Skip to Main Content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.
Writing About Art
There's a lot you can discuss when writing about art. Sometimes you're asked to critique a single image or provide information on a specific artist. Other times, you contrast and compare images or discuss how an event shaped an art movement. As well as being beautiful, art can be full of history, politics, philosophy, and personal exploration.
If you want to learn more about writing about art and art criticism, visit the website below.
Writing About Art
Developed by Marjorie Mustenberg, this website explains the different approaches college students encounter in undergraduate art history classes. Each chapter outlines the characteristics of one type of visual or historical analysis, and briefly explains its history and development. Passages by well-known art historians provide examples of each method. Four appendices outline the steps in researching art historical topics, writing essays about them, and citing sources properly.
Art Writing Books
If you'd like to learn more about writing about art or art history, check out the following books.
Publication Date: 1987-08-01
Artwriting is a philosophical study of the history of recent American art criticism. Carrier argues that an artwork can be understood only relative to interpretation, a function of criticism. But unlike art history, art criticism cannot arrive at a consensus about what makes a true interpretation of an artwork. Criticism can only appeal to the persuasiveness of alternative critical narratives in determining an artwork's meaning and value.
Principles of Art History Writing by
Publication Date: 1991-04-26
Principles of Art History Writing traces the changes in the way in which writers about art represent the same works. These differ in such deep ways as to raise the question of whether those at the beginning of the process even saw the same things as those at the end did. Carrier uses four case studies to identify and explain changing styles of restorations and the history of interpretations of selected works by Piero, Caravaggio, and van Eyck.
Writing About Art by
Publication Date: 1998-11-01
Intended for courses in History of Art and Art Appreciation as well as a supplement in Art studio courses and in Writing Across the Curriculum courses. Designed as a supplement to Art History survey and period texts, this title features a step-by-step approach to writing, from choosing a work to write about to preparing the final essay.