I’ve been working through a Christian art history curriculum available from The Master and His Apprentices. We received digital copy of the textbook and teacher guide for The Master and His Apprentices: Art History from a Christian Perspective to review as part of the Homeschool Review Crew. All opinions are our own.
As I have matured, I have grown to have a greater appreciation for things that seemed less important when I was younger. History is something I have become more passionate about digging into through reading and documentaries. And, the study of art through history or alongside the study of history is something I have embraced more.
Even with these new found passions, it can be a struggle to find a resource that allows for exploration while keeping an eye on God. That’s why I was excited to dive into The Master and His Apprentices this summer.
About Christian Art History Curriculum: The Master and His Apprentices
The Master and His Apprentices: Art History from a Christian Perspective is just like it sounds. This art history program keeps a Christian perspective as you walk through time. This means you will not find secular ideologies which place humans at the center of things. And you won’t be shocked by material some may find objectionable (e.g. nudes.)
The authors share 5 reasons to study art history, especially from a Christian perspective. This method of study allows you to more fully understand:
The program is available in digital or print format. The digital format price is definitely more budget-friendly. However, for some people there is nothing quite like a hardbound book to hold in their hands.
Each Chapter provides images of art throughout the pages discussing the history of the period and the art of the time. These images are in color to best represent the artwork. Quotes from Scripture are included as they fit the subject material.
Time Periods Studied in The Master and His Apprentices include:
Ancient Cultures (Near East, Egyptian, and Aegean)
Classical Antiquity (Early Greek, Etruscan, and Roman)
Middle Ages (Early Christian & Byzantine, Medieval & Islamic, Romanesque, and Gothic)
Renaissance (Proto-Renaissance, Early Italian Renaissance, High Italian Renaissance, and Northern Renaissance)
Baroque & Beyond ( Baroque, Rococo to Today, and Global Highlights for a look at non-Western art)
How This Christian Art History Curriculum Works
To fully utilizes this curriculum, you will need both the textbook and teacher guide.
A suggested course of study is found in the Teacher’s Guide with the expectation of 36 weeks to complete. A sample syllabus is written for someone teaching this in a group setting. Alternatively, you could modify it for a handout to give your homeschool student so they know what to expect.
Additional introductory material includes a grade tracker, terms to describe art page, and instructions on the art history papers to be assigned.
After this introductory material, the Teacher’s Guide then has all needed material arranged by week. This includes worksheets that assess what they are learning as well as gathering their thoughts on the subject material. Each worksheet is fill-in-the-blank by design and has a reading assignment at the top of the page.
In addition to the worksheets by chapter, there are 4 quarterly exams found interspersed between the worksheets. Answer keys for the worksheets and exams comprise the end of the Teacher’s Guide.
One thing that I want to address is the copyright. Producing curriculum is time-consuming and making illegal copies to use with multiple students hurts these small businesses. The Master and His Apprentices requires families or co-operatives to pay a $2 per student fee for the permission to make copies of the material found in the teacher’s guide.
My Thoughts on Christian Art History Curriculum: The Master and His Apprentices
I found the text interesting and the artwork wonderful. There are so many different artistic creations from the different time periods studied. And, many of them reflect a belief in God.
Knowing that a boy could walk up behind me and not be surprised with a nude is a great relief. We’ve had occasional museum visits where nudity just pops up and surprises us. While I appreciate nudity in art, I prefer to not have my boys exposed to it quite yet. Or, at least I want to preview what it is. (My high school aged son voiced his opinion that museums should warn you about it after a recent visit had one of those surprises in an exhibit.)
Reading on a computer screen is not my preferred way to study, though. For those that want a hardback book, that is available. Alternatively, I could hook my computer up to the TV if I want to share reading with a child in the future. While printing is an option, I figure buying the book directly from them will be more cost effective for the quality.
I appreciate having timelines spaced throughout the text so you can see the progression of history in relation to different types of artwork. If using the digital format of the textbook, I would highly recommend printing those pages out to lay side by side.
Something unique about this program compared to some art history books I have seen is that there is a LOT of the history included. This means you could choose to give your high school student a fine arts credit (Art History) OR use it as a base for World History adding on some additional reading, documentaries, and writing assignments.
Final Takeaway on Christian Art History Curriculum: The Master and His Apprentices
Overall, this is a great art history program for a high school student to use. With no fear of nudity, you can turn things over to them for more independent study. Although, I personally found so much to learn that I recommend working alongside them!
Don’t just take my word for how we found this to be. Visit The Master and His Apprentices post on the Homeschool Review Crew website to see what other homeschooling parents thought about this resource.