Hello and Welcome to Art 160: Appreciation of Art. During the Fall 2011 semester, we will examine a wide variety of expressions offered by visual artists throughout the history of mankind. To begin our investigation, I offer the following quote by the 19th century British art critic John Ruskin: ”Great nations ‘write their autobiographies in three manuscripts – the book of their deeds, the book of their words and the book of their art. Not one of these books can be understood unless we read the two others; but of the three the only quite trustworthy one is the last. The acts of a nation may be triumphant by its good fortune; and its words mighty by the genius of a few of its children; but its art only by the general gifts and common sympathies of the race.” What are your thoughts on Ruskin’s declaration? And what do you want your artists to be?
The Rothko Chapel, Houston, Texas (Architecture design by Philip Johnson, paintings by Mark Rothko)