A visual overview of the Art of Western Civilization from prehistoric times to the present, revealing what is important to each era

The History of Art of Western Civilization is divided in this curriculum into large understandable pieces. The history of art is complex, so it is simplified here for greater comprehension, knowing that interested students will choose to learn and investigate the complexities of this subject far beyond elementary and secondary education.

The lessons in this section relate strongly to those presented in the Montessori Method for the formation of the universe. The beginning lessons for the history of art are stories illustrated by photo reproductions of actual art, as each era of art history is introduced. There is a story within the story of each new art period introduced. Studying the progression of artistic expression, modes and styles through art literally teaches us history – often with greater detail than a history textbook could describe – just by observing closely what the artist pictured, what the subject illustrates, and what the work expresses.

Timelines, charts and other familiar mechanisms are offered here to help bring alive a sense of the span of each art era compared to human history. The beginning and ending dates of eras are made visible, to create a bigger picture that emerges from this more sensorial approach.

It is up to each Montessorian to decide how to integrate the history of art within the other disciplines we teach. The more we learn about this rich discipline the more we can bring it alive, and that is true of everything we teach is it not?