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.

Constructivism on Display, Part One

The Brief Existence of Constructivism The Years of Lenin The word “Constructivism” was a Russian word that came from multiple sources in Russia and spread to Western Europe very quickly, as soon as the Civil War ended in 1921. In fact, the slogan of the 1920 Dada Fair...

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Producing Soviet Culture

Producing Soviet Culture Popova and Stepanova The study of modern art and design is noteworthy for its lack of women included in the history. That is not to say that there were no women who were artists—to the contrary, there were numerous women who braved the odds...

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The End of the Russian Avant-Garde

Gustav Klutsis (1895-1938) The Last of the Avant-Garde Alexander Rodchenko and Varvara Stepanova were lucky to live out their lives peacefully. In the brutal period of Stalin’s Russia, artists were suppressed. Starting in the late 1920s, the mood of the government...

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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 13: French Romanticism – Ingres, Part Two

INGRES, THE NUDES, AND CONSPICUOUS CONSUMPTION

Part Two

By the middle of his artistic life, Ingres had reached the pinnacle of his career as the ruler of the Academy in France. Although the artist claimed to uphold the principles of classical art, his approach to the favorite subject of the day—the female nude—was idiosyncratic to say the least. After the Salon of 1824, Ingres made classical content less important to his oeuvre and  his artistic content was divided between escapist fantasies and the fashions of the day. Ingres represented the French taste for the exotic in his dreams of the Orient, while at the same time reflecting the new imperialism in the Middle East. Closer to home, the fashion-obsessed painter scrupulously crafted the conspicuous consumption of High Capitalism in mid-century France. The master of Academic art and the ruler of the Academy, Ingres was also one of the great portrait artists of the nineteenth century. It is through is paintings of the rich and powerful that we can glimpse the beginning of the era of “conspicuous consumption.”

Also listen to: “The French Romantics: Gros and Girodet, Part One” and “The French Romantics: Gros and Girodet, Part Two” and “French Romanticism, Ingres, Part One,” and “French Romanticism, Delacroix, Part One” and “French Romanticism, Delacroix, Part Two”

Also read: “French Romanticism: The Historical Context” and “The French Academy: Painting”  and “French Romanticism: Subject Matter and the Artist” and “French Romanticism and the Avant-Garde”

Episode 11: The French Romantics – Gros and Girodet, Part Two

FOUNDING ROMANTICISM
Part Two

Two of the founding members of French Romanticism, Gros and Girodet, were Napoléonic artists who specialized in military glory and romantic escapism, respectively. Although they were both followers of David, both artists moved away from Neo-Classicism to a form of early Romanticism. However, they were both overtaken by historical events and new Romantic artists, such as Ingres and Delacroix took their place as artistic leaders. This podcast examines their late works, which established the basic parameters of Romanticism in France.

Also listen to: “The French Romantics: Gros and Girodet, Part One” and “French Romanticism, Ingres, Part One,” and “French Romanticism, Ingres, Part Two” and “French Romanticism, Delacroix, Part One” and “French Romanticism, Delacroix, Part Two”

Also read: “French Romanticism: The Historical Context” and “The French Academy: Painting”  and “French Romanticism: Subject Matter and the Artist” and “French Romanticism and the Avant-Garde”

Episode 10: The French Romantics – Gros and Girodet, Part One

THE EARLY ROMANTICS: GROS AND GIRODET
Part One

Although the French Revolution caused an upheaval in French art, there was an attempt to use Neo-Classicism to return to the pure and historical origins of art. However, compelling contemporary events and a new regime interested in using art as propaganda worked against the dominance of Neo-Classicism in the Academy. Even before the term was applied, “Romantic” art began to appear, the earliest of the French Romantic artists were the Napoléonic painters, Gros and Girodet. Both students of David, the young artists uneasily made the transition from the Neo-Classicism of their master to the demands of the new century.

The early Romantic artists in France were mostly court painters to the new emperor Napoléon and it is one of the ironies that these supposedly “romantic” artists were, in fact, servants to imperialism and empire. Individuality was a matter of style, rather than true freedom of expression. In their early works, Gros and Girodet represented the poles of Romanticism: contemporary subjects and escapist subjects. In their choice of content, these artists who inherited the mantel of Neoclassicism rebelled against their “father,” Jacques-Louis David. In the next podcast, “Part Two” will examine the artists’ later works and discuss the roots of “Realism” found in Romantic art.

Also listen to: “The French Romantics: Gros and Girodet, Part Two” and “French Romanticism, Ingres, Part One,” and “French Romanticism, Ingres, Part Two” and “French Romanticism, Delacroix, Part One” and “French Romanticism, Delacroix, Part Two”

Also read: “French Romanticism: The Historical Context” and “The French Academy: Painting”  and “French Romanticism: Subject Matter and the Artist” and “French Romanticism and the Avant-Garde”

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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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