Art history classes can be a tad overwhelming when it comes to studying. We have to study not only the works of art and their history but also the artists and their history plus all the dates and titles. Fortunately, this semester both the art history courses I am enrolled in do not focus so much on specific dates and titles, so that takes some pressure off. When it comes to studying I have a strict method that I picked up in my very first art history course ever and I am going to share my method with everyone! It is no secret and I am sure others take part in this method as well even though it is quite an effort and uses a lot of paper.
Probably like most art students, I am a visual and very hands-on learner especially when it comes to studying. My method of studying requires printing all of the works of arts discussed. Luckily, most professors usually have the pictures on Artstor and you can download the pictures right to a PowerPoint and print from there! Once my slides are printed, I begin to write my notes on the back of the image. I usually include the history of the work, any history of the artist, and of course any important details about the piece itself. On the front, where the image of the work is I always write the art movement it was a part of, the title, dates, and the artists name. Sometimes if there is anything specific about the work, any important detail, I make sure to note it on the image itself!
I have had three art history courses so far and my method has worked swell for all three courses. It is a lot of work but it helps me personally remember the specifics. Plus it is a great way to stay organized and keep the information forever!