Thursday, June 28, 2018

Art History from a Christian Perspective {A Review}

{This post contains affiliate links to a vendor we have been enjoying:The Master and His Apprentices.}

Are you looking for a faith-connected homeschool art history curriculum

The Master and His Apprentices: Art History from a Christian Perspective created by The Master and His Apprentices might be just what you are looking for.

The Master and His Apprentices: Art History from a Christian Perspective would work well for:

  • adults who want to read about art appreciation with a Biblical worldview.
  • parents who to better understand art history in order to teach their children about it, or who are looking for specifically Christian material to supplement other art, history, and faith studies.
  • high school students that desire a full credit art history course that can be used independently, with a co-op, or with a private school.
  • artists who desire to better understand what makes art great.

The Master and His Apprentices: Art History from a Christian Perspective is particularly wonderful for Christian families because it eliminates some of the problems of secular art history curricula which present materials from a humanistic perspective, failing to view God as the original, ultimate Creator, make no connections between art, artists, and Biblical timelines, and do not present Jesus' life, death, and resurrection as truth, but rather as a myth.  In other words, 
The Master and His Apprentices: Art History from a Christian Perspective  focuses on what is true and beautiful, leaving out what is questionable!

What Is Included in This Homeschool Art History Curriculum

The Master and His Apprentices

The Master and His Apprentices: Art History from a Christian Perspective is a 380-page textbook course with a teacher guide that was written by a former homeschool student, Gena Ferguson, who has been teaching art, English, history and the Bible for over 12 years. Gena used her experience to create a comprehensive Art History course aimed at Christian highschoolers that provides a full credit of Art History when used with the materials from the teacher guide. 

Of course, Gena also made the book friendly for whole families that want to browse beautiful art or learn more about how art fits in with faith and history, ince she specifically designed 
The Master and His Apprentices: Art History from a Christian Perspective as a resource:

  • that contains no nudity nor material that may be objectionable to most Christian families.
  • helps readers create a "visual" timeline of Biblical and world events.
  • includes beautiful images.
  • has helpful materials to help families talk about art and know where to find specific art pieces.

The curriculum covers art all the way from Mesopotamia to today and contains over 600 photos, detailed timelines, and a plethora of information about major time periods, artists, styles, mediums, and techniques.

Sculpture, painting, architecture, and more are included.

The text helps students "see" history by connecting art, history, and the Bible while it dives into such periods as:

  • Ancient Cultures: Ancient Near East, Egyptian and Aegean
  • Classical Antiquity: Early Greek, Etruscan and Roman
  • Middle Ages: Medieval & Islamic, Early Christian & Byzantine, Romanesque and Gothic
  • Renaissance: Proto-Renaissance, Early and High Italian Renaissance and Northern Renaissance
  • Baroque and Beyond: Baroque, Rococo to Today (modern art) and Global Highlights (non-Western art)

The book covers all periods of art.

Each chapter of the text typically begins with an introduction that gives important background information about a period.  Then, you are introduces to art and artists from the period through text, inviting images, helpful timelines, etc.

Throughout the book you will learn about a variety of mediums from painting, to sculpture, to architecture, and, of course, will be able to make connections between these works, the periods of history they were created in, and the influence of faith on it all.

In the teacher guide you will find:

  • weekly worksheets for self study 
  • discussion questions for classroom settings
  • 4 exams
  • instructions for 4 papers
  • a grading chart
  • answer keys
  • a syllabus

I browsed these and used some mentally for my own learning and look forward to using them "as intended" with my children when they are a bit older and ready to take the credit course.  

I can definitely see how the text provides plenty of "meat" and engagement and the materials in the teacher guide provide the tools for "chewing" on the meat, learning independently with minimal planning or guidance from a parent-teacher or, if preferred, learning through dynamic parent-child or classroom discussions.  That makes 
The Master and His Apprentices: Art History from a Christian Perspective flexible to different homeschool styles: independent learners can use the materials as written, families and co-ops can mix and match written and oral work alongside reading and viewing the text, and those that prefer to dip into curriculum as a resource rather than a start-to-finish thing can easily do.

How We've Been Using This Homeschool Art History Resource

When I was offered the chance to review this Christian art history program I was excited.  As anyone who has been following our family's homeschool journey for any length of time knows, we are history lovers who also like art and enjoy integrating faith into our studies and fun.  Thus, I thought The Master and His Apprentices: Art History from a Christian Perspective might be an ideal resource for my children and I to read together as well as a lovely book to browse and use in connection to our eclectic studies.

Unfortunately, I was wrong about the The Master and His Apprentices: Art History from a Christian Perspective working for us a read aloud.  For, when I sat down to read a digital copy of the book with my children (who are between seven and twelve years of age), it just did not hold their attention.  They found it too difficult  to all enjoy the pictures together on our small laptop screen and felt that the text, although well-written, was just not quite right for snuggly reading time.  Thus, we decided to read our digital copy of the text individually when they get a bit older and, instead of reading it together now as a consecutive read together study, to have me use it as a resource for prepping our current lessons and clubs and for learning myself.

This portion of the book was helpful when I was preparing recent club activities.

This decided, The Master and His Apprentices: Art History from a Christian Perspective has worked well for us as a ready resource for preparing the art portion of future Art, Music, and Poetry club lessons as well as for me to learn more about art history.  The kids have also enjoyed clicking through its pages on our computer to see the beautiful artwork they include.

Oh, and can I just say, I appreciate so much the way 
The Master and His Apprentices: Art History from a Christian Perspective presents timelines that make placing art in history - including Biblical history - easy!

Further, I love the fact that it includes:

  • a list of the Pieces by Location (which tells where each piece pictured in the book can be viewed around the world)
  • explanations of terms to describe art (which are so helpful for this art appreciating mama that leads Art, Poetry, and Music club but lacks a formal background in art myself)
  • and, a full listing of Consulted Resources that tells where each photograph, drawing, and map in the book came from.

Such lists make the book even more user-friendly!

Timelines throughout the book help us place art, history, and the Bible together.

So, obviously, we are happy to have received The Master and His Apprentices: Art History from a Christian Perspective and have been finding it interesting and helpful.

We all agree that, as a family resource, The Master and His Apprentices: Art History from a Christian Perspective would be better to own in a printed and bound version that would allow us to cuddle up together and pour over.  However, we also have noted how well the digital version we have works as a resource for self-study, research, and review, especially since we can quickly search terms, artist names, artist periods, etc. and ge right to the sections of the book which include them!

Learn More 

If you'd like to learn more about The Master and His Apprentices: Art History from a Christian Perspective, click on over to see what seventy Homeschool Review Crew families thought of the curriculum.

You can also find The Master and His Apprentices on social media on Facebook and Pinterest.


The Master and His Apprentices: Art History from a Christian Perspective textbook is available in hardcover for $149.99, digitally for $34.99. A softcover teacher guide is available for $24.99 or digitally for $19.99 with photocopy or print right available at a $2 per additional student rate.

We'd love to hear how The Master and His Apprentices works for you and yours if you choose to use it!


Related Posts with Thumbnails