Week 2 Reflection

The question of whether the bronzes should be returned to Benin is a matter of ideal morality and practicality. Let us ignore where money has travelled as a result of these bronzes being moved. On one hand, these spoils of war should be returned to their country because they are items of heritage and culture, and the people of Benin deserve to grow up around items belonging to their culture and past. On the other hand, Benin does not have the resources necessary to manage these artifacts as well as the other countries do.

An impractical solution would be for the countries holding these bronzes to build facilities to hold and showcase these bronzes in their country of origin, as well as to provide and teach the skills needed to maintain these artifacts. Of course, no country would approve of this because there would be nothing to be visibly gained from this action. It does, however, solve the problems of not being in their country of origin and the maintenance of these artifacts.

Week 1 Reflection

What are your thoughts on this video on art history?

While it does address the reasons why we might not like art history, it does not find solutions for these reasons. We still sit in dark rooms listening to the professor speak. We still remember names and dates.

There are practical solutions to these problems, which is to have an engaging professor or to make remembering names and dates less of a chore. This one could be achieved by giving students the autonomy to connect the timelines of different artworks and seeing how they relate to each other. In this, the speaker has mentioned how there is a non-linear timeline to art and there is no one “hero” of this journey. Instead, there are many different people from all over the world, interacting with each other and it would be more enriching to see the similarities and differences to different artworks not just across the world, but also through time.