Course Descriptions

A major in Art History requires the completion of ARTH 201-202 (History of Art I and I) and six art history courses one of which must be in non-western art. In addition, the major will include an elective from music, drama, or dance; ARTH 422, the capstone seminar, FINA 481 and a senior thesis.

Courses

201 — The History of Art I: A brief survey of painting, sculpture, and architecture from ancient through medieval times in both the Eastern and Western hemispheres. Illustrated lectures and visits to museums. Three hours.

202 — The History of Art II: The continuation of ARTH 201. A study of Renaissance, Baroque, and modern painting, sculpture, and architecture. Illustrated lectures and trips to museums. Three hours.

210 — Origins of Civilization: When did civilization begin? How do we define civilization? How do we know when civilization has occurred and when it has ended? Why is civilization important to humans? What is the role of the arts in defining a civilization? This course will look at the development of early cultures and “civilizations” and will compare the definitions of civilization and the processes by which a civilization develops and wanes. Cross-listed with CLAS 210. Offered every three years. Satisfies part of the AOK Civilizations requirement as HIST 101. Three hours.

211- Art and Archaeology of Egypt and the Ancient Near East: A survey of the sites and art of Egypt and the various cultures of the Near East, from the neolithic period until the Arab conquest. Illustrated lectures. Cross-listed with CLAS 211. Offered every three years. Three hours.

212 — Prehistoric Aegean Cultures: The Cycladic, Minoan and Mycenaean cultures of the Bronze Age Aegean flourished for 2,000 years and are often considered the earliest manifestation of civilization in Europe. This course looks at the art, monuments, and social structures of these cultures, along with classical Greek mythology about the Age of Heroes and the myth/history of the Trojan War. Illustrated lectures with seminar sessions. Cross-listed with CLAS 212. Offered every three years. Three hours.

213 — Greek Art and Archaeology: This course covers the art and archaeology of Greece from the Bronze Age through the Archaic, Classical, and early Hellenistic periods. The emphasis will be on the legacy of the Greek civilization to Western art, city planning, and thought. Illustrated lectures. Cross-listed with CLAS 213. Offered every three years. Three hours.

214 — Bronze and Iron Age Europe: This course covers the art and archaeology of the Neolithic through Iron Age cultures in Europe, with special emphasis on the Celts, Villanovans, and Etruscans. Also included is a survey of European and Asian cultures in contact with Bronze and Iron Age Europe, including the Greeks, Phoenicians, and Romans. We will end with a brief look at the later European Iron Age, particularly the Vikings of northern Europe. Cross-listed with CLAS 214. Offered every three years. Three hours.

215 — Roman Art: The Roman genius for art, as for many aspects of their civilization, was in the adaptation and originality with which they transformed borrowed ideas. This course begins with the Greek, Etruscan, and Latin origins of Roman Art, then examines the changes and innovations in art through the Roman Empire. Archaeological discoveries throughout the Mediterranean, especially Pompeii and Herculaneum, are high- lighted. Illustrated lectures. Cross-listed with CLAS 215. Offered every three years. Three hours.

216 - Art of the Great Empires of Rome and Byzantium: Christian art began within the artistic traditions of the Classical world, but the prestige of the Church transformed and transmitted the ancient modes throughout medieval Europe and the Byzantine Empire. This course looks at art from the rise of Christianity to the fall of Constantinople in AD 1453. Illustrated lectures. Cross-listed with CLAS 216. Offered every three years. Three hours.

217 — The Art and Architecture of Ancient Athletic Games: The origins of organized athletics and many of the events still practiced today can be traced back to classical Greece and Rome. This course will primarily be a survey of the artistic representations, the architectural context, and the archaeological evidence for these games. It will also be a historical survey of Greek and Roman athletics, including such topics as their role in ancient military and religious life, sites and facilities, events, training and professionalism, and status, rewards and prizes. Vase paintings, sculptures, and written texts will be examined for the light they shed on ancient athletes and the original Olympic Games. Cross-listed with CLAS 217. Offered every three years. Three hours.

219 — Images of Women in Ancient Art: This course is a survey of art, from the Paleolithic until the Renaissance, with a special emphasis on images of women in various roles, particularly motherhood. All early cultures (Mesopotamia, Egypt, Classical Greece and Rome, Byzantium and Renaissance Italy) have produced images of women for diverse reasons: from fertility symbols to icons of religious belief, from symbols of beauty and lust to icons of purity and chastity. The course will survey these images as they reflect both the style of art and the role of women in the cultures and time periods. The visual images will be supplemented by selections from contemporaneous literature. Cross-listed with CLAS 219. Offered every three years. Three hours.

220 — Medieval Art: A study of the rise of Christian Art and the Art of the Byzantine Empire as it prepared the ground for the expressions of faith found in the art and architecture of the Carolinian, Romanesque, and Gothic eras. Three hours.

221 — Italian Art 1260-1500: This slide-illustrated lecture course will examine the diverse developments in Italian painting, sculpture and architecture from the middle of the 13th century to the end of the fifteenth. Particular attention will be given to the stylistic characteristics of the artistic expression in the various regions, concentrating on the major creators of Italian art in the period under consideration. Since art is not created independently of the historical cultural and socio-economic conditions these factors will be examined as well. Three hours.

222 — Baroque Art: The term Baroque, used for the first time in the nineteenth century, defines the artistic expression of the 17th century, throughout Europe, Great Britain and even Central and South America. Unlike the reserved naturalism of the Renaissance, and the exaggerated spatial and proportional distortions of Mannerism, the two movements that preceded it, the Baroque in most of its manifestations in painting and sculpture is characterized by an emphasis on classical proportions and dynamic compositional arrangements. In architecture and interior decoration, illusion and the energetic juxtaposition of various elements creates spectacular theatrical effects. This course will examine the diverse expressions of the Baroque within their proper socio-political and religious conditions. We will consider issues of patronage and the resultant artistic products, as well as the respective participation of male versus female artists in the production of Baroque art. Three hours.

223 — Nineteenth Century European Art: From Neo-Classicism and Romanticism to Realism and Impressionism, Symbolism and Post-Impressionism, artists in the 19th century constantly explored new thematic choices expressed in novel formal terms which often reflected the socio-economic and political changes of their times. This course will examine art works that were created in the span of two hundred years, in terms of style, content and meaning as well as consider their impact in their own time, and their effect upon twentieth century audiences. Three hours.

224 — Modern Art: Modern artists from the late 1800s challenged the artistic and social norms by creating highly individualistic and subjective works, often in opposition to official rule and restrictions, and expressed the dynamic social, economic and political transformations of their time. This course will examine the artistic production in painting, sculpture, and architecture in Europe and America from the early 1800s until the mid-20th century, with particular focus on the socio-economic, political, and historical context of each period. Three hours.

225 — American Art: From the commemorative spirit of the colonial portraits, through the nationalistic content of the Hudson River School and the American Renaissance, to the subjective expression of the Abstract Expressionists and the various non-figurative movements of the 21st century, American art displays an impressive variety of forms, which often give us substantial information about the society they were created for. This interdisciplinary course will examine the diverse artistic production in the United States from its earlier manifestations in the colonial period to the highly individualized tendencies of the 20th century. The intent is to familiarize students with the multiplicity of examples of painting, sculpture, and architecture, which illustrate a remarkable progression in the arts, with particular focus on the socio-economic and political conditions within which these forms were developed. Three hours.

226 — African American Art: This course will examine the artistic production of African American artists from the nineteenth to the 21st century, with particular focus on the socio-economic, political and historical context of each period. In this course we will analyze the ways in which African American artists since the nineteenth century have functioned within the white establishment and how they affirmed or reacted against the ideals of established aesthetic norms and social, political or cultural expectations. Through the critical lens of art historical, social, race and gender studies we will gain insights into the ways in which African American artists sought to express their perspectives on contemporary political and social phenomena. This course will encourage students to think about the racial and cultural pluralism in the United States and understand the historical and contemporary engagement of African American artists with the world around them. Three hours.

227 — African and Oceanic Art: The arts of the many cultures of Africa, Australia, and the Pacific are rich with expressions of societal values and the dignity of human experience. This course examines the forms of beauty and myriad artistic forms, often so different from western art, which convey nonetheless the same joys and fears, sorrows and hopes. Illustrated lectures, museum visits. Three hours.

228 — Asian Art: This course will explore the fascinating artistic production of China and Japan, two countries closely interconnected through cultural and religious ties. The arts of these countries show at once persistent thematic continuity, and impressive stylistic innovation throughout the centuries. We will examine expressions in painting, sculpture, the decorative arts, and architecture and their meaning and impact within their social, economic, political, and religious context. Offered alternate years. Three hours.

229 — "The Guilded Age": The "Gilded Age" (1876- 1917) was a period of intense contradictions: explosive economic expansion and the concomitant creation of monopolies, seen against an increasing visible gap be- tween the rich and the poor. Amidst the impressive socio-economic changes that took place at the turn of the century, architects, painters, sculptors, and decorators of the period created some of the most outstanding and most sophisticated examples of American art. The artistic production of the period is indicative of the artists' extensive training and their desire to embellish their country with the very best money could buy. In this course we will discuss the unparalled artistic production of the time in all its manifestations, with particular attention to the cultural factors that determined the life of the "Gilded Age." Three hours.

235 — Islamic Art: The world of Islam began in the Arabian Peninsula, but spread rapidly to include lands from Spain to India, Morocco to Uzbekistan. This course acquaints the student with the architecture of mosques, tombs, and palaces; the calligraphy and miniature paintings of manuscripts; and crafts of ceramics, glass, metalwork, and textiles. We also consider how faith interacts with art, and art reinforces faith. Illustrated lectures and museum visits. Three hours.

240 — Women in the Arts: This course examines the role of women in western art in regard to the production, promotion, and consumption of art from the Renaissance to the modern era. Topics include the social constraints often placed upon women as active participants in the public sphere, the education of women artists and their professionalization, the critical reaction to their work, artistic couples, and the role played by women as patrons in the arts. Illustrated lectures and contemporary films. Three hours.

381-382 — Special Topics in Art History: Special Topics in Art History – Advanced study of both traditional and contemporary topics in art history. Prerequisite: ARTH 201 or 202 or permission of instructor. Three hours each.

421 — Theory and Methods: This majors only course examines the various theoretical perspectives that facilitate and expand our understanding of the art historical production in the West. In its duration we will examine both primary theoretical texts and their application in secondary scholarship in the analysis of art works. We will explore many theoretical approaches such as Biography, Formalism, Psychoanalytic theory, Iconography, Semiotics, Structuralism, Post-Structuralism, Marxism, Feminism and Post-Colonial theory and globalism and the utility of these theories on the interpretation of the visual arts. We will also learn and practice research methods that are specific to the discipline of art history. This course will focus on the practice of various theoretical approaches and methodological analysis that will prepare the student effectively for the senior thesis in art history. ARTH majors, minors, or arts management with art emphasis only. Offered every other year. Three hours.

422 — Senior Thesis in Art History: A student majoring in art history will write a major paper on a valid aspect of the history of art. Three hours.

450 — Internship in Art History: The course provides an opportunity for students to gain practical experience in the field of art history using the principles, concepts, and methodology covered in existing art history course offerings. Students may serve as interns in such places as museums, historic sites or homes and other organizations involved in an appropriate way with a study of the arts. There is an emphasis on applying knowledge from the classroom to the practical realities of the operation of institutions devoted to the preservation and study of cultural history. Prerequisites: ARTH 421 or depart- mental approval, and at least a 2.25 GPA. Application required; see Internship Program. Three hours.

Study Abroad Course Offered at Wroxton College in England

ART3415 — The Development of British Painting: Starting with an introductory study of such general topics as patronage, subject matter, and style, this course follows the development of painting in Britain from its earliest origins and European influences to the present day. In addition to the use of slides, videos, and books, special emphasis is placed on visits to view the wealth of Britain’s art on display in the great public and private collections. This course satisfies the collegiate requirement in the Fine Arts. Three hours.