Friday, January 21, 2011

Your turn #1


So, for this initial post, I'd prefer you to pick a theme from all the different topics we talked about in class last night. Take advantage of this comment to ponder and briefly research a particular topic.

How to build your 150-word comment: Whether general or particular, try to be informative. Think through your point. Try to produce an argument. Please, avoid slang, capital letters, exclamation signs. Don't merely agree with an existing comment. Add something meaningful.

I'd recommend you start with Word. Open a file, elaborate your comment, spell-check it, polish it a bit and then cut and paste it onto the comment box. It's better to have it saved in case you loose it in the publishing process (accidents happen). Remember add your identity and become a friend of our blog!

I'll close the comment box next Thursday, Jan. 27 at 11pm. 

33 comments:

Nicole said...

I was most interested by Ars Moriendi in the last class, because of an inherent darkness I find in wood block printing. I understand that some of the pieces can have a lighter side, but when I see that art form I feel that there is some sort of darkness that is underneath the surface. In Ars Moriendi the theme is death and Edvard Munch has woodblock series with titles and subjects such as Anxiety, Vampire, and Melancholy. So I wonder: is the art form dark to me because that is how I interpret that style – or is it because those artists had a purposefully dark message to relate? I believe it is the way I see and relate to that style. Even in the ornate Japanese and Chinese prints, there is something sparse about the art that makes the pieces seem cold. Beautiful, but cold.

- Nicole Foss

Carolina said...

I also found Ars Moriendi to be an interesting topic, not only because it seems to portray an inherent darkness but also because I find it fascinating that it was the first of western literary tradition of guides to death and dying. It’s interesting to be able to see what they believed to be protocols and procedures that will allow you to “die well”. Is there really a procedure to follow that will allow you to die well? Is there really such a thing as “dying well”? When researching a little bit more about Ars Moriendi I found that it consists of six chapters and although the texts date back to about 1415 and 1450, I can see some similarities of to how Christians viewed death back then and how Christians view it nowadays, more specifically in the first and last chapters; that death is not something one must be afraid of.
-Carolina Fernandez

Nicole said...

The Venus of Willendorf and the symbolic yet sensitive representation of a woman intrigued me. Her voluptuous figure may suggest that she must have led a life of leisure in order to gain so much weight and therefore offers a clue to her status. Further readings explained that Stone Age societies survived mostly through hunting and the chances are the women looked slimmer than how the Venus of Willendorf is portrayed. This implies that she had some special status and others would hunt for her. So was this a representation of beauty or just status? If it was also a representation of beauty I wonder what changed the beauty standards of today, will they change again in time? Are we trained to perceive beauty according to societies standards? Who even knows what physical beauty is? In any case, I found that both standards of beauty, from the Stone Age until today have been somewhat extreme of thin and obese figures to be classified as “ideal”…

- Nicole Brener

Nicole Ann Collazo said...

After last Thursday’s class, I am interested in learning more about Albrecht Durer. I found his works, such as the 15 woodcuts that together make up The Apocalypse and others like Adam and Eve interesting because of the detail that he is able to accomplish in a technique that seems so difficult to do. His works are complex and composed in a way that keeps the viewer entertained. After researching him a little more, it was interesting to see that as his health deteriorated later in his life, he focused mostly on portraits and illustrations. It showed that he was able to cover multiple focuses in his artwork. Before researching him, I had only known him for his printing and did not know that he was a painter. I thought it was interesting how he was able to excel in both and look forward to seeing more of his work.

-Nicole Collazo

Alyssa said...

The topic I found to be the most interesting was the history of the book. As stated, before the book, scripture was read on scrolls, and even before that on stone or wood carvings. It’s fascinating that the same design is still used today, just with a few changes in the binding and the type of paper. Another thing that I found really amazing about the history of books is the idea that man went from these continuous scrolls they were accustomed to, to the more, for lack of a better word, manageable size of the codex. Some historians believe that the codex was originally created to separate Christian texts from Hebrew scrolls. What I wonder is, was the design rejected at first? Was it a gradual realization that a different format would allow for better study, or was it a wholly accepted change based on a superiority complex?

- Alyssa Alvarez

Anonymous said...

Albrecht Durer can undoubtedly be considered one of the most influential and important figures in printmaking during the Northern Renaissance. Durer’s interests in Mathematical methods of rendering the human figure, animals, and objects was a great feat that was being developed further during his life time and is still taught to this day. (proportion, perceptual grid, ext...) Because such great personal records have been kept (his journal primarily) about Durer, we know many things about his travels, teachings and personal life. What has captivated me is Durer’s journey to the Netherlands and the mentioning of monetary struggles. (Pertaining to the sales of his prints). Also, the fact the Durer left behind a pretty wealth Estate following his death. It is no surprise, that through out history artist have relied on their proprietors (or upper class) to keep them working. But, what is even more interesting to me- is that during the Renaissance we see a boom in Art and Money. This was due to an expanding trade with Asia and other parts of Europe. The crusades aided in contributing to the wealth, bringing back Luxuries items from the Eastern world. The Mining of silver increased the flow of money as well. When reading about these events it is humorous to see -how little things have changed when it comes to money, art and power. Even the semi “rock star” status and pay that artist made and still do (if you’re a house name) seem strikingly similar. If topics of art and money interest you - I would recommend these books. What is Contemporary art? By Terry Smith. Privatizing Culture by Chin-Tao Wu.

- Thomas Engleman

Michelle said...

I am fascinated with the transition of currency from physical clay tokens to the intangible form of credit. According to Wired.com, Javelin Strategy and Research predicts that 30 percent of all online transactions will use an alternative form of payment within the next three years. It’s hard to imagine how currency could become more user-friendly. We can already purchase from Starbucks using mobile payment so there’s no need to carry a credit card, much less cash. As much as I love the colorful and intricate designs on paper money and the excitement of observing foreign bills, it’s just not efficient to stop at the ATM. Are we so overburdened with images that currency design is no longer relevant? I don’t think so but it’s taking a minimalist approach. If we look at Apps, the logo designs are generally clean, simple, and shiny. The Apps that are more intricately stylized often use natural textures such as wood and stone or use hand drawn text. Today I prefer these types of design. Although less intricate, they create a more Zen experience.

Michelle Roy
http://www.wired.com/magazine/2010/02/ff_futureofmoney/

Ashley said...

After last Thursday’s class I am most captivated by the anatomical exaggeration of Venus of Willendorf. Serving as one of the most famous prehistoric female figures this tiny (4.25” high) limestone figurine of a woman is both suggestive yet realistic at the same time. Based on the Stone Age, this Paleolithic representation of a woman is typical of what prehistoric sculptures depicted. While they often illustrated either animals or humans, the earliest art consists almost exclusively of exposed women as opposed to men. However, according to many scholars during the Ice Age both men and women wore garments covering most parts of their bodies, and therefore the nude representation is rather suggestive. While the sculptor did not aim for naturalism in the shape and proportion, her swollen breasts, full belly, and wide hips suggest fertility and a strong emphasis on the female anatomy. While it seems that the purpose of this statue was to not represent a specific woman but rather the female form this can leave us to question in what direction has our present society chose to perceive the aesthetic and physical figure of a woman.

- Ashley

Nataly G said...

Like others in the class, the Venus of Willendorf also intrigued me but mainly because of the shift in perception from back then to today. My research has led me to believe that this statue (though most importantly what it symbolizes) and others like it were regarded as beautiful and almost magical, which stands in stark contrast to today’s perception.

As Ashley pointed out, when humans were depicted during this Paleolithic era, they were mainly women. This may signify the importance of women. Also, since a lot of these women, or “Venuses”, were shown with exaggerated reproductive aspects, this could mean the reason for the importance of women was their ability to bear children and therefore ensure the survival and continuation of their species. Also, the maker of this statue did not give it a face, perhaps further implying that the important message was the collective importance of womanhood, not so much the individual.

Another example of these ideas is the Woman Holding Bison Horn from Laussel, France (20,000 BCE). Check out the image here: http://www.museumsyndicate.com/images/4/36734.jpg

I believe women during the Paleolithic era were seen as these powerful and magical beings that “somehow” were able to create children. The physical attributes that accompany this ability were seen so beautiful that they should be exaggerated. Needless to say, the image of women today has changed in more than one way.

Nataly Guevara

Lisa said...

I was particularly interested in the written language comparisons that were made during our last class. How different can two forms of graffiti really be if they both stemmed from the same intrinsic desire and intent? Beginning with the earliest forms of graffiti- cave markings and pictographic symbols- it’s clear that as human beings, we have the inherent need to communicate visually. In that sense, when comparing written messages, a common thread can be found. The content of the message becomes trivial if we choose to simply analyze the initial motivation and urge one has to get that message out. This phenomenon has also crossed over into the digital world with Facebook statuses and “tweets” on Twitter. Even though these are digital messages, I would still consider them “graffiti.” There still exists that same desire to get our thoughts out of our heads and release them into the world, so in reality, how different are we from the people who made the first Paleolithic marks? Whether the nature of a statement is positive or negative, handwritten or electronic, they each display the human need to record our thoughts and opinions, share them with others, and leave our marks on the world.

-Lisa Trucchio

darfman said...

Johannes Gutenberg set the foundation for spreading the writing word along with magnificent Christian art that decorated the written pages. Incunabulum incunabulorum, relates to books printed before 1501, which are exact copies of books produced in the earliest stages of printing. Although Gutenberg did not become a wealthy man due to his early printing process, today his original leaves from the 1455 Gutenberg Bible could fetch almost $100,000 each. Of the 180 printed, most were on paper and some on vellum. The most desirable are the twelve that were printed on vellum. His moveable-type printing press allowed many people to read the same document such as the bible opposed to individually handwritten bibles, which were costly and limited. These bibles are some of the first examples of legible text, generous margins and fine presswork. This printing process then led to books and news spreading across Europe fueling the Renaissance and enabling the Scientific Revolution to occur.

- Derek Arfman

Nessx007 said...

The thing that sticks strongest in my mind is this idea of writing, or typography, being expressive emotionally, not just through the words but through the forms and shapes and styles they take. Much like how our languages have slowly changed and adapted over time, we change our writing stylistically as a culture over time, but also within our own personal lives. An interesting extension of this lately has been the excessive use of digital text in our age, and the ways in which people communicate their emotions and put their own personal spin on their expressions that extend beyond the words (emoticons come to mind specifically). It’s almost primitive in comparison to communication that is shaped with our tongues and bodies or drawn with our own hand, since the digital text form is usually standard, unified, and rigid, and one might even argue that people may prefer this type of expression since it allows them to hide their actual feelings behind the text (something that would be more painstakingly deliberate or obvious in real life communication or writing).

- Gabriel

Dan Arrojo said...

During our last class, I found the “early graffiti” to be most intriguing because I thought it was indicative of a sense of culture and communication more than the art work itself.

Although we may be extrapolating meaning out of these marks and falsely labeling them as graffiti (because it could have simply been a case of the artist changing his/her mind) if we do assume that this was intentional damage to the artwork, it means that these drawings were imbued with a sense of universal meaning, because at least two different parties understood what the symbols meant, laying the foundation for language and culture. Furthermore, there is in my mind an indication that if the damage was intentional then two sets of people or peoples had conflicting ideas, alluding to notions of political or social disagreement.

In essence, the vandalisation of this piece humanizes its creator and the vandal who tried to erase it because they reflect problems and issues that modern day humans also face. To look at art work clinically becomes easier the further removed it is from our own culture and time, however in this instance I felt a sense of connection to the artist/vandal despite having no knowledge of their culture or circumstance making this piece stand out in mind more than the others.

- Dan Arrojo

Anonymous said...

After our first class on Thursday, I am interested in learning more about Albrecht Durer. His two pieces shown are so intricate and detailed. It is still very hard to comprehend how these are actually prints and not drawings. It also amazes me how he was able to make these woodcuts with such precision. Out of the two, I like the print of Adam and Eve. I just love how detailed the bodies are. From the muscles and the veins, to even the curls in their hair. The figures are just so realistic. Adam and Eve are obviously the main focus of the print, but all of the nature surrounding them is so beautiful. The bark on the trees look like they would have the same exact texture as does real bark, and even the fur on the animals in the background looks so real.

- Megan Jacobson

Anonymous said...

I have studied the Venus Of Willendorf statuette in previous art history classes, and it was interesting to see her being brought up yet again. The miniscule limestone figurine symbolizes fertility as well praise when it comes to women’s role in bearing children. She is voluptuous and her features are incredibly exaggerated. She stands nude, not naked, and doesn’t give any indication that she was created to stir up controversy. Her amplified breasts, distinctly carved pelvic region, and her enlarged midsection all suggest that these parts of a woman make her beautiful, bountiful, as well as desirable. It is apparent that times have changed, and our perception of beauty and levels of confidence have all been skewed in a completely alternate direction. It is all quite ironic however, considering it is a statue representing this type of beauty has that has withstood the test of time and is still recognized today.

-Alexandra Goldman

Anonymous said...

As much as the rest of the class is, I am also interested in learning more about Albrecht Durer. I have encountered him in other unrelated classes and he has now really ticked my curiosity. I know he is responsible for making some of the most influential woodcuts in history and I also know he favored Martin Luther’s views and was acquaintances with other artists around his time such as Da Vinci. I would like to know more about his works and his influences and the results of his contributions.
Another thing I am curious about is how people saw a need to write down rules and guidelines, such as with the Book of the Dead and the Dresden Codex. It is interesting to know that people requested books such as the Book of the Dead in preparation for their own funeral or for a relative’s funeral. I’d like to know why people had a need to follow predetermined guidelines to write them down and how this need helped in the development in books as we know them today.

-Eduardo Prieto

Molly Cohen said...

Personally, I found the design principles of early Mesopotamian life to be one of the most interesting topics we discussed in the first class. The origins of writing were not in the conventional forms that we as a modern society utilize, but instead were in the form of pictographs and numerals. Language existed at such an early age when writing words was not even yet a developed concept. From these simple geometric shapes developed a sense of meaning associated with images. The transfer of more complex information, ideas and concepts from one individual to another, or to a group, was the single most advantageous evolutionary adaptation. The pictures began as representing what they were, pictographs, and eventually, certain pictures represented an idea or concept, ideographs, and finally to represent sounds. Over time, language has developed to a complex system that is comprised of simple shapes to create sounds that we now use to interpret into sounds and meanings.

-Molly Cohen

Micole said...

I was mostly impressed with the codex and the way it gradually replaced the scrolls. After the period were writings had to be made on stones, the scroll was the next big explosion in technology. At that time it made things much easier; the scrolls were written in ink, the message could be more up to date, it was portable and less impermanent. But between the 2nd and 4th century, the codex came along, and as people began to understand the improvement of this new technology, they began to accept it. The codex was easier to read, easier to transport, had durable covers and could be written in front and back. The codex became so popular that its format is used in today’s modern books. I question if now with the newer technologies, created to read books easier in a portable device, like the Kindle, could one day replace the codex format used in today’s books? The scrolls were replaced, and are now used mainly in the Jewish religion as the “Sefer Torah” scrolls. Is the codex then going to be replaced by newer technologies, and serve only for religious purposes, like the bible? I think that the format of the books is going to stay longer than what we think. The Kindle might help to reduce their popularity, but when people read a book, they share a connection with it; it has a reality factor to it, its cover, its weight, its smell.

- Micole Alkabes

melisa_nicole said...

Personally, I found the Book of the Dead topic very interesting. I find the contrast to the way people treat the dead today very intriguing. The Egyptians put so much effort into creating their funerary texts whereas we have nothing similar now.
I found the writings and illustrations within the book to be very interesting as well. As one of the first illustrated manuscripts, it really set a standard for combining text with illustrations. I find Egyptian imagery particularly interesting because it is so distinct. One can almost immediately identify them by their distinct pose style of having the head and legs in profile while the torso is facing forward. This book in particular shows the human figures with mythical animal heads, making it even more unique because of its use of composite figures. The writing itself is so distinct and intricate that it can even be considered art itself, and a lost art at that because no one writes in hieroglyphs anymore.

-Melisa Ramos

Ernesto Ramirez said...

I was most interested in the early graffiti. I thought it was interesting because I’ve seen markings like that before from other Art History classes, but never did it click in my head that those markings can be portrayed as graffiti. It’s an interesting concept because if you think about it, it shows that people no matter in what era have always been interested in breaking the rules and doing their own thing. Graffiti is usually something that is frowned upon, but yet it’s been done since the beginning of man. I personally have graffiti a wall, but never did I think that what I was doing was the same concept as those from the Paleolithic era. I think of graffiti as spontaneous fun art, which allows the artist to do whatever he/she wants, but at the same time allows for the viewer to see whatever he/she wants. It’s an interesting way of connecting the minds of the artists and the viewers.

-Ernesto Ramirez

Michael said...

Johannes Gutenberg introduced modern book printing. He was the first to incorporate the use of oil-based ink and invented the process of mass production, genius. For the past half-century or so, we have been accustomed to reading books and newspaper. Now, in this digital age, we get all our headlines via our smartphones. Amazon came out with a brilliant idea, the Kindle, to have all your books, electronically. We live in an era where everything is on the go. Are we beginning to witness the slow death of the printing industry? Absolutely, aside from textbooks that I need to read for class, I get all of my news feed via my iPhone or laptop. Why waste trees with expensive paper mills that pollute the air we breathe? It seems logical that this movement toward E-books and E-everything for that matter, helps us be more efficient. I am aware of all the bibliophiles who are enamored with paperbacks and hardcovers, but we have to except technology’s rampant pace.

Dongo

Anonymous said...

Throughout mankind we have always sought for some form of communication. Even prior to the invention of what is modern language, mankind created a pictographic-like language whether it was to tell a story or record history such as the cave paintings in Lascaux. Once societies grew larger, and became more complex, it was understandable like you said, that we needed a way to record things into a more permanent, medium, such as stone tablets, or the giant obelisks found in Egypt. And then, these developed societies evolve, become more mobile, the need of media changes again, from tablets to codex, and eventually books. Now that we live a modern society ruled by technology (i.e. the Internet) we see again the evolution of design of words first there were basic websites with minimal images, mostly text, if any, ASCII artwork (I loved this when I was younger). Ironically, we are using images (like the cave paintings) to communicate with one another.

-Phu Nguyen

drojas3 said...

The Venus of Wilendorf caught my attention because of her body size. What I also find interesting is that her face appears to be covered by either a net or a braid. The fact that she is overweight must have meant that she led a very comfortable life. If you were a slave or worker there was no way that the body weight would be as it is on this woman. I also find quite intriguing the way her hands are laid on her chest quite comfortably. Although she is a small statue, I am sure it actually depicts a very small woman. As you mentioned in class society has become consumed with waif prepubescent airbrushed models. So this archetype woman seems to be the antithesis and vulgar in contemporary standards.
Thanks
Dalia

Amanda Zacharkiewicz said...

I was especially interested in your comment about the early Mesopotamian form of currency. It is fascinating to consider how one simple line can give value to an otherwise ordinary piece of clay, and without it that same piece of clay would be meaningless. This idea lends itself to a generalization about all areas of design. The smallest marks can create a surprising amount of meaning. Really, in this sense, graphic design is a phenomenon that is completely socially constructed. Just as with the markings on the Mesopotamian currency, so much of design only has significance because we, as a society, give it such. Think of popular corporate logos such as Nike or Apple and the connotations associated with them. Without the definitions we have assigned to them, the Apple logo would just be a partially eaten piece of fruit and Nike’s logo would simply be a marking. As a result of the ongoing development of design, we live in a society today that depends so heavily on iconic representations that we can no longer separate them from their actualizations.

Irelis Milhet said...

When first viewing the Venus of Willendorf in this particular piece, I was torn. In my previous studies, these fertility symbols has not been so much a depiction of an ideal body type but of the sympathetic magic that these pieces were supposed to give the owners – the “magic” of fertility.

There have been other images that depict these voluptuous women as an ideal, most famously Peter Paul Reubens with his voluptuous Rubensian nudes, which I actually found quite beautiful and proportionate.

However, I have been contemplating the link between “idealism” and the particular images in this blog. The association with fertility, one of the most sought after qualities in a woman in earlier times, may have affected what was an ideal asthetic as well – almost a biological reaction.

Because we are now so overpopulated and are having less and less children per family, this could be of some influence to what is now ideal in a woman (at least in American culture). I am not saying that having children is not important to our society, but just not as crucial as it was at a time when carrying on our species was vital to its continuation.

Currently, women are fairly quick to run to their surgeon’s office to remove any traces of having had children; traces that may have previously been a symbol of esteem.

- Irelis Milhet

andrea said...

The concept that intrigued me the most from last class was the introduction of the codex as the replacement of the scroll. Up until this point, the method of choice for recording information and thoughts was the scroll, and with time this proved to be impractical. Finding specific texts and even displaying the scroll on a table was difficult at times, and the book offered the solution to most of these small malfunctions.

The book itself isn’t was fascinates me, instead it is this idea that this ‘simple’ invention has been in use for centuries, and although there are a number of technological products trying to replace it, we still use the book today. Why is it then, that humans don’t use the example of the book to understand that sometimes a product works, and there is no need to improve it? This doesn’t only apply to products, and actually, in this case I’m thinking of architectural styles. Looking through the history of architecture one sees the number of adaptations, sometimes going back in time to things that worked, and sometimes trying to come up with something entirely new. Where I agree with innovation, I also think that sticking with what works is intelligence, not conformism.

-Andrea Matute

Anonymous said...

I found the Venus of Willendorf to be an interesting topic, and I was amazed by how this little sculpture but very detailed could be made thousand years ago. She used to represent probably the symbol of abundance and feminine power with a very natural way and she is beautiful . When looking at her, so many questions come to my mind and one of them could be: is she was pregnant? due to her big belly. Thinking that she’s dated over 20.000 years ago is amazing . For me she has this idealistic representation of “Mother Nature” with her round body shape and not so sharp.

Yasemin Koraltan

Concerned Kate said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Alyssa said...

What really struck me from the first class was the evolution of graphic design in terms of pictorial, or rather symbolic representation of ideas or words. The ability of early societies to adhere to unified standards of visual representation is fairly impressive. Without modern technologies for communication, a picture, a series of carefully displayed lines, or engraved tablets came to represent the same ideas. This shows a great deal of complexity within these societies and illustrates the importance of art within societies to further social advancement. Moreover, in modern graphic design, all past forms of visual representation are clearly represented through advertisements, television shows, and magazines. I am fascinated by the full circle evolutionary loop graphics have seemed to make. While the early stages of humanity focused on pictographs as the method of visual communication, which was later replaced by typography, modern advertisements have seemed to revert back to pictographic representation. The written word has come to be replaced by that which was initially replaced: pictures. I believe our society as resorted back to, seemingly, such a primitive method of visual communication because it is in fact the fastest method of communication. For example, a movie that lasts one and a half hours is a visual representation of hundreds, maybe thousands, of pages of manuscripts which would take much longer than an hour an a half to read. However, this makes me wonder; if early societies were considered primitive for using pictographs for communication, should our modern society also be considered primitive since we no longer read?
-Alyssa Perkins Schelbert

Kate said...

As said today in class, we sometimes look right past things in our daily lives that were once so valuable and cherished back in time. Like books- some people have bookshelves full of them right in their own bedrooms, or have access to thousands and thousands of them in libraries and stores. And they are easy to read- just with a flip of the page, an action we do subconsciously a thousand times a day. The creation of the codex which replaced the scroll was a tremendous deal when it was introduced. Now, people could read with ease- they could read pages in order, resting on a table, and they could even take notes while doing so. It is difficult to imagine not being able to do this. And it is definitely bewildering to think that a simple thing like books or reading, something we do multiple times a day, was once not an easy thing to do or a daily part of life.

- Kate Festa

Diane T said...

The very first images of cave paintings on the walls of the Lascaux caves were the most captivating aspect of last Thursday’s class. When considering the designs of animals on cave walls one initially thinks of the people that created them as primitive. And so they may have been. However, it takes a more developed level of thought to represent such ideas, such “abstractions”, from the real world and manifest them onto rock, which is why I find these designs fascinating. The idea that the paintings point to early rituals of sympathetic magic (a topic which, until recently, I knew very little about) seems to relate to other ideas present in our own society today, particularly that of quantum physics and the power of the mind. I may be over analyzing a bit, but this quote talking about sympathetic magic was intriguing to me: “If we analyze the principles of thought on which magic is based, they will probably be found to resolve themselves into two: first, that like produces like, or that an effect resembles its cause; and, second, that things which have once been in contact with each other continue to act on each other at a distance after the physical contact has been severed.” The idea that like produces like reminds me of other, modern ideas I’ve been exposed to. In any case, these paintings seem to point out the desires of those that created them, almost as if their purpose was to sell their desire. It’s almost as if the images spell out loud - h.u.n.t.

Diane Trif

Rissa said...

The Book of the Dead is a piece of art that is discussed in almost every early art history class because of the significance of the subject matter and the illustrations. In my first art history class we focused on the symbolism and actual structure of the characters. However, from class I was able to see it in a new perspective. I never noticed that is was a means of instruction. This is probably because I only learned it for what it was supposed to be in class, instead of it being one of the first illustrated instruction manuals. In the 21st century the instruction manual as we know it is a commonality and can be found in so many different mediums but I never thought it originated so early. Most importantly, those who designed these pages had to be very precise to the point that every person could easily understand them.

Carissa Harris

Anonymous said...

Elizabeth Brasch


During last Thursday’s class, I was most interested in the Gutenberg Bible. Prior to this class, I had discussed the historical importance of this artifact in a high school history class. However, I now realize the delicate intimacy and detail that it took to create such an important historical book. One question I do have is how long did it take to make the first book? It is clear that the process must not have been quick but I am very curious to know. Another thing that I find remarkable about this bible is the use of aesthetic artistic creativity in the artwork. This work was made during a time in which creative and colorful artistic beauty was not readily available to the public. Because we are so used to have so many beautiful images available to us at all times, we cannot possibly imagine the powerful impact that this creation must have had on the world.