Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Wednesday, August 28th, 2013

Dear Humanities Students,

We completed Journal #2 "What is Art?" and then students were introduced to a method of annotating and notating . Please note the color coding system below.

1. Please read "What are the Arts," included below, and include 4-8 annotations on each page. If you were not in class, then copy this to a Word document and then print it off. Please place it in the "Handout" section of your notebook.
NOTE:  You were introduced to the color coding regarding your annotating and notating. Each type of notation correlates to a specific color. Please see the color key below.
  • If you  find a section of text confusing then you would underline it using BROWN.
  • If you are able to make a connection to your own life then you would underline that section of text using your PURPLE.
  • Another way to annotate is by asking QUESTIONS about the text. RED is the color you will use for this annotation.
  • If you come across a VOCABULARY word that you don't know use YELLOW!
  • If a piece of text touches you emotionally, then BLUE is the color for that annotation.
  • If a piece of writing is poetic to you, then use BLACK!
  • If text gives you a different perspective then GREEN is your annotation color.
  • ORANGE is the color you will use if you come across text that you find interesting.

          There really is no such thing as Art. There are only artists. One must understand that the word “art” may mean different things in different times and places. No wrong reason exists for liking a piece of art. Someone may like a landscape painting because it reminds him of home, or a portrait because it reminds him of a friend. There is nothing wrong with that. All of us, when we see a painting are bound to be reminded of a hundred-and-one things which influence our likes and dislikes. As long as these memories help us to enjoy what we see, we need not worry. It is only when some irrelevant memory makes us prejudice, when we instinctively turn away from a magnificent picture of an alpine scene because we dislike climbing, that we search our minds for the reason for the aversion which spoils a pleasure we might otherwise have had. In fact, the beauty of a picture does not really lie in the beauty of its subject matter.

The trouble with beauty is that tastes and standards of what is beautiful vary so much. For example, Figs. 1 and 2 were both painted in the fifteenth century, and both represent angels playing a lute. Many prefer the Italian work by Melosso D Forli (Fig. 1), with its appealing grace and charm, to that of his northern contemporary Hans Memling (Fig. 2). It may take a little longer to discover the intrinsic beauty of Memling’s angel, but once we are no longer disturbed by his faint awkwardness we find him quite lovable.
         What is true of beauty is also true of expression. In fact, it is often the expression of a figure in the painting which makes us like or loathe the work. Some people like an expression which they can easily understand, and which therefore moves them profoundly. When the Italian seventeenth-century painter Guido Reni painted the head of Christ on the cross (Fig. 3), he intended, no doubt, that the beholder should find in this face all the agony and all the glory of Christ’s suffering. But even if this intense expression of feeling appeals to us we should not, for that reason, turn away from works whose expression is perhaps less easy to understand. The Italian painter of the Middle Ages who painted the crucifix (Fig. 4) surely felt as sincerely about this event as Reni.
       Most people like to see in pictures what they would also like to see in reality. This is quite a natural preference. We all like beauty in nature, and are grateful to the artists who have preserved it in their works. For example, when the Flemish painter Rubens made a drawing of his little son (Fig. 5), he was quite proud of his cherubic appearance. He wanted us to admire the child. But this bias for the attractive and engaging subject is likely to become a stumbling-block if it leads us to reject works which represent a less appealing subject. The great German painter Albrecht Durer certainly drew his mother (Fig. 6) with as much devotion and love as Rubens felt for his chubby child. His truthful study of careworn old age may give us a shock which makes us turn away from it, and yet, if we fight against our first repugnance we may be richly rewarded, for Druer’s drawing in it tremendous sincerity is a great work.

         Most new-comers to art are often brought up against another difficulty. They want to admire the artist’s skill in representing the things they see. What they like best are paintings which “look real.” This is an important consideration. The patience and skill which go into the faithful rendering of the visible world are indeed admirable. Great artists of the past have devoted much labor to works in which every detail is carefully recorded. Durer’s watercolor study of a hare (Fig. 7) is one of the most famous examples of this loving patience. But who would say that Rembrandt’s drawing of an elephant (Fig. 8) is less skillful because it shows fewer details? Indeed Rembrandt was such a wizard that he gave us the feel of the elephant’s wrinkly skin with a few lines of his chalk.
Finally, it is not sketchiness that mainly offends people who like their pictures to look “real,” but that they are repelled by works which they consider to be incorrectly drawn, particularly when they belong to a more modern period when the artist “ought to have known better.” As a matter of fact, there is no mystery about these distortions of nature about which we still hear complaints in discussions on modern art. Everyone who has ever seen a Disney film or a comic strip knows all about it. We know that it is sometimes correct to draw things otherwise than they look, to change and distort them in one way or another. Those who enter Disney’s enchanted world do not go to his shows armed with the same prejudices they like to take with them when going to an exhibition of modern painting. But if a modern artist draws something in his own way, he is apt to be thought a bungler who can do no better. Whatever we may think of modern artists, we may safely credit them with enough knowledge to draw “correctly.” For example, Fig. 9 shows a sketch by the famous modern painter Pablo Picasso. Surely no one could find fault with his charming representation of a mother hen and her fluffy chickens. But in drawing a cock (Fig. 10), Picasso was not content with giving a mere rendering of the bird’s appearance. He wanted to bring out its aggressiveness, its cheek and its stupidity. In other words, he resorted to a caricature. But what a convincing caricature it is!
        There are two reasons, therefore, which we should always ask ourselves if we find fault with the accuracy of a picture. One is whether the artist may not have had his reasons for changing the appearance of what he saw. The other is that we should never condemn a work for being incorrectly drawn unless we have made quite sure that we are right and the painter is wrong. We are all inclined to be quick with the verdict that “things do not look like that.” We have a curious habit of thinking that nature must always look like the pictures we are accustomed to. It is easy to illustrate this by an astonishing discovery which was made not long ago. Generations have watched horses gallop, have attended horse-races and hunts, have enjoyed paintings and sporting prints showing horses charging into battle or running after hounds. Pictures and sporting prints usually showed them with outstretched legs in full flight through the air. The French nineteenth-century painter Gericault painted them in a famous representation of the races at Epsom (Fig. 11). About fifty years later, when the photographic camera had been sufficiently perfected for snapshots of horses in rapid motion, these snapshots proved that both the painters and their public had been wrong all the while. No galloping horse ever moved in the way which seems so ‘natural’ to us. As the legs come off the ground they are moved in turn for the next kick-off (Fig. 12). If we reflect for a moment we shall realize that the movement could happen no other way. And yet, when painters began to apply this new discovery, and painted horses moving as they actually do, everyone complained that their pictures looked wrong.
        Admittedly, taste in art is something infinitely more complex than taste in food and drink. It is not only a matter of discovering various subtle flavors; it is something more serious and more important. After all, the great masters have given their all in these works, they have suffered for them, sweated blood over them, and they have the right to ask us to understand what they wanted to do. One never finishes learning about art. There are always new things to discover. Great works of art seem to look different every time one stands before them. They seem to be as inexhaustible and unpredictable as real human beings. It is an exciting world of its own with its own strange laws and it own adventures. Nobody should think that he knows all about it for nobody does. Nothing, perhaps, is more important than this: that to enjoy these works we must have a fresh mind, one which is ready to catch every hint and respond to every hidden harmony; a mind, most of all, that is willing to discard habits and prejudices.

Gombrich, E.H. The Story of Art. Prentice Hall Publishing. Englewood Cliffs:CA. 1972.

Journal #3  "What is the artist's intent? :
Consider the following two pieces of art. The first is entitled "Guernica" by Pablo Picasso. The second is entitled "Myra" by  British artist, Marcus Harvey. Indicate which piece you prefer. Why do you prefer one over the other? Please include specifics in your response.

"Guernica" by Pablo Picasso

"Myra" by Marcus Harvey

Now that you've told me which one you prefer, let me give you some schema on both pieces of art. "Guernica" is an anti war piece pertaining to the Spanish civil war. Picasso painted it as an indication of the suffering to all living creatures caused by war. The following images portray the devastation Picasso was attempting to mimic.

Myra Hindley was convicted of murdering five children from 1963 to 1968 in Manchester, England. The image above of Miss Hendley was created from the hand prints of children.

Now that I have given you some schema on "Guernica" and "Myra", does your perspective change?
 Return to your journal entry, and discuss the change in perspective now that you have more understanding regarding the two pieces of art.

Monday, August 26, 2013

Monday, August 26th, 2013

Dear Humanities Students,
If you missed class, we completed the following:

1. Students submitted their "What are the Humanities? Why are the Humanities important to study?" papers. We discussed the official definition for "HUMANITIES," and the FIVE reasons why someone should study them. Please obtain this information from someone else in class.

2. Journal #2 entitled "What is Art?" Students watched a clip from the movie Mona Lisa Smile pertaining the subject of "WHAT IS ART." Then they were shown several different images of different forms of art and asked to give their initial impression of each piece and whether or not what they were looking should be considered art. YOU WILL NEED TO VISIT WITH ME, and I RECOMMEND STOPPING BY DURING A FLEX SESSION, so that you can make-up the journal entry.

3. We continued by discussing everyone's point of view regarding the journal entry.

1. Student's "Adaptive Art" work is due on Wednesday.
2. Please read the section on your handout entitled "What are the Humanities?" regarding Darwin.

I look forward to seeing you on WED.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Thursday, August 22nd, 2013

Thursday, August 22rd, 2012

Dear Humanities Students,

We completed the following today in class:

1. We completed going through the Dis. Doc.

2. You were introduced to your first journal entry.

JOURNAL #1 "Why Man Creates?"
 Comment on the question, "WHY DO WE CREATE? Construct? Depict? Invent? Write? Capture? Perform? What drives mankind to create? For the second part of your entry, view the video clip entitled, "Why Man Creates?," identify people, places cultures, buildings, philosophies, time periods, inventions, works of art, and events that you recognize. 

3. Students were introduced to a new assignment entitle "Adaptive Art"due on WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 28th . Please note the assignment below.

Adaptive Art”
Humanities Academy

  1. In a few minutes, you will have the opportunity to locate a piece of art which you find intriguing. You will have the opportunity to look through several different books involving art. There are no parameters to your decision. Basically, select a piece that “moves” you in some way. Maybe you are drawn to the artist's color choices, or the expression indicated on the subjects' faces. Just make sure that you are secure in your decision.
  2. Once you have selected a particular piece, you are to create a “cover” for your Humanities  notebook based upon your selection. Let me show you our examples to assist you with developing your own ideas.
  1. You are welcome to use any medium for your cover; this includes computer generated work. You should not recreate the work as a whole, but rather use it to help you create an “adapted” piece. In essence, it is the catalyst for your “Humanities Academy” notebook. Be created! Think beyound what you see in front of you. Consider the emotions you feel when you look at the work. Impress us, because we love to be impressed.
  2. Finally, on the back of your cover, please include a brief, typed explanation, indicating why you selected your chosen piece.
  3. You must also include a citation for your chosen piece. This needs to be included as a seperate page from the explanation. Please note the citation example below for you to follow: 
    Works Cited (example)

Sargent, John Singer. The Daughters of Edward Darley Boit. 1882. Museum of Fine Arts,

1. Remember that your "What are the Humanities" assignment is due on MONDAY.
2. "Adaptive Art" is due on Wednesday.

Friday, August 16, 2013

Welcome back! Tuesday, August 20th, 2013

Welcome Back! Tuesday, August 20th

Hello, Humanities Students!

I welcome you to an exciting semester! I am thrilled that you have chosen to take this class. Humanities is a senior English credit, designed to give you a broad understanding of the many facets that affect human perspective. Our focus will pertain to art, literature, drama, music, philosophy, religion and architecture concerning the Classical to the Renaissance time periods.

HOMEWORK for Thursday, August. 23rd
Please remember the following:

1. Your signed Disclosure Document. Please read this section of the document with your parents, cut and paste it as a Word document,  and then please sign it along with your parents. Please bring the signed form to class on THURSDAY!

Dear Parents,

 I amso excited to have the opportunity to work with your student this year; I sincerely care about them. Their progress in Humanities Academy is extremely important to me. If you are concerned about your student's academic standing, need clarification regarding the disclosure document, an assignment, or feel that we need to visit regarding other concerns , please contact me at school (801-610-8175 ext. 610), or I can also be reached by e-mail  (kcrampton@alpinedistrict.org). Contacting me by e-mail is the most effective form of communication. I ask that you take an active role in your student's education at Timpanogos High School. I have developed a blog (www.humanitieswithcrampton.blogspot.com), which is designed to assist students with their assignments and assessments. I believe you and your student will find it a useful and helpful source. If you would like to make an appointment with me, I am available during the B3 prep period time. I hope this will be a positive year for your student; I look forward to working with them and you!

Kori Crampton


I have read and understand the disclosure document for Humanities.

Student's Name (please print) _____________________________________ Date: ____________
Parent's Signature ______________________________________________ Date: ____________

2. Your notebook organized and set-up with the following tabs ("homework, handouts, notes, vocab./mechanics and journal)

3. Your assignment entitled "What are the Humanities? Why is studying the Humanities important?" 

As you consider these questions, remember the story shared with you in class today regarding the blind men and the elephant, specifically in relationship to the second questions.

As you consider these questions, remember the images and video clips that were shared with you today in class. 

I look forward to seeing you on Thursday..