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Art History: A Preliminary Handbook

by Dr. Robert J. Belton

Why Study Visual Culture?

A good reason is fascination, but there are many others. Not the least of these is the enrichment of life, which is not at all a simple matter of pleasant decor or popular imagery. Of course, it remains an exciting fact that art can often be enjoyed even as it asks you to question your expectations, whether these be philosophical, ideological, aesthetic, sociological, political, moral, or whatever. Do note, however, that some art was never meant to be "enjoyed" in the common sense. In fact, the visual arts have a most complicated history, and their importance as a legitimate mode of intellectual discourse is fundamental to the kind of society in which we live. Having some understanding of the visual arts as such is essential to a fully-rounded liberal education.

© Copyright 1996 Robert J. Belton

Last reviewed shim12/19/2012 11:07:39 PM