Yes, You Should Take AP Art History

So glad you asked.


Mrs. Cimballa teaches AP Art History at SOA (she rocks!)

So, you have your IGP in a week and you still have no clue how to fill up your schedule. Maybe you’re looking for an interesting class or an AP Class or just a new experience. Well boy, do we have a solution for you! AP Art History! AP Art History is offered at SOA and taught by Ms. Cimballa, and as we are both currently enrolled in the class, we can give you the inside scoop about one of our favorite classes.

The first thing to know about Art History is the possibility of having SOA Lunch. This year, the class is during SOA’s third block class and, because SOA has a split lunch, every B Day we have SOA lunch. This isn’t much of a problem and we can usually come eat in the Senior Lounge and then head back to class. But if having SOA lunch is a major problem for you, it’s best not to take the class to avoid that possibility. Another option- which we recommend- would be to sign up for Art History with your friends so even if you do have SOA lunch, you can still eat lunch with your friends. Another important note on lunch: whenever SOA or AMHS has a different schedule, you get double lunch which is obviously wonderful.

Jr. Art Historians have the responsibility to be the custodians of culture.

— Ms. Cimballa

Now that we’ve covered the lunch situation, let’s talk about the actual class! We start with Global Prehistory, which was honestly not our favorite since the art is pretty basic, but still important in understanding art. For example, one of the highlights from Global Prehistory was the Apollo 11 Stones, which are basically two rocks with a horse stick figure lightly painted on them. But as the class progresses, it gets more interesting. So far we’ve covered Egyptian Art, Greek and Roman Art and Architecture, Islamic Art, the Renaissance, Baroque and Rococo Art, and Christian Art.

The Apollo 11 Stones

We’re right on track for the AP Exam and still have mid 19th century to modern art to cover in addition to Asian and African Art. The test material consists of 250 objects from various countries and artistic periods, so we tend to hit the highlights of each genre. For example, we are now studying Rococo and discussed Fragonard’s The Swing and Elisabeth Louise Vigee Le Brun’s Self Portrait. The class is mainly composed of lecture and discussions, and we frequently watch SmartHistory Videos on Khan Academy.

In addition, we have a few projects throughout the year where we do a more in depth analysis of an object. A final note about the class that we find important is the possibility of a New York Trip. We are not sure if the trip will be happening yet, but last year and in previous years Mrs. Cimballa has taken her Art History Class to New York to see objects at museums like the Met and the Moma.

A highlight of our experience taking AP Art History at SOA that can’t go unrecognized is actually the teacher herself, Ms. Cimballa. Her vivacious personality and self-described alternative teaching methods keep the class lively and engaging.

So would we recommend AP Art History? Most definitely. If you take one class on the bonds Wilson campus, this should be it. You’ll meet some new friends at SOA and become more cultured than he average Magnet Student. As Ms. Cimballa says, “Jr. Art Historians have the responsibility to be the custodians of culture.” In addition, Ivy Lu (another Magnet student enrolled in the class) says, “It’s a really enjoyable class- easy paced and very interesting!”

Fragonard’s The Swing Did YOU know this is a rather promiscuous painting?

We know that you rising seniors, because of Capstone, have really only one elective option – and this should be it! Art History content is interesting, the class is entertaining, and it is most likely a lot less demanding than the plethora of APs you have to choose from here at Magnet (yet it affects your GPA the same!). Also, if you’re a rising junior or sophomore, talk to your guidance counselor and find a way to get this class on your schedule. Please contact us if you have any questions, or want to know even more about AP Art History at SOA.