AMCULT 244 - Art of the American Century (1893-1968)
Section: 001
Term: FA 2018
Subject: American Culture (AMCULT)
Department: LSA American Culture
Requirements & Distribution:
May not be repeated for credit.
Primary Instructor:

The 20th-century United States was the emblem of all things modern, but how would Americans make a modern art? This lecture/discussion class surveys art and the visual and material environment from the emergence of the United States as a world power in the 1890s to the questioning of the "American Way of Life" by Pop and activist artists during the era of the Civil Rights movement and the Vietnam War. In lectures, discussion, and original hands-on-research, we will examine the work of such celebrated figures as Frank Lloyd Wright, Jacob Lawrence, Georgia O'Keeffe, Isamu Noguchi, Edward Hopper, Walker Evans, and Diego Rivera, but also the culture of consumerism and emergent racial and ethnic identities—from furniture to photography to propaganda posters—in which they worked. This class includes work with original art in the University of Michigan Museum of Art and a mandatory field trip to the Detroit Institute of Arts. Category for Concentration Distributions: D. Europe and the United States, 4. Modern. This course meets the humanities requirement.

Textbooks: Frances Pohl, Framing American Art 3rd edition (required), Patricia Hills, Modern Art in the U. S. A. (required) plus online readings. Recommended for beginners who would like background reading: Paul Boyer, American History: A Very Short Introduction; Anne D’Alleva, Look! The Fundamentals of Art History (any edition). Copies of all of these books will be available on reserve in the Fine Arts Library.

Course Requirements:

Attendance and participation 15%, 6 or 7 short reading responses posted in an online forum 20%, visual analysis paper 15%, midterm quiz 15%, final exam 15%, online group research project that builds a website based on your research into a historical exhibition 20%.

Intended Audience:

Undergraduates at any level seeking a general introduction to 20th century art and culture; students who have studied modern music, dance, architecture or history but would like to learn the American context. No prior background in art history or American studies required, though it is welcome.

Class Format:

Lectures with some opportunity for questions and class discussion.

AMCULT 244 - Art of the American Century (1893-1968)
Schedule Listing
001 (LEC)
MW 1:00PM - 2:30PM
NOTE: Data maintained by department in Wolverine Access. If no textbooks are listed below, check with the department.

Coursepack Location:
Canvas site
Assigned Readings will be posted online in Canvas
ISBN: 9780500289839
Framing America : a social history of American art, Author: Pohl, Frances K. (Frances Kathryn), 1952-, Publisher: Thames & Hudson 2012
ISBN: 9780130361387
Modern art in the USA : issues and controversies of the 20th century, Author: Hills, Patricia., Publisher: Prentice Hall 2001
ISBN: 9780195389142
American History: A Very Short Introduction, Author: Paul S. Boyer, Publisher: Oxford University Press ANY 2012
ISBN: 0205768717
Look! : the fundamentals of art history, Author: D'Alleva, Anne., Publisher: Pearson Prentice Hall 2010
Other Textbook Editions OK.
Syllabi are available to current LSA students. IMPORTANT: These syllabi are provided to give students a general idea about the courses, as offered by LSA departments and programs in prior academic terms. The syllabi do not necessarily reflect the assignments, sequence of course materials, and/or course expectations that the faculty and departments/programs have for these same courses in the current and/or future terms.

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