Spring/Summer Course Guide

Courses in History of Art (Division 392)

History of Art 101, 102, 103 and 108, while covering different areas, are all considered equivalent introductions to the discipline of art history. These four introductory survey courses consider not only art objects as aesthetic experiences but also the interactions among art, the artist, and society. The lecture and discussion sections explore the connections between the style and content of works of art and the historical, social, religious, and intellectual phenomena of the time. Attention is also given to the creative act and to the problems of vision and perception which both the artist and his/her public must face.

Although it would be logical to move from History of Art 101 to History of Art 102, this is not required. One course in European/American art (101 or 102) and one course in Asian or African art (103 or 108) serve as a satisfactory introduction to the history of art for non-concentrators (concentrators should see the department's handbook for more information on requirements). 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.

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. Photographic material is available for study in the Image Study Gallery, G026 Tisch Hall. Examinations usually include short essays and slides which are to be identified, compared, and discussed.




Spring Half-Term, 1998 (May 5-June 23, 1998)

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Open to All Undergraduates; Not Open to Graduate Students.

151. Art and Ideas East and West. (3). (HU). Laboratory fee ($15) required.

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:2 WL:4 (Spink)
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332/Amer. Cult. 332. Art on Trial: American Public Monuments and Political Controversy. (3). (HU).

This course probes political controversy in American public art, particularly around representations of gender and race. Unit I introduces the set of issues at stake through study of a monument close to home: the bronze "Dream Plaques" by Michigan sculptor Marshall Fredericks adorning the LS&A Building. These sculptures have been the subject of heated campus debate periodically since their installation shortly after World War II. Much concern has focused on the perceived male-chauvinist essentializing characterization of the "girl" and her dream and the perceived racist ethno-class exclusivity of the nostalgic WASP pioneer fantasy. Students will investigate these sculptures (which have not yet been published analytically) via their specific historical context first of initial design and second of ultimate casting and installation - with reference to biographical features of the artist as well as circumstances of the commission by the University of Michigan. Skills of first-hand analysis and archival research will be emphasized in Unit I. In Unit II, the course will view the "Dream Plaques" in the context of issues of race, class, and gender in American public art of the 1930s and 1940s much more broadly. Here, skills of critical reading of historical case studies will be emphasized along with skills of comparative analysis of stylistic, narrative, and symbolic features of various New Deal art works that raise focal issues of race, class, and gender. In Unit III the class explores selected readings on recent public art controversies in the U.S. relating particularly to the focal issues of the course. Site and museum visits within Ann Arbor as well as to Chelsea and Detroit, lively class discussion, slide lectures, films, and guest speakers will all play an important part in this experience. Basis of Evaluation: Short paper in Unit I; Midterm in Unit II; Group project to devise, deploy, and interpret a public opinion poll on the Dream Plaques in Unit III. Participation in discussions. Books (paperback) for purchase and on course reserve in Fine Arts Library. Cost:2 , Lab fee: $20 WL:4 (Root)
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Summer Half-Term, 1998 (June 29-August 18, 1998)

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Open to All Undergraduates; Not Open to Graduate Students.

150. Great Masters of European and American Painting. No credit granted to those who have completed or are enrolled in 102. (3). (Excl).
In scope and approach not applicable as a History of Art concentration prerequisite, this course is designed for those who, as part of a broad liberal education, wish to enhance their sensitivity to artistic expression. Concentrating upon twelve extraordinary creative personalities in the history of European painting (Giotto, Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo, Titian, El Greco, Caravaggio, Artemisia Gentileschi, Rubens, Rembrandt, Goya, Cezanne, and Picasso), and emphasizing themes particularly relevant to each of these artists, it seeks to suggest the vastness and profundity of their contribution to human understanding. A complete syllabus, the text (F. Hartt, A History of Painting, Sculpture, and Architecture, vol. II, PB), directed optional reading, a small set of prints, and photo-study facilities will complement the lectures, and students will be evaluated by way of a midterm and a final exam. Cost:2 WL:4 (Bissell)
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394. Special Topics. (1-3). (Excl). May be elected for credit more than once.
Section 201 Picturing Chinese Femininity and Masculinity: Gender and Painting in the Song and Yüan Dynasties. (2 credits).
How are the *feminine* and *masculine* represented in Chinese art? This course will consider how 10th-14th century Chinese paintings combine gendered imagery and text/image tropes. We will begin by studying the setting of figure paintings in gendered space and the coding of landscapes and bird-and-flower paintings as masculine or feminine. We will then focus on how images of women (an often marginalized genre of Chinese art) help to construct Chinese ideas of both femininity and masculinity, with some attention to the contributions of female patrons, collectors, and painters. Because in imperial China artists used strategies drawn from the poetic tradition in their paintings, students will read and analyze translations of Chinese poetry. Other translations of primary sources will be introduced as appropriate. Requirements for the course are a midterm exam and a take-home final exam. Cost:1 WL:2 (Blanchard)
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Section 202 Rembrandt and 17th-Century Dutch Art. (2 credits). This course will be an intensive seven week study of Rembrandt's oeuvre and studio practices as well as the pictorial production of his students and/or followers. The aim of this course is two-fold. First, we will attempt to locate Rembrandt's artistic production, both paintings and prints, in relation to larger trends in 17th century Dutch and Flemish art. This survey will allow us to question the "Dutchness" of Rembrandt's pictorial production. We will also compare Rembrandt's career as an artist to that of his famous Flemish counterpart Peter Paul Rubens in order to see how these different personalities along with their studios artist to that of his famous Flemish counterpart Peter Paul Rubens in order to see how these different personalities along with their studios created and marketed an artistic identity. Second, we will investigate the conception of "Rembrandt" within the historiography of Dutch art and how our understanding of the artist has changed since the seventeenth century and why. Most recently, the question of whether a painting is an actual "Rembrandt" or a work by a student and/or follower has been posed by the Rembrandt Research Project as well as in museum exhibitions. The implications of this question of authenticity will be explored and problematized ultimately raising questions about how pictorial value is produced. Class time will consist of lectures and discussions of the readings and possibly a trip to the DIA or the print room at the University Museum of Art. Students will be expected to actively participate in daily discussions in addition to preparing a midterm, final exam, and a term paper (ten pages) or two shorter papers. Cost:2 WL:2 (Hildebrecht)
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Spring/Summer Term, 1998 (May 5-August 18, 1998)

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