9 thoughts on “The canon of art history

  1. Patti O

    The Canon of Art History encompasses those works deemed to be masterpieces that set a standard from which other works are judged. When one considers how long ago the official canon was established it is easy to realize that so much creativity has not been included. I have chosen the art of Street Painting (actually done with chalk) as a genre to be included in the Canon and I have selected one work by Rod Tryon, “The Whale.” This work, along with the many others by Rod and his fellow street artists, includes all the elements that constitute art. But unlike traditional works that are static, street art must be appreciated when it is created because it is not permanent. It cannot be taken for granted and visited later. Street artists know this and so their work is a true labor of love. What makes street art truly amazing is the three dimensional quality that draws the viewer into the picture and usually exceeds anything that a painting on a wall can achieve. Because so many genres have not yet been admitted to the official Canon their unique canons are evolving inadvertently. I nominate Rod Tryon’s “The Whale” for the Canon of Street Art. If you would like to view his work it can be seen on his Facebook page at: https://www.facebook.com/search/top/?q=rod%20tryon%2C%20street%

  2. Angie Thomson

    Studying the artist who contributed to the advancements of art is fundamental, but as society changes, it is important that the canon of art history be revised. The canon is defined as the established timeline of artists who are sometimes considered as old masters or great artists. It is a set of rules, principles, or standards accepted as fundamental in a field of study. Today’s art history attempts to question these rules that make a piece of art greatness by considering issues of gender, race, class, and geography and media among others. Although many people consider graffiti an unpleasant act of vandalism, others view it as the standard art form of urban life. Much of the art studied under the canon carries a message or depicts values that were of importance for the people in which it was created. One of the most well-known graffiti artist is Banksy. His art tends to questions the norms of society or ideal roles, and aesthetics. He has developed a distinctive iconography that communicated his anti-authoritarian message such as recognizable images of rats and policemen. Banksy’s stencil Flying Balloon Girl created in 2005, is a simple yet subtle piece that creates a sense of sadness and communicates the results of war and the impact on the innocent; represented here by the girl. Graffiti contains representations that are aesthetically appealing and some that are not, but this art form speaks to the modern generation and its values and therefore should be included in the canon.


  3. Maddie

    The canon is meant to serve as an all-encompassing encyclopedia of works with which to learn about the history of art. With this in mind, I noticed that when we flip through standard art history textbooks, there is a severe lack of contemporary Middle-Eastern art. How are we to gain a clear vision of art history when the canon excludes the works from a region that is so closely tied to current world events? Many scholars such as Zeynep Celik and Christopher B. Steiner discuss the composition of the canon and the various reasons for its exclusivity towards non-Western art. My contribution to the canon is the painting “Mission of Destruction” by Iraqi artist Dia Azzawi. Azzawi has created works in a variety of mediums since the 1960s and helped to pioneer Arab art. This work in particular is striking for its subject matter about the war in Iraq. This work should be included in the canon because of its creation by an artist from the Middle East as well as its contemporary meditation on the war in the Middle East, both of which are underrepresented in art history.
    See the image here:
    Or see a close up of the painting and artist here:

  4. Carrie

    The canon of Art History is made up of what we give aesthetic value to. What gives something the name “work of art,” is when within something’s historical context, an object or an idea attached to an object has either made a mark, redefined, or as Michael Camille puts it in an Art Bulletin article, “simply reacted to historical circumstances.” When I look back on textbooks from survey and paintings that are typically discussed in classes, I tend to take it with a grain of salt. With art, I have always leaned towards the idea that “Art and beauty cannot be created, they can only be discovered,” and this discovery, I have concluded, is something which should depend on what people have found to be beautiful and impactful, themselves. As the world changes, so does the way we look at history. The same goes for how we view art and what we find important: it changes and it depends on our experiences. We use Janson, for example, as a frame and foundation of carefully chosen objects and paintings for our own sanity and organization of the history. However, inevitably, it comes down to what we ourselves think left strong marks in the world or made a difference, and most importantly, what brings us aesthetic pleasure. I think chocolate should be added to the canon. My paper discusses the longest formation of chocolate in the world, but I personally think chocolate in general should be added to the canon because it can be aesthetically appealing and used creatively to make all types of forms. Because it;s so easily accessible in America, and you can find it in practically any grocery store, I think we are over exposed and unaware of the process and design that goes into it, but it should not be overlooked.

  5. Elayna Gladstone

    The canon is a collection of art throughout history that represents the creations of mankind. Many deserving works do not make it into the canon because of the location in which they were created, the artist who created them or the content they display. Uno Moralez’s works did not make it into the canon because of his Russian heritage, their content and their medium. His works deserve to be part of the canon, however, because they have multicultural influences, they required immense amounts of technical skills and because the way the computer was used to create them is extremely innovative and shows the progress of art.


  6. Courtney K

    The world is shifting to a fast-pace, consumer driven market. Companies depend on the instant recognition of their brand in order to sell their product to the modern day on-the-go person. Marketing strategies include creating an icon and plastering it on every billboard and magazine available. Logos of all shapes and sizes should be included as a whole in the canon, but in particular, the Coca-Cola bottle deserves its spot. For over 100 years, Coca-Cola has been manufacturing soda-pop in reverse hourglass-shaped bottles, which the company patented themselves. The bottle not only stands as a new shift in the art historical canon but also as a familiar image that relates to the mass-production and classical form that brought about Vasari’s version of the list.


  7. Yoko Aita

    The canon in the art history is principled, invented or created masterpice which influenced to the followers. Osamu Tezuka was created first Japanese television cartoon serias, Tetuwan Atom (Astro Boy) in 1959 and this animation translated and aired in the United States in 1963. Tezuka created “large eyes,” Disney influenced Westernized charactor, but Astor Boy was different fron other heros because Tezuka provided valuable and sophisticated insights into human character. Oscar awarded Hyao Miyazaki was influenced Tezuka and his film. Tezuka started ‘large eyes’ face manga and characters gained popularity not only Japan but also other countries, such as Poemon and Sailer Moon.

  8. Jess S.

    A work that is acceptable to be placed in the art historical canon is one that is exceptional in its field and is like nothing ever seen before. It is a work that is a pure masterpiece of its kind and that is influential to the field in which it sits. The age of the High Line in New York City is the biggest factor of it not already being in the canon. Since it was fully completed in 2014, the newness of this innovative idea only influenced cities throughout the country in recent years. The High Line in New York City should be added to the art historical and architectural canon for its innovation of reuse and preservation of a historic railroad as an outdoor area for the public along with its influence of other public spaces throughout the country. Through its impeccable structural steel and concrete, the architects and landscape designer incorporated the historical aspects of the railroad into the new walkways, benches, and lighting. Because of these minimal interventions, it protected the original railroad from overbearing architecture, leaving the focus of the High Line on its history. In an interview, Ricardo Scofidio, from Diller Scofidio + Renfro, the architecture firm on the project team, said the “concrete planking system that feathers into the landscape… kept it simple and allowed the structure to breath and be understood” allowing it to stay in touch with the industrial site in which it was once used.


  9. Brittany Brown

    When considering the art canon and how it has involved over the years it is amazing what is considered art. When looking through my survey textbook I was amazed by what was included; from Michelangelo’s David to Carolee Scheemann’s Performance Art Called Meat Joy. Despite the canon evolving to include art from more non-traditional mediums and perspectives there are still many works that fall through the cracks, for example Ice Cream Rolls. It is a method of ice cream making where instead of the traditional method of putting ice cream in an ice cream maker to make it they pour the ice cream base on the very cold pan and it is chopped and scraped as it freezes then smoothed out into a sheet and scraped off into rolls. This should be put into the art canon because of how the ice cream is made and the artistic decoration of the ice cream. To get a better idea of the process here is a YouTube Channel dedicated to Ice Cream Rolls.

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