AP Art History : Identifying artists, works, or schools of nineteenth-century architecture

Study concepts, example questions & explanations for AP Art History

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Example Questions

Example Question #1 : Identifying Artists, Works, Or Schools Of Nineteenth Century Architecture

The Prairie School of Architecture is strongly associated with the American region of __________.

Possible Answers:

New England

the Southeast

the Midwest

the West

Correct answer:

the Midwest

Explanation:

The Prairie School of Architecture developed in the Midwest in the 1890s as a reaction against the then-popular neo-Classicalism and Beaux-Arts styles. Prairie School Architects sought an authentically American style of architecture that reflected American landscapes. The term, "Prairie School," came about as a comment on the way the broad, plain style of architecture reflected the prairies of the Midwest.

Example Question #2 : Identifying Artists, Works, Or Schools Of Nineteenth Century Architecture

Grand Central Terminal in New York City is representative of __________.

Possible Answers:

Bauhaus architecture

Neo-classical architecture

Prairie School Architecture

Beaux-Arts Architecture

Correct answer:

Beaux-Arts Architecture

Explanation:

Beaux-arts architecture, named after France's national art school L'Ecole des Beaux-Arts, featured grand structures embellished with baroque details and ornamentation. The Grand Central Terminal in New York was built in 1871 and refurbished in 1913, placing its construction at the height of the Beaux-Arts movement. As such, the railroad station's bronze statuary, ornate grand hall, and finer details make it a key example of the style.

Example Question #3 : Identifying Artists, Works, Or Schools Of Nineteenth Century Architecture

The Palace of Westminster in London is a significant example of the architectural style known as __________.

Possible Answers:

Rococo

Baroque

Georgian

Neo-Gothic

Correct answer:

Neo-Gothic

Explanation:

In 1834, the Houses of Parliament burned down in the middle of London, which created the need for a new building to house the government of Great Britain. With rising Victorianism, the commission to build the new House of Parliament went to Charles Barry, who was an early proponent of the Neo-Gothic style. The style hearkened back to the dominant architectural style of the fourteenth to sixteenth centuries, which used grand features such as flying buttresses and ornate windows.

Example Question #4 : Identifying Artists, Works, Or Schools Of Nineteenth Century Architecture

Beaux-Arts architecture in the United States is defined by all of the following features EXCEPT __________.

Possible Answers:

wide use of statuary

clean lines and shapes

a hierarchy of spaces

a flat roof

use of Baroque motifs

Correct answer:

clean lines and shapes

Explanation:

"Beaux-Arts" takes its name from the national art school in France, but describes a separate movement among architects in the United States from roughly 1880 to 1920. The movement was defined by a sweeping neoclassicism that used Baroque motifs, featured a hierarchy of spaces (making grand entryways more important than living areas), added ornate elements like statues and vaultings, and usually employed flat roofs on buildings. The Beaux-Arts style was surpassed by Modernist architecture that valued clean lines and functionality over design details.

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