Courses in History of Art (Division 392)


Spring 1997

Open to All Undergraduates; Not Open to Graduate Students.

151. Art and Ideas East and West. (3). (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. Students will be assessed a lab fee of $15. Cost:2 WL:4 (Spink)

214/CAAS 214. Introduction to African-American Art. (3). (Excl).

This course surveys the visual arts of African descendants residing in the United States. Beginning approximately in the mid-19th Century, and continuing until the present, the lectures and discussions will cover important topics, issues, and art productions within the context of African-American cultural history. Subject-matter, style and technique, training and patronage, content and meaning will be examined as a means of identifying and comprehending the social, cultural, political and economic milieu of the African-American vis-¦-vis mainstream Euro-American society. Course topics are: 19th Century Domestic and Folk arts and Architecture, 19th Century Fine Arts: Painting and Sculpture, 20th Century: From the New Negro Movement to the Cold War Era, 20th Century: Civil Rights Movement and Black Nationalism, 20th Century: Postmodernism and the Construction of Identity. Within each topic, one or more specific themes will be examined such as the diaspora of Africa in 19th Century folk/popular art forms, the abolitionist as patron, the muralist tradition, Black aesthetics, and the ancestral legacy of African art. There will be assigned readings from class text and/or course pack, and an object-study list (slide identification) for exam preparation. There will be two scheduled exams (19th and 20th Centuries), and a research paper/project. Students are encouraged to meet and research an undocumented Black artist or propose an interdisciplinary topic such as the aesthetics of improvisation. (Patton)

394. Special Topics. (1-3). (Excl). May be elected for credit more than once.
Section 101 Botanical Gardens, Zoos, and Scientific Voyages: Images of Natural History, 1760-1860. (1 credit). This class will meet May 7 through May 28.
Students will explore relationships between scientific inquiry, colonial expansion, and visual representation. Images of natural history blur the boundary of fine art and scientific document. They also describe complicated relationships between Self and Other, or exotic. What is the role of aesthetics in such work? What is the role of politics? Artists who traveled with Captain James Cook to the South Pacific, artists who traveled independently in Latin America, as well as artists who worked at "home" in botanical gardens and zoos created pictures of landscape and likenesses of plants and animals. How might topographical map-making and visual descriptions of plant and animal life express desired or actual dominion over foreign soil (or, in some instances, one's homeland)? During this short course, students will consider questions regarding artists' contributions to the interests of scientific inquiry and colonial expansion. Cost:1 WL:4 (Anderson)

Section 102 Picturing Memory: Case Studies of Post-War Representation. Two Case Studies: The Holocaust and Japanese American Internment. Working outwards from two different World War II era examples the Genocide of the European Jewish community and Japanese American internment in the United States this course will explore attempts by individuals and groups to represent and remember these difficult events. Through lectures, readings, screenings and guest speakers, we will engage a wide range of media, (including photography/film/video, painting, installation, poetry, popular press, oral testimony and public monuments), as well as various perspectives (personal, communal, national) to examine the role of memory in the continual shaping of cultural and ethnic identities. Requirements for the course will be regular journal entries, short weekly response papers based on readings, class participation, and a final project/paper. The final project will be tailored to students' specific interests. Creative final projects will be encouraged. This is an interdisciplinary course suited to students in a wide range of disciplines including Art History, Anthropology, Sociology, Political Science, History, Philosophy, Psychology, American Culture, and Fine Art. Cost:2 WL:4 (Alinder/Lehrer)


Summer 1997

Open to All Undergraduates; Not Open to Graduate Students.

394. Special Topics. (3). (Excl). May be elected for credit more than once.
Section 201 Indian Painting: Warriors & Lovers.
Indian paintings reflect the history and multivalent culture of a vast and very ancient land. This course examines how the different cultural systems within India responded to and interpreted life, faith and each other, not organized historically in terms of the development of form, but by genre. Questions we will consider include: In what manner does the Indian language of art represent thinking of more than just phenomenal reality? To what extent are the arts of music, poetry, dance, and painting believed to be key expressions of the human soul? and How are paintings capable of revealing the dominance of an emotional state? Thus, the discourses of love and war, subjects which obsessed Indian artists, will guide the class through the range and diversity of Indian painting, in the attempt to recognize indigenous and local social perspectives. Viewings of private and public collections will supplement class lectures and discussions. Students will be required to write two short papers, as well as take two short tests. Cost:2 WL:4 (Totton)

Section 202 Medieval Visions of Romance and Chivalry. Some elements of courtly art of the twelfth through fourteenth centuries seem very glamorous to the modern eye. Indeed, recent authors argue that artists and patrons deliberately created a "glamorous" image. Artists used techniques comparable to those of Madison Avenue: exotic elements, "sex-appeal" in a sense related to our own, and often a focus on style and decoration over material value. At times, the function of courtly art was not far removed from that of modern consumer goods. This course examines courtly art in Europe and its Islamic roots, with a special focus on images of knights and lovers. It covers castles and palaces, illuminated manuscripts, ivories, pottery, clothing and textiles, including works in the University Museum of Art. Readings include primary sources and historical analysis as well as studies of material culture and consumer society. Cost:1 WL:4 (Waugh)

Open to Upperclass Students and Graduate Students

458. Florentine Sculpture of the Renaissance. Hist. of Art l02 or 250; or permission of instructor. (3). (Excl).

Following an introduction to the nature of sculpture as an art form and a brief unit on innovative achievements in Italian Medieval sculpture, the course will trace in detail the history of Florentine sculpture from the sumptuous International Style through the genesis and evolution of Early Renaissance realism to the heroic vision of the High Renaissance. Lectures on a select number of masters (above all Ghiberti, Donatello, Luca della Robbia, Verrocchio, and Michelangelo) will consider the works as at once products of specific sociocultural contexts, as testimony to special creative genius, and as aesthetic objects which by instructing and moving us can change us forever. The lectures, keyed to a syllabus, will be supplemented by required and optional reading (for which a bibliography and reserve books will be provided) and continual study of the visual material, all leading to evaluation by way of a midterm and a final examination, both of essay format. Cost:2 WL:4 (Bissell)


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