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Be sure to use the appropriate terminology and skills from the course readings and specific to the discipline of art history. For example, in introductory art history courses, students are required in their exam essays typically to compare and contrast different works demonstrating not only their learned skills of formal visual analysis, but also their ability to place works and monuments in a historical context. This means comparing works not only in terms of the differences in their formal elements, but also in terms of the socio-political, theological, regional or cultural reasons behind those differences.
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Representing the theoretical and methodological diversity of feminist studies in art history from its second decade, Broude and Garrard both identify the effects of “postmodernist” theories of authorship, the gaze and the social construction of gender in art history, while contesting the tendency to polarize feminist scholarship between modern and postmodern, essentialist and constructivist, traditionalist and theoretical. They advocate incremental change in the discipline and argue for a continuing acknowledgement of the importance of studies of women’s authorship in art.
Kelly-Gadol stresses that the temporalities of gender relations may not only not coincide with the progressive model of historical periodization—the Renaissance as progress—but may be in conflict. Histories attentive to gender do not necessarily coincide with those that are gender-blind. Reprinted in Women, History and Theory: The Essays of Joan Kelly (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1984), pp. 19–50.
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History, Art & Archives, U.S. House of Representatives, Office of the Historian, Women in Congress, 1917–2006. Washington, D.C.: U.S. Government Printing Office, 2007. “The Women’s Rights Movement, 1848–1920,” (March 01, 2018)
Smarthistory: Art History on Khan Academy (article) | …
Here’s an example of a compare-and-contrast essay > using two works from the Renaissance and Neoclassicism eras: Michelangelo’s David and Antonio Canova’s Psyche Revived by Cupid’s Kiss. Notice that these two pieces were chosen because they both are considered by scholars to be representative of their time periods and that both of the artists used unconventional ideas in their depiction of the current political and social conditions of the day. It’s important that you choose two pieces that allow you to make appropriate comparisons relating to the concepts you are learning in your art history class. This is an important first step as you prepare to write an effective essay that covers multiple main issues covered in class.
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Introducing their first major collection of substantive works of feminist art historical scholarship, Broude and Garrard position feminism’s impact on art history as a major reconceptualization of previous history and art historiography as patriarchal, necessitating radical revisions to the distortions created by sexual bias in the creation and interpretation of art and demanding a new definition of the cultural and social uses of art.