How to study for Art History II (ARTH 110)

How to study for Art History II (ARTH 110)


This is part 2 of study guides for Art History written by Michaela Kuschel!

If you have not seen the previous article on How to Study for Art History I

Key differences between ARTH 100 and ARTH 110 

  1. Depending on your professor, you might be getting more (we had about 80 in 110) slides to memorize for the mid-term and final. So check that list ahead of time!
  2. The artworks have more information that we know about them. No longer will you only have to know its a vase from sometime around 40,000 BCE. So be prepared to have to learn more detailed information about each artwork.
  3. Also depending on your professor, you will have one big paper to write instead of two shorter ones. There is a LOT of weight put onto the footnotes and bibliography so make sure you have it checked by a professor before submitting because a mistake in the formating for those could cause you to lose a letter mark for the final.

General Study tips

Get it done ahead of time

Nothing is more comforting than having extra time to work on something. With Art History 110, you are introduced to bibliographies in the Chicago style. This can be highly confusing so students accustomed to MLA, AP, or for those who never had to make bibliographies at first.

This is not something that is easily learnt from a quick google search, and nor should a google search be trusted when the bibliography can cause you to lose an entire letter grade for your final paper.  


Hence, what I would strongly advise is getting the thesis assignment and the essay done a few days ahead of the deadline so that you may email them to your professor so the bibliography and footnotes can be checked.


Use time efficient studying methods

Use your experience in 100 to assess what method of memorization worked best for you. In my experience, I created flash cards with the title of the work on one side and it’s details on the other side. I didn’t include images before by creating the cards by looking at the professor’s slides or simply be remembering class lectures, I could remember what the artwork looked like without having to memorize that. Just to double check my memorization, the day before the exam I would google search each artwork just to get another look at the image in case I was wrong before and didn’t totally remember what it looked like; or I’d use the professor’s slides to see the image but that might take longer than a quick google search.

What I learned wasn’t so efficient for myself that I did for the midterm was creating a PowerPoint slide list. The professor gives you a word list so if you want to see the image for memorizing, you would have to compile your own PowerPoint. This took me about a day long to do for the midterm and I didn’t really use it much afterwards as I had my flash cards. I didn’t do this for the final exam and scored significantly higher. So make sure everything you do for studying, you will actually use and isn’t a waste of your time.


Consider your surroundings

Time is everything when it comes to studying for art history because memorizing those slides can take forever. Depending on if you study better around people, alone, at home, at school, in a cafe, etc.; all these factors are important to consider with how they will affect the time it takes you to study. You can use ARTH 100 as an example to look at. For me personally, for the midterm I studied more at school with friends. I found it easier to focus for the final when I spent most of my studying time at home alone. Everyone is different so use your past experiences to make good time management decisions!

Don’t forget the essay part of the exams!

Without having the questions given to you, studying for the essay may seem impossible. It’s certainly not and should be given at least a full day out of your study schedule, this will also help with the slides, let me explain. For the essay, given I didn’t have the questions, I read online about the different movements and wrote it down, basically a study guide almost. This prepared me for all the essay questions because I could speak specifically about the movements, how they affected the art that was produced from them and also how these movements affected each other (Very good idea to keep in mind)


Use methods that work best for you

Similar to the point on time efficient methods, you need to be able to pin point the methods that are most effective for you. That might be rewriting things, rereading things, watching videos, reading various articles on the same topic, etc. If you think your past methods, like those used in ARTH100 weren’t working for you, try another one like the ones I’ve mentioned and see if you think it helps. But make sure you do so at least a week before the exam do you have time to try a second method if the first new one also doesn’t seem to be working for you. You can find resources for articles and videos that you can read, watch or/and take notes from.




Challenges & how to resolve them-

  • Get rid of distractions
  • Make sure your methods are time efficient
  • You need more than four days to study before the exam
  • Get the paper and thesis assignments done at least two to three days before the deadline so you can get it checked (don’t lose that letter grade for something simple!!)


Michaela Kuschel

Michaela is a Graphic Design BFA student from Tashkent, Uzbekistan. Her artistic interests lie under doing graphic art that heavily involving illustrations. Her illustrations are typically done with surreal characteristics — but her art generally spreads across multiple mediums

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