Course Descriptions | Art History

ARTH 160 Introduction to the World of Art (Gen. Ed. Goal 5: Domain I-B)
An introductory course designed for students with little or no background in art. The course uses lectures, discussions, demonstrations, and field trips to introduce the principles of visual arts and the role that the arts play in human culture. This course does not satisfy the Art History major requirement. 

ARTH 200 Art and Social Values (Gen. Ed. Goals 5, 12; Domain III-C)
An introduction to art history, concentrating on art as it reflects, reinforces, and challenges society’s values. Although the art of several cultures and historical periods is considered, emphasis is placed on European and American art from the nineteenth century to the present, with special attention to the works of women and people of color. Works of art are examined in terms of both form and content, especially content related to political expression and the representations of race, class, and gender. Note: Students may not receive credit for both ARTH 200 and 11.151 Art and Social Values.

ARTH 270 History of Art I (Gen. Ed. Goals 5, 11; Domain III-A)
A study of the arts of Europe, the Near East, Asia, and pre- Columbian America from prehistory through the medieval period. Attention is given to the essential role of art in the religions and cultures of the world as well as on formal and aesthetic issues. Assignments and examinations encourage students to think and write critically about art. Note: Students who have taken 11.271 History of Western Art I will not receive credit for ARTH 270 History of Art I.

ARTH 272 History of Art II (Gen. Ed. Goal 5; Domain III-A)
Study of the arts in Western and non-Western societies from the Renaissance through the 19th Century. The relationships between art, politics, and social identity as well as formal and aesthetic issues are explored as students develop their ability to think and write critically about art. Note: ARTH 270 History of Art I is not a prerequisite for ARTH 272 History of Art II.

ARTH 273 Modern Art History (Gen. Ed. Goal 5; Domain I-B)
A survey of major artists and art movements from Post- Impressionism through Abstract Expressionism (1880’s-1950’s). Issues and events of the late nineteenth century to mid-twentieth century, such as rapidly expanding technology, world wars, utopian movements, and issues of race, class, and gender are explored in relationship to avant-garde art movements.

ARTH 282 American Art (Gen. Ed. Goal 5; Domain I-B)
A study of the art and architecture of the United States from Colonial times through the early 20th Century. Attention is given to Native American art and the work of folk artists/craftspersons as well as that of artists nurtured in European traditions. Readings and class discussion focus on the arts as a unique expression of the American experience in relationship to history, politics, ideology, and social and technological changes. Note: Credit will not be given for both this course and 11.378 American Art.

ARTH 285 The Art of Asia (Gen. Ed. Goals 5, 11; Domain III-C)
A contextual study of the arts of India, China, Japan, and Southeast Asia, spanning the ancient to post-modern worlds. The course explores major movements and schools of art, such as Buddhist sculpture, Chinese landscape painting, and Japanese prints. Readings and discussions focus on the interrelationships among art and religion, identity, and political authority. The course includes study of Western influences in Asia, and of the idea of the “Orient” in Western culture.

ARTH 288 Latin American Art (Gen. Ed. Goals 5, 11; Domain III-C)
A study of PreHispanic, Colonial, and Modern Latin American visual culture. Emphasis is placed on social context and politics of art, including issues of race, gender, and social class. Students write a research paper and make an oral presentation to the class. Note: Students cannot receive credit for both ARTH 288 Latin American Art and ARTH 389 Special Topics in Art History: Latin American Art.

ARTH 290 Study Tour: Art & Architecture  (Gen. Ed. Goal 5; Domain I-B)
A studio art or art history course taught through an extensive field trip or series of field trips, in addition to more traditional methods of teaching. Students gain direct experience of art and architecture in historic, social, and geographic contexts. The topics/locations may vary from year to year and are announced in the course schedule bulletin. This course, in a different topic/location, may be repeated for credit.

ARTH 333 History of Graphic Design
An investigation of the history and development of graphic design from the 1500s to the present, concentrating, mostly, on modern and contemporary design in posters, advertisements, books, magazines, television, and film. The course explores how art and culture have directly influenced many of the trends in graphic design. The art of various time periods is examined through textbook illustrations, digital images, and museum exhibitions. Class lecture, discussion, and group projects augment the text and other readings. Prerequisite: ARTH 273 Modern Art History or permission of instructor. 

ARTH 374 Art of the Renaissance
A study of the development of painting, sculpture, and architecture from the 14th through the 16th centuries, primarily in Italy. The achievements of major figures such as Masaccio, Botticelli, Leonardo da Vinci and Michelangelo are explored in relationship to Renaissance humanism and the religious, political and social dynamics of the period. Extensive library research and a wide variety of readings will introduce students to a range of issues and art historical methodologies.

ARTH 375 The Northern Renaissance
A contextual study of the visual culture of Northern Europe - the Low Countries, France, Germany, and England - from c. 1400-1600. The course investigates such artists as Van Eyck, Durer, Holbein, Bosch, and Bruegel in relation to the social, political, and religious events of the period. Other issues discussed are social class and gender as they relate to imagery, patronage, and artistic display as well as the unique technical and stylistic innovations of Northern artists.

ARTH 376 Art of the Baroque Period
A survey of the arts of the 17th and early 18th centuries, which explores the achievements of Bernini, Caravaggio, Rubens, Rembrandt, Vermeer, and Velazquez, as well as other gifted but lesser-known figures. The course relates the artistic contributions of the period to developments in political, religious, and intellectual history and considers the ways that images were produced, collected, and displayed.

ARTH 380 From Romanticism Through Impressionism: The Origins of Modern Art
A survey of 19th-century European art from the 1780’s to the 1880’s, examining the visual arts within the context of 19th-century life and culture. This course explores the major artistic movements of this period and the innovations of such outstanding figures as Goya, David, Delacroix, Manet, Monet, and Van Gogh as well as their relationship to contemporary political and social developments. Readings cover such topics as the myth of the modern artist, art and political revolution, the representation of modern life, and the ways in which gender, sexuality, class, and modernity interrelate.

ARTH 383 Contemporary Art
A study of artistic developments, primarily in Europe and the United States, in the postmodern era (1960 to the present). Consideration is given to the diversity of artistic expressions in this period within their cultural, theoretical, and political contexts. Particular attention is given to the impact on art of such late 20th- century cultural phenomena as feminism, identity politics, multiculturalism, environmental awareness, the AIDS epidemic, the explosion of the media and technology, and to the ways in which these phenomena have helped to spawn new artistic media, e.g. earth art, installation, video, performance, and Web-based art. Prerequisite: ARTH 273 Modern Art History.

ARTH 389 Special Topics in Art History
A study of a special period or topic in art history. Specific topics are announced in the course schedule bulletin. The course explores the art in terms of its formal elements, iconography, and social context through extensive readings, lectures, writing, and discussion. Students write a research paper. This course, on a different topic, may be repeated for credit.
Prerequisite: One art history course or permission of instructor.

ARTH 483 Seminar in the History of Art
An intensive investigation into one particular period or theme in Art History. Extensive readings and discussions address current theoretical and methodological issues. The course is intended to give junior and senior level students the opportunity to conduct in-depth research, write a scholarly paper, and present their research and findings in a professional manner. This seminar, if taught on a different topic, can be repeated for credit. NOTE: No transfer course can fulfill this seminar requirement for Art History majors. Prerequisites: ARTH 270 History of Art I and ARTH 272 History of Art II; or permission of the instructor. 

ARTH 490 Directed Study - Art History
An Art major or minor with demonstrated ability may pursue a project or subject area of his own interest, under the guidance of a member of the Art Department faculty. The student must submit a written proposal to the faculty member who has agreed to be the advisor. A student may take more than one directed study. Limited to juniors and seniors.

ARTH 495 Internship in Art History
A supervised experience in a field study situation which complements the student’s course work. The internship program is offered through cooperation of participating institutions which provide professional guidance for the interns. Any student who wishes to participate in the internship must consult with the Art Department Internship Coordinator not later than the middle of the semester prior to beginning of the internship.
Prerequisite: Junior and senior art majors who have a QPA of no less than 2.50 in their major.

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