Courses in History of Art (Division 392)

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.

Open to All Undergraduates; Not Open to Graduate Students.

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

This course is designed to develop a comprehensive knowledge of the major monuments and periods of art from antiquity through the late Middle Ages and to present the rudiments of art historical analysis. The arts of architecture, sculpture, and painting along with significant minor arts are included. This course along with History of Art 102 provides a basic foundation for subsequent study in the field. Subject matter includes the history of art as a humanistic discipline plus analysis of works or art. Lectures concentrate on major monuments from and artistic developments in Egyptian, Mesopotamian, Greek, Roman, Early Christian, Byzantine, Romanesque, and Gothic art. Discussion sections will include frequent visits to the galleries and storerooms of the Kelsey Museum of Archaeology and the Museum of Art. Readings include a general survey text plus appropriate paperbacks. (Tabbaa)

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

The purpose of this course is to present a survey of major developments in Western art from the Renaissance to the present day. Works of architecture, painting, and sculpture will be studied within the context of their historical periods with the aim of analyzing and interpreting their technical, formal, and expressive characteristics and their relationship to cultural change. The presentation in the three weekly lectures will be chronological, beginning with Italian and Northern European art of the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries. Weekly discussion sections will be devoted to basic characteristics of the visual arts, to the nature of painting, sculpture, architecture, and printmaking, and to topics related to but not identical with the lecture material; at least one section will be held in the University Museum of Art. Reading will include a general historical text and a paperback on characteristics of the visual arts. Two short papers and a midterm and final examination will be required. (No previous course work is necessary, but it is suggested that students with a strong interest in the visual arts might take History of Art 101, the survey of Ancient and Medieval Art, prior to the present course.) (Isaacson)

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

This course, designed to provide an introduction to the religious and secular architecture, sculpture, and painting of India and the Far East, will be divided into two approximately equal halves, the first of which will consider the evolution of BUDDHIST architecture and the sculpture of India, Southeast Asia, China, and Japan, as this can be seen to reflect changes and developments in Buddhist doctrines and devotional practices. The temple architecture and sculpture of the second great Asian religion, HINDUISM, will then be considered and contrasted with the MUSLIM mosques, mausolea, and palace architecture introduced into India by the Mughal conquerors. During the second half of the course, attention will shift to the SECULAR painting of the Far East primarily the figural and landscape scrolls of China and the decorative screens of Japan and ultimately to the art of the Japanese garden and tea ceremony. (Kane)

112/Art 112. History of Photography. (3). (Excl).

A survey of the history of photography tracing its technical and aesthetic development related to the arts and the social context in which it evolved. There will be a midterm, a final, and a term project/paper. (Baird)

113/Art 113. Introduction to the Visual Arts. (3). (Excl).

Visual arts are a part of the human experience in all cultures and all time periods. The ability to appreciate, to understand, and to assess the quality of visual art can enrich a person's life and broaden one's thinking. This course will introduce students having no formal art or art historical background to the major forms of visual expression through human history from the Stone Age to the present. We will examine works of art in various media (painting, drawing, printmaking, photography, architecture, film/video, computer graphics, decorative arts, and design) and will explore not only the materials and techniques used to produce works of visual art but will also consider "how art works" and how works of art relate to the cultural and historic periods in which they are produced. Students will learn how artists use formal elements (line, texture, color, composition, etc.) to communicate information and to express emotion. While emphasis will be on learning how to look at and evaluate works of art, students will also be introduced to major cultural and historical epochs in the history of art as well as to artists whose works represent the "high points" of these epochs. Assigned readings and visits to museums and galleries will help students to expand their own abilities to see, to appreciate, and to assess visual arts. Requirements include a midterm and a final examination and two short analytic papers in which students will be asked to examine and evaluate selected works of art on The University of Michigan campus. (Kapetan)

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

See Classical Archaeology 221. (Pedley)

260. European Painting and Sculpture of the Seventeenth Century. Hist. of Art 102 or permission of instructor. (3). (HU).

After an opening review of 16th century artistic and ideological developments, the course considers the revolutionary achievements of Annibale Carracci and Caravaggio, who together are shown to have established the premises of the three major trends in 17th century art: Baroque Classicism; the "Ecstatic" Baroque; Baroque Realism. Each of these sub-categories is then discussed in turn, following a lecture format and a complete syllabus, with examples drawn from the painting and sculpture of Italy, France, Spain, Flanders and Holland, and with attention given to the historical/cultural circumstances under which the works were produced. Simultaneously, the uniqueness of such major masters as Guido Reni, Poussin, Guercino, Rubens, Bernini, Velazquez, Martinez Montanes, Georges de La Tour, Vermeer, and Rembrandt will be revealed. It is hoped that a spectacle of astounding creative richness will emerge. But the course will end with an attempt to demonstrate that for all this apparent diversity, there is an underlying philosophical unity to 17th century art, and it is also to this point that the textbook (John R. Martin, BAROQUE, NY, 1977, Harper and Row Icon paperback) addresses itself. Beyond the text, there will be a minimal amount of required reading, considerably more suggested reading, and continual study of the visual material in conjunction with the lecture notes. Students will be evaluated on the bases of the midterm and final examinations and a short paper. (Bissell)

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, Gauguin 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 of major historical, social, and intellectual currents within the paintings of the time. Some of the main themes are: the relationship between tradition and innovation in approaches to form and content; the relationship between artist and nature; and the relationship between the artist and the public. These themes are discussed within the general thesis that 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 forms 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 periods consist of slide-lectures. Two examinations and a paper are required. (Faberman)

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

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 Dadaists, 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. 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. (Miesel)

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

Introduces the arts of the Near East and North Africa from about 650 to the eighteenth century, including architecture, painting, ceramics, metalwork, and carpets. More than a chronological survey, the course focuses on a number of carefully chosen monuments and objects which are intended to illustrate the distinctive characteristics of Islamic art, its regional variations, and its craftsmanship. Connoisseurship is emphasized by dealing directly with some objects in the University collections on which two short papers (3-5 pages) will be assigned. There will be a final examination. (Tabbaa)

392(488). Survey of Chinese Painting. Hist. of Art 103 or permission of instructor. (3). (Excl).

The course offers a survey of Chinese painting from its beginning through the 18th century. The approach is chronological, and the works of individual artists are examined in relation to their time and their cultural milieu. A major change occurs in Chinese painting in the 13th century, when concern with representing the external world shifted to interest in presenting a personal interpretation of reality. Focus is on individual artists, their paintings, the theories of art they expounded, and the various school of art that developed. The class will meet three hours weekly for lectures, and there will be a midterm and a final examination. Prerequisite: HA 103 or permission of instructor. (Handler)

Open to Upperclass Students and Graduate Students

402. Contemporary Modes of Interpretation in Art History. (3). (Excl).

An introduction to the theoretical traditions in the humanities that have had the strongest impact on art-historical studies in recent years. The course material will include selected original texts in the areas of linguistics, structuralism/semiotics, psychoanalysis, Marxism, and more recent theories of discourse, textuality, and power that have contested these older traditions. In each instance, examples of art-historical work informed by these theoretical currents will be examined closely. Throughout, attention will be paid to those lines of speculative thought that have been central to the earlier formation of art history as a discipline. There will be a short term paper and take-home exams. (Crow)

405. Artists and Patrons. Hist. of Art 101 or permission of instructor. (3). (Excl). May be elected for credit more than once with permission of chairman.

This course surveys the art of ancient Mesopotamia and Iran from a special thematic perspective. A series of case studies in artistic creativity will explore strategies for understanding the interactive roles of artists/art workshops and the institutional/individual patrons whose interests both informed and were served by art. The case studies will be drawn from periods ranging from the protoliterate (c. 3000 BC) through the Persian Empire (c. 550-331 BC). A basic survey text available for purchase will be supplemented by course packs and reserve materials, the critical reading of which will be essential to the thematic content of the course. Evaluation will be by midterm, a final, a 10-page research paper plus participation in class discussions. (Root)

422/Class. Arch. 422. Etruscan Art and Archaeology. Hist. of Art 221 or 222; or permission of instructor. (3). (HU).

See Classical Archaeology 422. (Mattingly)

440/Class. Arch. 440. Cities and Sanctuaries of Classical Greece. A course in archaeology or permission of instructor. (3). (HU).

See Classical Archaeology 440. (Herbert)

445/MARC 445. Medieval Architecture. Hist. of Art 101 or permission of instructor. (3). (HU).

This course is designed to provide the student with a general understanding of the development of European architecture between the Early Christian Period of the fourth century and the Late Gothic Period of the fifteenth century by focusing on fifteenth major religious monuments. A new monument will be studied every week (such as Old Saint Peters in Rome, Hagia Sophia in Constantinople, Chartres Cathedral, and King's College Chapel in Cambridge) and each will be discussed in terms of style, structure, function and a range of social, political, patronal, and economic issues. Lectures will be given on two days per week and the third class period per week will be devoted to class participation in discussions, questions, and evaluation of readings. Requirements include a midterm and a final examination and a research paper. (Neagley)

448. Medieval Manuscript Illumination. Hist. of Art 101 or permission of instructor. (3). (HU).

This course will combine lecture and discussion in the study of the art of the illuminated book from its beginnings in Hiberno-Saxon lands to its flowering in the High Middle Ages. Special attention will be given to masterworks such as the Book of Kells and the "Golden Books" of the Carolingian and Ottonian eras. Individual projects and papers, which may rely upon the manuscript facsimiles housed in the Rare Books Room, will provide opportunity for independent as well as directed study. Readings will be assigned in library materials. A midterm quiz and a final examination. (Forsyth)

458. Florentine Sculpture of the Renaissance. Hist. of Art 102 or 250; or permission of instructor. (3). (Excl).

After brief introductions to the nature of sculpture as an art form and to innovative Italian Medieval sculptors (Nicola, Giovanni, and Andrea Pisano), the course will trace in detail the evolution of Florentine sculpture (and with that changing philosophical, religious, and cultural attitudes) from the International Style to the High Renaissance. Lectures on a select number of major masters (above all Ghiberti, Donatello, Luca della Robbia, Verrocchio, and Michelangelo) will consider the works both within their historical contexts and as products of special creative genius. The lectures are to be supplemented by a modest amount of required reading, considerable optional reading (for which a bibliography and reserve books will be provided), and continual study of the visual material, all leading to evaluation by way of midterm and final examinations of essay format. (Bissell)

478. American Art: 1890 to 1940. Hist. of Art 102 or permission of instructor. (3). (Excl).

This course will investigate the development of the visual arts in America during the period from 1890 to 1940. We will study the work of individual painters, sculptors, photographers, and selected cinematographers, both in the context of their personal contributions and in relation to the contemporary society in which they worked. The time span covered by the course will be divided into four chronological "periods." Introductory lectures to each period will set the historical and cultural scenes in overviews that will include information on relevant architecture and design arts in the United States. (Kirkpatrick)

499/Amer. Cult. 499. The Arts in American Life. Seniors concentrating in American Culture, seniors in any Honors curriculum, or graduate students with permission. (3). (Excl). May be elected for credit more than once with permission of instructor.

Art, moral order, and national identity from the Age of Jackson to the Gilded Age. The poles of the course will be two great artistic spectacles of the 19th century: Thomas Cole's "The Course of the Empire," a series of five paintings shown in New York in 1836, and the World's Columbian Exposition held in Chicago in 1893. In the one the brooding romantic painter challenged expansionist America with history's warning that civilization might be bound to an inevitable cycle of rise and decline. In the other a national establishment of artists (architects, painters, sculptors, landscape gardeners) proclaimed on the shores of Lake Michigan the vision of an imperial America, building a "dream city" which to modern eyes startingly resembles the doomed metropolis once imagined by Cole. Between the urban jeremiad conjured in paint in 1836 and the urban millennium fashioned in plaster and lath in 1893 are the cosmic prophecies of natural history pictured on the canvases of Frederic Church in the year of the Civil War. Ideas about nature, history, and civilization; religion, truth, and science; past present and future; individual freedom and social order; the New World and the Old World, will be studied as they relate to the work of art. Classes will be conducted on a lecture-discussion format. Grades will be based on papers, tests, and participation in class. Background in art history of American history is recommended but not required. (Lovell)

525. Graphic Arts from 1660 to the Present. Hist. of Art 102 and permission of instructor. (3). (Excl).

This course, designed primarily for graduate students in the History of Art, in the Museum Training Program, and in the Art School, will deal with developments in the last few centuries, emphasizing connoisseurship as much as history. The class will examine prints with museum curators, dealers, and collectors, will be shown the fundamentals of lithography, etching, and other processes, will be introduced to the problems and techniques of conservation, and to aspects of collecting. Assignments will consist of readings, short papers and reports on prints in nearby collections. Because so much work will be done with actual prints, the enrollment will be limited. (Spink)

548. Gothic Sculpture in Northern Europe. Hist. of Art 101, 341, 445, 446, or 452; or permission of instructor. (3). (Excl).

This new course will be an intensive survey of Gothic sculpture of the thirteenth, fourteenth, and fifteenth centuries in northern Europe. The lectures will begin by an examination of architectural sculpture from the great French Gothic cathedrals including Chartres, Reims, Amiens, and Bourges and will consider iconographic programs and stylistic development. A second group of sculpture involving funerary and tomb monuments that emerged in the thirteenth century in response to royal dynastic aims will also be studied. Thirdly, monumental relief sculpture found on liturgical furniture such as choir scenes, retables, altarpieces, and SCHNITZALTARE that provided a more narrative format for the artist will be considered. The last section of the course will be devoted to the emergence of the free standing devotional figure of the Virgin and the Child and later, the free standing saint. The intense popularity of these figures at the end of the Middle Ages reflected changes in modes of piety and private worship and a number of good examples for examination are found in regional collections. Undergraduates will be required to take a midterm and a final examination. However, emphasis will also be placed on their class participation and a research paper on a work from a regional museum. (Neagley)

565. Baroque Architecture in Italy and Germany. Hist. of Art 555 or permission of instructor. (3). (Excl).

After a short study of the seminal architecture of Alberti in Rimini, Florence, and Mantua, the course will focus on Rome as an urban center from the early 16th to the early 18th centuries. The city will be treated as an organism within which operated such great architects as Bramante, Raphael, Michelangelo, Vignola, Maderno, Bernini, Borromini, and Pietro da Cortona. Behind them is the patronage of the popes and cardinals of the papal court and such sponsorship will form an integral part of the lectures. In brief, the course will concern itself with the development of Rome as a visible expression of both the Renaissance and the Catholic Restoration. From Rome, the focus will shift northward to Turin where the dukes of Savoy employed Guarini and Juvarra to create another civic organism which revealed in vivid architectural language their anointed right to autocratic rule. The course will conclude with the expansion into Germany and Austria of architectural forms originating in Italy but carried to new heights of religious and imperial expression in areas prosperous after decades of war and invasion. Great architecture, especially in the early modern period, is inseparable from social forces and will be so treated, while at the same time every effort will be made to help the student appreciate the subtleties of language of classical architecture. (Whitman)

589. Rajput Painting. Hist. of Art 103 or permission of instructor. (3). (Excl).

A study of the important schools of Rajput painting from the 15th through the 18th centuries. Concentration on stylistic origins and distinctions between the principal painting schools in Rajasthan and North India, and on the development of Mughal painting in the 16th and 17th centuries. Interpretation of the religious, iconographical, literary, and political components which constitute this cultural background. Attention will also be given to establishing criteria for judging the quality of individual works. Prerequisite: History of Art 103 or 493 or permission of the instructor. This course is designed for upperclassmen and graduate students, and is of special interest to those concentrating in the field of Asian art. No required text. Students will be evaluated by means of short papers and one examination. (Spink)


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.