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 Image Study Gallery, G026 Angell/Haven Connector. 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 H.A. 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 (Thomas)
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, two short papers, midterm, and a final examination. There are no prerequisites for this course. Cost:3 WL:4 (Zurier)
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. (4). (HU).
This course will explore the history of photography in the 19th and 20th century 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 contexts associated with photographic 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 their origins and influences. The class should interest students from a wide range of disciplines. Class structure combines three hours of lecture sessions a week for general structured presentation of material, with one hour of discussion section that meets weekly for deeper study of the main theories about the nature of photography and its role in shaping our understanding of the world. Assignments will include readings from course texts and completion of some computer-based tasks using special programs developed for use with this program. Grades will be based on participation in discussion sections, a term paper/project, and three slide-essay exams. Cost:2 WL:4 (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. (Kapetan)
194(210). First Year Seminar.
Section 001 – Artemisia Gentileschi: Woman Painter in 17th-Century Italy and the Art of Art History. Easily one of the most memorable creative personalities of the Baroque, and arguably the most powerfully expressive and influential women painter ever, Artemisia Gentileschi (1593-1652) has become the central figure in the long overdue recovery of the history of art produced by women. With Artemisia's pictorially aggressive and emotionally compelling pictures providing the focus, this limited-enrollment course proposes to stand as a case study of how historians of art operate in attempting to understand works of art within the complex sociocultural and personal contexts in which they were produced. Formal analysis, iconography, patronage, feminism, and psychoanalysis will be among the many areas of inquiry. Original works of art, the eye of the investigator, primary source material, library holdings, and scientific data will be among the tools, and through a combination of assigned reading, discussion, research, and oral and written reports students will sharpen their visual sensitivity, their ability to think critically and to recognize quality in art, their awareness of diversity, their communication skills, and in all their appreciation of the demands and rewards of intellectual inquiry. Cost:2 WL:4 (Bissell)
211/UC 182/WS 211. Gender and Popular Culture. (4). (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 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 contemporary American culture, examining such examples as advertising; Ken and Barbie dolls; parental roles in film and 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 research paper, a final exam, and regular discussion in classes. Cost:2 WL:4 (Simons)
221/Class. Arch. 221. Introduction to Greek Archaeology. (4). (HU).
See Classical Archaeology 221. (Herbert)
251/MARC 251. Italian Renaissance
Art, II. (4). (HU).
Section 001 – Leonardo, Raphael, Michelangelo. The course will take a new look at the three most celebrated artists of the Italian Renaissance. It will focus on the relation between their achievements in architecture, sculpture, and painting, and the crisis-ridden historical conditions in which the works were produced - it will be shown how artists exploited contemporary circumstances, and drew upon ideas of genius and divine inspiration to ensure their own reputations of universal mastery and originality. Through these figures, Renaissance and modern myths of artistic independence and individuality can be subjected to a critical scrutiny. Lectures will deal with the interpretation of the works themselves, and with the artists' careers, their interactions and rivalries, their relation to patrons and other artists. Sections will introduce some of the best of the latest scholarship on the High Renaissance, together with writings by the artists and their contemporaries. Some of these texts, which produce each artist as a "universal genius," continue to affect the perception of these artists right down to the present day. Two papers, midterm, final exam. Cost:2 WL:4 (Campbell)
260. European Painting and Sculpture of the Seventeenth Century. (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; and Baroque Realism. Each of these sub-categories and their innovative variations will then be discussed in turn, with examples of religious and historical imagery, mythology, genre, still-life, portraiture, and landscape drawn from the painting and sculpture of Italy, France, Spain, Flanders, and Holland. Attention will be given to the special sociocultural circumstances under which the works were produced, while simultaneously the uniqueness of major masters - among them Poussin, Rubens, Bernini, Velázquez, Vermeer, and Rembrandt – will be revealed. But the course will end with an attempt to demonstrate that, for all this diversity, there is an underlying philosophical unity to the art of this extraordinary period. Students will be evaluated by way of midterm and final examinations and a short museum paper. Cost:2 WL:4 (Bissell)
271. European Painting of the Nineteenth Century. (4). (HU).
This course examines a series of remarkable episodes in modern European painting, from the establishment of a quasi-official form of Classicism to the antagonistic emergence of Romanticism, 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 possibilities and limitations of the medium of painting. The course is 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:3 WL:4 (Lay)
391. Survey of Japanese Painting. (3). (Excl).
This course will survey the long and richly varied history of Japan's pictorial arts. We will examine topics such as the role of painting in the rituals of Esoteric Buddhism, the complex interaction between image and text in hand scrolls of the Heian period, the relationship between Zen and Sesshu's ink landscapes, and the political implications of the bold decorative painting of the Kano school. The course will conclude with discussion of some of the ways in which contemporary Japanese artists have reinterpreted painting traditions introduced during the term. Two short essays, a midterm, and a final exam will be required. WL:4 (Reynolds)
394. Special Topics. (3). (Excl). May be elected for credit more than once.
Section 001 – Classical Mythology and the Italian Renaissance. A seminar which will explore the conflicted and sometimes controversial re-appearance of the pagan gods of classical antiquity in Italian painting, sculpture, literature, and festivals during the fifteenth and sixteenth century, and the beginnings of the so-called humanist tradition in European art. Although frequently identified as symptoms of a broader "classical revival" in the Renaissance, closer examination reveals a diversity of motives on the part of the various groups invested in the production of mythological imagery. The works of artists such as Botticelli, Titian and Michelangelo, and of poets such as Dante, Poliziano and Ariosto, variously provide a self-image for social elites, a visualizing of the concerns of humanist scholars, and allows poets and artists to investigate the respective spheres of operation of word and image. Common to all of these groups is the idea that a connection to the past through the imaging of poets such as Ovid (whose ongoing influence will be a linking theme of the course) allows a symbolic negotiation of more contemporary concerns with power, aristocratic self-definition, the regulation of gender and sexuality, and above all the problematic status of literature and art. Literary texts will be read in English translation. One short paper, one research paper. Cost:1 WL:4 (Campbell)
Section 002 – Avant-garde and Underground Art in Russia, 1910s to 1990s. The Russian Revolution of October 1917, and its seventy-four year aftermath, was one of the most important historical events of the 20th-century. Only since the end of the Cold War, however, have we been able to gain a fuller picture of the extraordinary artistic developments that have taken place in Russia during this century. The first half of the course will examine Russian avant-garde art both before and after the revolution (Cubo-futurism, Suprematism, the Jewish Renaissance, Unovis, Constructivism, Productivism, Socialist Realism) so as to debate the controversial question of the relationship between avant-garde art and radical politics. The second half of the term will address Underground and dissident art of the 1960s and 1970s (including the "Bulldozer exhibition" of 1974); art under Gorbachev's policy of perestroika (including Sotheby's 1988 auction in Moscow); and the work of contemporary Russian artists since the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991. Finally, some consideration will be given to Russian artists of the diaspora, that is, those currently living and working in New York and Paris. Our focus will be painting, sculpture, photography, graphic design and installation art but other media such as film, opera, and performance art will also play their part. The class will be part-lecture, part-seminar. Course requirements: weekly readings, two papers, and a short class presentation. Cost:2 WL:4 (Gough)
Section 003 – Picasso to Cunningham: Collaboration in Art, Dance, and Film in the 20th-Century. For Fall Term, 1997, this section is offered jointly with RC Humanities 333.002. (Genné)
Section 004 – Japanese Portrait Traditions. The main purpose of this course is to serve as an introduction to Japanese portraits, painted, printed, and sculpted. We will encounter portraits of Chinese and Indian Buddhist monks of the eight through the twelfth century, Zen portrait paintings and sculptures of the thirteenth through the eighteenth century, secular portraiture and its development and since the late twelfth century, printed portraits of early modern times, and portraits reflecting the impact of European pictorial techniques on Japanese portraitists. Students will be introduced to related materials, including essays on portraiture, textual references to portraits, inscriptions on portraits, objects embedded in sculptures, censorship laws governing woodblock prints and related subversive practices. Students will be expected to participate in the analysis of this diverse body of material in order to attempt to gain an understanding and appreciation of how any given portrait functioned and was "read" in its day. Requirements include regular attendance, weekly assignments (short papers, brief quizzes, or discussion questions to prepare), and a longer, issue-oriented paper. Cost: 3 WL:4 (Sharf)
Open to Juniors, Seniors, and Graduate Students. Sophomores by special permission.
420/Amer. Cult. 432. National Identity in American Art. Any prior coursework in History of Art, American Culture, or American History. (3). (Excl).
This lecture/discussion course will reconsider the old question of "What's American About American Art?" by asking "when and why have people cared what's American about American art?" We will focus on a series of artistic moments – from Colonial portraiture to the reception of Abstract Expressionism during the Cold War – which artists, critics, historians, or their public have claimed were uniquely American or expressed a unified national culture. By studying related issues in political, social, and cultural history (which often reveal a nation that was anything but unified), we will examine how Americans have sought to define a national identity through art. Students who have done prior work in any aspect of art history, American history, American literature or American culture – and who are willing to do some background reading to fill in the gaps in their knowledge - are encouraged to participate. The class will include at least one field trip to view original works of art and architecture. Cost:3 WL:4 (Zurier)
422/Class. Arch. 422. Etruscan Art and Archaeology. Hist. of Art 221 or 222; or permission of instructor. (3). (HU).
The Etruscans are among the earliest identifiable peoples of the region of modern Tuscany and surrounding Italian provinces (Latium, Umbria, Emilia-Romagna, and their civilization has left numerous traces still evident today. Apart from the rich archaeological sites and museums that house works of Etruscan art, certain persistent architectural features and construction techniques common in the region have roots in the Etruscan past. This course will follow the developments of Etruscan civilization from the 7th to the 1st century B.C. and consider their influence on later periods and peoples in Italy. Works of art, archaeological artifacts, and architectural remains form the basis for discussing Etruscan artistic developments, socioeconomic and political conditions, religious and burial practices, gender issues, and historical events. Within each period of Etruscan history comparisons among the various Etruscan territories will highlight the individual characteristics of each locale and illustrate the influences of one upon another. Slide-illustrated lectures and class discussions will be complemented by field trips to the Kelsey Museum and, if possible, the Toledo Museum of Art and the Detroit Institute of Arts. There will be a midterm and a final examination consisting of slide attributions and essay questions. Short writing assignments will focus on Etruscan objects in the Kelsey Museum. Students enrolled for graduate credit must also write a substantial research paper on a topic chosen in consultation with the instructor. Class readings may include selections from Brendel, Etruscan Art; Pallottino, The Etruscans; Bonfante, Etruscan Life and Afterlife; Scullard, The Etruscan Cities and Rome; and a variety of monographs and journal articles. Cost:2 WL:4 (Gazda)
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)
435/Class. Arch. 435. The Art and Archaeology of Asia Minor. (3). (HU).
See Classical Archaeology 435. (Pedley)
448. Medieval Manuscript Illumination. Hist. of Art 101 or permission of instructor. (3). (HU).
This course offers an introduction to a major art form, highly developed in the Middle Ages: the richly illuminated hand-written book. As we now, in the computer era, are witnessing a revolution in the presentation of texts and images, the study of the history of the book becomes particularly relevant. Beginning with the invention of the codex in late antiquity, the course will cover significant developments in the form, appearance, production and use of the manuscripts in the early, central, and late Middle Ages to end with the advent of the printed book. Readings will be drawn largely from the text books of the course: Shailor, The Medieval Book; De Hamel, A History of Medieval Manuscripts; Alexander, Medieval Illuminators and their Methods of Work. There will be a midterm and a final, and students will prepare a shorter and a longer paper or project. Cost:2 WL:4
463. Varieties of Dutch and Flemish Painting. Hist.
of Art 102 and 260, or permission of instructor. (3). (Excl).
Section 001 – Pictorial Art and Visual Culture in the Dutch Republic. 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 art's celebrated naturalism, and will consider the social, political, and ideological functions of pictures, the status of art and artists, and the conditions of artistic production and consumption in the Dutch Republic. Cost:3 WL:4 (Brusati)
468. Sculptural Practices of the 20th Century. (3). (Excl).
This course will trace the radical shift in sculptural sensibility which has taken place in the art of the 20th-century: from a conception of sculpture as "object" to one of sculpture as "place." The shift that we will be investigating was once well described by the minimalist Carl Andre in terms of the successive transformation of sculptors' interest in the Statue of Liberty: "In the days of form sculptors were interested in the Statue of Liberty because of the modeling of Bartholdi and the modeling of the copper sheet that was [its] form....Then people came to be interested in structure.. . .in Eiffel's cast iron interior structure...[in] taking the copper sheets off...and looking at the cast iron or steel that constituted the structure on which the copper plates were hung. Now sculptors aren't even interested in Eiffel's structure any more. They're interested in Bedloe's Island and what to do with that. So I think of Bedloe's Island as a place." We will begin with an examination of the European avant-gardes in the early decades of the 20th-century and then turn our attention to developments in post-war American art. Specific topics will include: Picasso's constructed sculpture; Duchamp's ready-mades; Boccioni; Brancusi; Russian constructivism (Tatlin, Rodchenko et al.); Broodthaers; Minimalism (Morris, Judd, Andre); process art (Hesse, Benglis); body art (Schneemann, Pane, Nitsch et al.); axiomatic structures (Lewitt); site constructions and land art (Smithson, Heizer, Oppenheim, Long et al.); contemporary installations and environments. Classes will be part-lecture, part-discussion. Course requirements: weekly readings, two papers, and a short class presentation. Cost:2 WL:4 (Gough)
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