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PrepTest 73, Passage 2, Setup


Passage two., this is the Arts & Humanities passage on the test and the italicized text at the beginning gives us some indication of what we're in store for. Apparently this is going to be a discussion of the art of a particular artist the photographer Julia Margaret Cameron. Discussions of artist and their work are pretty common in the Arts and Humanities section and the first paragraph here does what we might expect.

It introduces us to Cameron and her fancy-subject pictures. And then it tells that there's a big division between what she intended with her pictures and what she actually produced. She intended to create this high minded serious works of art. But what she actually created were things that were really mundane and kinda funny. But surprisingly, the author doesn't think this is bad.

This is actually a good thing that she failed because the human things that she made were actually better than what she was intending to make. The second paragraph goes into the author's reasoning behind this evaluation and it involves a discussion of the camera, or a photographic art in general and how it is always essentially real or realistic. And that realism is what gives Cameron's photos their value.

This is mostly explained through a couple of comparisons, comparing the camera and what it does versus paintings and theater, two different art forms and what they do. And we learned that the camera always preserves the doubleness. You see the art, but you also see the people involved in making the art, the people playing the roles in the photos. Whereas, in paintings in theater, you can suspend your disbelief and just see the artwork.

And the third paragraph continue this discussion of what's valuable about Cameron's work, here calling it the combination of the artistic elements and the amateur element. And in order to explain that combination, they give an example, her picture of the passing of Arthur, and it illustrates what they just said that her value lies in the combination of the artistic parts of her work and the amateur parts, and that's pretty much it.

Like a lot of passages in the arts and humanities on the test, the author likes the work. The author likes the artist, in general, think during artistic passages. If there are critics of the artist, they're usually wrong. Our authors are the people who come on and say, hey, here's what's really good about this underappreciated person.

That's exactly what we got here. Now, once you understand the passage, it's time to go on to the questions.

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