The unit will examine fundamental relations between cultural contexts and the arts. What is culture? What is art? What can the arts teach us about the diversity of human cultures, and vice versa? Can we track down the origins of art? Is it necessary to learn about the historical context of a work of art to understand its value? To address these questions, we will examine the relations between works of art and cultural contexts in canonical first arts, aboriginal artefacts and ceremonials, artworks from Antiquity, Asian arts, and arts from the medieval period. Students will learn to think critically about cultural transmission and will develop their knowledge of art history and human history.
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