YouTube: Social, Cultural, and Religious Functions

I just made my first YouTube video to help introduce course material to online students. Normally I create QuickTime videos of PowerPoint presentations for my online students, but I thought that a short clip of myself could help to set the tone (and hopefully encourage excitement!) for the upcoming course, which begins next week.

The video encourages students to look for ways that prehistoric and ancient art is connected with cultural, social, and religious functions. Before students even open their textbook, I want them to understand that definitions for art have changed over time. Today’s definitions for art (including ideas behind “Expressionism,” “art for art’s sake,” and a keen interest in aesthetic) are somewhat different from those of earlier centuries.

P.S. Yes, that’s a puzzle replica of the Sistine Chapel in the background of the clip. You can lift off the roof to reveal Michelangelo’s ceiling and Last Judgment fresco inside!


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This blog focuses on making Western art history accessible and interesting to all types of audiences: art historians, students, and anyone else who is curious about art. Alberti’s Window is maintained by Monica Bowen, an art historian and professor.