Questions in art history

What exactly do we mean by art, and what kind of history (or histories) should we explore?

videos + essays

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Why are there so few female artists?
Why are there so few female artists?

The ten most expensive paintings in history were painted by men. And of the $196 billion spent on art at auction in the last decade, women accounted for only 2% of sales. So why are so few female artists represented in the world of art?

What does it mean to be an “old master” and to make a “masterpiece”?
What does it mean to be an “old master” and to make a “masterpiece”?

What does it mean to be an "old master" and to make a "masterpiece"? Kerry James Marshall talks about his practice and the ideas driving it.

The case for Realism
The case for Realism

What's the point of making realistic paintings when photography can do the trick?

Art must be beautiful
Art must be beautiful

Should art be beautiful? Revisit ancient philosophers' thoughts on beauty and consider why we might be skeptical of beauty today.

Unlock Art: Where are the Women?
Unlock Art: Where are the Women?

There have always been women in the arts, just not in the history books—or even in our museums. Change is slow.

Is there a difference between art and craft?
Is there a difference between art and craft?

Attitudes towards objects differ between cultures. Don’t discriminate art from craft—call it all “the visual arts.”

What is cultural heritage?
What is cultural heritage?

Whose property is it anyway? Even when we’re talking about humanity’s greatest achievements, institutions disagree.

What made art valuable: then and now
What made art valuable: then and now

Artistic labor has changed over time—so has its perceived value. Now a mere idea can be worth its weight in gold.