Ways of Seeing. New York: Viking Penguin, 1977. 

Hatt, Michael and Charlotte Klonk. Art History: A critical introduction to its methods. Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2006. 

Huntsman, Penny. Thinking About Art: A thematic guide to art history. West Sussex: Wiley Blackwell, 2016.

Pop, Andrei. How to Do Things with Pictures: A Guide to Writing in Art History. Department of History of Art and Architecture, Harvard University, 2008. 

Taylor, Joshua C. Learning to Look: A Handbook for the Visual Arts. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1957. 

anonymous asked:

Can we talk about how Mai being abused made her how she is? Calling an abuse victim abusive for acting a certain way because of their abuse is victim blaming. Mai isn't a bad person her parents are.

Thank you for sending me this ask, anon, because it’s something I want to talk about.

There are abusers who were themselves abused, and who abuse out of a misguided attempt to cope with their own abuse.  Such abusers absolutely exist, and Avatar: the Last Airbender has a few of these, most prominently Azula.  However, this is not Mai, and I have already written a lot about how Mai’s behavior is not abusive.

But here’s the thing, Zuko, during his time in the Fire Nation before leaving to teach Aang, is not happy, and for that matter, Mai isn’t happy either.  This is only to be expected.  Not only are Mai and Zuko both trying to deal with the abuse their parents heaped, and continue to heap on them, but they are both in a current abusive relationship at the time, with Azula.  Both of them are under tremendous stress from this past and continuing abuse, and neither was magically able to be happy in spite of currently being abused because they had someone who loved them.

This is held up by anti-Maiko shippers as proof that Mai is wrong for Zuko, and even abusive.  Obviously she’s the wrong girl, because if she was the right girl, Zuko would be happy and cured of all his woes, even though all of the troubles he had before are still going on, and out of Mai’s control.  This is both rank sexism, and a wild misunderstanding of what love is like.

In fact, abusers like Azula are corrosive to all the other relationships their victims have, especially the relationships between their victims.  It’s incredibly difficult to sustain a relationship in the face of an Azula.  This is why Mai and Ty Lee’s friendship, and also Mai and Zuko’s romance are so remarkable.

And both Mai and Zuko act in tremendously unhealthy ways throughout their time together before Zuko leaves to teach Aang.  This behavior isn’t abuse, but there are lots of unhealthy behaviors that aren’t abuse.  Both of them are still being abused.  They don’t have the safety to step back and say “is this coping mechanism doing me good?  Is it good for the people around me?  does it work?”  They are both still living in that state of fear and crisis that abuse brings.  Holding Mai responsible for this is the very height of victim blaming.

anonymous asked:

I don't think Rey and Kylo are related, but I also don't think romance will happen either, so if that's really the case, it makes me wonder... How is Rey going to be involved in Kylo's redemption (in an impactful way)? As the protagonist, she should be, IMO. Or maybe Kylo doesn't get redeemed at all? what do you think?

It’s hard for me to detach myself from my own expectations and interpretations of the story when it comes to this question, since I think that a romance between Rey and Kylo is needed if we are to buy them having a crucial and game-changing relationship when they’re not blood related. 

You don’t become deeply invested in the fate of someone who you feel a bit of broad sympathy for - but you do become a stakeholder in the fate of someone who you love, and the passion we’ve already seen between Kylo and Rey leads me to believe that their love is likely to be romantic and rooted in sexual attraction and their deeper spiritual bond. 

I think we’re going to see them fall for each other deeply in The Last Jedi, even if they’re both initially in denial about the nature of their feelings and their investment in each other.

I absolutely think you’re right in pointing out that Rey has to be involved in Kylo’s redemption, since she’s the protagonist and should be responsible for the main developments in the story. And this goes back to why I think there has to be something much stronger between them than feelings of mild admiration and empathy - the story has to establish a reason for Rey to be deeply invested in Kylo’s fate and vice versa, and at the moment I see developing feelings between them as the most dramatic and likely route for the films.

The real question about season 7:

Will we get the floof back? 

Originally posted by crazy-red-cat

This is medium floof, about five inches on top and maybe seven on the side.

An inch of hair takes about a month to grow for most people.

If they start filming in mid-July and stopped at the beginning of April, that’s only a maximum of four months, not enough to manage full floofage.

Like, I’m not actually complaining about short-hair Gold…but I MISS THE FLOOF!

I could even live with a wig for the first three or four episodes if it gave the floof time to catch up…

anonymous asked:

Do manticores knuckle walk in the universe the sphinx Peter is from?

In his universe, he’s somewhat unique. He’s actually human, or was, at least, born to human parents. He’s legally human in any case.

Things like this happen sometimes, where a child is born deformed by magic and the results are wildly different each time, varying from huge and visible changes to the human form, to subtle differences from the natural human form that may not even be outwardly visible, though the face and hands are usually conserved either way.

There could be another who is a manticore and walks on their knuckles, but such an individual could also have another solution for walking, or not need to walk on all fours, there’s no guarantee that Peter’s body type will ever be seen again.

anonymous asked:

She said this album it's not about boys. I think IHQ is about the FANS THAT TURNED THEIR BACKS ON HER when she made the duet with Shawn remember all the hateful things they said to her?when they called her a snake and bully her and her family?some of them even ignored her in meet and greets. Camila was hurt by that and all she was doing was what she loves the most music and they called her a traitor and treated her like shit Yes, the same 'fans' that used to say they loved her for years-

It’s an interesting theory but I don’t think such a personal song would be about the fans though, I mean I know she loves us but come on -  and why on earth would she ask the haters if they missed her or how she could fix it - like, no.

anonymous asked:

I just showed my lizard your drawing of Commander Clarke and every time I'd try to take it away he'd puff his beard out a bit (no stress marks or anger signs btw) until I let him see it again so this kept going for like 5 minutes until he finally let me turn my phone off so I think he likes it. 😂

Maybe you should print out a picture of commander Clarke for your lizard to look at more often

anonymous asked:

Sam I am in tears. Why do the Muslims hate us so much to do this?

Remember, few human actions have no prior causes. Everything that happens happens because of a complex swarm of cause and effect.

There is no excuse for the murder of another’s child. None. 

In order to understand what is going on in the Muslim world vis-à-vis, the West one must comprehend a simple fact: While we are not at war with Islam there is a relatively small and scattered faction of Islam that is at war with the West. They see the last 100 years as one of invasion, conquest and cultural assault by the West.

In their minds, they are at war. Since they have no army, air force or navy they strike in the only way they can by going after “soft targets” instead of military targets. These suicide bombers are like the kamikaze pilots of the Second World War, an act of sheer desperation.

We must remember that it is not the West which bears the brunt of this war. It is the Muslims themselves. Muslims in the West look on powerlessly as the people in their home country are killed by their fellow Muslims.

It is the curse of the blood feud. It goes on and on and never ends.

bushesobrandy replied to your post “ppl who meet Tom Hiddleston… how do you survive?? ”

I’ve met him a few times and let me tell you, nothing makes your knees weaker than looking into the eyes of the Hiddles. Lol.

@bushesobrandy few times!?!??! Are you sure you’re not texting me from the afterlife? They have free wifi there? cool 

Seriously tho… Have you hugged him? What does it feel like?? Are his eyes really as beautiful as we see in the pics irl too??????