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.

Open to All Undergraduates; Not Open to Graduate Students.

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).
A chronological survey of major achievements in Western painting, sculpture, and architecture from the 14th Century to the present, this course proposes both to reveal the uniqueness of great creative personalities (how, through the manipulation of their art forms, they gave expression to profound feelings) and to place these masters within their sociocultural contexts (with their shifting conceptions of human relationships to the physical and spiritual worlds). Along the way, a variety of art-historical methodologies will be pressed into action. What we will study gives visual form to human thought and aspirations of seven centuries, and in challenging, stirring, and teaching us will reveal to us hitherto hidden truths. Except for commitment a willingness to become intellectually and emotionally involved there is no prerequisite. Course materials include a textbook, a set of study prints, and a syllabus. Students will be evaluated by way of midterm and final examinations, informed participation in discussion sections, and a short museum paper. Cost:2 WL:4 (Bissell)
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103. Arts of Asia. (4). (HU).
This course will take a topical approach to the arts of Asia rather than attempt a broad survey. One segment will trace the transmission of Buddhist arts (particularly architecture, painting, and sculpture) across northern Asia from the tradition's origins in India across China and into Japan. The Ming/Qing capital of Beijing and the Tokugawa capital of Edo (modern Tokyo) will be analyzed as symbols of political power. The course will also examine the social values inscribed in secular painting and graphic arts such as Chinese landscape painting, Indian miniatures, and Japanese wood block prints. Course work will include two short essays, a midterm and a final examination. No prerequisites. First- and second-year students especially welcome. Cost:2 WL:4 (Reynolds)
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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)
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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. WL:4 (Spink)
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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)
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212/Architecture 212. Understanding Architecture. Not open to students enrolled in Architecture. (3). (Excl).
This three-credit course, "Understanding Architecture," 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 graduate student instructors. Recitation sections focus on improving the student's ability to venture into and sustain architectural discourse. Cost:1 WL:4 (Marzolf)
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222/Class. Arch. 222. Introduction to Roman Archaeology. (4). (HU).
See Classical Archaeology 222. (Alcock)
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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)
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350/CAAS 370. Special Topics in African American Art. Hist. of Art 108 and 214. (3). (Excl).
Section 001 Contemporary African-American Art, 1963-95.
This lecture course will chronologically survey and examine various themes and topics pertaining to African-American art. Beginning with the civil rights movements in the 1960s, students will learn how art reflects particular political and social views about the positioning of black Americans in American society and culture. Painting, sculpture, and photography will be the focus of the course. Course requirements are two exams and one modest research paper. Students will be assigned readings from either a course pack or reserved holdings in Shapiro Library. (Patton)
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360/CAAS 380. Special Topics in African Art. Hist. of Art 108 or 214. (3). (Excl).
Section 001 Modern African Art.
This course reviews the history of African art in the last hundred years. Drawing on race theory and postcolonial perspectives, we will examine the work of major artists working in many different media and will emphasize the interrelationship between political developments particularly apartheid and other forms of institutionalized racism and artistic productions. Our approach will be thematic and historical, critically exploring artistic transformations imagery, movements, guilds, technology, and materials through the lens of such issues as individualism, racism, and identity politics. We will discuss the critical influence of nineteenth-century constructions of race and racial theory as justification for the European colonial enterprise in Africa, and we will examine manifestations of racial differentiation and bigotry that surface in the so-called documentary or historical photographs as well as on cinematographic and postcard imagery produced during the early colonial period. We will also consider contemporary African art as a global phenomenon which is influenced by Western cultures as well as African ones. (Quarcoopome)
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376. Dada and Surrealism. (3). (Excl).
This course examines the international movements of dada and surrealism within the context of European culture and history between 1916 and 1939. These artistic movements, which were influenced by the formal experiments of early twentieth-century art and literature, redirected the formal radicalism of their artistic predecessors in new directions; namely, toward (1) bridging the gap between art and life, (2) defining and criticizing the modern world, and (3) suggesting new forms of individual and collective subjectivity commensurate with modern life. This course will explore these developments in depth and link dada and surrealist art to parallel tendencies in literature and film. Cost:2 WL:4 (Biro)
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393. Junior Proseminar. History of Art concentrators. (3). (Excl).
Section 001 Dada and Surrealism.
For Winter Term, 1998, this section is offered jointly with History of Art 376. Students will be required to attend all HA 376 lectures as well as to complete all the required readings for that course. In addition, by means of supplementary readings, students will be guided in a research project of their own devising relating to either dada or surrealist art. Through timely completion of a research proposal, a bibliography, a rough draft, and a final paper, students will be introduced to the skills and methods needed to write a 15-20 page research paper. This course will introduce students to a broad range of material necessary for the production of an original work of art historical research, including primary sources, art historical texts, and works of theory/methodology. Cost:2 WL:4 (Biro)
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394. Special Topics. (3). (Excl). May be elected for credit more than once.
Section 001 Science, Art, and Spirituality.
This course will explore how artists interweave elements of science and art to express the spiritual dimension in human life that connected with what Webster's New Collegiate Dictionary describes as "an animating or vital principal held to give life to physical organisms" and also "the activating or essential principle influencing a person." These interrelationships have assumed increased importance for may creative people as we approach the end of the second millennium in a world shaped by rapidly changing technologies, shifting political powers, and expanded awareness of diverse cultures. Although the course will center on a cross-section of contemporary artists within the context of earlier art that links science, art, and spirituality in various cultures, our readings and discussion will include materials written from the perspective of the scientist, the spiritual researcher, and the artist. Readings and class materials will be enriched by video clips, and by selected visitors. The teaching team pairs art historian Diane Kirkpatrick (whose research has centered on artists whose work expresses something of the complexity and wholeness of life by adapting new technologies to artistic ends) and sculptor Michael Kapetan (whose own works in both figurative and abstract modes all combine elements of science, art, and the spiritual.) Cost:1 WL:4 (Kirkpatrick/Kapetan)
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Open to Juniors, Seniors, and Graduate Students. Sophomores by special permission.

403/NR&E 403. History of Western Landscape Architecture. (3). (Excl).
This course will survey the design and management human settlements and their surrounding landscapes throughout history. The discussions will focus on urban patterns, regional patterns of settlement, functional landscapes, gardens and recreational landscapes, both those which were formally designed and those which emerged from vernacular influences. The range of examples and sites will be viewed within the context of the cultural, political, social, and environmental forces which shaped them, and also their lingering effect on 20th century perceptions of the landscape. The course will consist of slide-illustrated lectures by the instructor during which questions and discussions are encouraged. Grading will be in the form of a midterm, a final exam, and a class paper. (Brabec)
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411. Interpretations of Landscape. Hist. of Art 102 or 103. (3). (Excl).
Section 001 Eccentricity and Dissent in 17th-Century Chinese Painting.
This course focuses on an exceptionally interesting period in the history of Chinese painting: the century of violent transition between the Ming and the Qing dynasties, with imperial power passing from a Chinese ruling family to the hands of Manchu conquerors. The seventeenth century was also a time of dramatic changes in economic and social life: urbanization, commerce, the development of regional identity, redistribution of wealth, the commodification of high culture. The response of seventeenth-century painters to the political, personal, and moral stresses of their times will be the subject of our study. The course will begin with a consideration of the background and general issues in the painting and culture of seventeenth-century China, including a review of modes of subversion and political dissent in earlier pictorial art. We will then go on to examine a selection of painters representing different social, regional, political, and personal circumstances and affiliations. Lectures will alternate with discussions based on assigned readings for each of these artists. Assignments: two texts and a research paper. Participation in class discussion is expected throughout. There is no final exam. (Nelson)
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434/Class. Arch. 434. Archaic Greek Art. (3). (HU).
See Classical Archaeology 434. (Pedley)
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445/MARC 445. Medieval Architecture. Hist. of Art 101. (3). (HU).
This course aims to integrate the history of medieval architecture with some of the major themes in medieval history: the Christianization of time and space, the place and function of monasticism in medieval society, the institutionalization of violence, the Reform movement and the Crusades to the Holy Land (ca. 1100-1200), the growth of cities in the twelfth and thirteenth centuries, popular heresies and the Apostolic Orders, and the impact of the profit economy on high medieval society. In the process, it explores the succession of medieval architectural styles (Romanesque, Gothic, etc.), the origins and development of medieval building types (abbey churches, cathedrals, town halls, castles, etc.) and the organizational and technological methods medieval builders employed in the realization of a major architectural project. Two papers, a midterm, and a final examination. (Gillerman)
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450. Topics in Early Renaissance Art in Italy. Hist. of Art 101 or 250. (3). (Excl).
Section 001 The Age of Giotto.
This course focuses on painting in central Italy in the period ca. 1275-1325. Major projects - like the decoration of the church of San Francesco in Assisi, the Arena Chapel in Padua and the Palazzo Pubblico in Siena - and major artists such as Giotto, Duccio and Simone Martini - will be the main topics. Attention will also be devoted to a range of other issues: materials and techniques of the Italian medieval painters, the interplay between painting and other media, and the meaning of "style" in the Italian communes. Two papers, a midterm, and a final examination. (Gillerman)
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471. Investigations of Recent Art. Hist. of Art 272. (3). (Excl).
Section 001 The Fragment in Modern and Postmodern Culture.
For Winter Term, 1998, this section is offered jointly with Humanities Institute 411.001. (Grigely)
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487/Chinese 475/Asian Studies 475/RC Hums. 475/Phil. 475. The Arts and Letters of China. (4). (HU).
See Chinese 475. (Feuerwerker)
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525. Graphic Arts from 1660 to the Present. Hist. of Art 102 and permission of instructor. (3). (Excl).
This course, designed primarily for graduate students in the History of Art department and the Art School, will deal with developments in the last few centuries, emphasizing connoisseurship as much as history. In this class students will examine prints with museum curators, dealers, and collectors; will be shown the fundamentals of lithography, etching, and other processes; and will be introduced to the problems and techniques of conservation, and to aspects of collecting. Assignments will consist of reading, short papers and reports on prints in nearby collections. Because so much work will be done with actual prints, the enrollment will be limited. (Spink)
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531/Class. Arch. 531/Anthro. 587. Aegean Art and Archaeology. Hist. of Art 221 or 222. (3). (Excl).
See Classical Archaeology 531. (Fotiadis)
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542. Byzantine Art. Hist. of Art 101. (3). (Excl).
Section 001 Middle Byzantine Art and Architecture: Byzantium's "Second Golden Age."
From the ninth through the mid-thirteenth century, Byzantine Art and Architecture, as we think of them today, were defined. During this period, which followed iconoclasm (the seventh- through eighth-century ban on images) Byzantium experienced what is often called its "Second Golden Age." Icons were restored, a new repertoire of architectural forms was developed, novel concepts in church decoration were formulated, and there was a resurgence of classical learning that reverberated in monumental painting, manuscript illumination and the decorative arts. This lecture class focuses on the images and forms created in these centuries on their origins, their various manifestations, and their psychological and theological implications. The diffusion of Byzantine art and its impact on Western Europe also will be considered. Cost:2 WL:4 (Pevny)
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596. Japanese Architecture Mid-19th Century to the Present. Hist. of Art 103, 495, or 591. (3). (Excl).
Japanese architecture and urban planning from the mid-19th century to the present. Topics include the establishment of a western-style architectural profession in the late 19th century, the emergence of a modernist movement in the 1920's and 1930's, biological metaphors and the romanticization of technology in the theories and designs of the Metabolist Group, the special implications of postmodernism in the Japanese context, and the shifting significance of certain Japanese architectural traditions for modern architects. There will be an emphasis on the complex relationship between architectural practice and broader political and social change in Japan. (Reynolds)
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