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Dr. Jonathan Fardy

Is Photography Objective?

This presentation is popular with most undergraduates. The lesson explores the problem and promise of "objective" photography. We cover topics such as editing in photojournalism as well as famous photographic hoaxes such as the "spirit photography" of the nineteenth century.

How to Look at Modern Art

This presentation explores how to look at modern art. The lesson focuses on works by the American Abstract Expressionists. The central question that frames the presentation is: what is there to see in a non-representational work of art?

State Standards

These presentations meet the following state education standards for high school students:

Visual Arts

Anchor Standard 2: Organize and develop artistic ideas and work.

Enduring Understanding: People create and interact with objects, places, and design that define, shape, enhance, and empower their lives.

Essential Question(s): How do objects, places, and design shape lives and communities? How do artists and designers determine goals for designing or redesigning objects, places, or systems? How do artists and designers create works of art or design that effectively


VA:Cr2.3.IIIa Demonstrate in works of art or design how visual and material culture defines, shapes, enhances, inhibits, and/or empowers people's lives.

Anchor Standard 3: Refine and complete artistic work.

Enduring Understanding: Artist and designers develop excellence through practice and constructive critique, reflecting on, revising, and refining work over time. Essential Question(s): What role does persistence play in revising, refining, and developing work? How do artists grow and become accomplished in art forms? How does collaboratively reflecting on a work help us experience it more completely?

VA:Cr3.1.IIIa Reflect on, reengage, revise, and refine works of art or design considering relevant traditional and contemporary criteria as well as personal artistic vision.

Anchor Standard 7: Perceive and analyze artistic work

Enduring Understanding: Individual aesthetic and empathetic awareness developed through engagement with art can lead to understanding and appreciation of self, others, the natural world, and constructed environments.

Essential Question(s): How do life experiences influence the way you relate to art? How does learning about art impact how we perceive the world? What can we learn from our responses to art?

VA:Re.7.1.IIIa Analyze how responses to art develop over time based on knowledge of and experience with art and life.

Enduring Understanding: Visual imagery influences understanding of and responses to the world.

Essential Question(s): What is an image? Where and how do we encounter images in our world? How do images influence our views of the world?

VA:Re.7.2.IIIa Determine the commonalities within a group of artists or visual images attributed to a particular type of art, timeframe, or culture.