File - Hillcrest High School APIB Art History

Student Name_______________________________
August 19, 2015
Dear Art History Students and Parents:
After a nearly 20-year absence from secondary education, much to my satisfaction I returned to high school at Hillcrest in 2010.
What a privilege for me! Five school years later we are about to embark again together on an adventure into the discipline of
art history. It has the potential for dramatically affecting your life. Understanding a global survey of art in history means that you
will understand human beings and big ideas that have directly and dramatically influenced your life whether you realize that or
not at this point in the year.
This course is similar in many, many ways to those offered on a university level except that we will cover material on specified
lists of works for both I.B. and A.P. Integrating the new curricula of 250 required works in A.P. Art History with a smaller I.B. list
of just over 80 works has required some significant adaptation. However, in very real ways you’ll find that this course will give
you an advantage over other students when you take any further art history or general history courses at the university level.
That is because you will have studied the flow of art from the first civilizations through the art of the first decades of the 21st
century and have come to understand that the arts are always in the service of human beings’ biggest ideas. As the expatriate
Gertrude Stein – whose Paris apartment salon entertained Picasso as well as Utah artist Mahonri Young! – famously said, “Art
isn’t everything; its just about everything.”
I’m happy to report that Hillcrest students did extremely well on the 2015 A.P. test and the I.B. papers, receiving credit-worthy
scores for those efforts! My candid observation is that those who prepared for class, stayed attentive in class (no cell
phones, sleeping, note passing, doing other homework, etc.), and made an organized plan for the spring, found that
those efforts definitely paid off. The credits gained will go toward filling undergraduate humanities requirements for those
who qualified.
I am anxious that all of you (both students and parents) know what you’re getting into as far as reading, preparation, and
homework are concerned. So please note the following:
During the summer of 2014 I evaluated our methods of scheduling and materials distribution. As a consequence of that year’s
class feedback, I enlisted a graphic designer friend to put a website into the mix. On it you’ll find images for study cards,
reading guides, lists of required information to know and understand, image titles lists for each unit (documents referred to as
The Canons for I.B. and A.P.), supplemental readings, and finally videos. You can access the site at It
will be your responsibility throughout the year to go to the site to download, print, and prepare the materials available
there. Check it out together – students/parents/guardians – before you all sign and return this document.
The major text for the class is Stokstad and Cothren’s Art History, 4th edition. These very large books are available for
checkout to take home as permanent residents of your library throughout the school year. You will have a class copy of the
other standard text in the subject area – Gardner’s Art through the Ages, 12th edition – to use at school. That way, you needn’t
break your backs by carrying the huge book back and forth to class. However, if a student writes in either book or damages
it in any way or loses it, the text must be purchased at full replacement price ($190.00) at the end of the year.
McConkie: AP/IB Art History Disclosure Statement 2015-2016
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There is an option of purchasing the text online through Kindle at $145.00. See me if that is interesting to you. But please do
not use earlier versions of other texts or the newer, 5th edition Stokstad; you will become hopelessly confused. I have
ordered the 5th edition Kindle for myself and will keep you up-to-date on changes and new information.
Parents and students should be aware that in all the texts we will use as well as on the lists of required A.P./I.B works,
there are a number of sculptures, paintings and drawings with nude figures in the composition. In addition, truly great
art (like great literature) often involves subject matter that is sophisticated, mature and potentially challenging. Please
have a discussion about those facts and decide in advance how you will respond to them. But transferring out of the
course should not be an option. Be assured that we will deal with every image or topic in the classroom in the most
appropriate way we possibly can.
This year we will be using two additional reference texts: A Short Guide to Writing about Art, 10th edition (Sylvan Barnet); and
From Abacus to Zeus: A Handbook of Art History, 7th edition (James Smith Pierce). These materials should prove to be helpful
in improving writing and memory skills. These texts will be checked out to you as well. When it is necessary to take them home
for use in preparation of a particular assignment, you’ll need to find the one belonging to you each time. (I’ll provide some sort
of identifying bookmark to help.)
This year, rather than the dreaded image cards, you will be required to prepare page-sized briefs for each image on both the
AP and IB lists. These briefs become the place that consolidates notes you’ll take in class as well as during your homework
preparations. In the spring they are one of the sources – perhaps the most important one – for reviewing the year in anticipation
of end-of-year tests and/or I.B. papers. We’ll demonstrate how to prepare the briefs during the first week of class. (You may
want to digitally prepare and print briefs but, for reasons we will discuss in class, notes on the briefs should be hand-written.)
Images for the briefs are available online ( or in black/white form in the booklet you’ll get at the
beginning of the year. I’ll also post PowerPoint presentations and additional readings on the site. If you do not feel you can
access materials online, you’ll need to get training for that skill because starting this fall, I will no longer make
printouts available in class. If you do not have a printer at home you can always use the ones in the library or the I.B. room.
You need to come to class prepared each A day! That means that you have done three things: 1. Completed the
assigned reading (approximately 10 pages counting only text in Stokstad); 2. Intelligently finished the corresponding
reading guides (never more than two pages of double-spaced questions); and 3. Prepared the necessary image briefs
(artist’s name, work title, date, etc. on the six to eight images with the image pasted/printed on the brief). A.P./I.B. Art
History is a college-level course and will require about one hour of preparation for every day you spend in class.
If you need extra help, you are most welcome to schedule individual reviews and consults on Wednesday mornings at 7:00 am
throughout the year. I will be in the classroom at that hour. The AP test and/or IB papers reviews will be scheduled in the spring
as the test dates draw near. Attendance at test and paper reviews and individual consultations is strongly suggested.
Here are the basic, and very firm, rules regarding your preparations for the course.
1. Do your own work. Copying another student’s class notes, reading guides, and/or image briefs; going online to collect preprepared image briefs or reading guides is considered cheating. Get caught – eventually you will, by the way – and several
things happen: I will not accept either your copied work or the work of the person from whom you copied, so zeros go into the
system; you loose my trust and respect, which means few if any courtesies come your way, and conversations with your
parents become part of your year with me.
2. Complete the assignments on time. In order to be awarded full points, do not hand in incomplete or sloppy work. Extra
credit and make-up work are not part of the course.
3. Expect and be advised that this year I will not accept any late work. (Too difficult to keep track!) You’ll have a fullterm calendar so no excuses are necessary or plausible.
McConkie: AP/IB Art History Disclosure Statement 2015-2016
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4. Plan to read and study about 10-14 pages, including images, for each class day. Stay current on reading guides, briefs
and notes.
5. Anticipate that a homework check or quiz comes at the beginning of class. So if you leave your work in your locker and
go to retrieve it, you’ll miss the quiz and no make-up is possible.
6. Come to see me on the very day you return to school when you have been absent for news on what you may have
missed. Carefully consult the calendar in the classroom for due dates and schedule changes.
7. Be in class on the day of the test! Technically, there are no makeup tests for this class so if it becomes necessary for you
to be absent for a test, your parent must call or email the attendance office on the day of the test or your name must be on an
official excused list.
8. Plan to take the missed test on the first Wednesday morning after your return. The test you take may not be the same
test as the test given in class on a scheduled day.
9. If you are an I.B. student, you will be required to attend approximately six “IB lunches” during each term for
additional contact as specified by the I.B. curriculum. You may bring your lunches to those dates but make certain that eating
that lunch does not take precedence over the work to be done.
1. No food and only water to drink is allowed in class. You may bring the water in non-breakable containers.
2. Private use of electronic devices – this means smart phones – is NOT allowed during class time!!! If I
discover that you use your device in class (This means texting!!!!!!), I will confiscate the device and consider it
a gift until the end of class. If the behavior is chronic, the next step is for you to surrender the device each time
you come to class; finally, if you are making me crazy with your cell-phone addiction, the parentadministration-involvement will be considered.
3. Bring the proper equipment to class each day. This means paper, prepared image briefs, completed reading
guides, pens/pencils, highlighter etc.
4. Take no locker trips for missing materials.
5. Know and use THE SLEEPING CLAUSE, which is as follows:
If you become sleepy, especially when the lights go out, get up and move around or
attend to your note taking. I realize that sometimes staying awake in a warm, dark room
after little sleep is difficult, even on the most scintillating, interesting days. Make an effort to
be a contributor to the classroom experience. But once again, if the behavior is chronic,
the next step is the parent-administration-involvement.
Beginning very soon after the beginning of the year, we will be making preparations for a three-day immersion experience in
San Francisco at the end of March that has already been approved. Start saving now for some great learning
opportunities in that regard. The cost will be approximately $550 (covering your meals, air and ground transport,
museum admissions, hotels, etc.). Some “scholarship money” is available for qualifying students in need. We will have
a meeting in the first weeks of school to discuss details. In the meantime, a course fee in the amount of $15 (to cover special
classroom supplies such as composition books, prints for bulletin boards, and local transportation to some churches and
museums) should be paid to the office on or before the end of school on Friday, September 11, 2015. (Fee waiver
students should consult the front office regarding fee vouchers.)
McConkie: AP/IB Art History Disclosure Statement 2015-2016
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Grading is based on total points accumulated through assignments, quizzes, compositions, reading guides, class notes, image
briefs, and exams; grades are expressed as a percent. The grading scale is outlined below. Grades appear on Skyward.
Be advised that carefully prepared – as demonstrated on the first few days of class – image briefs, along with
reading guides, will constitute 25% of your grade. Daily checks of notes taken in class on a new form we’ll
talk about (designed as a response to students who took no notes in class last year!!!) will be another 15% of
your grade. Tests and frequent reading quizzes will make up another 30%, and finally, writing assignments
(and for IB students, the Internal Assessment papers) will make up the remaining 30%.
I hope you know how committed I am to making this course worth your preparation and effort. The fact that there are national
tests and/or international papers at the end of the year is secondary in my mind to the enrichment you will take with you to the
rest of your life.
Dr. Judith McConkie, MFA, PhD
Parents and students:
Read the parent/student disclosure letter above, sign it below, and detach this lower portion and hand it in as your first
assignment due on Friday, August 21.
Student signature________________________________________ date___________________
Parent signature ________________________________________ date ___________________
Comments and contact information for a response:
McConkie: AP/IB Art History Disclosure Statement 2015-2016
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