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Art History AP

HIST 521/522

Art History AP

  • Course ID:HIST 521/522
  • Semesters:2
  • Department:History
  • Course Rank:College Level
  • Teachers:Joe Cardenas

Description and Objectives

This course is a survey of the history of art with an emphasis on the Western tradition. Through the exposure to great works of art, students will strengthen their ability to analyze, describe, and, ultimately, learn to appreciate art and its many traditions and movements.

The primary goals of this course:

  1. Acquire comprehensive knowledge of major artistic traditions and movements
  2. Learn to observe more carefully and thoughtfully major works of art
  3. Become more proficient in the art of describing and analyzing art
  4. Develop an understanding of major philosophical positions in art
  5. Acquire the ability to enter into lucid and mature discussion with classmates and the teacher

Outline of Topics Covered:

First Quarter
Ancient Near East
Greece and Rome
Early Christian and Byzantium
Medieval Art: Romanesque and Gothic

Second Quarter
Early Renaissance
Renaissance in Italy
Renaissance in Europe
Indigenous Americas


South, East, and Southeast Asia

Third Quarter
West and Central Asia
Baroque and Rococo
Neoclassicism and Romanticism
Realism, Impressionism, Post-Impressionism

Fourth Quarter
20th Century Art to 1980
Contemporary Art from 1980 to the Present
AP Art History Exam


  • AP Art History: With 5 Practice Tests. (Baron’s Fifth Edition)
  • Required AP Works from Khan Academy
  • The Insider’s Complete Guide AP Art History: Beyond the European Tradition with Global Contemporary (Volume 3)

Course Requirements

Students should expect daily reading and writing assignments, and bi-weekly exams.

  • The final grade each quarter will be based on the following:
    • Tests 85%
    • Reading/Homework Cards 15%
  • Although tests will require knowledge of objective facts, more importantly, tests will evaluate the student’s ability to think about and synthesize art works critically and contextually.
  • On the mid-term and final examinations, comprehensive knowledge of all material will be required.
  • Class participation is required whether it takes the form of effective insights or the asking of probing questions.  Comportment, attention to detail, and sustained improvement over time in the student’s work will also factor into class participation.  The teacher will keep an account of how well students are participating, and students can approach the teacher at any time to ask about how well they are performing in this respect.

Successful Students

  • The successful student must maintain daily reading and card schedules and avoid waiting for deadlines to complete work.  Homework, which is spaced out over a proper amount of time, allows for adequate mental digestion, more effective intellectual nourishment, and more advanced writing instruction that is relieved of the burden of discussing simple, preventable errors.
  • Successful students will consult with the instructor frequently to discuss works of art. I am available outside of class and will make myself available for extra help whenever an appointment is needed.  I encourage parents to contact me with any questions or concerns either by email or phone.
  • At the conclusion of the course, the successful student will have a solid grasp of the major works of art as well as all the major art traditions and movements. He will also be able to speak and write his thoughts and ideas about art more clearly.