If you're seeing this message, it means we're having trouble loading external resources on our website.

If you're behind a web filter, please make sure that the domains *.kastatic.org and *.kasandbox.org are unblocked.

Main content

Introduction to Modern Art & Ideas

Looking at modern art through the lens of different themes can reveal surprising connections and new insights. In our new online course, "Modern Art & Ideas," we explore four themes we often use when teaching at The Museum of Modern Art: Places and Spaces, Art and Identity, Transforming Everyday Objects, Art and Society. Start learning: http://bit.ly/1OqE0ZZ Enroll in "Modern Art & Ideas" on Coursera: http://bit.ly/1JHtmuM.

Want to join the conversation?

  • hopper cool style avatar for user Madeliv
    "Traditionally modern art has been discussed in terms of time period and movement" how did it come to this? In chemistry, biology and physics in school (in my experience) you're not taught a chronological overview of discoveries('time periods'), nor different scientific paradigms('art movements'), but rather have education centered around themes ("gravity", "cellular reproduction", "noble gasses"), so why is the traditional approach in art education and discussions so different?
    (5 votes)
    Default Khan Academy avatar avatar for user

Video transcript

Traditionally modern art has been organized, separated and discussed in great length by time period and movement. We wouldn't be doing that. These videos will instead look at art by theme. Places & Spaces. Art & Identity. Transforming Everyday Objects. And Art & Society. These themes in an attempt to bridge the gap between modern art & you. I think that modern art can meet you where you are and allows you to work with what you already know. It says, interestingly, as much about you or me as it does about the artist himself. There's going to be pictures, there's going to be these people, there's love, there's death, there's this guy, there's this thing, there's a chainsaw. This is why this museum, this is why this subject is so rich because there's such diversity in it. If you find a foothold and get started, you're never going to finish. It's going to be another way to look at modern art. Suddenly, it opens up a greater dialogue about connections not only between works of art but to things we already know. It just gives you another entry point to really engage with the art that you're seeing.