Doc Holley's - Academic Services
       Advanced Placement Art History
Course Description
Advanced Placement Art History is a course culminating with an exam offered by College Board.  The AP Art History course is designed to allow students to examine major forms of artistic expression relevant to a variety of cultures evident in wide variety of periods from present times into the past. Students acquire an ability to examine works of art critically, with intelligence and sensitivity, and to articulate their thoughts and experiences. The main topic is European Art, with focuses on AfricanHinduSouth and East Asian, and Islamic Art.   (Ref: College Board.)
Recent revisions to the course reflect recent scholarship that emphasizes critical analysis of works of art and understanding of relationships among global artistic traditions. The AP Art History course continues to prepare students for successful placement into subsequent college and university art history courses.The AP Art History course is equivalent to a two-semester introductory college course that explores topics such as the nature of art, art making, and responses to art. By investigating a specific image set of 250 works of art characterized by diverse artistic traditions from prehistory to the present, the course fosters in-depth, holistic understanding of the history of art from a global perspective. Students become active participants in the global art world, engaging with its forms and content, as they experience, research, discuss, read, and write about art, artists, art making, and responses to and interpretations of art.     (Ref: College Board.)

Functions and effects of art are the focus of the AP Art History course. Students consider influential forces like patronage, politics, class, belief, gender, and ethnicity in their analysis of art forms. They examine styles, techniques, themes, and chronology, comparing and contrasting art forms from varied perspectives. Students explore a specific set of 250 works of art in 10 content areas beginning with art from global prehistory and ending with global works from the present.        (Ref: College Board.)                             
The redesigned AP Art History course involves new learning objectives, a newly defined course content, and a limiting of the number of works of art students are required to understand (250). The redesigned AP Art History course:

  • Engages students at the same level as an introductory college art history survey course, with students developing skills in visual, contextual, and comparative analysis.

  • Limits the required course content to 250 works of art — foundation exemplars of global artistic traditions within 10 content areas — to promote in-depth learning. 

  • Continues to include global art content, with emphasis on diverse artistic traditions.

  • Delineates clear learning objectives that represent the disciplinary skills valued by art historians and higher education faculty, and clearly articulates connections between the learning objectives, content, and exam.              (Ref: College Board.)

AP Equity and Access Policy    Each of us has to decide who can and should take A.P. Art History.  Here is what the College Board recommends: “The College Board strongly encourages educators to make equitable access a guiding principle for their AP programs by giving all willing and academically prepared students the opportunity to participate in AP. We encourage the elimination of barriers that restrict access to AP for students from ethnic, racial and socioeconomic groups that have been traditionally under-served. Schools should make every effort to ensure their AP classes reflect the diversity of their student population. The College Board also believes that all students should have access to academically challenging course work before they enroll in AP classes, which can prepare them for AP success. It is only through a commitment to equitable preparation and access that true equity and excellence can be achieved.”

  (Ref: College Board.)

Official AP Art History Course and Exam Description :

Doc Holley's     AP Art History Course Expectations:  
1.   There will be two + hours of homework for each class period.

2.   The successful student will complete all of the classwork / homework as assigned on a           
       weekly basis...timely...never falling behind and always being pro-active.

3.   The successful student will master the       THREE BIG IDEAS   (Ref: College Board.)   :        

Big Idea 1:    Artists manipulate materials and ideas to create an aesthetic object, act, or event.

Students differentiate the components of form, function, content, and/or context of a work of art.

Students explain how artistic decisions about art making shape a work of art.

Students describe how context influences artistic decisions about creating a work of art.

Students analyze form, function, content, and/or context to infer or explain the possible intentions for creating specific works of art.


Big Idea 2:     Art making is shaped by tradition and change.

Students describe features of tradition and/or change in a single work of art or in a group of related works.

Students explain how and why specific traditions and/or changes are demonstrated in a single work or group of related works.

Students analyze the influence of a single work of art or group of related works on other artistic production.


Big Idea 3:      Interpretations of art are variable.

Students identify a work of art.

Students analyze how formal qualities and/or content of a work of art elicit(s) a response.

Students analyze how contextual variables lead to different interpretations of a work of art.

Students justify attribution of an unknown work of art.

Students analyze relationships between works of art based on their similarities and differences.


Format of AP Art History Examination     ( 3 hours )

       Section I:     Multiple Choice | ~ 80 Questions | 60 Minutes | 50% of Exam Score

  • Part A: Approximately 8 sets of questions (3 to 6 questions each) based on color images
  • Part B: Approximately 35 discrete multiple-choice questions  

       Section II:     Free Response | 6 Questions | 120 Minutes | 50% of Exam Score

  • Part A: Two 30-minute essay questions
  • Part B: Four 15-minute essay questions
  • Essay questions often include images of works of art as stimuli.  
                                                     (Ref: College Board.)

 Textbook:  Gardner's       ART THROUGH THE AGES         12th Edition
•   The goal of the text is to produce an appreciation for a wide range art work and to provide a firm foundation for an understanding and knowledge of existing great works of art through the centuries of human existence.
•   The arrangement is basically chronological; yet, special events and geographical considerations may be made during the course.
•   Readings and illustrations cover the whole of human endeavors including, but not limited to, history, theology, science, politics, war and the human form.
Landmarks of Western Art
Art of the Western World
How Art Made the World
Basic Art Appreciation
Sister Wendy the Complete Collection
 Masters of the Renaissance
 Botero: Four Seasons
 Van Gogh's
 African Art: A Perspective
 Thomas Hart Benton
 Degas: The Impressio
 Bonnard: Portrait of an Artist
 Magritte:  Portrait of an Artist
 Robert Rauschenberg: Inventive Genius
 Edvard Munch
 Picasso: 13 Days in the Life
 Joan Miro: The Color of Poetry
 Face to Face with Giacometti
 Michelangeo: Artist and Man
 Maxfield Parrish
 Roy Lichtenstein
  Museum Visits: 
College Board highly suggests students taking this course to participate in visits to local museums.  Failure to do so, will greatly diminish the overall worth of the course.  Two field trips are planned.

                Grading Policy 
* Daily = 50%   
         Classwork & Homework            
                   Reading Outlines, Worksheets/Handouts, Binders,  etc... 
* Test  = 50%    
            "3 Weeks", Semester, etc...     
                    Objective, Essays, PBLs, special projects, etc...
      * Weighted percentage of totals.

Basic Weekly Assignment:  You are responsible for reading at least one chapter per week and creating an outline on the chapter.  The outline will be graded on its accuracy, completeness and neatness and must be maintained in your 3 ring binder at all times.  
Flash Cards:  You are responsible for creating study flash cards on items such as vocabulary and art work.   Flash Card Format - CLICK HERE !  You may use virtual formats.
Three Weeks Chapter Tests:  You will be given an objective formatted test with an essay section to assess your reading comprehension and knowledge at the end of each THREE chapters: 1 - 3,   4 - 6,   etc...
Semester Tests:  You will be given a major test covering all preceding chapters at or near the end of each semester.  This tests' format will be a combination of objective questions and a handwritten essay similar to the A.P. examination.
Project Based Learning (PBL) & Special Projects :  You are responsible for completing at least one PBL / special project during each 9 week grading period.  The project will be graded generally on its accuracy, completeness and neatness and scored as a test grade. 
Essay Writing :  You are responsible for completing several essay assignments during each 9 week grading period.  The essays will be graded generally on the rubrics for each of the types of essays.  For more information on completing the essays ... Click here!

For the specific weekly classwork/homework assignments, click on the A.P. Art History Tools and Assignments link.    Suggestions for students ... Click here!

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