Forms of Art

Updated February 21, 2017 | Factmonster Staff
A Sculpture of Horses

A mosaic is a picture or design made by gluing together small stones, pieces of glass or other hard materials. In the ancient world, grand homes sometimes had mosaic floors.

From ancient cave paintings to graffiti artists today, painting has always been a part of human life. Some of the best-known artists, like Michelangelo and Picasso, were painters.

For thousands of years, people all over the world have made masks to use in rituals, work, theater, and just for fun. Have you ever made a mask from a paper bag?

Drawing is everywhere—in newspapers, books, posters, and more. It is an art by itself, but it is also the starting point for other kinds of art, like painting or sculpture.

In prehistoric times, people used jewelry even before they used clothing. Almost everything has been used to create jewelry, from berry necklaces to gold rings.

People have made sculpture from materials such as clay, marble, ice, wood, and bronze. Some artists today create sculptures that move with the wind or when touched.

There are as many uses for baskets as there are ways to make them. Archaeologists have found 7,000-year-old farming baskets in Egypt.

Pottery is probably the most ancient art as well as the most common. Prehistoric clay bowls, beautifully glazed tiles, and other works are not only useful but decorative.

People have been weaving since the Stone Age. Tapestries and rugs in every color have brought warmth and beauty to walls and floors.

Photography was invented about 200 years ago. We see photographs every day in newspapers and magazines, on billboards and buses and in museums and galleries. Ansel Adams and Mathew Brady were famous photographers. Annie Liebowitz is known for her portrait photography.

As technology changes, the tools artists use change too. New Media includes video, performance, computer imagery and installation (where an entire room may be made into a work of art).

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