As in our First Edition of Arts and Culture, we provide in this Second Edition an introduction to the world's major civilizationsto their artistic achievements, their history, and their cultures. Through an integrated approach to the humanities, Arts and Culture offers an opportunity to view works of art, listen to music, and read literature in historical and cultural contexts.
Works of art from different cultures reveal common human experiences of birth and death, love and loss, pleasure and pain, hope and frustration, elation and despair. Study of the humanitiesliterature, philosophy, history, religion, and the artsreveals what others value and believe, inviting each of us to consider our personal, social, and cultural values in relation to those of others.
In studying the humanities, we focus our attention on works of art that reflect and embody the central values and beliefs of particular cultures and specific historical moments. In our approach we consider the following questions:
- What kind of artwork is it? To what artistic category does it belong? These questions lead us to consider a work's type.
- Why was the artwork made? What was its function, purpose, or use? Who was responsible for producing it? Who paid for or commissioned it? These questions lead us to consider the context of a work.
- What does the work express or convey? What does it reveal about its creator? What does it reveal about its historical and social context? These questions lead us to considerations of a work's meaning.
- How was the artwork made or constructed? This question leads us to consider technique.
- What are the parts or elements of a work of art? How are these parts related to create a unified artwork? These questions lead us to considerations of formal analysis, understanding the ways the artwork satisfies aesthetically.
- What social, cultural, and moral values does the work express, reflect, or embody? This question leads us to consider the social, cultural, and moral values of an artwork.
In Arts and Culture, we highlight the individual artistic qualities of numerous works, always in view of the cultural worlds in which they were created. We discuss each work's significance in conjunction with the social attitudes and cultural values it embodies, without losing sight of its individual expression and artistic achievement.
Two important questions underlie our choice of works in Arts and Culture: (1) What makes a work a masterpiece of its type? (2) What qualities of a work of art enable it to be appreciated over time? These questions imply that certain qualities appeal to something fundamental and universal in all of us, no matter where or when we may live. There are the aesthetic principles and predilections that link all of us together.
We believe that a study of the humanities involves more than an examination of the artistic monuments of civilizations past and present. In our view, it also involves a consideration of how forms of human achievement in many times and places echo and reinforce, alter and modify each other. An important aspect of humanities study involves seeing connections among the arts of a given culture and discovering relationships between the arts of different cultures. We have highlighted three forms of connections that are especially important:
- Interdisciplinary connections among artworks of an individual culture
- Cross currents among artworks of different cultures
- Transhistorical links between past and present, then and now
These forms of connection invite our readers to locate relationships among various humanities disciplines and to identify links between the achievements of diverse cultures. Discovering such connections can be intellectually stimulating and emotionally stirring since the forms of human experience reflected in the works of art of many cultures resonate with common human concerns. These artworks address social questions about who we are, philosophical questions about why we exist at all, and religious questions concerning what awaits us after death. These and other perennial questions and the varying perspectives taken on them have been central to every culture, and find expression in their arts. To highlight these questions, we have included-the following features throughout the text.
For example, one type of interdisciplinary connection appears in the ways the music and architecture of Renaissance Florence were influenced by mathematical proportion and ancient notions of "harmony." Mathematics played a crucial role in all the arts of the Renaissance. Architects were guided in the design of their buildings by mathematical ratios and proportions; composers likewise wrote music that reflected mathematical ratios in both its melody and harmony.
CULTURAL CROSS CURRENTS
These reflect the ways artistic ideals, literary movements, and historical events influence the arts of other cultures. For example, Turkish military music found its way into the symphonies and piano compositions of Viennese composers, such as Mozart and Beethoven. Japanese woodblock prints influenced the art of the Impressionist painter Claude Monet and the Post-Impressionist painter Vincent van Gogh. And the dynamic cybernetic sculpture of contemporary artist Wen-Ying Tsai weds western technology with ancient Chinese aesthetic principles.
THEN & NOW
Arts and Culture also considers connections between the past and present. Then & Now offers discussions of a wide range of subjects that form various types of historical bridges.
Arts and Culture includes a wide-ranging overview of the world's civilizations. In addition to Western culture, we examine the civilizations of Africa, China, India, Japan, Latin America, and Mesoamerica. We discuss the contributions of women, from the eleventh-century writings of the Japanese Murasaki Shikibu, the twelfth-century music of the German Hildegard of Bingen, and the fourteenthcentury writings of the Italian Christine de Pizan, to the Rococo art of the French painter Marie-Louise-Elisabeth Vigee-Le Brun and the numerous women writers, painters, architects, sculptors, and photographers of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries from many parts of our world. In the final chapter of Arts and Culture we bring together a broad spectrum of styles, voices, and perspectives, which, although focusing on contemporary multicultural America, reflects trends and influences from around the globe. We highlight a number of current issues in the arts including how technology has globalized the arts. The numerous and varied contributions of artists and writers include works by Native American painters such as Lisa Fifield and Jaime Quick-to-See Smith, Latina/Latino writers such as Sandra Cisneros and Oscar Hijuelos, and Australian Aborigine artists.
Throughout the book as a whole, we have tried to present the arts and cultures of the world to suggest their richness, variety, and humanity. As a reader of Arts and Culture you can find in these pages the background necessary to understand not only the artistic achievements of many civilizations but also the representation of human experience in all its complexity. In a time of rapid social change when the world's cultures are becoming increasingly globalized, it has become necessary to understand the values of human beings around the world. The common humanity we share has been recorded, inscribed, and celebrated in arts and achievements of all cultures.
NEW IN THE SECOND EDITION
In this Second Edition of Arts and Culture, we have preserved the book's key features but have made important adjustments and necessary corrections of fact and perspective throughout. We have also expanded and contracted various discussions to create a better balance among the arts and humanities and to improve the historical contexts. In doing so, we have added many new photographs to accompany new discussions, in addition to replacing numerous photographs from the previous edition with images that better reflect the original artwork.
EXPANDED COVERAGE OF HUMANITIES FROM AROUND THE GLOBE
We have responded to requests to expand coverage of humanities from around the globe. Chapter 7 is now devoted exclusively to Islamic civilization, and Byzantine civilization is now included in chapter 6 along with Judaism and Christianity. Chapter 8 on Indian Civilization and chapter 9 on Early Chinese and Japanese Civilizations have been revised and expanded with extensive new material. Chapter 10 has been augmented with new material on early African civilization, along with its coverage of the early Americas. In the second half of the book, we have revised our coverage of China and Japan, expanding that material into two new chapters, chapter 19 on Chinese civilization and chapter 20 on Japanese civilization. Chapter 22 on Modern Africa and Latin America has also been revised and expanded with new material.
NEW CULTURAL IMPACT
In addition to retaining the popular boxed features from the first edition, we have added a new feature at the end of each chapter. This explains the influence of one culture or civilization on later ones, showing how the essential, broad strands explored in the chapter continue to impact today's world.
NEW TOPICS FOR CONNECTIONS, CROSS CURRENTS, AND THEN AND NOW BOXES
We have updated several of the boxed features. New topics include: a Then & Now box on Heinrich Schliemann and the modern discovery of Troy, a new Connections box on music and mathematics in ancient Greece, and a new Cross Currents box on Christian and Pagan Gods.
Many of the reading selections at the end of each chapter in Volumes I and II are new. Some lo...
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