I'm just beginning to study art history, and although it is my dream to own a gallery one day, I'm exceedingly more interested in art NOW than I am about art back then. After all, there were no freelance artists- just commissioned painters who were asked to produce the Virgin Mary and St. John and the Crucifixion and King Whoever, over and over again. It's not like they're really capturing new ideas or abstract expression or their own interpretation of LIFE.
However, I realize art history's importance, and that I must push through what I consider "boring" (Renaissance, Medieval, etc) to get to what excites me. What I want to know is what YOU gain from studying the art from the past, and how you relate it to your life. What concepts and pieces do you find most interesting? How has it helped your world perspective? Why do you think it's important?