Issues in art history

Does art need to be beautiful? Why have artists so often turned to the subject of the nude? Does art need to be realistic? This section answers some of the big questions in art history.

Behind the Banksy Stunt
Behind the Banksy Stunt

What are we to make of an artist who shreds his work right after selling it?

Art about Migration
Art about Migration

Migration is central to human experience.

Trending artists
Trending artists

Have you heard of Italian Baroque artist Artemisia Gentilschi? Find out why her popularity, and that of other artists, has risen dramatically since the 1970s.

The case for Realism
The case for Realism

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

The case for nudity
The case for nudity

The nude has been celebrated but also censored. What's wrong with seeing the unclothed human body?

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.

Why you don’t like art history
Why you don’t like art history

Darkness at noon? There are so many stories of art these days, you’re sure to stay awake in class.

The Case for Copying
The Case for Copying

Artists don’t just imitate the world around them—they copy each other, reworking old images and revising history.

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.”

Selected Contributors