Architecture is obviously a key component to any culture due to the necessity of having shelter for survival. However, many types of architecture are considered art and art on its own is widespread among all of the cultures of the world. Architecture is most apparent in dwellings, meeting places, boats, and other structures. Art has been utilized throughout human history as a vehicle for story telling, expression of emotion, and as representations of the geography of a given region. Art is often studied by historians to help them understand elements of the cultures they are researching. Architecture can be equally revealing regarding many aspects of a culture's identity. While we likely won't spend a lot of time looking into the art and architecture of the many cultures we will explore, it will become clear that both are present in every society.
Key Questions on Art and Architecture
1. Why do you think people place such a high value on art? For example, the Mona Lisa (pictured above) is on display at a famous museum in Paris and encased behind bulletproof glass. It is considered to be priceless!
2. Why are art and architecture put together into one category?
3. How can geography influence architecture? Think of a few examples of the geography of a region directly impacting the architecture of that region.
4. How can historians learn more about a past culture by looking at artwork? What can we learn about our culture by looking at the artwork?
5. What are some elements of architecture that all dwellings have in common? Why do you think these elements are so widespread?