Welcome to Art History Unstuffed

On line. At your convenience. In your own time. On your own terms.

Soundbytes in Modern Art

Seeing to present art history to a variety of learners, Art History Unstuffed presents the Soundbytes in Modern Art podcast. These episodes are available as single units or can be found as a virtual book on iBooks, free of charge under the title Art History Unstuffed: The Podcasts.

Art History Timeline Videos

This twenty-seven episode series of five minute videos span Western art history, from the Caves to Romanticism. Produced for and with the assistance of Otis College of Art and Design, these can be used by students and teachers as introductory, supplementary or review material. Each video is written,narrated and produced by Dr. Jeanne S. M. Willette, reinforced with written text and richly illustrated with many images.

“ Art is not what you see, but what you make others see”

-Edgar Degas

The Writing of Cubism:

The Construction of a Discourse, 1910-1914

The Writing of Cubism posits that when the art critical writings on Cubism are re-read within their original intellectual and political context, it becomes clear that the historical coincidence of the conception of Cubism on the eve of the Great War had an impact upon the verbal configuration of this new movement that was equal to, if not outweighing, the stylistic innovations and artistic experiments of the artists.

New Artwriting:

Creating a Culture of Cyber Criticism

This book examines the possibilities of theorizing the Web, takes up current debates on digital discourse, and presents the work of the leading scholars of the Internet working in the current field of content production in Cyberspace.

Falling Through Postmodernism

Volume One: Blindness (Volume 1)

After Postmodernism, it is now time to return to an abandoned territory in search of our own blindness. What did we not see during the age of theorizing, to what were we blind? In three substantial case studies this volume, the first of three books on Postmodernism, the author closely examines some of the remains of a lost era.

Art History Unstuffed

On line. At your convenience. In your own time. On your own terms.

For too long art history has been held hostage by scholars speaking to scholars and not to people. The purpose of this site is to educate and to inform and to do so with respect to the intelligence of the readers. Designed as a site for serious students of art history in need of solid substantive material, Art History Unstuffed is written for Twenty-First-century learners who prefer reading “text-bytes” and “sound-bytes” of targeted information.

Written by Dr. Jeanne S. M. Willette, a published scholar who has researched and consolidated both well-respected classical sources and vetted the latest research, this site creates a middle ground between arcane scholarly jargon and informed discourse and presents a detailed account of Modern, Postmodern, Philosophy and Theory that is accessible to all readers interested in the history of the modern and contemporary periods.

Enjoy and Learn

This site is responsive to computers, cell phones and tablets and will resize for your reading convenience.

Art History Unstuffed is listed on the ACI Scholarly Blog Index.

Recent Posts

Current chapters of the topic of the season, part of an ongoing research project.

Marc Chagall and the Russian Revolution

Marc Chagall and the Revolution Vitebsk as an Art Center, Part Two A quiet and gentle man who loved his wife and cared for his family, especially his newly arrived daughter, Marc Chagall (1887-1985) was an unlikely revolutionary. In fact, his position was not unlike...

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About the Author

Art historian and art critic, Dr. Jeanne S. M. Willette lives and works in Los Angeles. An art historian at Otis College of Art and Design, the widely published author covers the local art scene and is the publisher of the website Art History Unstuffed.

With an international audience, this website and its accompanying podcasts provide the 21st version of learning about art, history, philosophy, and theory.

How To Use This Site

Welcome to Art History Unstuffed, and to education in the twenty-first century

For Students

In contrast to the traditional text books, Art History Unstuffed exists on online where there is infinite space. The site can therefore go into depth and provides a fuller discussion of topics in art and theory.

For Teachers

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.

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For Artists

Professional artist and students in studio art courses can find fast, easy access to information about famous historical artists.

For Museums

Art History Unstuffed can be a valuable resource in presenting information on modern and contemporary art for docent programs, which concentrate on training the teachers on the collections in your museum.

Podcast

Seeing to present art history to a variety of learners, Art History Unstuffed presents the Soundbytes in Modern Art podcast. These episodes are available as single units or can be found as a virtual book on iBooks, free of charge under the title: Art History Unstuffed: The Podcasts. Each episode discusses a single topic at greater length than the written posts, which are about 2500 words each. Each podcast ranges from 15 to 20 minutes and is part of a series that treats an artist or a topic over an hour of listening. The episodes are, therefore, discussions at a higher level and are geared more to graduate students and to colleagues than to the beginning student.

Episode 3: Jacques-Louis David

THE NEOCLASSICISM OF JACQUES-LOUIS DAVID (1748-1825)

Jacques-Louis David, the most prominent Neoclassical painter in France, shifted his artistic allegiances from a king to a revolution against that king to an emperor. Was the artist a man without principles or was he a man of his own time, caught up in the tides of history, taking opportunity as he found it? The major works of art by David will be discussed within the context of his turbulent historical times. David developed a heroic and masculine style of Neoclassicism that proved to be well-suited to an era of war and revolution. Through his sheer talent (or effrontery) David managed to move with adroitness through political waters but with the fall of his final master, Napoléon, the luck of the painter ran out and he died in exile in Belgium.

Episode 2: Neoclassicism

THE RISE OF NEOCLASSICISM

The origins of Neoclassicism in art, architecture and interior décor was the excavation of long buried Roman cities, Pompeii and Herculaneum in the mid-eighteenth century. A popular correction of the late Baroque style and the ornamental Rococo style, Neoclassicism became an international style. As the name indicates, this “new” “classicism” was based upon the art of the early Roman empire. Classical art had long been available but what was notable about this particular iteration of classicism is the discovery of painting – murals on the walls – in the resort towns of Herculaneum and Pompeii. Authentic classical painting now joined authentic classical sculpture as an inspiration for an important shift in European academic styles.

For the second half of the eighteenth century, the Neoclassical reform of Baroque art brought a new seriousness to academic art and impacted architectural styles, particularly in England. Despite its antique sources, this style proved to be surprisingly versatile, suiting the needs of English aristocracy and American revolutionaries and French aristocracy and French revolutionaries. An imperial style from the past was appropriated for a variety of purposes from political messages to decorative needs.

Episode 1: What is “Modern?”

DEFINING MODERN

“Modern” is a Western and European concept and is, in effect, Eurocentric, impacting a limited part of the world. But these changes were profound and shaped the rest of the globe. Driven by technological innovations, the economy evolved from a agricultural feudal structure into a free-wheeling laisse-faire capitalism that altered the social system and rewrote philosophy. The political consequences would be profound.

What were the social, political, economic and philosophical conditions that made the “Modern” possible? The podcast discusses the four revolutions of the eighteenth century that brought about unprecedented change to the Western world: the Industrial Revolution, the Scientific Revolution, the Social Revolution, the Political Revolution. Each revolution impacted the artists and redesigned the world of art making, resulting in a kind of art called “modern.” The result was Modern Art and the Modern Artist.

Also read: “What is Modern?” and “The Enlightenment: Introduction” and “The Enlightenment and Reason” and “The Enlightenment and Society” and “The Enlightenment and the Art Public” and “The Political Revolution in America” and “The Enlightenment and Artistic Styles”

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Videos

The complete Art History Timeline – this twenty-seven episode series of five minute videos span Western art history, from the Caves to Romanticism. Produced with the assistance of Otis College of Art and Design, these can be used by students and teachers as introductory, supplementary or review material.

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Shop

Show off your smarts. Art history unstuffed merchandise makes great gifts for you and your colleagues.

The Writing of Cubism:
The Construction of a Discourse, 1910-1914

$20.00

New Artwriting:
Creating a Culture of Cyber Criticism

$10.00

Falling Through Postmodernism.
Volume One: Blindness (Volume 1)

$30.00

Forthcoming Books

To continue to the circulation of her contributions to Heathwood Press, Dr. Willette has assembled the articles, published and not yet published, into a new book on the avant-garde. This new book will include other articles available on Academia.edu and Heathwood Press. This most recent series on the historic avant-garde was being written in response to the centennial of the Great War. After a remarkable span of five decades, the avant-garde was ended by this war in Europe. The war exiled and killed the artists, ended art movements, and scattered avant-garde art, now left to the mercies of totalitarian regimes. Now that a century has passed it is time to re-examine the avant-garde and re-write its details, reexamine the art historical assumptions, which constructed the idea of provocative art. This forthcoming book also seeks to relocate forgotten art, left behind in the rush towards the future.

Dr. Willette is currently completing an entirely new kind of book on design, a book that is multi-modal. Offering multiple modes of output, this book offers the readers several ways of receiving information, slide shows, podcasts, texts and images. The interactive book, Design and the Avant-Garde, 1920-1940, will be divided into several volumes. Volume One will focus on the interconnections between art and design at the fine-de-siècle period, leading up to the creation of “modern” design.

“Painting is self-discovery. Every good artist paints what he is.”

— Jackson Pollock

If you have found this material useful, please give credit to Dr. Jeanne S. M. Willette and Art History Unstuffed.
Thank you.

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