Why Art History?

After my recent acceptance as a transfer student to UCLA (University of California, Los Angeles) I was constantly bombarded with the heavy weighing question, “Why Art History?” By that, almost everyone means something along the lines of: what that major entails and what’s the future in it. To be honest, I’m not entirely sure how to answer either of those. All I can think to respond with is, “It’s what I love to study, so I will pursue something I’m passionate about and let the rest unfold.” Then it hit me, most people aren’t as interested in this topic as I am because they haven’t been fully exposed to the beauty and power of art. Sure we see the day to day references, but do we actually recognize them as artistic icons? What’s the underlying message behind those screen printed Marilyn Monroes? What is it about the Mona Lisa’s smile? Not to mention the iconography and cultural patterns in art that we see everywhere! We associate different textiles with different cultures and certain artists with certain time frames, but do we fully understand and appreciate what it means? I’m setting out to share my knowledge and question what I come across as I further my studies in Art History. I want to open discussions and share research. Follow me as I begin my journey through the art world. I will highlight artist, eras, pieces, and practices. Let’s ponder, appreciate, dissect, theorize, and overall explore the past as we look through the books and beyond the surface of Art History.


2 thoughts on “Why Art History?

  1. heatherelliott25

    Gabrielle, I admire your passion to educate your viewers on the importance of art history. I have my bachelors in fine art and a minor in art history; I immediately fell in love with art history from my very first class and I plan on going back to grad school for a masters in art history eventually.

    I want to propose to you a realization that I had during a ‘promoting the arts’ class in my masters of art administration program. As I was creating the marketing plan for some non-profit art organization, I realized why the arts are facing such a challenge. Think about what the average person wants to do with their time off; time off of the mental/physical/emotion challenges of work and life in general. They typically want fun, entertainment, non-challenging activities such as movies, vacations, etc.

    Within this lies the problem; art is challenging. Art requires its viewers to think critically, become open-minded, and be willing to learn. Art also forces people to face certain ideas, recall memories, confront morals, question reality, etc; and these are things that people in our time in society are either not interested in or not willing to be interested in.

    Having said, I applaud you in your recent acceptance to UCLA and I look forward to your posts and discussing this challenge with you.



  2. gpalmadessa

    I do agree that often “heavy” subjects are brushed off by the general public. I think the emotional realizations and philosophical questions that arise from the creation and viewing of art were some of the main reasons I was drawn to this subject. Though I only have an AA in Art and do not create too much myself, I feel drawn to so many pieces as if they were my own. That’s the beauty of art, how it can evoke emotions and force the viewer to confront them. I’m hoping through this blog I can create a community of art lovers and art learners. Please feel free to comment and share on any future posts as well!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s