Purpose of Studying Art History

lizzie79 By lizzie79, 13th Apr 2014 | Follow this author | RSS Feed
Posted in Wikinut>Family>Education

There are many advantages to studying art history as it is a subject that offers insight into both the past and the future.


While to some the study of art history seems little more than an interesting pastime, and to others the study of paintings is a mere visual pleasure, others look further into art history, its implications and the way that it can help to advance society. Yet, you may ask, how on earth can looking at old paintings hold any significance to the modern day world, let alone help our society to advance? There are several responses to this question.

Scientific Predictions

Paintings can be much more revealing than they appear at first glance. They tell us a significant amount about what was going on in society at the time of the painting. Art history has helped scientists to find out about evolution and biological changes that humans have undergone over a period of time. By looking at the people in the paintings, the food and the objects around people they can see how we have lived, how this has changed, what our diet was and how our biological make-up differs from one period of history to the next. In turn, this helps scientists to make reasonable predictions about future changes that will happen. By expecting these changes, scientists and society can make preparations for society to adapt to these changes.

Technology and Society

The subject of art varies between painters and is often significant to the period in which the painting was done. One subject type is technology that is used at the time. This could be in an industrial painting or in a farm scene, in a home setting or a street scene. What is included in these scenes teaches us about technological changes, how these were achieved, how long these changes took to happen and what benefits they brought to society. By understanding technological development, further advances can be made in this field that will in turn help to advance society.

Understanding Economic, Social and Cultural Change

One of the greatest factors of interest in art history to many historians is social, economic and cultural changes that have occurred between each of the art periods that they study. There is extensive information that can be gleaned form art that tells us about the ways that we lived, the structure of society, different cultural and religious practices, work and home systems and much more. This knowledge helps historians and sociologists alike to better understand how society may continue to develop and make advances.


Art History, Purpose Of Art History, Studying Art History

Meet the author

author avatar lizzie79
I am a mum of four who has worked as a professional freelance writer for the past five years and formerly worked in education. I love to write about education, parenting, fashion, health, and travel.

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