Art History Courses

ARTH 102 World Art History I: Ancient Art
ARTH 103 World Art History II: Middle Periods

ARTH 104 World Art History III: Art of the Modern World

ARTH 203 Arts of the Americas

ARTH 204 Women and Art

ARTH 206 History of Chinese Imperial Art

ARTH 207 History of Photography

ARTH 209 The History of Architecture

ARTH 220 Art & Architecture of Italy Prep Course

ARTH 250 Topics in Art History

ARTH 280 Topics in Buddhist Art

ARTH 290 Topics in World Cinema

ARTH 301 Greek & Roman Art History

ARTH 302 Medieval Art History

ARTH 303 Italian Renaissance Art History

ARTH 304 Baroque Art History
ARTH 306 20th Century Art History
ARTH 307 Art & Architecture of Italy (J-term off campus)
ARTH 308 Contemporary Art: 1965 to the Present
ARTH 350 Topics in Art History

ARTH 380 Controversies in American Art

ARTH 401 Northern Renaissance Art History

ARTH 403 19th Century Art

ARTH 450 Topics in Art History

ARTH 487 Art History Research and Methods

ARTH 490 Art History Senior Thesis

ARTH 495 Senior Internship in Art History

 

 

ARTH 102 World Art History I: Ancient Art (3 credits)
This course surveys major monuments in architecture, painting, sculpture in Western Europe, the Near East, Egypt, China, India and the Americas from prehistory through 1000 C.E. Using a chronological framework, students are introduced to the fundamentals of art history, including developing skills in formal analysis, iconography, and the comparative method. Emphasis will be on the social, political and cultural context of objects. Suitable for non-majors.

ARTH 103 World Art History II: Middle Periods (10th-17th Centuries) (3 credits)
As a continuation of Art 102, this course surveys the major monuments of art history from 1000 C.E through the 17th century. Architecture, painting, sculpture and printmaking created in countries and cultures throughout the world, including Japan, China, Islam, Africa, the Americas and Western Europe are investigated. This course introduces students to art historical methods, concepts and definitions and stresses the relation of objects to their political, social and cultural context. Suitable for non-majors.

ARTH 104 World Art History III: Art of the Modern World (3 credits)
This course is the final part of a three-part survey of the history of art, a major goal of which is understanding human cultural diversity. We will examine some of the major monuments, artists, and artistic developments from the 18th to the late 20th century in Europe, China, Japan, North America, and Sub-Saharan Africa. The purpose of the course is to foster an understanding of the relationship between works of art and the historical, political, religious, and philosophical context of the societies that produced and made use of them, and to build the fundamental skills of visual analysis and the critical concepts and vocabulary necessary for discussing works of art verbally and in writing. Suitable for nonmajors.

ARTH 203 Arts of the Americas (3 credits)
This course surveys the arts of the Americas from prehistory through the present. The course emphasizes the native arts of the Americas in the broadest sense by examining the work of native cultures, immigrant cultures with special attention to Latino art, and the dominant white culture after the 15th century. Hence the course contrasts Western arts with non-Western art in order to show how different cultures make art for very different reasons. The course, like the other art history surveys, addresses art historical methods and approaches, definitions and concepts.

ARTH 204 Women and Art (3 credits)
This course studies women's various roles in the history of western and non-western art with special emphasis placed upon underlying issues of racism and sexism in the modern and contemporary eras. Although it focuses on women as artistic producers, it also addresses the way in which women have been imaged by men. Various art historical approaches are applied in order to examine the cultural, economic, political, and social restrictions that have shaped women's relationship to the visual arts in the past 200 years.

ARTH 206 History of Chinese Imperial Art (3 credits)
The survey of Chinese Imperial Art begins with Shang Dynasty pottery and bronzes from the second millennium BCE and continues through 1912 and the fall of the Ch'ing Dynasty. Chinese history, literature and religion will be discussed in order to explain the works of art, their meaning and the society in which they were produced.

ARTH 207 History of Photography (3 credits)
This lecture course examines key developments in the history of photography from its invention in 1839 to the rise of postmodernism in the 1970s. Arranged chronologically, the course examines recurrent debates in modern Europe and the U.S. regarding photography's dual status as an expressive fine art medium and objective historical document. It likewise charts ongoing aesthetic disputes between proponents of "straight," unmediated photographic production and those who champion the expressiveness of the manipulated image.

ARTH 209 The History of Architecture (3 credits)
The course is designed to address major architectural developments in world architecture with a concentration on Western architecture. Students examine the monuments in a cultural, social, and political context.

ARTH 220 Art & Architecture of Italy Prep Course
This course is designed to prepare you for your experiences in Art & Architecture of Rome, Florence, and Venice (ARTH 307) during the following J-term. The content of this Fall's course will include art historical background, some basic language preparation, journal/reflective writing, travel tips, safety issues, and other information necessary for a fuller understanding of Italian culture. You will also begin researching the topic on which you will give a presentation in Italy in January. Permission to enroll is contingent upon the student's acceptance into the J-term off campus program.

ARTH 250 Topics in Art History (3 or 4 credits depending upon course)
The topic is announced prior to registration. Previous topics have included "History of the Print," "Commercial Photography," and "20th Century Black Art and Visual Culture." Offered occasionally. Prerequisites depend on the topic. Please see schedule for current offerings.

ARTH 280 Topics in Buddhist Art (3 credits)
This course is an intermediate-level introduction to the art of Buddhism from the religion's inception in the 6th century BCE through the present day. The emphasis is on the painting, sculpture, and sacred architecture of India, China, Japan, Southeast Asia, Indonesia, the Himalayas, and beyond. New trends and scholarship will allow for variation from semester to semester. Required textbooks will be supplemented with readings of Buddhist scriptures and current articles.

ARTH 290 Topics in World Cinema (4 credits)
In this course, students will take an in-depth look at what makes film one of the most powerful artistic media of our time. Everyone is familiar with the experience of watching a movie that tells us a story. By the end of this course, students will have ventured beyond the narrative to explore the relationships between form and content in films in our pursuit of an understanding of how they communicate ideas and persuade us. Students will cover some of the basic terminology and concepts necessary to view a film critically and analyze examples of films outside of the American cinematic mainstream to look at how diverse cultures use the medium of film. Specific films vary from semester to semester and include the cinematic production of Asia, Africa, Europe, Australia, and the Americas.

ARTH 301 Greek & Roman Art History (3 credits)

The study of ancient art begins with Bronze Age civilizations from around the Aegean Sea and continues to the age of Constantine, around C.E. 315. Course content includes architecture, painting, sculpture, ceramics and minor arts, all studied in relation to the philosophies and histories of the civilizations that produced them. Offered alternate years.

ARTH 302 Medieval Art History (3 credits)
The course assesses iconographic and stylistic developments in Christian art from the Late Antique/Early Christian period through Romanesque and Gothic. Monuments from Western Europe as well as Byzantine and Islamic art forms will be examined. Documenting changes in architectural principles, in elaborate pictorial programs and in preferences for certain media serves as evidence for understanding the particular circumstances surrounding the execution of the works. Offered alternate years. Prerequisite: ARTH 102 or ART 103. (ILS)

ARTH 303 Italian Renaissance Art History (3 credits)
The study of Renaissance art in Italy includes the Proto-Renaissance of Tuscany, the early Renaissance in Florence, and the arts of the High Renaissance in Rome and Northern Italy. Course content includes works by Giotto, runelleschi, Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo and Titian. Their art, and others, will be explored in the context of concurrent social, religious, and artistic developments. Offered alternate years. Prerequisite: ARTH 103. (ILS)

ARTH 304 Baroque Art History (3 credits)
This course explores concepts of the baroque in its broadest sense through the investigation of recurring ideas, themes and media. Major 17th and 18th century artists such as Bernini, Caravaggio, Rembrandt, Rubens, Poussin, Velasquez, Vermeer, and Watteau are included in the course content. Works of art of astonishing variety document not only contemporary artistic trends but also advances in philosophy, science, economics and the development of the modern state. Offered alternate years. Prerequisite: ARTH 103. (ILS)

ARTH 306 20th Century Art History (3 credits)
The course begins in the 1880s and concentrates on the vast variety of "isms" that occur in the first half of the 20th century. From Fauvism through Abstract Expressionism, the course covers the work of such artists as Matisse, Picasso, Duchamp, Kahlo, Dali and Pollock, among others. All artistic movements are studied within their social, political and cultural contexts. Prerequisite: ARTH 104. (ILS)

ARTH 307 Art & Architecture of Italy
This course will be conducted primarily in Rome, Florence, and Venice which will allow students to experience the artworks and monuments of ancient, Renaissance, Baroque, and modern Rome, Florence, and Venice, as well as medieval and Renaissance Orvieto. The trip will give students a more intimate understanding of both the monuments and the culture that produced them. Issues of iconography, politics, religion, scale, placement and interactions between monuments will be highlighted. Students will be responsible for providing much of this information as they research their topics and historical figures and discuss them in meetings and on site. Students will also be expected to reflect on their experiences with the cultural differences they encounter in contemporary Italy.

ARTH 308 Contemporary Art: 1965 to the Present (3 credits)
In this course, students will examine the major figures and movements of art in Europe and the United States from 1965 through the present day. Readings will be drawn mostly from primary sources written by artists and critics, as 43 well as new exhibition catalogue essays and articles and reviews from newspapers and current and recent issues of major art journals. Prerequisite: ARTH 104.

ARTH 350 Topics in Art History (3 or 4 credits depending on the course)
The topic is announced prior to registration. Offered occasionally. Prerequisites depend on the topic. Permission of instructor required for enrollment. Please see schedule for current offerings.

ARTH 380 Controversies in American Art (4 credits)
This seminar examines painting, sculpture and architecture that have either generated major conflicts in U.S. history, or raise controversial issues regarding representation. Works of art will be discussed from the 19th century through to the present with the emphasis being mainly on the past century, and especially since the early 1960s. Primary areas for investigation will involve patriotism, religion, race, modernism, feminism, sexuality and obscenity, public art and memorials, "sacred space," and the changing place of museums in American life particularly in regard to controversial exhibitions. The role of media, art critics, corporate sponsors, and public opinion will be examined along with censorship and First Amendment issues. Prerequisite: ARTH 104. (ILS)

ARTH 401 Northern Renaissance Art History (3 credits) 

The art of the 15th and 16th centuries in theNetherlands and Germany represents a transitional period between the Middle Ages and the Baroque. The course traces shifts in patronage and the status of the artist, along with new developments in media (oil painting, graphics). From van Eyck to Bruegel, differing artistic expressions reflect the move to the modern world. Offered alternate years. Prerequisite: ARTH 103 and one other upper level art history course. (ILS)

ARTH 403 19th Century Art (3 credits)
In this course, students will examine the major figures and movements of 19th century art in Europe and the United States. Our focus will be on developing the skills of seeing and analyzing works of art and placing them within their historical and cultural contexts. The sweeping changes this period saw in politics, philosophy, technology, and social reform make the nineteenth century a particularly rich period in which to explore artistic reactions to turmoil and cultural interchange. Prerequisites: ARTH 104 and one other upper-level art history course. (ILS)

ARTH 450 Topics in Art History (3 or 4 credits depending on the course.)
The topic of this advanced seminar is announced prior to registration. Offered occasionally. Prerequisites depend on topic. Permission required. Please see schedule for current offerings.

ARTH 487 Art History Research and Methods (3 credits)
The art history capstone consists of two courses: A research and methods course taken during the spring of the junior year and the Senior Thesis completed and presented during the fall of the senior year. Art History Research and Methods is designed to improve the Art History major's critical, analytical, writing, and research skills. Throughout the course, students will discuss readings on the history and various methods of doing and writing art history, including current trends and controversies. Students also will formulate a topic, amass a bibliography, create an outline, and plan a method for researching and writing their senior theses. Students will make regular presentations on the progress of their theses in class. This course is mandatory for all Art History majors during the spring of their junior year and is the prerequisite for ART 490. Prerequisites: ARTH 102, 103, 104, and permission of the instructor.

ARTH 490 Art History Senior Thesis (3 credits)
Required for all majors during the fall of their senior year, the Senior Thesis is the capstone art history project combining demonstrable knowledge in the history of the field and its methods, original and critical thought, extensive research, and advanced writing. The semester culminates in the completion of the written thesis and its presentation at a mini-symposium to the art and art history faculty and students. Prerequisite: ARTH 487.

ARTH 495 Senior Internship in Art History (credit variable, probably 3 or 4 credits)
An internship in an art-related field. The student should arrange to do this internship with the appropriate faculty supervisor.