I was excited about this review and have spent the last few days watching every single of the 513 minutes of this series.
It is geared towards an adult audience but would be applicable to a high school or mature junior high population. My 13 yr old daughter watched the series with me.
First off you need to know that it was filmed in 1989, has been available on VHS and is now being released on DVD. If you have an older copy there have been no changes.
Content wise it is excellent. It provides a good overview of the history and significance of western art and architecture, from the Classical Ideal to Post Modernism. It also strives to give you the overall feel of society at different periods of time so you can
connect the dots between what is going on in everyday life and how that relates back to the artist. The addition of architecture is terrific as this is often a neglected area in other overviews of art history.
CONS: My only issue with this DVD collection is the picture/film quality. I don't know if it's due to our high expectations in this age of digital but I found the quality making me feel I was watching something much older than 1989. This is unfortunate as most of us can only experience these great works of art in reproduction. If you are looking to give yourself or your students a closer look at specific works I would advise you to seek additional resources.
Some episodes were truly winners though. After a few minutes of "this looks really bad" in the very first episode both my daughter and I were quite enthralled by the "The Classical Ideal", we also enjoyed episodes 3 and 4 on the Renaissance, as well as the final 2 episodes on "Into the 20th Century". Especially the Picasso material and the conflict between the Bohemian lifestyle and the need for Bourgeois support, something that is relevant in today's art world.
There was also a preview for "Every Picture Tells a Story" which looks amazing, so much so my daughter is requesting a copy for her birthday.
On to the giveaway. If you are interested in winning your own DVD copy of "Art in the Western World" a $59.99 value, please leave me a comment on this post or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
I will make the random draw on Friday so you have until Thursday(11:59pm). This giveaway is open to everyone, so all of you over in the UK, Australia, etc. please feel free to enter!
DISCLOSURE: Review and giveaway copies provided to me by Acorn Media Group