History of Art 101, 102, 103 and 108, while covering different areas, are all considered equivalent introductions to the discipline of art history. These four introductory survey courses consider not only art objects as aesthetic experiences but also the interactions among art, the artist, and society. The lecture and discussion sections explore the connections between the style and content of works of art and the historical, social, religious, and intellectual phenomena of the time. Attention is also given to the creative act and to the problems of vision and perception which both the artist and his/her public must face.
Although it would be logical to move from History of Art 101 to History of Art 102, this is not required. One course in European/American art (101 or 102) and one course in Asian or African art (103 or 108) serve as a satisfactory introduction to the history of art for non-concentrators (concentrators should see the department's handbook for more information on requirements). The introductory courses are directed toward students interested in the general history of culture and are especially valuable cognates for students in the fields of history, philosophy, literature, and musicology as well as the creative arts.
Course requirements and texts vary with individual instructors, but an effort is always made to introduce students to works of art in the collections of the university as well as in the museums of Detroit and Toledo. Photographic material is available for study in the Image Study Gallery, G026 Tisch Hall. Examinations usually include short essays and slides which are to be identified, compared, and discussed.