Art history classes are designed to cultivate visually literate viewers of artwork. Application of the idea of literary to vision assumes that may be understood as a language. A language of vision is built upon an understanding of visual images and an increase the perception of visual awareness. The skills in visual analysis and interpretation designed in art history courses introduce students to methods of visual analysis and to specific subjects of cultural importance, at the same time as they learn features of different cultures. Common to all of art history courses are emphasis upon the interpretation of visual texts; meaningful introduction to cultural activities from a range of nations, the historical context in which art forms were created, sponsored and acquired.
Appreciating Aesthetic Experiences
Students taking courses in art history who are new to art learn to clearly organize their perceptions of and thoughts about artwork. Students are taught in art history classes to translate experience of artwork into written form; therefore, paradigms of descriptive art criticism are provided for study, interpretation, and analysis. Art history classes provide appreciation in aesthetic experience as well as distinction and analogies between aesthetic and ordinary experience. Art history students educated and trained in the humanities achieve these skills in order to professionally compete in our technological society.
Teaching a student in the sciences to be creative in his or her thinking is not very different from molding and shaping a humanist. Recognizing that we are a University focused on the sciences, engineering, management, education and health, we are confident, nevertheless, that our educational strategies and humanistic and art historical goals support the mission of UMass Lowell, emphatically and wholeheartedly.