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How To Learn More About Art
Part Two: Videos


Want to learn more about art but don't feel like getting off the couch to go to a museum? Don't want to lift up one of those hefty muscle-building art books, either? You're in luck. There are a wide variety of videos available that are educational and entertaining. Keep in mind that the majority of these videos are part of a series, so they can be quite expensive to buy. But as with the art books discussed in Part One of How to Learn More About Art, many of the videos are also available at your local public library.


Although this seven volume video collection is 30 years old, and is now somewhat dated, it is still widely available at public libraries. The rather stuffy and "upper crust" Sir Kenneth Clark guides the viewer through the history of Western art. His delivery is dry and with little humor...make sure you put on the coffee pot!

Art of the Western World
Much more entertaining, and yet still comprehensive is this four-videocassette collection. The host Michael Wood is also English (anyone notice a pattern here?), but unlike Sir Kenneth he frequently has renowned scholars explain a particular work of art. This series is beautifully filmed and covers many of the world's masterpieces of architecture, sculpture, and painting.

Sister Wendy's Story of Painting
Although there is an accompanying book to this series, one look at Sister Wendy in action will prove irresistible. This English (here we go again) Catholic nun possesses an inquisitiveness and passion for art that is presented in a refreshing style. If, after watching this series, you've got to have more Sister Wendy, not to worry. There are several more videos available at

American Visions
After looking at a lot of European-dominated art, it might be a refreshing change of pace to focus on just American art. Host Robert Hughes (no, he's not English, he's Australian!) guides you through the evolution of American art from the Colonial era to the present day with thoughtful insight and a fair dose of an acerbic wit. The entire series is informative and thoroughly enjoyable.

Power of the Past with Bill Moyers: Florence
This video offers a truly fascinating look at Western art's most familiar eras-the Renaissance. But rather than the traditional approach to this subject, Moyers seeks to engage the viewer through an intimate exploration of a shared heritage of artistic ideas. This is a unique perspective to this era and worth checking out.

Against the Odds: The Artists of the Harlem Renaissance
Come explore how Harlem in the 20's and 30's was such a focal point of artistic creativity for African American artists. Their work proudly demonstrates how these artists transcended the prejudice that often surrounded them.

Meishu: Travels in Chinese Art
This three part series takes a journey through China in order explore Chinese culture and its art.

Great Tales in Asian Art
Four well-known stories from India, Indonesia, Japan, and Korea are told through visual art and performances.

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