AP Art History Revival

Teacher Bryan Ritter spearheads the return of AP Art History after more than 20 years.

After nearly three decades of AP Art History being absent from Lowell’s curriculum, it returned during the 2020-2021 school year. Lowell AP Art History teacher Bryan Ritter was responsible for the comeback of this course. The revival was a difficult process of receiving alumni grants, completing extrinsic training courses, achieving an art credential, and requesting administration support, according to Ritter. Despite the struggle to make this course available to students, he explains that it was worth it. “Art history connects the dots between so many disciplines as a visual medium,” Ritter said. 

Many students took advantage of this opportunity. Senior Eliza Kriney was enrolled in AP Art History her junior year and thoroughly enjoyed taking it, as it fulfilled her artistic interests. “I think it was a good introduction to something that isn’t classically taught specifically at a place like Lowell,” said Kriney. Kriney’s favorite part of the course was visiting the Museum of Modern Art, because she was able to see art that she had been studying in the classroom.  

Students like senior Angeline Saleh, who is currently enrolled in this course, are able to learn more about their own culture. “I recognize some of the art techniques from Indonesian culture like batik,” Saleh said. “It was interesting when Mr. Ritter would talk about the history and its use.” The course recognizes the underrepresentation of non-eurocentric history and is constantly expanding the definition of art. Being able to explore diverse art cultures from different periods of time makes this course unique compared to other history classes, according to Kriney. Students like Kriney and Saleh have grown a deeper appreciation for art since signing up for this course. “It’s just a fun course,” Saleh said. “I don’t know who wouldn’t take it.”