Courses in History of Art (Division 392)

Open to All Undergraduates; Not Open to Graduate Students.

History of Art 101, 102, and 103, while covering different areas, are all considered equivalent introductions to the History of Art. These three introductory survey courses consider not only art objects as aesthetic experiences but also the interaction which exists between the artist and society. The lecture and discussion sections explore various historical, social, religious, and intellectual phenomena which are reflected in the style and content of works of art. Attention is also given to the creative act and to the problems of vision and perception which both the artist and his public must face. The three courses are numbered sequentially but they do not form a sequence. Although it would be logical to move from History of Art 101 to History of Art 102, either History of Art 101 or 102 as well as History of Art 103 serve as a satisfactory introduction to the history of art. 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. Most of the upper division courses in history of art require one of these three introductory courses as a prerequisite. 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. Photographic material is available for study in the Fine Arts Study Room in the Modern Languages Building. Examinations usually include short essays and slides which are to be identified, compared, and discussed.

101. Near Eastern and European Art from the Stone Age to the End of the Middle Ages. (4). (HU).

This course approaches the work of art within an historical context and the history of art as a humanistic discipline. The chronological range is from antiquity to the late medieval period, with emphasis on the continuity and interaction of the Classical and Judaeo-Christian traditions. Myths and images which potently survive down to the present day have their roots in the historical periods studied in this course. Architecture, sculpture, painting, and the applied arts are analyzed from the standpoints of technique, style, and cultural expression. The discussion sections are based principally on original materials in the Kelsey Museum of Archaeology and the Museum of Art. A general survey of the history is the primary text and supplementary readings are proposed from major works of literature of the various periods studied. This course and History of Art 102 provide a foundation for subsequent study in Western art. History of Art concentrators are strongly urged to take History of Art 101 before 102. (Eisenberg)

102. Western Art from the End of the Middle Ages to the Present. No credit granted to those who have completed 150. (4). (HU).

A chronological history of major achievements in painting, sculpture, and architecture from the Renaissance through the 19th century, the course will attempt both to define the uniqueness of great creative personalities (how, through the manipulation of the materials of their art forms, they gave special expression to their deepest feelings) and to place these artists within wider art-historical/cultural contexts (with their ever-changing conceptions of man's relationship to the physical and spiritual worlds). The weekly discussion section will reinforce the lectures and explore special topics (iconography, connoisseurship, theory, etc.) while encouraging intellectual and emotional involvement with the works of art. Various study materials, textbooks, suggested additional readings, photographs, will be made available, and grading will be based on two-hour examinations, participation in discussion sections, and the final examination. Except for commitment, there are no prerequisites, although a student might well elect History of Art 101 prior to the present course. (Whitman)

103. Arts of Asia. (4). (HU).

This course traces the development of art and architecture in India, Southeast Asia, China and Japan from prehistoric origins to the modern era. Particular emphasis is placed upon the role of Asian religions in the development and content of Asian art, and the interaction of the various cultures. Use will be made of the permanent collection of Oriental art in the University Museum of Art. Three lectures per week and one section meeting to discuss the material presented in lectures. Midterm and final examinations, and several short written assignments are required. (French)

221(321)/Class. Arch. 221. Introduction to Greek Archaeology. (4). (HU).

See Classical Archaeology 221. (Pedley)

236/Film Video 236/Eng. Hums. 236. The Art of the Film. (4). (HU). A fee is assessed to help defray the costs of film rentals.

See Film and Video Studies 236. (Cohen)

271. European Painting of the Nineteenth Century. Hist. of Art 101 or 102; or permission of instructor. (3). (HU).

This course concentrates upon the history of 19th century European painting. Greatest emphasis is given to French painting, but considerable attention is devoted to German, English, and Spanish painting of the first half of the century. Major artists discussed include Goya, Constable, Turner, Gericault, Delacroix, Courbet, Manet, Monet, Degas, Van Gogh, Gaugin, and Cezanne. The principal movements considered are Neoclassicism, Romanticism, Realism, Impressionism, Post-Impressionism, and Symbolism. The lectures seek, within a chronological context, to interweave issues of form and content and to identify reflections within the paintings of the major historical, social, and intellectual currents of the time. Some of the main themes are: the relationship between the artist and nature; and the relationship between the artist and the public. These themes are discussed within the general thesis that the 19th century witnessed dynamic forces of change released by the French Revolution and the urban and industrial revolutions. These forces helped to shape the paintings, and it is the examination of the changing shapes of painting and of conflicting attitudes towards the past and the present that are of special concern in the study of the artists. The class takes the form of slide-lectures. Two examinations and a paper are required. (Isaacson)

341. The Gothic Age. Hist. of Art 101 or permission of instructor. (3). (HU).

This course is a survey of the art of Europe in the later Middle Ages (1150 to 1500). Students will examine major works of sculpture, stained glass, manuscript illumination, tapestry, fresco and panel painting, and the art of the goldsmith. The goal of the course is to explore the rapid evolution of the Gothic style culminating in the International Style of the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries, and to chart the intellectual history of the period through iconographic developments in late medieval art. Requirements include a midterm and a final.

376. Dada and Surrealism. Hist. of Art 102, 272; or permission of instructor. (3). (HU).

A survey of the crucial artistic and intellectual concepts developed by the Dadaists and Surrealists, this undergraduate lecture course will examine the problems explored by Dada, in the personalities of Duchamp, Arp, Schwitters, Ernst, the Berlin Dadists, Picabia, Man Ray, Richter and others, and how their Dada work influenced the later art and ideas of this century. The growth of Surrealism and its relationship to new scientific and psychological thought will be approached through the art and concepts of such key artists as Arp, Miro, Ernst, Giacometti, Dali, Magritte, Masson and Tanguy and some of their followers. The focus will be on Dada and Surrealist work in painting, sculpture, happenings, environments and film. Outside reading will include material on the Dada and Surrealist achievement in literature and the theatre. In Fall 1984, special attention will be paid to the 40 works on loan to the UM Museum of Art for an exhibition entitled: "The Wild Eye: The Influence of Surrealism on American Art". There will be a midterm exam, a final exam in two parts (one part slides and one part take-home essay) and a term project/paper. (Kirkpatrick)

386. Introduction to the Art and Architecture of the Islamic World. History of Art 101 or permission of instructor. (3). (HU).

An introduction to the arts of Islamic countries from about 650 A.D. onward, including architecture, painting, ceramics, metalwork, and textiles. The emphasis will lie not on dynasties and dates, but on the distinctive characteristics of these arts as they developed over more than eleven centuries in the lands between Spain and India. The course is designed to demonstrate the lines of development of Islamic art, its regional groupings, and its cultural background and context. Two short (3-5 page) papers based on the examination of objects in the University collections will be assigned, and there will be a final examination. The course is to be composed of lectures illustrated with slides, along with occasional discussions. Unpublished and newly discovered archaeological material will be included. (Allen)

Open to Upperclass Students and Graduate Students

404/CAAS 404. The Art of Africa. (3). (HU),

The course will concentrate on the arts of Sub-Saharan Black Africa. Emphasis will be placed on the sculptural traditions of the major West African styles in the media of wood, stone, metal and clay. The course will also cover African decorative arts and utilitarian objects. Attempts will also be made to describe and integrate interrelationships between the visual arts and African culture and religion in general. This course is not part of a departmental sequence nor is any special background needed. The classes will consist of lectures, discussion and museum experience with actual objects. Two examinations and one paper will be required. (Maurer)

421/Class. Arch. 421. Art and Archaeology of the Ancient Near East. One previous art history, anthropology, or classical archaeology course recommended. (3). (HU).

Survey of the art and archaeology of ancient Mesopotamia and Iran, focusing upon art as a reflection of the societies that produced it. Specific attention will be paid to concepts of aesthetics, iconography, narrative pattern, and programs of piety and politics - as these are revealed in sculpture and the art of seals Periodically the class will meet at the Kelsey Museum of Archaeology instead of convening for the normal slide-lectures. During these sessions students will have the opportunity to examine and discuss actual artifacts and works of art. Grade evaluation will be based upon a midterm, a final examination, and a research paper of 5-10 typewritten pages (not including notes). The paper will be based upon investigation of an object in the collections of the Kelsey Museum. Readings will be assigned from texts available for purchase (Henri Frankfort, The Art and Architecture of the Ancient Orient, 4th ed. 1970; R. Hallo and W.K. Simpson, The Ancient Near East, 1971; and A. Leo Oppenheim, Ancient Mesopotamia, rev. ed. 1977) as well as from books and articles on reserve in the Fine Arts Library of Tappan Hall. Prerequisites: History of Art 101 or permission of instructor. (Root)

427/Class. Arch. 427. Pompeii: Its Life and Art. (3). (HU).

See Classical Archaeology 427.

454. Late Renaissance Art in Italy. Hist. of Art 102 or 250; or permission of instructor. (3). (HU).

The course treats the history of painting in Florence and Rome between 1520 and 1590. The first part of the course concentrates upon Roman painting after the death of Raphael; the second part of the course deals with Florentine painting of the same period, beginning with Andrea del Sarto and ending with Bronzino, Salviati, and Vasari. The lectures in this course cover a good deal of relatively unfamiliar material fairly rapidly. Since no satisfactory, accessible survey is available, the lectures are intended to fulfill this function. Students will be expected to absorb this new material relatively quickly, and will have to be ready to spend time memorizing images that most likely will be new to them. This being the case it is important that students entering the course already have a good grounding in Italian art of the Early and High Renaissance. I would not recommend electing this course if your sole background in Renaissance art is from History of Art 102. History of Art 250 and/or History of Art 451 would provide valuable background for this course but are not required. There will be a paper, midterm examination, and final examination. Texts for the course will be Freedberg's Painting in Italy 1500-1600 and Friedlaender's Mannerism and Anti-Mannerism. (Smith)

469. Neoclassic and Romantic Painting. Hist. of Art 102 or permission of instructor. (3). (HU).

This course is strongly recommended both for concentrators in art history and for concentrators in English, French, and German. It focuses on the masters of neoclassic and romantic painting in England, Germany, and France from approximately 1750 to 1850. Among the painters studied in detail are David, Delacroix, Ingres, Blake, Turner, Constable, Funge, Friedrich, and the Spaniard Goya. Groups such as the Nazarenes and the pre-Raphaelites are also studied. Artistic issues such as the emergence of "modernism"; the development of the disciplines of aesthetics, art criticism, and art history; and the growth of the notion of art for art's sake are examined and analyzed. Two texts are assigned: Brion, Art of the Romantic Era and Levy, Rococo to Revolution. If available, Honour's Neo-Classicism is also required. About 100 pages of additional reading is assigned. There is a one-hour examination as well as a final. A paper (fifteen to twenty pages in length) is required. Paper topics are chosen on an individual basis and are intended to accommodate personal interests and needs. (Miesel)

474. American Art to 1913. Hist. of Art 102 or permission of instructor. (3). (HU).

A study of the major chronological divisions of Anglo-American art from the first settlements of the 17th century down through the closing of the frontier in 1890: the Colonial period, starting with the late medieval forms inherited from provincial England and closing by the eve of the Revolution with a colonies-wide adaptation of classical forms; the Federal period, during which the arts were dominated by radically new demands that accompanied political independence; the Romantic period, from 1820 to 1860, throughout which the arts were being nationalized and democratized; the Post Civil War period, in which the loss of a unifying idealism opened the way in the arts both for aesthetic anarchy and for strong personal statement. Emphasis will be on artistic systems as they are manifested both on architecture and in painting. Examples of sculpture and the decorative arts will, on occasion, be taken into account. Grades are to be based on a midterm test, a paper and a final examination or a final paper. (Huntington)

493(387). Art of India. Hist. of Art 103 or permission of instructor. (3). (HU).

The Art of India is a course designed for students with little knowledge of Indian art. It deals with architecture, sculpture, and painting, most of the monuments being closely connected with the Hindu and Buddhist religions and (to a lesser degree) the Islamic faith. A good portion of the required reading is intended to provide a background in the mythology and history of these religions; books such as H. Zimmer's Myths and Symbols in Indian Art, Joseph Campbell's Oriental Mythology (Volume 2 of Masks of God), S.C. Welch's The Art of Mughal India, William Archer's The Loves of Krishna, and W. Spink's The Quest for Krishna will be used. The major course requirements are a midterm examination and a final paper (instead of a final exam). When possible the course will take advantage of nearby exhibitions. By and large the course is a lecture course, and the coverage chronological, although more attention will be given to certain topics than to others, so that certain parts of India's long tradition can be understood in some depth. History of Art 103, 151, 454 or Asia 111 all would provide a useful background for this course, although they are not essential to it. (Spink)

539/Class. Arch. 539. Greek Architecture. Hist. of Art 101 and 330; or permission of instructor. (3). (HU).

See Classical Archaeology 539. (Herbert)

572. Expressionism in Twentieth-Century Art. Hist. of Art 102 and either Hist. of Art 271 or 272; or permission of instructor. (3). (HU).

Unlike Futurism or Surrealism, Expressionism was never a conscious grouping with a defined program. Indeed, the course does not attempt to define a "true" Expressionism but rather presents those artists usually associated with that ism as individual creators. However, the major focus of the course will be the artists connected with two German groups, the Bridge and the Blue Rider (Kirchner, Heckel, Schmidt-Rottluff et al. from the former; Kandinsky, Marc, Feininger, Klee, et al. from the latter). Other German and Central European artists will also be examined including Kollwitz, Barlach, Beckmann, Schiele and Kokoschka. A broader context for Expressionism will be established by first reviewing certain Post-Impressionist and Symbolist developments and the Art of Munch, Ensor, Hodler and Klimt and then, in the final weeks, by discussion of American Abstract Expressionism. The primary method of instruction is lecture but discussion is encouraged. There will be a midterm quiz, a final and a paper (15-20 pages). The text is: Dube, Expressionism (Praeger) but there will be additional readings from books on Expressionism by Willett, Selz, Myers and Miesel. The course should be valuable not only for students of modern sculpture and painting but for German and Russian majors as well as for those interested in the relationship between art and society, politics, religion and even race. (Miesel)

584. Painting in Islamic Countries. Hist. of Art 101 or permission of instructor. (3). (HU).

This course consists of a short examination of pictorial representation in Islamic art and culture, followed by a detailed treatment of manuscript illustration and the arts of the book, particularly in the Persian speaking world, from the 13th through the 17th centuries. Aside from considering some of the finest masterpieces of Islamic art, the course will deal with art historical issues that transcend the limits of Islamic culture. Trip(s) to the Detroit Institute of Arts will be included. Two short papers; term paper, and final exam. (Allen)

598. Japanese Painting to 1600. Hist. of Art 103, 390, or 495. (3). (HU).

Japanese painting from its beginnings in the 7th century through the 16th century. Early painting through the 12th century is mostly Buddhist religious art. The 13th century saw the development of the secular narrative handscrolls. The 14th and 15th century art is largely monochrome ink painting, much of it inspired by Zen Buddhism, and in the 16th century the art of golden screen painting reached its full development. The course comprises the first half of a sequence; Japanese painting from the 17th century to the present is given a second term. A knowledge of Japanese history and language helps but is not required. Three lectures per week, midterm and final exams, and one paper required. (French)


lsa logo

University of Michigan | College of LS&A | Student Academic Affairs | LS&A Bulletin Index

This page maintained by LS&A Academic Information and Publications, 1228 Angell Hall

The Regents of the University of Michigan,
Ann Arbor, MI 48109 USA +1 734 764-1817

Trademarks of the University of Michigan may not be electronically or otherwise altered or separated from this document or used for any non-University purpose.