Saturday, October 22, 2005

Different kinds of images to teach art history -- from Flickr

Masaccio's "Tribute Money"
Masaccio's "Tribute Money",
originally uploaded by adamtart.
One of the issues that came up during our presentation in the CET yesterday was using Flickr in class -- I used the annotation feature in Flickr to have students comment on the works of art that we were studying. Steven is using it this semester in his NYC architecture class. Students, armed with digital cameras or cell phone cameras take pictures of the city that relate to the material they are studying. Used in this way, as Steven explained, the instructor gets to see what the students are seeing, what catches their eye, what interests them. It bring class into everyday life in the city -- and the city into class in a more meaningful way.

Another way of using Flickr images that we have been thinking about is using photos like this one -- taken of major art historical monuments (like the Brancacci Chapel featured here) from a specific (tourist) viewpoint. What is valuable here is that we have a sense of the moment -- of the way these works of art are experienced in the early 21st century. As art historians, we are used to discussing the art in class isolated from any context (a common criticism of the museum) -- on a black background, viewed from straight on -- most likely not a view of the work of art that anyone ever had! What we show in art history class is therefore analogous to the divine view of the middle ages -- a view that showed us the world in a way that human beings, with their single, moving viewpoint never see. Photos like this one make us think about a new way of teaching art history, one that emphasizes the bodily/experiential/contextual aspect of viewing.
I've been collecting these in "My Favorites."

7 Comments:

Blogger Melinda Casino said...

What a great use of Flickr in the classroom!

Is this extra-credit for the students? Or are they quite happy to do this for no credit?

10/25/2005 02:14:00 PM  
Blogger Beth Harris and Steven Zucker said...

Hey sour duck, this isn't student work at all -- just some images I found in Flickr -- doing careful searches. You may be interested in what Steven Zucker is doing in his Architecture of NYC class, where the students are taking pictures of buildings in the city and uploading them to Flickr and commenting on them:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/profzucker/

11/05/2005 08:57:00 PM  
Blogger Melinda Casino said...

Oh! I stand corrected.

Many thanks for the pointer, I'll go take a gander...

11/09/2005 01:37:00 AM  
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2/18/2007 04:27:00 AM  
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