AP Art History : Understanding terminology that describes twentieth- and twenty-first-century architecture

Study concepts, example questions & explanations for AP Art History

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Example Questions

Example Question #3 : Twentieth And Twenty First Century Architecture

Beaux-Arts Architecture typically features all of the following EXCEPT __________.

Possible Answers:

arched windows

utilitarian design

flat roofs

Classical detailing

Correct answer:

utilitarian design

Explanation:

"Beaux-Arts Architecture" refers to the style promoted by the École de Beaux-Arts in Paris, but especially as promulgated by Americans who had studied there and produced work in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. The style was a mix of neoclassicism and rococo elements, with the unifying themes being grand spaces, small classical flourishes, flat roofs, arched windows, and fancy embellishments around doors and windows. Any utilitarian spaces were hidden from any obvious views in favor of grand entrances and sweeping hallways.

Example Question #1 : Understanding Terminology That Describes Twentieth And Twenty First Century Architecture

The concept of "deconstructivist" architecture is most closely identified with which of the following individuals?

Possible Answers:

Philip Johnson

Ludwig Mies van der Rohe

Frank Lloyd Wright

Frank Gehry

Correct answer:

Frank Gehry

Explanation:

"Deconstructivism" refers to a style of architecture that seems to break down typical architectural conventions, often by using forms and shapes that curve and bend. Frank Gehry has worked in such a style most of his career, with his work on the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao and the Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles being notable examples of his approach. These buildings feature curving lines and non-rectilineal shapes, hallmarks of the deconstructivist approach.

Example Question #5 : Twentieth And Twenty First Century Architecture

All of the following are hallmarks of the International style of architecture EXCEPT for __________.

Possible Answers:

extensive use of ornamentation

concern with functionality

wide use of glass

clean lines

Correct answer:

extensive use of ornamentation

Explanation:

The "International Style" is a term that derives from a 1932 book of that name by Henry-Russell Hitchcock and Philip Johnson. The two men used the term to described the then-contemporary aesthetic that had grown to dominate architecture since 1900. Uniting Bauhaus, Functionalism, and L'Esprit Nouveau styles, Hitchcock and Johnson promoted architecture that valued functionality, clean lines, and use of modern materials such as plate glass and steel.

Example Question #6 : Twentieth And Twenty First Century Architecture

What design and architecture style is defined by a mix of traditional craft motifs with industrial processes?

Possible Answers:

Art Nouveau

Art Deco

Neoclassicist

Modernist

Beaux-Arts

Correct answer:

Art Deco

Explanation:

Art Deco was a thoroughly early-twentieth-century phenomenon in arts and architecture, as it blended machine-age construction with traditional craftwork aesthetics. The designs featured a great deal of metal with rich colors, bold geometric shapes, and distinct ornamentation. One of the most famous Art Deco buildings is the Chrysler Building in New York.

Example Question #7 : Twentieth And Twenty First Century Architecture

Frank Lloyd Wright is an American architect known for creating homes and buildings in an organic style, with overhanging eaves and hipped roofs. With what school of architecture is he most associated?

Possible Answers:

Functionalism

Prairie

Art Deco

Art Nouveau

Brutalism

Correct answer:

Prairie

Explanation:

Wright is best associated with the Prairie school. The hint in the question was the eaves and the roofs, as those provide that context.

The answer cannot be brutalism or functionalism as the homes and buildings created by Wright did not follow the simplistic styles of those schools: those schools would have obelisk-like buildings that lacked much detail.

Art Nouveau was a bit too early of a period for Wright to be associated with. Art Deco, though in the same period as Wright, differentiated by its ornate designs, in contradistinction with Wright's minimalist, natural designs.

Example Question #8 : Twentieth And Twenty First Century Architecture

_____________ is used to determine an artwork's authenticity. It is a record of its ownership and history to determine if it is an authentic piece of art.

Possible Answers:

Apadana

Provenance

Filing

Lineage

Intonaco

Correct answer:

Provenance

Explanation:

Provenance is a very specific term to determine the ownership history of artworks. It is similar to lineage, but lineage has to do with people and their family trees.

Filing is not the answer, though many who purchase artworks do file ownership certificates or file such assets.

Apadana is a Persian audience hall and Intonaco is the final layer of plaster in Italian frescos.

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