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.

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).
Section 001 An Introduction to Visual Culture in the West, 1300-1997.
Works of art have distinct histories which have long been described in terms of concepts such as style, taste, and tradition. But they also participate in vital ways in a series of other histories - of religion, of the state and its institutions, of public and private life. A work of art not only exemplifies valued artistic skills, but serves to visualize systems of belief, reinforcing or challenging a society's ideas on life and death, power and authority, social experience and sexual identity. As the essential introduction to visual culture from the Renaissance to the present, this course has three principal objectives: first, to familiarize students with the wide range of images constituting the canonical core from Giotto to Pollock of Western painting, sculpture, and graphic arts; second, to engage diverse methodological positions with which to interpret these images; and finally, to outline the historiography of art history as a means of exposing students to the challenges of critical analysis in the arts. Cost:2 WL:4 (Campbell/Naginski)

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. Cost:3 WL:4 (Kapetan)

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. WL:4 (Spink)

194(210). First Year Seminar. (3). (HU).
Section 001 Zen Icons? Zen Art?
This seminar will explore the arts associated with medieval and early modern Zen Buddhism in China and Japan. Students will be introduced to an established canon of landscape and figure paintings, works of calligraphy, sculptures, buildings, gardens, and Japanese tea ceremony arts that have been termed "Zen" by modern scholars and asked to explore the theoretical underpinnings of the field of "Zen art." Why are these works associated with Zen Buddhism and not others? Is there a spiritual core to "the art of Zen"? What does it mean to talk about spirituality and art? We will then explore the setting of the Zen monastery and direct our attention to religious objects such as painted and sculpted icons often ignored by modern writers because they are not easily subsumed under the modern category of "Zen art." Course requirements include weekly readings and short written assignments, class participation, and a final paper. Cost:3 WL:4 (Sharf)

Section 002 Early Renaissance Florence: Visual and Humanist Rhetoric in a Civic "Fatherland." The early fifteenth century in Florence saw intense artistic production, later characterized as a "renaissance" due to a "rebirth" of classicism. This course focuses on the artists, monuments, civic theorists and institutions which shaped the Renaissance city. The architect Brunelleschi, the painter Masaccio, the sculptors Ghiberti and Donatello, the "civic humanists" Salutati and Bruni, the art theorist Alberti, patrons such as the guilds and the Medici family, all contributed to the formation of an urban art and a republican State which still holds a place in Western ideals. The assumptions and effects of such a humanist culture will be our critical, interdisciplinary focus. A rhetoric of visual, urban order, combined with a practice of imperialist, patriarchal power, was linked to a city changing from a corporate to an elitist polity. A refashioning of civic identity resulted in discourses controlling sexuality, gendered roles, reproductive strategies and family management. The course is writing intensive, with seminar discussions. Cost:2 WL:2 (Simons)

210. Norm and Storm: Rebellion in Art. (3). (HU).

This is a course about rebellion in art. The image of the rebel is a familiar one in the late twentieth-century, being employed in the selling of rock bands, luxury sedans and political platforms. This course seeks to offer training in the critical analysis of images by taking a hard look at the history of the "rebel" image, in China, Europe, and other parts of the world. It is also hoped that students will acquire a sense of the complexities of cross-cultural comparison. By "rebellion" is meant the questioning, breaking or subversion of norms as expressed in art or in action. Students will examine works celebrating maverick social or political behavior; artists whose reputation is associated with such behavior; and works which question or subvert racial, gender or class/occupational norms. We will also consider how rebellion itself can be pressed into service as a special kind of norm. Requirements include three short papers, a final exam and participation in class. Cost:2 WL:4 (Powers)

212/Architecture 212. Understanding Architecture. Not open to students enrolled in Architecture. (3). (Excl).

This course is the principal introductory survey course in architecture. Using historical and contemporary examples, it examines the architect's role in society and the role of architecture and urban design in shaping the built environment. Upon completion of the course the student is expected to be able (1) to identify and distinguish buildings constructed in different times, places, and societies; (2) to discuss how architecture is and has been viewed and interpreted by various individuals and cultures; (3) to analyze urban forms and spaces in relation to the buildings which make them up and the people who use them; and (4) to develop and describe a personal attitude toward and understanding of the man-made environment. The format consists of two one-hour lectures per week. Several design-related exercises requiring the student to experience, analyze, interpret, and report on aspects of the built environment will be required. The course is enhanced by weekly recitation sections, which are run by five graduate teaching assistants. Recitation sections focus on improving the student's ability to venture into and sustain architectural discourse. Cost:1 WL:4 (Marzolf/Kleinman)

222/Class. Arch. 222. Introduction to Roman Archaeology. (4). (HU).

See Classical Archaeology 222. (Alcock)

272. Arts of the Twentieth Century. (4). (HU).
Section 001 The Problem of Meaning.
In this course we will explore, more or less chronologically, the work of major 20th-century European and American artists. Two fundamental issues will dominate the survey. The first concerns the way in which avant-garde artists, beginning with Picasso's influential attack on traditional pictorial conventions in Les Demoiselles d'Avignon (1907), have repeatedly, in their artistic practice over the course of the past ninety years, interrogated the nature of signification itself (in other words, how form produces meaning). Relatedly, the second issue that we will consider is the avant-garde's ambitious but theoretically highly controversial relationship to revolutionary politics. The course is designed so as to help you develop the vocabulary, the analytical and visual tools, that are necessary in order to come to grips with the great diversity of works and critical debates that constitute the history of 20th-century art. Course requirements: attendance at lectures and sections, midterm and final exams (both in-class) and two 5-8 page papers. Cost:2 WL:4 (Gough)

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 focuses on 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 essentializing characterization of the "girl" and her dream and the ethno-class exclusivity of its nostalgic WASP pioneer fantasy. Students will investigate these sculptures (which have not yet been published analytically) via their specific historical context of initial design and ultimate casting and installation; biographical features of the artist; circumstances of their commission by the University; relation of these works to New Deal art programs; and broad issues of gender, race, and class in the public art of the 1930s and 1940s. Slide lectures, guest speakers, and class discussion, supplemented by site and archive visits. In UNIT II the class explores several case studies of well-documented controversial works of public art in order to contextualize the issues raised by the Dream Plaques. In UNIT III the class will work with selected readings on legal, political, ethical issues in the treatment of specific public art controversies. Guest speakers from law and political science. Basis of evaluation: participation in discussions; research paper (written in stages, with peer critique) based on Units I-II; final group project based on Unit III students design, deploy and interpret the results of a public opinion poll on the Dream Plaques (with the written product deposited in the Bentley Historical Library). Books (paperback) for purchase and on course reserve. Cost:2 WL:4 (Root)

333. Critical Approaches to the History of Art. (3). (Excl).

This seminar examines a wide range of critical approaches to the history of art. The course aims to familiarize students with the discipline's rich and varied theoretical literature, as well as ongoing debates over the implications of differing methodologies. Readings are selected from both classic art historical texts and writings emerging from recent critical controversies. Written assignments are designed to equip students with the analytical, interpretive, and visual skills fundamental to the study of art history. Cost:2 WL:4 (Lay)

341. The Gothic Age. (3). (HU).
Section 001 Art of Medieval Paris.
During the 13th and 14th centuries, the city of Paris was preeminent in the arts. Parisian artisans, serving a broad urban clientele, created trend-setting works of art that exerted an influence in all parts of Europe. The first part of this course which offers a basic introduction to Gothic art and architecture will be devoted to reconstructing the medieval city and to becoming acquainted with surviving architectural monuments (e.g., The Cathedral of Notre-Dame, the Sainte-Chapelle). The second part will concern the making and marketing of precious objects in all media: illuminated manuscripts, ivories, works in gold, silver and enamel, tapestries. Issues of royal, aristocratic, and bourgeois patronage will frequently come to the fore. The course is timed to coincide with a major exhibition of Gothic Ivories at the Detroit Institute of Arts; field trips will be arranged. Cost:2 WL:4 (Sears)

393. Junior Proseminar. History of Art concentrators. (3). (Excl).
Section 001 Baudelaire's Paris.
This course is concerned with visual and literary culture in Paris during the Second Republic and the Second Empire. It takes as its focal point the essays, criticism, and poetry of Charles Baudelaire perhaps the most probing, and easily the most idiosyncratic and contentious observer of the cultural events of his time. Baudelaire's responses to the annual controversies of the Paris Salon, the caricatures of the daily press, the wholesale rebuilding of the capital under Louis Napoleon, and the experience of modern life are crucial to our understanding of modernism in the visual arts. The course is accordingly designed to review recent theorizations of modernism (almost all of which locate the origins of their subject in the work of Courbet and Manet) in the context of a strongly historical reading of Baudelaire's Les Fleurs de mal, Le Spleen de Paris, and his various musings on painting, sculpture, caricature, and the city. (Lay)

394. Special Topics. (3). (Excl). May be elected for credit more than once.
Section 001 Tradition and Invention: Art and Society in 18th-Century Europe.
For Winter Term, 1997, this section is offered jointly with RC Humanities 344.001. (Hennessey)

Open to Upperclass Students and Graduate Students

403/NR&E 403. History of Western Landscape Architecture. (3). (Excl).

The intent of this course is to survey the human management and design of open space throughout history. The discussions will focus on gardens, urban open spaces, and regional and environmental planning. Prototypes will be viewed and analyzed not only within the context of their own time and place, but also in terms of the influence each has had in shaping 20th century perceptions of the landscape. The potential roles landscape architects will play in shaping and managing the environment in the future will also be discussed. The course will consist of slide-illustrated lectures by the instructor and guest lecturers. There will be no regularly scheduled discussion section. Questions are welcome and encouraged during the lecture. In addition to taking a midterm and final exam, there will be a term paper.

404/CAAS 404. The Art of Africa. (3). (Excl).
Section 001 African Sculpture, 500 B.C.-A.D. 1900.
This course examines African sculptural traditions beginning from the early iron age through the recent precolonial era, c. 1890. While the class' principal focus is the celebrate Nok, Ife, Igbo Ukwu, and Benin terracottas and bronzes, it also offers excellent opportunities for understanding the cultural historical relationships that exist between them and the lesser known, somewhat enigmatic sculptures, that still remain problematic in African art history. These include such arts as the stone monoliths of Akwanshi, Esie soapstone figures, Kongo mintadi images, and the Lower Niger bronzes. The class is primarily organized around lectures. But it also includes intensive readings and discussions designed to encourage critical rethinking of key theoretical and methodological issues surrounding the various artistic traditions. More importantly, by combining the latter with a critical review of the archaeological and ethnographic records, the course promises to create new paths to a deeper understanding of the history of sculpture in sub-Saharan Africa. Cost:2 WL:4 (Quarcoopome)

437/Class. Arch. 437. Egyptian Art and Archaeology. (3). (HU).

Through illustrated lectures and sessions conducted in the Kelsey Museum of Archaeology, the course will survey Egyptian art and archaeology from Prehistory through the Greco-Roman periods, placing emphasis on art and architecture in context. Among the topics we will examine this term are the meaning and audience of Egyptian art; the major principles, themes and media of each period; the relationship of writing and art; art in relation to gender, sexuality and conceptions of the body in ancient Egypt; and the world view and religion with which Egyptian art was inextricably linked. Attention will be paid not only to the art and archaeology of the central elite, but also to that of the provinces and the middle and lower classes. The course will conclude with an examination of Egyptian "art" in museums, by considering how themes of Egyptian representation are view in the modern world. This course will also feature an optional sidebar seminar for discussion of additional readings for interested graduate students, TBA. (Richards/Wilfong)

440/Class. Arch. 440. Cities and Sanctuaries of Classical Greece. A course in archaeology or permission of instructor. (3). (HU).

See Classical Archaeology 440. (Pedley)

453. Venetian Painting. Hist. of Art 102 or permission of instructor. (3). (Excl).

Following introductory remarks on the extraordinary history and character of Venice, the course will survey North Italian and especially Venetian painting from the early 14th C. to the late 16th C., that is as it evolves from the first stirrings of a personal idiom, through the florid International Style to Early Renaissance realism and High Renaissance idealism, and finally to a moving Counter-Renaissance statement. The period 1450-1600, including such masters as Mantegna, Carpaccio, Giovanni Bellini, Giorgione, Titian, Tintoretto, and Veronese will be featured. Attempts will be made to define the special qualities of the Venetian tradition and the creative uniqueness of its leading exponents while embedding the paintings in their historical/cultural contexts. Evaluation: (1) For students taking the course to satisfy the ECB requirement three papers of modest length and a non-essay type final exam (2) All other students midterm and final exams of essay type. Cost:1 WL:4 (Bissell)

485. The Art of Thailand and Burma. Hist. of Art 103 and 383. (3). (Excl).

Buddhism as it was exported from Sri Lanka served as a unifying force in the development of Thai and Burmese art and architecture, yet classic sculptural styles remained distinctive in each nation, and the architectural centers at Pagan and Sukhothai represent completely different modes of expression. The Mons in Thailand and Burma will be compared for similarities and differences in their art and temples from the 6th through the 13th centuries. Also, the role of royal patronage in each nation, and urban planning and cosmology, will be examined for influences on the great centers of temple construction. The final grade will be based on class participation, weekly quizzes and brief assignments. (Mannikka)

487/Chinese 475/Asian Studies 475/RC Hums. 475/Phil. 475. The Arts and Letters of China. (4). (HU).

See Chinese 475. (Feuerwerker)

493. Art of India. Hist. of Art 103 or permission of instructor. (3). (Excl).

This course is designed for students with little knowledge of Indian art. It deals with architecture, sculpture, and painting, most of the monuments being closely connected with the Hindu and Buddhist religions and (to a lesser degree) the Islamic faith. A good portion of the required reading is intended to provide a background in the mythology and history of these religions; books such as H. Zimmer's Myths and Symbols in Indian Art, Wendy O. Flaherty's Hindu Myths, William Archer's The Loves of Krishna, and W. Spink's Krishna Mandala will be used. The major course requirements are a short paper, a midterm, and a final paper in lieu of a final exam. By and large the course is a lecture course, and the coverage chronological, although more attention will be given to certain topics than to others, so that certain parts of India's long tradition can be understood in some depth. History of Art 103, 151, 454 or Asia 111 all would provide a useful background for this course, although they are not essential to it. (Spink)

514. Spanish Art: El Greco to Goya. Hist. of Art 102 or permission of instructor. (3). (Excl).

Beginning with lectures that formulate a notion of the spiritual bond between apparently dissimilar works of Spanish art, the course passes to in-depth analyses of selected major Spanish painters from the late 16th to the early 19th C. Religious imagery, genre, still life, portraits, mythology, and landscapes by such masters as El Greco, Ribalta, Ribera, Vel·zquez, Zurbaran, Murillo, and Goya will be featured. Along the way we will confront and attempt to explain extraordinary expressive extremes, from the explosively passionate to the dream-like, from the brutal to the graceful, from the chaste to the decorative, from realism to idealism. The cultural/historical situations, the creative uniqueness, and yet the essential "Spanishness" of each of these artists will be explored. The text (J. Brown, The Golden age of Painting in Spain, 1991) will be supplemented by other readings, and students will be evaluated on the bases of midterm and final exams of essay type. Cost:4 WL:4 (Bissell)

534/Class. Arch. 534. Ancient Painting. Hist. of Art 101 and either Hist. of Art 221 or 222; or permission of instructor. (3). (Excl).

This course focuses on mural and panel painting as distinct genres of visual expression in the classical world. A series of lectures at the beginning of the term will review the evidence for paintings produced in these formats in the Greek and Etruscan worlds from approximately the 7th through the 2nd century BC. The remainder of the course will concentrate on the extant Roman painting of the late Republic through the late Empire. Questions to be considered include, but are not limited to, the following: What is the relationship between Roman wall and panel painting and their Greek and Etruscan forerunners in terms of imagery, function, meaning and technique? How have these relationships been envisioned and explained by scholars from the late 19th century to the present? What are the social, economic, and other conditions that influenced the production of large-scale painting in the Roman era? Who were the patrons and artists, and what were their roles in shaping the painted imagery found on Roman walls? What is the nature and quality of the evidence for reconstructing developments in painting in classical antiquity? What questions are scholars asking today and how are they going about answering them? The class will analyze programmatic Roman wall paintings, including recent gendered and semiotic readings of such programs. Texts include R. Ling, Roman Painting and a course pack of articles. These will be supplemented by readings from books on reserve. There will be a midterm and a final exam. Prior to the midterm, all students will write a short essay based on selected examples of Greek, Etruscan and Roman paintings in the Kelsey Museum. Students will also write a second, longer, paper (10-12 pp.) based on research. Following the midterm the class will assume a seminar format, and graduate students will present their research to the class as work-in-progress. Undergraduates may elect to present their work as well but are not required to do so. All students, however, must write a final paper. (Gazda)


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