How to Think Like an Art Historian | National Humanities Center

Education Programs

How to Think Like an Art Historian

October 5, 2017

Morna O'Neill
Morna O’Neill

Teresa Assenzo
Teresa Assenzo

What are the habits of mind specific to art historians? How does their practice, centered around the careful observation of artistic works, provide a basis for the questions they ask? In this podcast, Teresa Assenzo, director of visual arts at Saint Mary’s School in Raleigh, NC, and Morna O’Neill, associate professor of art history at Wake Forest University,​ ​demonstrate​ ​the ways art historians interpret artists’ works and situate them within larger greater historical and cultural contexts through an in-depth conversation about Claude Monet’s 1877 painting, The Gare Saint-Lazare.

Assenzo and O’Neill are participants in a new educational initiative from the National Humanities Center, ​​Humanities in Class: A Guide to Thinking and Learning in the Humanities, which seeks to highlight the processes of discovery, analysis, and teaching specific to different humanities disciplines.

Pedagogy; Art History;
Claude Monet, The Gare Saint-Lazare, 1877, oil on canvas, 75 x 104 cm (Musée d’Orsay)