Arts and Humanities Critical Reading Practice Exercises Set 3 (page 2)

Updated on Sep 27, 2011


  1. d.   The members of the PRB were young artists who suddenly found themselves leading a rebellion that had a dramatic influence on the art world for generations to come (lines 12–13). The concluding paragraph repeats this idea, stating that these three young men had a tremendous influence on an entire generation of artists (lines 58–59). Because upstart precedes young, we can infer that these men, like the leaders of other rebellions, were suddenly thrown into the spotlight, raised to a high (albeit controversial) position in the art world.
  2. d.   The author cites the PRB as an example of a rebellion led by young activists (line 5) and states that the PRB had a dramatic influence on the art world because of their disdain for the artistic conventions of the time (line 12). This suggests that their ideas about art were revolutionary, creating a significant and lasting change in the art world. That they were passionate about their beliefs is clear from the fact that they felt strongly enough to form an association and lead a rebellion.
  3. b.   Line 11 states that the oldest PRB member was only 21 years old, so it is clear that the members were young and still developing their skills as artists.
  4. e.   In the third paragraph (lines 14–26), the author states that the PRB believed their peers' art lack[ed] in meaning and aesthetic honesty because it often depicted overly idealized landscapes, carefully arranged family portraits and still lifes, and overly dramatic nature scenes. In contrast, the PRB believed art should more accurately depic[t] reality and portray people, places, and things realistically instead of in an idealized way.
  5. a.   Lines 34–36 state that the PRB's realism—especially as it related to the Biblical figures—was not well received by many in the art world at the time.
  6. c.   Lines 14–16 state that the PRB was formed in response to the brotherhood's belief that the current popular art being produced in England was lacking in meaning and aesthetic honesty. In addition, line 24 states that the PRB was committed to bringing greater integrity to art, suggesting that their peers' work did not have integrity.
  7. e.   The topic sentence of the sixth paragraph states that one of the most distinctive aspects of PRB works—both in contrast to the works produced during the early nineteenth century and with the art of today—is their dramatic use of color (lines 45–47).
  8. b.   Throughout the passage, the author describes the principles of the PRB—why the group was formed (paragraphs 2 and 3) and how the group attempted to live up to its principles (paragraphs 4–6). There is little or no information offered about the other answer choices.
  9. a.   In the third paragraph, the author states that the PRB rejected the style and subjects of the Royal Academy, seeking instead subjects that, by their very nature, had greater meaning and more accurately depicted reality (lines 22–23). In paragraph four, the author describes how the PRB chose its subjects and aimed to portray people more realistically, thus implying that the members of the PRB had a greater awareness of social issues. In addition, in lines 38–39, the author states that the PRB often chose subjects that highlight[ed] the societal and moral challenges of the time.
  10. e.   The three examples in the first paragraph show that there is a wide range of styles of public art in New York City and that public art can be found in a variety of places, including more mundane locations such as the subway and post office.
  11. a.   Inherently is an adverb that describes the essential nature of something. The context clue to answer this question is found in the same sentence. All art is inherently public because it is created in order to convey an idea or emotion to others. The author is saying that an essential characteristic of art is that it is created for others.
  12. b.   Line 16 defines public art as the kind of art created for and displayed in public spaces, and lines 20–22 state that public art is specifically designed for a public arena where the art will be encountered by people in their normal day-to-day activities. This is in contrast to private art, which is less accessible because it is kept in specific, non-public places such as museums and galleries.
  13. b.   To sequester is to seclude or isolate. Thus, the use of this word suggests that the author feels private art is too isolated, and cut off from the public.
  14. d.   The seven functions are listed in the fifth paragraph: educating, place making, stimulating the public, promoting community, beautifying, and regenerating. While promoting good citizenship may be a side benefit of public art, it is not discussed in the passage.
  15. a.   After defining public art, the rest of the passage discusses the functions of public art and its impact on the city.
  16. d.   The examples in the first paragraph and the list of different kinds of public art (e.g., ornamental benches in line 28) will make readers more aware of public art; paragraphs 2 and 3 explain the difference between public and private art; paragraph 5 explains how public art affects the community; and paragraph 6 discusses how public art should be created. A few readers may be inspired to create public art after reading this passage, but that is not one of its goals.
  17. a.   Although lines 12–13 states that there exists in every city a symbiotic relationship between the city and its art and paragraph 5 explains how public art affects the city, there is no discussion of how the city affects art.
  18. b.   Because the main purpose is to show what public art is and how public art affects the city, the passage would be best served by an expanded discussion of how public art fulfills each of the important functions in paragraph 5.

For more practice on arts and humanities critical reading questions, review:

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