Paul E. Bolin


During the past twenty-five years there have been numerous highly charged and open criticisms levied against the field of art history. These accusations have been launched from a variety of fronts, both within and outside the discipline of art history (Simmons, 1990), with some of these critical questions and subsequent condemnation directed toward textbooks used to teach this subject in traditional courses that survey historical aspects of Western art. A primary criticism of these survey textbooks has been aimed at their lack of attention given to the important work of women artists. The manner in which these criticisms are treated by authors and editors of survey texts has definite ramifications for art education, a field in which preservice teachers are often required to complete a very limited number of courses in art history beyond those that present monuments of Western art through the use of such textbooks. These volumes then become the foundation and source of information art teachers use to instruct their students in art history.


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