For most Europeans and Americans, art is mainly for decoration. It is something on a museum wall or in a glass case.
It makes their homes more attractive. People look at it and admire it: "Oh, what a beautiful painting!"
Besides, ideas are often expressed in this art. This is a wonderful statue, and admiring it, I might say: "It makes such a strong anti-war statement."
But in other places, art is not considered to be separated from everyday existence.
It has a function, it has a practical role to play in people's lives.
A person in a tribal society might look at a mask and say: "Oh, this is a good mask.
It would keep my house safe." In brief, the way in which people enjoy or appreciate art depends on their culture.
To conclude my lecture, we can say that art is a reflection of various cultures.
But at the same time, we have to remember that art also reflects the changes in society that take place when different cultures influence one another.
As people from tribal societies move to urban areas, their values and beliefs change accordingly and their traditional art forms begin to lose their function.
At the same time, urban artists begin to learn a lot from traditional art.
For example, African masks and figures had a great influence on Picasso's works. And many American and Canadian artists study the simplicity of Japanese painting.
The result is that as the world gets smaller, the art of each culture becomes more international.
OK, this brings us to the end of our lecture. I hope that after today's lecture, you'll understand better the significance of the study of art history.
Art enables us to know more about human history,
for example, people's views and opinions about certain historical events, and what's more important, about different cultures, their religious beliefs, perception of art etc.