Art history majors study art through various methods, including the study of art from a cultural, historical, and sociological perspective. In the United States, most art history majors spend their formative years at an art college or university. There are many art history programs at art schools throughout the United States. Students can choose to specialize in either the visual or the performing arts, but all art history majors should pursue a degree in this discipline. It can be an exciting and challenging field, but there are also many rewards for those who choose it.
Visual art history focuses on the visual arts and the culture of the visual world. The major focuses on the creation of art, the history of visual art, and the visual/permanent culture of the past, which can be studied using various methods, such as documentary study, literary analysis, and the application of multiple genres or styles. One of the most prominent contributors to the growth of American independent art in the twentieth century was the rise of jazz and African-American art. Jazz came about as a result of the segregations in the Jim Crow south, which prompted black Americans to seek refuge in the blues. The artistic expressions of these blacks and their musicians were captured in the form of jazz.
Another significant influence on art history was the art movements of the 20th century, which were centered on mass production and technological advancement. The Pop Art movement, which spanned countries such as France, England, and America, gave rise to the icon of pop culture, Andy Warhol. Many other artists followed in his footsteps, including Roy Lichtenstein and Jasper Johns.
Historically, art history has often focused on the masterpieces of ancient civilizations and the progression of art from village paintings to large-scale decorative art. These artistic movements helped to shape the world of art, especially the art of ancient Egypt. Early Egyptian art, for example, included items such as amulets and statutes. Statuettes would often illustrate stories or commands from the gods. That helped to shape the ideas that were engraved on the pieces of art that came from Egypt.
Art historians also look to art movements in the 20th century for examples of everyday life art. Several renowned artists followed during this time period. John Cage and Yves Saint Laurent helped revolutionize the medium through their meaningful use of noise and experimental materials. Others who played a significant role in this era were painters like Pablo Picasso and Georges Braque.
Later in the 20th century, another influential artist who helped shape the visual arts of everyday life was Andy Warhol. While he did not contribute to the evolution of painting, he popularised abstract expressionism, which became a staple of the art world. Some of the most famous examples of this type of art are the works of Campbell’s Soup Can and advertising art that used distorted images of food.
Other artists such as Roy Lichtenstein and Frank Stella helped create an entirely new level of conceptual art. They used everyday objects like pencils and pens to explore social issues and romantic themes. Other painters include Pop artists like Banksy, whose works focus on political and social ideals.
Pop art is very different from Abstract Expressionism in that it does not focus on the form but the message. Many of the pioneers of pop art were rejected for formal art competitions. Instead, they concentrated on developing their distinctive style and creating individual pop artworks. Some of the most famous pop art artists include Andy Warhol, Roy Lichtenstein, and Yusef Islam. Other popular works by pop artists can be found in exhibitions around the world. Pop art has become an evergreen style of art that continues to influence the visual arts today.