I am excited to share with you my family’s new favorite art history resource. The Master and His Apprentices: Art History from a Christian Perspective is a full art history course that would satisfy requirements for a high school elective credit if it was completed as written. However, my children are in middle and elementary school and so we took a different route for this review and used it as a supplement. We love incorporating a bit of art into our history studies. The layout of this program makes that so simple.
Honestly, art history is not a strong subject for me. It was not something that was covered much at all during my educational experience (I did get a little in a fine arts course in college). This can sometimes make it difficult to include in my children’s studies without doing a lot of research and work. I love that this art history book by The Master and His Apprentices made it so easy for me to find what I needed. the chronological layout makes it a perfect fit for using it to supplement our history program.
The textbook starts all the way back at creation and shares about God as the master artist and his creations. Then it moves into art in ancient cultures and moves forward chronologically through modern times.
As we have been studying more modern history we skipped towards the end of the book and focused on chapter 18, Rococo to Today. I would read the information aloud and then show the children the art work on our television screen (hooked to our computer). We then talked through some of the discussion questions and just a general conversation about the art work. Since we were not using it as a high school course but rather a supplement we did not complete the exams or suggested papers.
Important Highlights From the Website
- Written from a Christian perspective
- Contain NO nudity or other objectionable material
- Satisfies requirements for a full high school elective credit
- Helps readers create a “visual” timeline of biblical and world events
I was really pleased to have a resource that had so much wonderful art from so many different cultures and time periods. That was made even better by not having to be concerned about whether the art work was appropriate for the children. This was truly the first resource I’ve ever found that was so comprehensive in the coverage of art work while not including any nudity or other inappropriate material.
The pictures were beautiful and included such a variety of art work. I loved that in addition to paintings, sculptures, and other traditional art they included lots of architecture and other pieces that were created as more than just artistic works.
In the fall, we will be studying ancient history and I’m so excited to be able to use this to tie art into our studies. In addition to be separated chronologically they have it separated by culture. This means that when we read about Ancient Egypt, I can show them art work from Ancient Egypt, and the same for Greece, Rome, etc. I think it will be so powerful to be able to show them examples of canopic jars when we talk about mummies, statues and mosaics from ancient Greece, and Roman Architecture. I really enjoyed how they tied in Biblical events and references throughout the book.
The textbook includes several resources that really added to the ability to use this book as a supplemental resource. There was a great breakdown of art work from various geographic regions. This would be a great way to study art from one area over the course of time. Then they had a lengthy index that would make finding information or art very easy. There was also a section explaining various art terms. There was so much history included in this art history book that it could probably function as a complete world history course with a little bit of supplementation.
The teachers manual included a sample syllabus that could be used to make it a full high school class. The syllabus and included worksheets and exams would make it a very easy to implement class, even for those people like myself that do not have a strong art background. They have separate instructions for using this in a classroom (or co-op) setting and at home, answer keys for the worksheets and exams, and art history paper instructions.
I am looking forward to using The Master and His Apprentices: Art History from a Christian Perspective to supplement our history studies for the next several years and possibly using it as a full course for my children once they reach high school. The worksheets in the teachers guide are considered consumable and for use by only one child. However, they only charge an additional $2 for each additional child making this a great resource to use with multiple children. While the hardback version of this book would be out of our price range (through probably a reasonable price given the number of full color pictures) the digital version is very reasonably priced, especially for a resource that I can use for years to come.
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