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Reality Through the Arts (7th Edition) Reality Through the Arts (7th Edition) By Dennis J. Sporre
23-02-2011 Views: 2131
Reality Through the Arts (7th Edition) By Dennis J. Sporre


Reality Through the Arts is a brief text ideal for the one-semester introduction to humanities course.  This is a successful text because of its unique organization, which makes it an excellent alternative to the standard chronological organization found in most other humanities text.  The Introduction puts the humanities in perspective by discussing the arts and ways of knowing, art's main concerns, purposes, and functions, as well as artistic style and how to apply critical skills.  Part I, The Media of the Arts, offers independent chapters on two dimensional art (drawing, painting, printmaking, and photography), sculpture, architecture, music, theatre, cinema, dance and literature.  Part II, The Styles of the Arts, is a chronological history of the arts of Africa, the Americas, Asia, Europe, and the Middle East, organized by artistic discipline andfocusing on styles rather than encyclopedic detail.  The book is written at a level for students with little or no background in the arts.

Product Details

  • Amazon Sales Rank: #233967 in Books
  • Published on: 2009-02-01
  • Original language: English
  • Number of items: 1
  • Binding: Paperback
  • 432 pages

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
Provides a comprehensive two part real-world introduction to the history of art, Western as well as non-Western. The first part presents the available media and how each works. The second part traces a history of various artistic styles to demonstrate how artists have used those media to portray human reality.

From the Back Cover

The fifth edition of Reality Through the Arts teaches the basic principles and practices of the artspainting, printmaking, sculpture, music, theatre, film, dance, literature, and architecturein Western culture and cultures outside the Western tradition.

Designed for those who have limited experience in the arts, the text is divided into two parts: 'The Media of the Arts: What Artists Use to Express 'Reality"' and 'The Styles of the Arts: How Artists Portray 'Reality."' Part I examines the media of the arts by defining and explaining important terminology, discussing how works are composed, and suggesting ways in which art effects responses in viewers and listeners. Arranged chronologically Part f samples art from a variety of cultures, focusing on style as a reflection of expression and meaning.

  • "Cyber Study": Useful Internet resources are listed at the end of each chapter.
  • "Thinking Critically": Also at the end of each chapter, questions are raised about specific issues and works to help students develop their analytical skills.
  • "Personal Journey": These mini-essays, which occur throughout the book, bring art to life by recounting the author's personal experience with particular works.
  • In-text pronunciation guide: The pronunciation of foreign names and terms is clearly indicated within the text.
  • A new section on Latino Art in Chapter 13 highlights the diversity present within the ethos of the community, presenting works from Diego Rivera to Jose Bedia in painting and highlighting the Nuyorican movement of the late 20th century in theatre and poetry.
  • Humanities Video CD-ROM: this CD-ROM includes video demonstrations to help students understand the broad spectrum of visual and performing arts. Featuring painting, sculpture, architecture, music, theatre and dance as well as narration and video clips of different art forms, the CD is linked to a specially developed website.
  • Humanities Music CD: includes examples of music from across the centuries, to help students develop a broad understanding of musical styles.

Both of these supplements can be packaged with the text at no additional charge.The site is a comprehensive resource that is organized according to the chapters within the text and features a variety of learning and teaching modules. Students can test their knowledge with multiple choice, true-false, fill in the blank and essay questions for each chapter, or expand their knowledge using the Web Destinations and Net Search options to find additional information on the Web. Communication and collaboration are easy using the Live Chat and Message Board features: Instructors can use the Syllabus Manager™ to create, post and revise a syllabus online, and find supplementary teaching resources in the Faculty Module.

The Companion Website™ makes integrating the Internet into your course exciting and easy. Join us online and enter a new world of teaching and learning.

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.

This book teaches basic principles and practices of the artsdrawing, painting, printmaking, sculpture, music, theatre, dance, cinema, literature, and architecturein Western and other cultures. Designed for individuals whose experience of and in the arts is limited, it treats definitions and concepts in Part I in a cursory fashion, using general terms that can apply readily to the diverse cultural materials examined in Part II. The overall approach seeks to provide a convenient, one-volume outline with sufficient flexibility to serve a variety of classroom purposes.

Part I examines the media of the arts, defining and explaining important terminology, discussing how artworks are composed, and suggesting ways in which art can effect responses. The primary purpose of this compendium approach is to assist readers in polishing skills of observation and gaining confidence in sharing responses. Selection of materials is arbitrary. This text is neither a comprehensive history nor an introduction to aesthetic theory.

Part II is arranged chronologically in order to present a snapshot of arts from around the world that occurred at roughly the same time in history. The focus of Part II, however, is style, not history, and not every culture has been included. Decisions as to what to omit or include were made for two reasons: feedback from instructors and the practicalities of size set by the publisher.

This work is a product of many sources. In many instances it reflects the general knowledge of its author, who has spent nearly fifty years in formal and experiential relationship with the arts in the classroom and around the world. It reflects notes taken here and there as well as formal research. In the interest of readability, however, and in recognition of its generalized purpose, the text avoids footnoting wherever possible. I hope that the method selected for presentation and documentation of others' works meets the needs of both responsibility and practicality. The bibliography gives a comprehensive list of works consulted.

This edition, the fifth, contains several new features. First is a new Introduction which overviews the text and presents a more thorough and transparent approach than previous editions. Each chapter ends with a new "Thinking Critically" feature to assist in developing analysis and insight. That is followed by a "Cyber Study" section for finding additional materials on the Internet.

Within the chapters, an in-text pronunciation guide has been added so that readers can pronounce names and terms without having to look elsewhere for assistance. Also, each of the thirteen chapters contains a "Personal Journey" essay designed to give a personalized view of a specific work of art (designed, however, so as not to break the flow of the text). The intent is to show how experiencing artworks outside the classroom can become a meaningful part of one's life. In addition, a Humanities CD-ROM is available to bring to life several concepts, styles, and processes in the arts. The CD-ROM includes narration and fourteen video clips, with a listing of key terms and definitions that students can download to their hard drive for creating study notes and easy reference material. A web site, developed specifically for the CD-ROM, contains web links specific to each discipline. The CD-ROM also contains a starter kit for each discipline which provides general information for the arts genres, explaining why they are studied and how to study them effectively. Finally, a new section on Latino Art has been added to Chapter 13 in order to bring a better balance of materials to the realities of the contemporary classroom. The music CD available with previous editions continues to this edition. References to its selections are noted as "music CD."

In 1977, when I wrote Perceiving the Arts (Prentice Hall, 7th edition, 2002), I asked Ellis Grove, my colleague at The Pennsylvania State University, to prepare a chapter on film. Ten years later, that formed the basis for Chapter 5 of this book. In twenty-five years of revisions of these two texts, much of Ellis's original work has been altered. Nonetheless, the basics belong to him. Any deterioration of his work is the result of my tinkering, and I am indebted to him and to more than a score of colleagues whose insights, encouragement, and criticism have, I hope, made each edition of Reality Through the Arts better than its predecessor. I also owe much to Bud Therien at Prentice Hall, my friend, editor, and publisher for nearly twenty-five years, to the editors and copy-editors at Laurence King, Ltd., in London, England, and to my wife, Hilda, whose patience, love, understanding, proofreading, note-taking, and research assistance have provided me with a solid foundation from which to generate my own part of the project.

Dennis J. Sporre
Spring 2002

Customer Reviews

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