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AP Art History

Course Description

Students will be engaged at the same level as an introductory college art history survey course. Students will examine and critically analyze major forms of artistic expression from a variety of cultures, covering time periods from prehistory through contemporary art. Integral to the course are critical thinking skills and understanding the diverse historical and cultural contexts of architecture, sculpture, painting and other media. The course teaches students to visually analyze works of art and to understand how and why works of art function in context, considering such issues as politics, class, religion, patronage, audience, gender, ethnicity, and world view.

*Students who achieve a high composite score on the AP Test will be eligible for college credit at most colleges and universities.

*Dual Credit through UMSL is offered for this course.

Grade Level(s): 10th-12th grades

Curricula for Advanced Placement (AP) courses are created by the American College Board, which offers high level coursework and exams to high school students.  Colleges and universities may grant placement and course credit to students who obtain high scores on examinations.  Curriculum for each subject area is created by a panel of experts and college-level educators in that field of study.  An overview of the AP Art History course can be found HERE.  The Course & Exam Description (CED) can be found HERE.  

Essential Questions

  • What is art and how is it made?
  • Why and how does art change?
  • How do we describe our thinking about art?

Enduring Understandings/Big Ideas

  • Artists manipulate materials and ideas to create an aesthetic object, act, or event.
  • Art making is shaped by tradition and change.
  • Interpretations of art are variable.

Course-Level Scope & Sequence (Units &/or Skills)

  • Unit 1: Global Prehistory, 30,000–500 BCE
  • Unit 2: Ancient Mediterranean, 3500 BCE–300 CE
  • Unit 3: Early Europe and Colonial Americas, 200–1750 CE
  • Unit 4: Later Europe and Americas, 1750–1980 CE
  • Unit 5: Indigenous Americas, 1000 BCE–1980 CE
  • Unit 6: Africa, 1100–1980 CE
  • Unit 7: West and Central Asia, 500 BCE–1980 CE
  • Unit 8: South, East, and Southeast Asia, 300 BCE–1980 CE
  • Unit 9: The Pacific, 700-1980 CE
  • Unit 10: Global Contemporary, 1980 CE to Present

Date Last Revised/Approved: 2014