Courses in History of Art (Division 392)

Open to All Undergraduates; Not Open to Graduate Students.

History of Art 101, 102, 103 and 108, 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 along with History of Art 103 and 108 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 offers an introduction to major monuments and periods of art from antiquity through the Middle Ages. Its purpose is not only to acquaint students with key works of Egyptian, Greek, Roman, Byzantine, Islamic, Romanesque and Gothic architecture, sculpture and painting, but also to help them develop a vocabulary for the description and analysis of works of art, and to provide them with a basic understanding of the methods and aims of art historical study. Lectures will be supplemented by weekly discussion sections, several of them to be held in the Kelsey Museum and in the Museum of Art. Readings will be drawn from a general art historical survey and other texts; written work will consist of two short papers, a midterm and a final examination. This course, with H.A. 102, is meant to provide a foundation in the history of art; it is a prerequisite for many higher-level courses in the department. Cost:3 WL:4 (Sears)

102. Western Art from the End of the Middle Ages to the Present. No credit granted to those who have completed 104 and 105, or 150. Two credits granted to those who have completed one of 104 or 105. (4). (HU).

A chronological survey of the visual arts created within Western traditions over nearly seven centuries. The great formal and expressive range, and the rich contextual variety of architecture, sculpture, painting, graphics and decorative arts which have been produced within this period necessitate a highly selective presentation in lecture format (to meet three times weekly). Also, a weekly discussion session encourages students to exercise visual analysis skills and to further explore various ideas and issues intimately tied to works of art: the artists who made them, the patrons who commissioned them, the social-historical forces affecting production, changing criteria of interpretation, their materials and techniques. Course work will consist of weekly readings in the survey text (F. Hartt), a short paper, a midterm and a final examination. No prerequisites. Cost:3 WL:4 (Hennessey)

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

An introduction to the cultures and arts of south and east Asia from earliest times to the modern period. Topics will be organized chronologically within geographical regions, but no attempt will be made to cover all of the arts from all times and placed. Emphasis will be placed on the religious, social, political, and/or literary contexts of specific monuments or sites, individual artists, or media. No background is assumed or required. Three exams and one museum exercise will each be worth 25% of the final grade. Readings will either be in a course pack or on reserve in the undergraduate library. Three lectures and one discussion section per week. Cost:2 WL:4 (Powers)

108/CAAS 108. Introduction to African Art. (3). (HU).

This course offers a general introduction to the arts of African cultures south of the Sahara desert. It reviews the history of African art from about 6000 B.C. through the twentieth century. The survey is based on a carefully selected corpus comprising prehistoric rock paintings and engravings, old and recent sculptures in terracotta, metal, wood, and ivory; and textile and bodily arts. While it adopts an historical approach, it will also explore some prevailing themes in African art, such as African approaches to representation and the social function and meaning of art. Last, it will highlight a number of significant cultural transformations that resulted from contact between African peoples and western societies. Scheduled lectures will be supplemented with written and reading assignments, videofilms, tours of African art exhibitions in museums and private collections in the Detroit area. Cost:2 WL:4 (Quarcoopome)

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

This lecture course will explore the history of photography of the 19th and 20th centuries through a comparative study of photographs, photographers, and theories about the nature of photography. The goal is to create an understanding of the themes and issues, concepts and context associated with the image making from American and international perspectives. One intent is that at the end of the study the student should be aware of some of the diverse concerns in present day photography and be able to identify its origins and influences. The class should interest students from a wide range of disciplines. Students will supplement lecture and readings by participation in small discussions focused on special theoretical topics. WL:4

113/Art 113. Introduction to the Visual Arts. This course is for non art majors only. (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 such as painting, drawing, printmaking, photography, sculpture, architecture, graphics, and industrial design. Students will learn how artists use the language of form to communicate information, to express emotion, to explore the world of nature and the world of the mind. Students will learn the basic techniques of the various media. Students will learn how the art of a time and place defines and expands the boundaries of that culture. Assigned readings and visits to museums and galleries will help students become critical consumers of the visual culture as they learn to see, appreciate, and assess art forms. Requirements include periodic quizzes, a final exam, and a term paper. Students will also make some ungraded drawings and paintings as analytical tools. Cost:3 WL:4 (Kapetan)

194(210). First Year Seminar. (3). (HU).
Section 001 Early Renaissance Florence: Visual and Humanist Rhetoric in a Civic "Fatherland."
The early fifteenth century in Florence saw intense artistic production, later characterized as a "renaissance" due to a "rebirth" of classicism. This course focuses on the artists, monuments, civic theorists and institutions which shaped the Renaissance city. The architect Brunelleschi, the painter Masaccio, the sculptors Ghiberti and Donatello, the "civic humanists" Salutati and Bruni, the art theorist Alberta, patrons such as the guilds and the Medici family, all contributed to the formation of an urban art and a republican State which still holds a place in Western ideals. The assumptions and effects of such a humanist culture will be our critical, interdisciplinary focus. A rhetoric of visual, urban order, combined with a practice of imperialist, patriarchal power, was linked to a city changing from a corporate to an elitist polity. A refashioning of civic identity resulted in discourses which controlled sexuality, gendered roles, reproductive strategies and family management. The course is writing intensive, with seminar discussions, Cost: 2 WL:4 (Simons)

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

See Classical Archaeology 221. (Pedley)

250/MARC 250. Italian Renaissance Art. Hist. of Art 101 or 102 or permission of instructor. (3). (HU).

By way of introducing immediately the underlying concepts of the Renaissance and their eloquent translation into visual form, the course begins with an in-depth analysis of Masaccio's frescoes in the Brancacci Chapel. Then, following a brief unit on the philosophical and artistic background to Masaccio's achievement, the course - emphasizing the painting and sculpture of Florence and Rome - will trace the development of the Early Renaissance to the genesis, perfection, and eventual disruption of the High Renaissance. The works of Masaccio, Ghiberti, Donatello, Piero della Francesca, Botticelli, Verrocchio, Leonardo da Vinci, Raphael, and Michelangelo will be featured. A complete syllabus, the text (F. Hartt, Italian Renaissance Art, latest edition), a small set of prints, and photo study facilities will complement the lectures, and students will be evaluated on the bases of a short, non-research paper and midterm and final examinations. Cost:2 WL:4

284. Introduction to Asian Painting. (3). (HU).

Landscape and figure painting in China was at first inspired by myth and nature. As the centuries wore on, the "ink play" of a dark brush moving freely across white silk or paper became its own source of inspiration. Although Japan, at different stages in history, was an enthusiastic heir to Chinese traditions, distinct forms of narrative scrolls, golden screen paintings, and prints depicting the pleasure quarters of Tokyo captured more of the Japanese spirit than the scope of Chinese painting could allow. In India, miniature paintings of nobles, gods, and kings developed from a history of manuscript illustrations completely different from the Chinese and Japanese interests. These three painting traditions from China, Japan, and India, will form the core of the survey of Asian painting. There will be weekly assignments, some of which consist of "building" a longer paper, step by step. Grades are based on these assignments and class participation. No hour exams nor final exam. Books: Tarao Miyagawa, Chinese Painting and Terakazu Akiyama, Japanese Painting. Cost:4 WL:4 (Mannikka)

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. Cost:2 WL:4 (Miesel)

380/Class. Arch. 380/Anthro. 380. Minoan and Mycenaean Archaeology. Hist. of Art 221 and 222, or permission of instructor. (3). (Excl).

See Class. Arch. 380. (Cherry)

383(485). The Art of Southeast Asia. Hist. of Art 103 or permission of instructor. (3). (HU).

This course will focus on the great monuments of Southeast Asia such as the Borobudar in Java and Angkor Wat in Cambodia. Astronomy, philosophy, and religion provided the conceptual building blocks which structured form and meaning into these massive temples in sandstone and brick. The function of the temples, their role in education, society, and politics, and the reasons for their demise or decline will be examined. By the end of the course one should also be able to distinguish national sculptural styles and the iconographic traits that define the major Buddhist and Brahmanical gods. Recommended special background: art history courses and/or courses in Asian religion or culture. Grades are based on weekly assignments, some of which are stages in the "building" of a longer paper; class participation is also factored into the grading process. No hour exams, no final exam. Cost:3 WL:4 (Mannikka)

394. Special Topics. (3). (Excl). May be elected for credit more than once.
Section 001 The Lure of Italy: American and British Visitors to Florence in the Nineteenth Century.
The seminar will focus on certain British and American writers and artists who visited Florence during the nineteenth century. The goals of the course will be to view Florence through nineteenth-century eyes and to trace changes in the manner in which the city was perceived during this period. The course will begin with a discussion of the phenomenon of the Grand Tour and an examination of the place that Florence came to occupy in it; next it will discuss John Ruskin, whose writings were fundamental to the "discovery" of Florence and Tuscany in the second half of the nineteenth century; thereafter it will introduce the Brownings, whose influential residence in the city began in spring of 1847. Participants in the seminar will be expected to read a variety of materials for each session and will prepare a draft for a research proposal that might be developed at a later date and in some other context. Cost:1 WL:4 (Smith)

Section 002 African Religious Imagery. In many African cultures religion prescribes as well as informs works of art and their meanings. A richly diverse repertoire of motifs and images associated with beliefs therefore exists. While religious symbols may be widely shared, significant variations on themes can also be discerned. The course attempts to address this as its central issue. Its concerns are two-fold: on the one hand, with motifs that mediate human's relationship with otherworldly phenomena; and, on the other hand, with forms that articulate his/her world view. Imagery may have multiple associations. Their meanings may change over time. Interpretations of motifs and forms will, therefore, also consider their specific cultural and historical contexts. Cost:2 WL:4 (Quarcoopome)

Open to Upperclass Students and Graduate Students

424/Class. Arch. 424. Archaeology of the Roman Provinces. Hist. of Art 221 or 222; or permission of instructor. (3). (HU).

See Classical Archaeology 424. (Alcock)

444. Romanesque Art. Hist. of Art 101 or permission of instructor. (3). (HU).

This course explores the rise of the monumental arts in Western Europe, culminating in the twelfth century renaissance in France. Particular attention will be given to the development of the arts along the Pilgrimage Roads and to the great expressionist sculptures at Moissac, Vezelay and Autun. Course requirements: selected readings from material in the Fine Arts Library; a short paper for undergraduates; a longer paper for graduate students; midterm and final. (Forsyth)

453. Venetian Painting. Hist. of Art 102 or permission of instructor. (3). (Excl).

Following introductory remarks on the extraordinary history and character of Venice, the course will survey North Italian and especially Venetian painting from the early 14th C. to the late 16th C., that is as it evolves from the first stirrings of a personal idiom, through the florid International Style to Early Renaissance realism and High Renaissance idealism, and finally to a moving "Counter-Renaissance" statement. The period 1450-1600, including such masters as Mantegna, Carpaccio, Giovanni Bellini, Giorgione, Titian, Tintoretto, and Veronese will be featured. Attempts will be made to define the special qualities of the Venetian tradition and the creative uniqueness of its leading exponents while embedding the paintings in their historical/cultural contexts. Evaluation: (1) For students taking the course to satisfy the ECB requirement three papers of modest length and a non-essay type final exam (2) All other students midterm and final exams of essay type. Cost:1 WL:4 (Bissell)

463. Varieties of Dutch and Flemish Painting. Hist. of Art 102 and 260, or permission of instructor. (3). (Excl).

This course deals with the pictorial art and visual culture of the Netherlands during the seventeenth century. We will be looking primarily at painting, but also at drawings and prints, to examine the diversity and types of images produced, and to situate them within their historical and cultural circumstances. The course will give special emphasis to the illusionistic and descriptive artistry for which Dutch and Flemish artists were justly famous. It will explore the character and meanings of this celebrated naturalism, and will consider the social, political and ideological functions of the Netherlandish pictorial arts, the status of art and artists, and the conditions of artistic production and consumption. Classes will consist predominantly of lectures, followed by brief class discussions of issues raised in the lectures and weekly reading assignments. Students will be asked to write one short paper of 4-5 pages by midterm and a longer paper of 10-12 pages due at the end of the term. There will be a brief midterm as well as a final examination. Cost:2 WL:4 (Brusati)

479. Nineteenth-Century Masters. Hist. of Art 102, or 271, or permission of instructor. (3). (Excl).
Section 001 A History of Open Air Landscape Painting.
The course will be in part a history of landscape painting, but will concentrate on the practice of outdoor painting, which has a long history beginning in the 17th century. We shall briefly study 17th and 18th century developments, beginning with Claude Lorrain, but begin to concentrate more closely on the successive stages of open air practice that emerge in topographical painting and the work of Constable in the early 19th century. We shall then move to the painting of the Barbizon School in France and the new, intensified efforts of the realists and impressionists starting in the 1850s. At that point we shall concentrate on selected impressionist painters, probably, Monet, Pissarro, and Cézanne. Two essay exams (and a paper for History of Art concentrators and graduate students) will be required. Cost:1 WL:2 (Isaacson)

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

This course is 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, Wendy O. Flaherty's Hindu Myths, William Archer's The Loves of Krishna, and W. Spink's Krishna Mandala will be used. The major course requirements are a short paper, a midterm, and a final paper in lieu of a final exam. 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)

494. Art of China. Hist. of Art 103 or permission of instructor. (3). (Excl).

This course provides an introduction to the art of China from the Neolithic period to the Twentieth Century, with special emphasis on Bronze Age arts (bronze vessels and jades), recent archaeological discoveries, Buddhist sculpture, and figure and landscape painting. The approach is rather strictly chronological, and students are expected to learn something of the history, religion, geography, etc., of China as well as its art. The main requirements will be a final exam and a term paper of ten pages (for undergraduates) on a subject of the student's choice. Although History of Art 103 (Arts of Asia) is very desirable as a prerequisite, students with some other previous course work in the history, culture, or language of China may take this course without seeking permission of the instructor beforehand. However, students with no prior experience at all in the study of China may find this course too difficult, because of the unfamiliar names, terminology, and Buddhist iconography. Cost:1 WL:4 (Kane)

514. Spanish Art: El Greco to Goya. Hist. of Art 102 or permission of instructor. (3). (Excl).

From lectures that formulate a notion of the spiritual bond between apparently dissimilar works of Spanish art, the course passes to in-depth analyses of selected major Spanish painters from the late 16th century to the early 19th century. Religious imagery, genre, still-life, portraits, mythology, and landscapes by El Greco, Ribalta, Ribera, Veláquez, Zurbarán, Murillo and Goya will be featured as we confront and attempt to explain extraordinary expressive extremes, from the explosively passionate to the dream-like, from realism to idealism. The cultural/historical situations, the creative uniqueness, and yet the essential "Spanishness" of each of these masters will be explored in a lecture format, keyed to a syllabus and supplemented by required (J. Brown, The Golden Age of Painting in Spain ) and suggested reading and continual study of the visual material. Evaluation will be by way of midterm and final examination of essay format. Cost:2 WL:4 (Bissell)

520/Museum Practice 520. Fundamentals of Museum Practice. Junior standing, and permission of instructor. (3). (Excl).

An introduction to the museum's role in collecting, preserving, displaying, and interpreting original works of art. The course, taught by the Director and staff members of the Museum of Art, will present the organization and operation of art museums today. It will cover the historical development of private and public collecting in Europe and America and will explore the evolution of museums as organizations and buildings. Special attention will be paid to the philosophical, ethical, political, financial, and cultural issues facing museums today. In addition the class will explore: trends in museum architecture, the care handling of museum objects, computerized registration and record keeping, the organization of special exhibitions, theory and practice in museum education, curatorial responsibilities, museum administration, and fund raising. Combined lecture/seminar format. Open to juniors, seniors, and graduate students. Permission of the instructor is required. (Hennessey)

542. Byzantine Art. Hist. of Art 101 or permission of instructor. (3). (Excl).

This course examines Byzantine art of the ninth to the fifteenth centuries AD, examining key works of art especially monumental art in terms of their forms, functions, historical situations, and meanings as articulated through modes of interpretation adopted by Byzantine viewers and modern scholars. Our principle endeavor will be to investigate the imagery of the Byzantine empire as it manifested itself in the capital city, Constantinople, and in the provinces. Lecture and class discussions will be supplemented by brief oral and written reports. There will be a midterm and final exam. Cost:3 WL:3 (Thomas)

580. Twentieth-Century Masters. Hist. of Art 102, 272, or permission of instructor. (3). (Excl).
Section 001 Pablo Picasso and Marcel Duchamp.
The course will examine in detail the works of two of the 20th Century's most influential masters, Pablo Picasso and Marcel Duchamp. The format will be lecture and discussion. There will be two examinations, a midterm and final, as well we two analytical/ interpretive papers (seven pages each). Cost:2 WL:4 (Miesel)


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.