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 art and architecture, 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 on readings drawn from a general art historical survey and a course pack. Written work will consist of two short papers on objects in the Kelsey Museum and the Museum of Art; there will be a midterm and a final examination. This course, with History of Art 102, is meant to provide a foundation in the history of western art and will be useful to students taking higher level courses in the department. Cost:2 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).

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, 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. Requirements: informed participation in section meetings, regular reading assignments, three short papers, midterm, and a final examination. 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 (Sharf)

108/CAAS 108. Introduction to African Art. (4). (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 10,000 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 a multi-media computer-based "learning module," museum visits, film viewings, and by participation in small discussion groups. Grades will be based on a three short papers and a final exam. (Kusnerz)

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. (Kapetan)

211/UC 182/WS 211. Gender and Popular Culture. (3). (HU).

"Popular culture" is a complex social system and this course concentrates on its visual manifestations in various media. We focus on women as signs or emblems, as producers, and as consumers, of "popular culture," with some attention also to the representation of masculinity and of race/ethnicity. Mainstream and marginal, appropriated and subverting, reflective and formative, the "popularity" of certain cultures often places them outside an academic framework, but this course seeks to alter that exclusion. After a brief thematic introduction, we focus on twentieth-century American culture, examining such examples as advertising; Ken and Barbie dolls; parental roles in film and prime-time television; romance in fiction or films like Pretty Woman and Waiting to Exhale; the "buddy" system in action movies and Thelma and Louise; women in music, including Madonna. Student participation will include several short papers, a final exam, and regular discussion in classes. Cost:3 WL:3 (Simons)

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

See Classical Archaeology 221. (Pedley)

271. European Painting of the Nineteenth Century. (3). (HU).

This course examines a series of remarkable episodes in modern European painting, from the assorted exploits of Classicism and Romanticism to the antagonistic emergence of Realism and Impressionism. The Nineteenth Century is the period during which modern art developed its characteristic strategies and behavioral patterns: an apparent insistence on innovation, originality and individuality: a contentious involvement with tradition; a critical relationship with both institutional and commercial culture; and a somewhat strained allegiance with radical politics and alternative subcultures. It is also the period that witnessed a thorough-going reassessment of visual representation, and a parallel concern with the designed to encourage close readings of images (by David, Gericault, Manet, Degas, Cezanne, et al.) within the parameters of both historical context and recent critical debate. Cost:2 WL:4 (Lay)

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. (Mannikka)

375. Art of the 60's. Hist. of Art 102 or 272; or permission of instructor. (3). (Excl).

The 1960s were a time of immense cultural ferment and change. Society moved out of the post-World War II period of recovery into a time of testing norms and values in many areas of society, including the arts. This course explores a cross section of the lively arts scene, especially that in the United States and Europe, in which artists challenged established modes of representation and expression, and struggled to invent new forms that would - they believed be part of a re-energized and more humane world. Among the topics covered will be art that pushed ever further issues of Modernism (including Minimalism, Op, soak-stain); art that intersected with popular media (including Pop art and the beginnings of video art); art based on investigation of the expressive uses of new technology (including Experiments in Art and Technology); art criticizing and/or questioning society (including the beginnings of feminist art, public mural art, happenings, Ed Kienholtz); and art that attempted to point to universal values (among others, Yves Klein, land art). Assigned readings will introduce the ways in which artists, critics and theorists have viewed the period from within the decade to more recent writings. Students will participate in testing some computer-based resources in development. There will be two hour exams, a final exam, and a term project/paper. Cost:2 WL:3 (Kirkpatrick)

383. The Art of Southeast Asia. (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. 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. Recommended special background: art history courses and/or courses in Asian religion or culture. (Mannikka)

386(410). Painting and Poetry in China. (3). (HU).

Many Chinese paintings are filled with imagery that a native viewer would "read" as a kind of visual poetry. They can do this by placing the painting's imagery in relationship to a long tradition of poetic writing. Teaching students how to read such paintings is one major goal of this course. In addition, the relationship of pictures to words is a more general art historical problem that occupied some of the finest minds in both the European and Chinese traditions. The problem continues to generate new and insightful writings by contemporary students of Chinese and European culture. In this course we will survey briefly some of the classic approaches to painting and poetry in the European tradition as we become acquainted with the Chinese tradition. In general, the course will focus on the discussion of actual paintings or engravings that refer to poetry and sometimes accompany poetry, but we will examine Chinese theoretical and critical literature on the issue as well. From time to time we will also look at more contemporary approaches to word/image issues, with the pragmatic goal of applying concepts to the understanding of pictures. By the end of the course students should have a store of analytical methods for relating pictures and poetry generally, but should also understand a good deal about how to read a Chinese painting for poetic content. There will be a midterm stressing terms and identifying poetic imagery and its associations. In addition, a short paper (4-6 pages) on a painting in local collections and a final will be required. Cost:2 WL:4 (Powers)

394. Special Topics. (3). (Excl). May be elected for credit more than once.
Section 001 African Religious Imagery.
The art of Africa is known for its richly diverse visual vocabulary. Images of gods, ancestors and other spirit beings, and magical charms abound. While frequently the distribution of some of these forms may appear to be geographically circumscribed, they also reflect common themes and contextual associations. Research has determined that African religious philosophy both prescribes and informs the meanings and uses of many art works. The course aims at identifying and exploring some recurring themes in African iconography. It analyses visual forms used in religious worship, dwelling mainly on interpretation of imagery and context. It considers the specific social and political conditions under which images were produced and used to shed light on their total significance. Because images sometimes have multiple associations, and because meaning and interpretation can change over time and space, the course's approach will be both cross-cultural and historical. There are no prerequisites even though it would help if undergraduate participants have had one of the following courses: History of Art 108, 360, or 404. Interested graduate students may take HA 394 as an Independent Study. Participants will be required to do weekly intensive readings contained in a course pack (which will be available at Michigan Document Services on Church Street, off S. University) and John Mbiti's Introduction to African Religion. Both reading materials are important. Students are required to attend all the lectures and failure to do so can affect performance in the class. In addition to two in-class written examinations (midterm and final), each student will be required to do a 12-15 page paper. Those opting for Independent Study will produce a 20-25 page paper. Cost:2 WL:4 (Quarcoopome)

Section 002 Michelangelo. How did Michelangelo come to epitomize the notion of genius in Western culture? As an in-depth examination of the artistic career of Michelangelo and his critical fortune, this course will consider works by the artist in terms of their immediate historical circumstances, and the ways in which they have been severed from these circumstances by various critical movements of the sixteenth to the twentieth centuries. The intention is not to produce the "real" Michelangelo, but rather to consider how constructions of the artist in biography, criticism, fiction, film, and contemporary news media serve various historical and critical ideologies. The "Michelangelo cults" of the sixteenth, nineteenth and twentieth centuries have produced the artist variously as an autonomous genius, as an "individual" whose artistic project is one of autobiographical disclosure and self-revelation, and as a pioneer of artistic modernity. Among the areas of focus will be Michelangelo's recent appearance in histories of the self and of sexual identity. For Fall Term, 1996, this section is offered jointly with RC Hums. 333.004. Cost:2 WL:4 (Campbell)

Section 003 From Picasso to Tharp: Collaboration in Art, Film, and Dance in the 20th-Century. For Fall Term, 1996, this section is offered jointly with RC Humanities 333.003. (GennÈ)


Open to Upperclass Students and Graduate Students

405. Artists and Patrons. Hist. of Art 101 or permission of instructor. (3). (HU). May be elected for credit more than once with permission of chair.
Section 001 The Ancient Persian Empire.
This course offers an INTRODUCTION to the luxury arts, visual devices of administration (seals and coins), sculptural/architectural topographies created under the patronage of the Persian kings Cyrus, Darius, Xerxes, and Artaxerxes and their court circles of royal wives, nobles, bureaucrats, priests, diplomatic messengers, and even camel drivers. Illustrated lectures/discussions will contextualize the visual record of empire via primary documents (Persian as well as Greek) in translation; they will broach issues of gender-encoded political program, visualities of imperial cult through symbols and metaphors, plausible scenarios of reception and response, artistic identities within a court workshop environment, concepts of "court style," "personal style," and "popular/regional style" - all in an arena of "universal empire" engaged from Greece and Egypt eastward across Western Asia to India and the Siberian steppes. There will be a course pack at Accu-Copy and Reserves in the Fine Arts Library, Tappan Hall. Lab Fun: experimentation with an instructional CD-ROM research exploration tool developed by Prof. Root and ITD. Midterm and Final. Eight-page research paper (aided by CD-ROM explorations) written and evaluated in two stages. Cost:2 WL:4 (Root)

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

See Classical Archaeology 427. (D'Arms)

439/Class. Arch. 439. Greek Vase Painting. (3). (HU).

See Classical Archaeology 439. (Herbert)

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 with Pilgrimage Roads and to the great expressionist sculptures at Moissac, VÈzelay, 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. For Fall Term, 1996, this section is offered jointly with MARC 423.001. Cost:2 WL:4 (Forsyth)

451. High Renaissance Art in Italy. Hist. of Art 102 or 250; or permission of instructor. (3). (Excl).

A series of case studies of uses of art by various political regimes in Italy from the fourteenth through the sixteenth centuries, focusing on areas of contrast and continuity between the city republics (Siena, Venice, early Renaissance Florence) the court centers (Ferrara and Milan) and absolutist states of the sixteenth century (Rome and Florence). Readings will be drawn from Machiavelli, Alberti, Filarete and other works of social, political, and artistic theory. For Fall Term, 1996, this section is offered jointly with MARC 403.001. Cost:4 WL:4 (Campbell)

562. Baroque Sculpture in Italy and Spain. Hist. of Art 102 or permission of instructor. (3). (Excl).

Beginning with introductory lectures on 16th-C sculptural traditions and on the stirrings of a new way of seeing and working, the course will pass to an intensive investigation of the art of Gianlorenzo Bernini. Bernini's sculpture will be studied both for what it reveals of the master's artistic genius and of the changing socio-political/religious climate in Papal Rome. The influence of Bernini's vision and the alternatives to the Berninian manner that of Baroque classicism - will then be discussed. This will be followed by a unit on the extraordinary sculpture of 17th-C Spain. The course will end with suggestions as to the constants that is, the peculiarly Baroque features within so much astonishing diversity. A complete syllabus, required (H. Howard, Bernini, Pelican PB) and suggested readings, and photo-study facilities will complement the lectures. Students will be evaluated on the basis of midterm and final examinations and a short paper. Cost:1 WL:4 (Bissell)


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.