Kirkland Museum: Looking at ArtPresentation Transcript
Docent Class: Module 1 Looking at Art
Definitions from: Artists, Patrons and the Public: Why Culture Changes, by Barry Lord and Gail Dexter Lord, published by AltaMira Press in 2010. Used with permission from the publisher.
All objects in the photographs in this presentation are from the collection of Kirkland Museum of Fine & Decorative Art in Denver, Colorado.
Art is a manifestation of aesthetic culture in which nature or natural properties are transformed to create meanings that can be apprehended, understood, and appreciated primarily by our senses or our imagination as an extension of our senses. Interior of Kirkland Museum
The content of a work of art is the sum of all its layers of meaning, apparent or latent, explicit or implicit. All works of art have content; only those that are representational also have subject matter, which may be defined as what a work of art represents, if it represents anything.
Otto Bach Landscape Abstraction c.1970 Vance Kirkland Red Mountain 1947
The formof a work of art is how this content is realized. Gerald Summers Bent Wood Arm Chair 1933-34 George Montague Ellwood Arts and Crafts Side Chair c.1902
Technique is the method by which the form is achieved. Vance Kirkland Floating Mysteries of India 1963
Medium is the range of techniques that the artist chooses. Designer Unknown but probably AndréeFauréMalabre Art Deco Jar c.1930s Studio Camille Fauré
Style is a form that is common to more than one work of art. Walter Dorwin Teague Sparton Bluebird Radio 1934 Victor Schreckengost Jazz Bowl and Plate 1931
Function is a term applied to pieces of art that have a use beyond the intellectual or imaginative. Russel Wright American Modern Dinnerware 1937-38
Decorative Art is art produced or intended primarily for utility, including jewelry, furniture, pottery, and other crafts. Adapted from the American Heritage Dictionary Studio exhibition room in Kirkland Museum
Module 1 evaluation: You may choose to complete the evaluation in written form (one page or so on each work), or set an appointment to discuss your ideas with a member of the staff. Please choose 2 works currently on view in Kirkland Museum. Briefly discuss the content, subject matter (if applicable), form, technique, medium, and function (if applicable), of each work.