As a double major in English and Art History, I am careful to note any overlaps between my academic areas of study.
To begin with, being able to craft and defend an argument is an important aspect of art historical studies, and that’s a skill I’ve been able to hone through rhetorical studies. As in any structured argument, the content of an academic paper must be clear, focused, and succinctly conveyed. Knowledge of rhetorical argumentation strategies has aided me in the extensive writing I've done for my art history classes.
Rhetoric can also be used in various ways to understand presentations of art and how they appeal to viewers. The rhetorical triangle is just one useful tool for examining the role of an artwork in a specific situation -- museum versus private home, for example. In such a comparison, the interconnection of concepts illustrated in the rhetorical triangle is helpful for considering how the location (context) of an artwork changes the appropriate audience and purpose for its display, and also vice versa. In analyzing art and also creating art, rhetoric allows for insight into various concerns of audience appeal and reception.
The documents in this section touch on several ways in which art and rhetoric intersect, including how rhetorical appeals shape artistic creation and art historical argumentation.