For as long as humankind has existed so have art, music, architecture, literature, and philosophy. The University of Phoenix (2009) defines humanities as “an approach to study that emphasizes ideas and values through analysis of modes of cultural expression, philosophical and religious thought, and modes of human communication” (University of Phoenix, Week One Supplement). Gloria K. Fiero (2006) further defines humanities as literature, philosophy, history, architecture, visual arts, music, and dance (p. 4). Humanities impact daily life without many people being aware of their presence. What distinguishes humanities from other modes of human inquiry and expression is that they focus on ideas and values, not simply the production or result of an action. This paper will provide current examples of visual art, music, architecture, philosophy, and literature and analyze how they reflect current developments in politics, socioeconomics, and technology. Visual art can be, but is not limited to, painting, sculpture, and photography. Classic paintings by renowned artists such as Leonardo da Vinci, Claude Monet, Vincent Van Gogh, and Pablo Picasso are still considered masterpieces in today’s society but are not enjoyed by the common population the way that graphic and digital art have in the past century. Graphic and digital technology have become the means by which visual art is to be viewed and cherished among the mass population in a way that has never been available in history. Today’s society has become focused on instant gratification. Changes are expected to be made in politics overnight, struggles in socioeconomics demand rectification within weeks (even though they took years to create), and advancements in technology feeds society’s dependence on better, faster, and stronger tools. Unfortunately, visual art has become victim to this need for instant gratification. No longer are single masterpieces created by the flow of an artist’s hands,...
References: Fiero, Gloria K. (2007). The humanistic tradition (5th ed). New York, NY: McGraw-Hill.
Johnson, Doug (2006, October). For dummies books are popular learning aids. Retrieved from http://www.voanews.com/specialenglish/archive/2006-10/2006-10-12-voa1.cfm
University of Phoenix (2009). Week One supplement: Humanities Terminology. Retrieved from University of Phoenix, Week One, HUM102 – Introduction to the Humanities website.
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