How To Use This Site
Welcome to Art History Unstuffed, and to education in the twenty-first century
In contrast to the traditional survey text books, Art History Unstuffed exists on the Internet where there is infinite space. The site can therefore go into depth and provides a fuller discussion of topics in art and theory.
Art History Unstuffed is designed for serious students of art history seeking to supplement current course work and/or to augment current knowledge. This site has been developed specifically for the Internet, providing discrete objects of knowledge, divided into small units. By separating the traditional art history course into segments, the site allows the client to easily find only what s/he wants, without having to search through an entire book. Art History Unstuffed is an anti-textbook, thicker and chunkier than the traditional all-inclusive text, which can only skim the topics. This website has the luxury of writing in detail and diving deep into the content, often presented in numerous sequential parts. Unlimited by physical space that hampers an old-school text, or time, which constrains the lecturer in the classroom, the site allows for an
infinite number of “learning objects” or information units available for convenient consumption on the reader’s own terms.
The author’s methodology is that of the New Art History, emphasizing historical context. Although the scope of the site is carefully limited — from the eighteenth century to present — the goal is to present a “thick description” of the designated time period and examines the impact of economics and politics and literature upon art. What distinguishes Art History Unstuffed from other sites is the fact that it is totally produced, presented, written and published by the author who is solely responsible for the content. Just as there is no outside funding, there are no other writers, meaning that the author is able to maintain quality control and academic freedom. Unlike other materials on art history, this site is not password protected, does not require a subscription, and demands no money from the readers who are not subjected to advertising. Art History Unstuffed is dedicated to the free and equal distribution of knowledge and no profit is made from this project.
Designed as an addition to classroom instruction, Art History Unstuffed is not a course but an extension of topics found in a survey art history class.
Because it dwells on details, the site is designed to be a supplement to a total classroom experience, functioning as one of many learning objects a professor presents to the students. Just as this site is anti-textbook, it is also anti-classroom experience in that Art History Unstuffed does not attempt to constitute an entire course–that would be following a twentieth-century model. In the twenty-first century, the student of art history expects to garner information from a number of sources, and, like a bricoleur, s/he assembles numerous texts gathered from key word association. This is how we learn today, in mosaic fashion. The author of Art History Unstuffed has synthesized numerous respected sources to compose a detailed study of each topic. Seeking the most up to date commentary for each post, the author provides links or references to recommended research. Therefore, this site is expansive and includes history, art criticism, philosophy and critical theory, areas in the humanities that are uniquely connected to the visual arts and provide a crucial context for understanding art and artists.
Professional artist and students in studio art courses can find fast, easy access to information about famous historical artists.
Successful artists are expected to know and to understand the practice of well-known artists. Even as beginners in class, students are asked about a famous artist. Always available on the iPhone or computer, Art History Unstuffed is a source that can provide a quick “byte” on the artist for a fast answer. The site is careful to always present art and artists in specific historical contexts, indicating that only at certain times is it possible for a particular type of art to come into being. Artists can come to understand the broader circumstances of art making, as Dr. Willette goes behind the image itself and reveals its origins.
Most museums have docent programs, which concentrate on training the teachers on the collections in the museum. Art History Unstuffed can be a valuable resource in presenting information on modern and contemporary art for the docents. Some of the posts probably discuss items in the museum’s collection.
The material is presented in self-contained units which can be collected by the reader according to his or her interests and needs. These posts are organized in categories and when a category is accessed, all of the posts under this broad designation are presented in a continuous scroll. Or the reader can search for a specific artist or writer.