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History of Art?

(7 Posts)
Lolapopflower Mon 26-Jan-15 21:20:34

My DD is set on 3 A-levels but is struggling to choose her AS level to study for Year 12. She is considering History of Art but is wondering if any body could give an honest description of the course and what it generally involves?

MillyMollyMama Wed 28-Jan-15 13:19:25

Can she not ask the teacher? When choosing A levels, my DDs received details of the courses from the Head of 6th form. It is as essay subject and considers art and architecture. If your DD has taken an interest in art galleries and has visited and enjoyed architectural buildings of note, at home and abroad, she will like the subject. If it is well taught, it is great. My DD studied as part of her Erasmus year abroad at both Geneva and Bologna universities. She probably should have done the A level but developed her interest in history of art a bit too late!

Chilicosrenegade Wed 28-Jan-15 13:38:59

Specifically to a level? No. But I did do it at degree.

Generally speaking it's the history of the world taught via art. At degree level we (at Leicester) studied cavemen to the Renaissance in the first year. Second year covered Renaissance to modern times. Third year becomes specialised. It traces the development of man, development of countries, development of belief systems. It covers art, architecture, crafts, spiritualism and literature. Royals to medicine. It will cover feminism, modernity, wars, post wars, and art theory. That special language reserved for reverence of The Turner prize (wink) etc.

At degree level it often includes travel. We went to Italy for example.

I'm biased but I love it. So many things have related to it in my life. As a life knowledge broadener Id recommend the subject wholeheartedly.

And definitely Leics. Uni grin

Do read the school curriculum. That will be the best source material immediately. It is most certainly an essay subject. She will develop critical ability. It will show her how to build arguements and persuade through her writing.

Word of caution, it's not a 'cop out'. If she's looking for an easy subject she may not like it. Art often sounds simple. People can be disappointed when they discover it's not just looking at pretty pictures....

TranmereRover Wed 28-Jan-15 13:44:27

while it is a fun and interesting subject to study, and involves a lot of writing which is going to be useful for any other written arts based subject, it is of very, very narrow use in the Real World. If she has her eye on a particular career or industry that doesn't involve museum curating or gallery / auction house working (which generally require a private income as the cash is so bad), it's not a fantastic option.
In terms of what the course delivers, it will depend on the school - the A level curriculum is pretty broad so schools tend to focus on specific aspects of it.

Ardha Wed 28-Jan-15 14:40:42

I did this for A level and it fitted really well with the English Lit and History that I also did, however, it wasnt that well regarded and only had half the class time of the other subjects for what was an A level with a lot of reading and study. The good news is, you dont have to be an artist to study it.
I found it gave me extra knowledge for the other two subjects, so was an asset in that regard.

Chilicosrenegade Wed 28-Jan-15 14:55:05


Auctioneering, restoration, renovation, museums, museum design, publicity, pr, property eg historical, or property eg interior design. Digital is an area really taking off; most museums are online with virtual tours etc.

Oh and I did investment banking. Persuasive arguing.

The 'narrow' theory was in my experience, false. Like most subjects, it's what you make of it that counts.

TranmereRover Wed 28-Jan-15 20:25:33

In my experience (courtauld / sothebys), nobody outside a narrow sphere considers the subject to be much more than a bit of a posh girl joke; very few people have even heard of the courtauld, which given it's the world's most sought after place for the subject isn't helpful. They think you're a textile designer or somesuch
I don't really think it was your history of art that made you an investment banker any more than it made me a lawyer (that was the realisation everyone in auctioneering / galleries had a private income and I didn't so I realised thankfully early on that it was best to go back and study

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