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 (Tabbaa)

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).

This course is a survey of topics in European and American Art from the late 14th century to the present, as well as an introduction to the techniques of art history. It will examine institutions such as patronage and the art market, the changing roles of artists in society, art and its public, and the changing functions of art. Weekly discussion sections will be devoted to building skills in visual analysis and critical reading of art-historical literature. There will be at least one optional film presentation and one optional field trip to the Detroit Institute of Arts. Requirements: attendance at lectures, informed participation in section meetings, regular reading assignments, several short papers and examinations. Texts will include a comprehensive survey book (title to be announced), Barnet's Short Guide to Writing About Art, and an anthology of articles. There are no prerequisites for this course. Cost:3 WL:4 (Zurier)

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

This course will take a topical approach to the arts of Asia rather than attempt a broad survey. One segment will trace the transmission of Buddhist arts (particularly architecture, painting, and sculpture) across northern Asia from the tradition's origins in India across China and into Japan. The Ming/Qing capital of Beijing and the Tokugawa capital of Edo (modern Tokyo) will be analyzed as symbols of political power. The course will also examine the social values inscribed in secular painting and graphic arts such as Chinese landscape painting, Indian miniatures, and Japanese wood block prints. Course work will include two short essays, a midterm and a final exam. No prerequisites. Freshmen and sophomores especially welcome. Cost:2 WL:4 (Reynolds)

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 10000 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 with multi-media computer-based "learning modules," and by participation in small discussions focused on special theoretical topics. Grades will be based on a term project, discussion participation, and two essay slide exams. (Kirkpatrick)

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 Metropolitan Lives; the Ashcan School and their New York.
This seminar investigates what works of art can tell us about the society and culture in which they were made, through hands-on work with original art and historical material. We will focus on a particular time and place New York City in the first years of the twentieth century and a particular group of artists who were dedicated to exploring the highlife and lowlife they observed on the streets of the city. The "Ashcan School" were among the first Americans to bring themes from popular culture into the world of "high art." Our seminar will examine the making of the New York art world, and the artists' work and philosophy. We will develop skills in visual analysis and interpreting works of art. But we will also reconstruct the social world of a particular tumultuous era in urban history, when immigration, the entertainment business, labor strife and new forms of Commercial activity helped transform New York and eventually shaped modern American culture. Students will work directly with original works of art in museums and private collections, and do first-hand reading and research in turn-of-the-century documents: literature, photographs, newspapers, popular music, movies, and art criticism produced in New York City during the Ashcan artists' years. WL:2 (Zurier)

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

See Classical Archaeology 221. (Herbert)

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

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 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 the artist and nature; and the relationship between the artist and the public. These themes are discussed with 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 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. Cost:2 WL:2

285(386). Introduction to the Art and Architecture of the Islamic World. (3). (HU).

This course introduces the arts of the Middle East and North Africa from the seventh to the seventeenth century, including architecture, painting, and the decorative arts. The course is divided into large epoches within which various typological, stylistic, and thematic issues are treated as unified entities. Throughout an attempt has been made to limit the number of monuments and objects by selecting the best and most representative examples for the questions under discussion. It is hoped that this course will provide a general understanding of the historical evolution and regional variation of Islamic art and perhaps a deeper appreciation of its major themes. Requirements: 2 short papers (3-4 pp.), midterm, and final. Cost:3 WL:4 (Tabbaa)

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:2 WL:3 (Mannikka)

394. Special Topics. (3). (Excl). May be elected for credit more than once.
Section 001 Scholarly and Popular Constructions of Ancient Nubia.
This course will examine the historical context of Ancient Nubian material culture (ca. 3500 BC AD 500) as it is constructed by scholars and others. Archeological materials, museum collections and other materials including literature and visual arts will be studied in this course. Topics include interpreting and exhibiting material culture, representations of ancient Nubia, historiography, and the interaction between scholarly and popular trends. Students will be expected to work with artifacts in the Kelsey Museum. Coursework includes one or more focused projects, either individual or group; two quizzes, and one research paper. Course texts are David O'Connor, Ancient Nubia, Egypt's Rival in Africa, (1993) and a course pack. Class instruction consists of lectures and class discussions, and museum practice. Cost:2 (Thomas and Patton)

Open to Upperclass Students and Graduate Students

411. Interpretations of Landscape. Hist. of Art 102, 103 or permission of instructor. (3). (Excl).

This course examines the evolution of the taste for landscape painting as a special topic in art history. The taste for landscape painting evolved both in China and in Europe under social circumstances which, though hardly identical, are open to historical comparison. The course centers around essays on the problem of landscape painting by historians of Chinese and European art history as well as translated readings from early treatises on landscape, East and West. We shall discuss problems such as the types of patron groups that foster landscape painting, relations between economic development, tourism and landscape painting, the rhetorical uses of landscape painting, the relationship between landscape painting and practices of land ownership, the transferal of social values onto the landscape and critical terms employed in discourses of landscape painting. Readings include essays by John Barrell, Ann Bermingham, James Cahill, E.H. Gombrich, Joseph Koerner, Richard Vinograd and others. There will be a midterm during which passages from the assigned reading will be presented for interpretation. There will also be a final and a term project focusing on a specific Chinese landscape painting, preferably one in local collections. (Powers)

436/Class. Arch. 436. Hellenistic and Roman Architecture. Hist. of Art 101 or 221 or 222; or permission of instructor. (3). (HU).

See Classical Archaeology 436.

443/Class. Arch. 443. Greeks in the West. Hist. of Art 221, or permission of instructor. (3). (HU).

See Classical Archaeology 443. (Pedley)

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)

482. Buddhist Art. (3). (Excl).

This course will present a detailed survey of the Buddhist architecture, sculpture, and painting of India, Southeast Asia, Tibet, China and Japan, with particular emphasis on the development of these arts in response to the evolution of Buddhist doctrine and changes in devotional practices. Students should therefore bring to the course an interest in Buddhism as a religion, as well as some prior knowledge of the history and culture of the countries involved. The main requirements will be a final exam and a term paper on a subject of the student's choice. Cost:1 WL:4 (Kane)

485. The Art of Thailand and Burma. Hist. of Art 103 and 383. (3). (Excl).

Buddhism as it was exported from Sri Lanka served as a unifying force in the development of Thai and Burmese art and architecture, yet classic sculptural styles remained distinctive in each nation, and the architectural centers at Pagan and Sukhothai represent completely different modes of expression. The Mons in Thailand and Burma will be compared for similarities and differences in their art and temples from the 6th through the 13th centuries. Also, the role of royal patronage in each nation, and urban planning and cosmology, will be examined for influences on the great centers of temple construction. The final grade will be based on class participation, weekly quizzes, and brief assignments. Cost:2 WL:3 (Mannikka)

589. Rajput Painting. Hist. of Art 103 or 493 or permission of instructor. (3). (Excl).
Section 001 Indian Painting: Rajput and Mughal.
A study of the important schools of Rajput painting from the 15th through the 19th 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. This course is designed for upperclassmen and graduate students, and is of special interest to those concentrating in the field of Asian art. Required text M. Beach, Mughal and Rajput Painting (Cambridge). Students will be evaluated by means of short papers and one examination. Cost:2 WL:4 (Spink)

590. Special Topics Japanese Art. Hist. of Art 391 or permission of instructor. (3). (Excl).
Section 001 Woodblock Prints.
The class will examine woodblock prints of the late 17th through the late 19th centuries and their relationship to literature and popular culture. Topics will include: life in the "pleasure quarter," Kabuki theater, the representation of sexuality and gender, censorship, and the parody of both contemporary life and literary and artistic traditions. The class will draw on recent scholarship on prints, Edo literature, and writings in cultural studies. Two class presentations and a research paper required. Cost:3 WL:4 (Reynolds)


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