Courses in History of Art (Division 392)

Open to All Undergraduates; Not Open to Graduate Students.

151. Art and Ideas East and West. (2). (HU).

In this course a comparative study is made of eastern and western cultural forms, ideas and values as these are reflected in examples of painting, sculpture, and architecture as well as in poetry, music and other forms of creative expression. This course also compares western and eastern attitudes toward significant cultural themes such as time, nature, death, God, love, and action. Cost:1 WL:4 (Spink)

394. Special Topics. (3). (Excl). May be elected for credit more than once.
Section 101 The Politics of Collecting: Controversies and Social Issues from the Renaissance to the Present Day.
Given current controversies about public funding for the arts, it behooves us to examine the value and role of collecting in our society. How can we critically examine the activity of collecting and the institutions it engenders like the public museum, the private collection, and the discipline of art history itself? This course explores these issues through readings, lectures, discussions, and field trips to local museums and collections. We will study the history of collecting in Europe and America in order to better understand the purposes and structures of current collecting establishments. We will also compare our own collecting practices to those of other cultures. Readings drawn from anthropology, sociology, art history, psychology, history, women's studies, literature, and the popular press, will be combined with case studies of the histories and controversies revolving around particular institutions, such as the Barnes Collection, the Detroit Institute of the Arts, and the collecting institutions of the University of Michigan. Finally we will consider international art controversies (such as the dispute over ownership of the so-called "Elgin Marbles") and investigate the role played by the art market in international politics. Requirements for the course are one midterm exam and a final paper. The paper may take a number of forms, such as an interview with a collector or a museum official, an analysis of a particular collection or the provenance of a particular work of art, a hypothetical exhibition, or a treatment of a thematic topic central to the concerns of the course. Cost:2 WL:4 (Schmitter)

Section 102 "Primitive" Women. Edward Said believes that art was an integral part of colonial discourse and helped create an atmosphere in which imperial expansion was possible. In this context representations of 'other' women are seen variously as exotic and sexual (inviting relations); immoral (needing redemption); simple and naive (needing protection); and noble (requiring preservation). This course surveys the development of, and changes in, the concept 'primitivism' in European painting from the beginning of the 19th century (when many European countries were making tentative interventions in African, American, and Oceanic territories) to the middle of the 20th (when most of the globe was under some form of European influence) and especially the political and sexual ideologies attached to paintings of women of 'other,' generally colonial, cultures. Cost:1 WL:4 (Reister)

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