Beginner's Guide to the Humanities, A

Prentice Hall
Philip E. Bishop  
Total pages
January 2009
Related Titles


An ideal supplemental text for any undergraduate course in Humanities or Introduction to the Arts.


This practical beginner's guide to appreciating and experiencing culture provides a handy introduction to the world of art that teaches students how to observe, enjoy, and analyze the arts.


Professor Philip Bishop wrote this book because there was no concise handbook on the market covering the arts as a whole. His text provides a succinct and affordable guide to the arts and humanities geared to students who are starting from scratch in their study of the arts. Self-contained chapters provide an essential companion guide to understanding a specific discipline-including painting, sculpture, music, and theater-with a clear and insightful explanation of the discipline's process of creation.


How do you help students place art in context?


Features that help students place art in context-“Art Worlds” features included in each chapter present a commentary defining the art in some social, historical, or psychological context. This material provides students with a point of reference and puts them in the know by relating the art to the real world.


“Real Encounter” features-In these insightful sections, Professor Bishop shares his recollections of his own encounters with works of art in the particular medium under discussion. These features help make the learning experience more intimate and tangible.


Hallmark Features

A glossary of essential terms for each chapter-Each chapter includes a “Tool Kit” for the discipline under study that arms students with definitions of important terms for each art form.


An instructional “Style Guide” for each discipline-This section offers a short list of important styles and/or principal artists for each discipline, helping students grasp the principal types or notable creators of each form of art.


Step-by-step instructions for experiencing art-Helpful “The Experience” features offer easy-to-follow instructions for understanding a specific art form when encountering it for the first time. This material guides students step-by-step through their experience of a work of art.


A succinct summary of each chapter-“A Companion to the Art”-one page per chapter containing questions to ask and terms to remember-provides students with a handy page they can photocopy and take with them on their next cultural outing, encouraging them to think and feel for themselves.

New to this Edition

Revised introductions to painting, music, dance, the printed image, and cinema.


Revised "Encounters" features with painting, architecture, and cinema, written as a model for student blogs or journals.


New or updated sections on popular song, popular dance, and musical theater.


New art, including the Buddhist stupa and a Robert Rauschenberg print.


Updated and expanded sections on digital art and digital animation, with attention to new technology and computer software.



Table of Contents

1    Painting


2    Sculpture


3    Architecture


4    Music


5    Theater


6    Opera and Musical Theater


7    Dance


8    The Printed Image: Prints, Photos, Digital Art


9    Literature


10   Movies


11   Encountering the Arts