Museum: an institution dedicated to the collection, care, study, and display of works of art, history, and natural science as objects of lasting value or interest
Gallery: a room or building devoted to the exhibition of works of art
School: a “school” of artists is a group of individuals linked often geographically, as well as through their ideas. Their techniques, or the ways in which they create art, also is similar.
Realism: to represent the external world in an objective and factual manner
Representational: to represent recognizable images, but not necessarily factually or realistically. The opposite of abstract.
Abstraction: an artwork which may depict only vaguely identifiable forms or which does not feature recognizable forms at all. In other words, when you look at abstract art you often cannot tell “what it is.”
Landscape: an artistic representation of natural inland scenery
Self-portrait: a portrait depicting the artist who created it
Still life: a picture consisting predominantly of a grouping of objects
Portrait: a painting, sculpture, drawing, or other representation of a specific, recognizable person
Cityscape: an artistic representation of a city scene
Complementary Colors: Two colors (a primary and secondary color) that are opposite on the color wheel. For example: Red and Green; Blue and Orange; Yellow and Purple.
Two dimensional: possessing the measurements of length and width but lacking thickness or depth
Three dimensional: possessing the measurements of length, width, and thickness; a solid surrounded by space
Background: the part of a picture representing what lies behind objects in the foreground or middle ground
Middle ground: the part of a picture between the foreground and the background
Foreground: the part of a picture which appears closest to the viewer
Impressionism: Impressionists shared a style of painting that did not hide the brushstroke nor blobs of paint on the surface. To them, light was even important. In fact, for many Impressionists, capturing the quality of light, often shimmering and diffused, was more important than the subject of their painting.
Regionalism: Artists led by Thomas Hart Benton used a robust style to celebrate ordinary working people and the rhythms of rural American life, politics, and society.
Ashcan School: A group of painters and illustrators interested in capturing the gritty atmosphere of urban scenes and details of the lives of ordinary working people.
Hudson River School: The first group of American landscape painters emerged in the 1820s and became known as the Hudson River School because many of them painted in and around the Hudson River Valley and the nearby Catskill and Adirondack Mountains.
Surrealism: an art movement of the twentieth century that attempts to depict the subconscious mind and looks like a crazy dream.
Harlem Renaissance: A movement of the 1920s that marked the first period of intense activity by African-Americans in the fields of literature, visual art and music. The center of this movement was the Harlem neighborhood of New York City.