Paige Wideman

Veering from the chronological approach to the arts, this book takes a more organic, thematic direction providing a different perspective to why humans create works of art. By focusing on aspects of a philosophy, a culture, or an artist’s life, the purpose behind these creations puts them into a context which makes each come alive. This more humanistic approach helps to engage the reader, in particular non-art majors, allowing them to discover how significant art really is and why it should not be ignored or dismissed so easily.

Art Appreciation: an organic approach to the visual arts is divided into three sections—Body, Thought and Environment. These categories address aspects that are important to all humans and in turn help readers realize art is all around them, impacting their lives daily. Some cultures and artists appear in more than one area of the book to help convey the complexity of art as a tool of communication and form of expression. Because of the diversity of our world and our scholarly institutions, a more global perspective is needed to illustrate the diversity of why art is created throughout the ages. For this reason, artwork from Western and non-Western cultures—from ancient times to the present day—are provided. In addition, the approach used in this book will help the reader discover or deepen their existing appreciation for art , whether for its beauty, its complexity, its simplicity or the sole purpose of its creation.