Art & Art History

Art & Art History Curriculum

List of courses:
See academic catalog for full descriptions.

  • 71-001 SPECIAL PROJECTS
    May be repeated with a change in topic.
  • 71-002 SPECIAL PROJECTS
    May be repeated with a change in topic.
  • 71-003 SPECIAL PROJECTS
    May be repeated with a change in topic.
  • 71-004 SPECIAL PROJECTS
    May be repeated with a change in topic.
  • 71-104 INTRODUCTION TO THE HISTORY OF ART:
    A broad but selective look at art and artifacts made in various world cultures and periods, from antiquity onward. The course will move chronologically through these eras, while simultaneously addressing key themes in the history of art. The course will also offer a basic introduction to some of the key methods used within the discipline to query its objects. This course is open only to first-years and sophomores. Juniors and seniors may register with the permission of the instructor. (Offered every three out of four semesters) (FAL) (WA)
  • 71-114 WORLD ARCHITECTURE: A COMPARATIVE
    A survey of several major architectural traditions and their cultural contexts from prehistory to the present. The presentation of each culture poses the same sequence of questions: topography; chronology; social and power structure; belief structure and rituals; economy; technology; building techniques; systems of ornament; and building types and functions, proceeding from urban and utilitarian to the most expressive monuments. The course terminates by looking at European-American Early Modern and Modern within the same framework of questions as the other cultures. The course develops skills in reading architectural plans, knowledge of technical vocabulary, appreciation of structure and construction and critical and theoretical ways of interpreting and analyzing built environments. Also Classics 07-114. (Biennially) (FAL) (IP) (WA)
  • 71-204 INTRODUCTION TO EAST ASIAN ART AND
    An introductory survey of the art and architecture of China, Korea, and Japan. Organized chronologically around twenty-four major themes. Jades, bronze vessels, tombs, calligraphy, landscape painting, Buddhist art, castles, gardens, woodblock prints, and contemporary works are among the topics covered. Emphasis will be placed on how the distinctive styles, genres, and traditions of each region emerged in relation to one another and in the context of a shared East Asian cultural heritage. (Every semester) (FAL) (IP) (WA)
  • 71-214 ANCIENT CHINESE ART AND CIVILIZATION
    In recent years, new discoveries have been steadily unearthed in archaeological digs across China substantially changing what is known about early Chinese civilization. This course will present an overview of these findings in relation to received artifacts and texts to give students a full introduction to Chinas ancient civilization and early empire. Discussion will highlight the way that an understanding of early Chinese painting, sculpture, and architecture in its ritual and mortuary context can shed light on seemingly unrelated issues such as warfare, social networks, urbanism, core-periphery relations, and the emergence of state bureaucracies. (Biennially) (FAL) (WA)
  • 71-224 LANDSCAPE IN CHINESE ART
    This course explores the roots and development of the landscape tradition in Chinese art from the pre-modern to the modern period, examining the tradition in relation to concepts of nature, human nature, territory, and environment. Weekly readings address topics such as real and imagined space; art as a completion or a violation of nature; landscape as a narrative device; illustration and cartography; landscape as political allegory; artificial landscapes in gardens and artists' studios; and contemporary landscapes. (Biennially) (FAL) (WA)
  • 71-274 CHINESE PAINTING: PERSONAL EXPRESSION
  • 71-284 ART IN CHINA SINCE 1911
    This course explores major trends and issues in Chinese art from the end of the imperial period to the present. It will present an overview of the principal tensions surrounding the emergence of modern art in the Chinese context, analyzing artists response to and relationship with the turbulent political culture of the period, their engagement with North American and European traditions and the global art market, and their dialogue with past traditions of Chinese art. Artistic mediums addressed include sculpture, painting, woodblock prints, photography, and performance and installation art. (Biennially) (FAL) (WA) (IP)
  • 71-294 ART OF JAPAN
    This course introduces the visual arts of Japan from the Neolithic to the late twentieth century. It will consider the development of the pictorial, sculptural and architectural traditions in light of themes such as religion, gender, cross-cultural exchange, and changes in socio-political life. Biweekly sessions will cover a range of subjects including ceramics, woodblock printing, ink painting, gardens, religious and castle architecture, calligraphy, tea ceremony, and contemporary works. (Biennially) (FAL) (WA)
  • 71-301 SPECIAL PROJECTS
    May be repeated with a change in topic.
  • 71-302 SPECIAL PROJECTS
    May be repeated with a change in topic.
  • 71-303 SPECIAL PROJECTS
    May be repeated with a change in topic.
  • 71-304 SPECIAL PROJECTS
    May be repeated with a change in topic.
  • 71-314 ART OF MESOAMERICA
    A survey of the ancient Americas, concentrating on the archaeology and ritual aesthetics of the Mezcala, Olmec, Zapotec, Maya, Nayart, Chupcuaro, Teotihuacan, Totonac, Toltec, Mixtec, Purpecha and Aztec, among others, and focusing on each cultures sense of past and place. In so doing, this course examines the role of archaeology in shaping current understanding of the ancient past, and how that past is exhibited and made part of modern visual culture. Course themes explore social and ritual landscapes, cosmology, palaces, divine kingship, hieroglyphs and Mesoamerican calendars. (Annually) (FAL) (IP) (WA)
  • 71-324 ART OF THE ANDES
    A survey of the ancient Americas, concentrating on the archaeology and ritual aesthetics of the Valdivia, Chavn, Jama-Coaque, Tairona, Cocl, Paracas, Nazca, Moche, Tiwanaku, Wari, Chimu and Inca, among others, and focusing on each cultures sense of past and place. In so doing, this course examines the role of archaeology in shaping current understanding of the ancient past, and how that past is exhibited and made part of modern visual culture. Course themes explore social and ritual landscapes, cosmology, mummification, warrior cults, shamanism, visual metaphors and formal processes of abstraction. (Annually) (FAL) (IP) (WA)
  • 71-354 LATIN AMERICAN CITIES AND FRONTIERS
    From the 16th to the early 19th centuries, the center of power in Latin America shifted from Spain to colonial Latin American cities, as ideas of the other shifted from monstrous races and animals to the wild and uncivilized Indian. This course explores center-periphery dynamics through the creation and construction of Spanish colonial cities, including frontier missions, city and settlement plans, cartography, visual literacy and architectural styles. We will witness the making and marking of place through citywide rituals and pageantry, and comment upon how contemporary Latin American cities maintain ties to their colonial pasts. (Biennially) (FAL) (WA) (SJ)
  • 71-364 NATIVE BOOKS, IMAGES AND OBJECTS
    As the primary vehicle of communication in the 16th century, and as a model of religion, the Book was part of Spains effort to colonize the Americas. Yet there already existed systems of recording in Mesoamerica and the Andes, which were both conflicting and commensurate with European notions of the Book. This course examines these concepts by considering books as repositories of spoken words and thought. In so doing, it considers Western hierarchies of literacy in the pursuit of truth and knowledge, and seeks to understand indigenous American voices in the process. Course topics include: space, place and time in Mexican manuscripts; indigenous cartography; ritual texts and performance; the social roles of indigenous artist-scribes; authorship and historical memory; and alternative recording practices. (Biennially) (FAL) (WA) (SJ)
  • 71-374 PAINTING A NEW WORLD
    Identity in the Viceroyalties of New Spain (Mexico) and Peru both shape and were shaped by traditions of painting. This course explores the stylistic developments of painting from the 16th to the 19th centuries, concentrating primarily on visual literacy and the role of artists in society. We will explore both religious and secular painting in the colonies, concentrating on Spanish Catholic themes and the emergence of new subjects and genres. Course themes include indigenous materials and techniques, academic and nonacademic painting, miraculous images, portraiture and hybridity. (Biennially) (FAL) (WA) (SJ)
  • 71-444 HELLENISTIC ART
    A survey of the formation of Roman art and ancient art theory within the context of the broader Hellenistic world. It covers Greek art from the Classical and Hellenistic periods (c. 480-30 B.C.) and contemporary Roman art of the Mid and Late Republic and early Empire. (c. 390 B.C.-c. A.D. 79). The course will involve considerable study of cultural context, and social structure and theoretical models of cultural formation. It uses extensive readings in ancient history and original ancient texts (in translation). Also Classics 07-354. (Annually) (FAL) (WA)
  • 71-514 THE MEDIEVAL SPAINS
    Christians, Muslims and Jews intermingled on the Iberian Peninsula for over seven centuries before 1492, resulting in one of the more complex moments in the history of art and architecture. This course examines aspects of Mozarabic and Mudejar art and identity, especially in Toledo, and the production and trade of Islamic and Christian manuscripts and luxury arts across Islamic and Christian borders. In Andalusia, the course dwells on the Great Mosque of Crdoba and the Islamic palaces of al-Zahra and al-Hambra. In the Christian north, the course explores Romanesque architecture along the pilgrimage route to Santiago de Compostela. As Christian armies gained territory southward, we will witness the fall of the last Muslim caliphates in al-Andalus. (Biennially) (FAL) (WA) (SJ)
  • 71-524 SPANISH GOLDEN AGE PAINTING
    After examining the events leading to the expulsion of Jews and Muslims from the Iberian Peninsula, this course launches into three fundamental moments of the Spanish Golden Age: the creation of a national language and grammar; the widespread dissemination of information through the printing press; and, the revelation of the New World. Concentrating on painting and its place in royal and religious spaces, we will look at the conservative trends of patrons with the individual contributions of artists and writers from the sixteenth to the eighteenth centuries. We will also explore devotional and meditative practices through images, and observe the contentious and codependent relationship between painting and sculpture. (Biennially) (FAL) (WA)
  • 71-544 ITALIAN RENAISSANCE ART
    An in-depth survey of Italian art and culture from the beginning of the 14th century to the end of the 16th century. (FAL) (WA)
  • 71-554 BAROQUE ART
    A survey of European art and its cultural and intellectual context from c. 1600 to the mid-18th century. (FAL) (WA) .
  • 71-614 REVOLUTION, ROMANTICISM, REALISM
    Encompasses the visual arts produced in Europe and the United States between 1780 and 1860. Covers movements such as David and Neo-Classicism; Romanticism in England, Germany and France; native and colonial American art; and international Realism. Issues to be addressed include the relationship between revolution and art, the representation of gender, the tensions between Enlightenment and Romantic philosophies, and the connections between imperialism and art. (Biennially) (FAL) (WA)
  • 71-624 MODERNISM AND MODERNITY
    Encompasses the visual arts produced primarily in Europe and the United States between 1860 and 1945. Organized according to chronological developments in the history of modernism and the avant-garde, the course also focuses on thematic issues including the rise of mass culture; primitivism; the influence of spiritualism; gendered modernism; and the importance of political programs to the avant-garde. (Biennially) (FAL) (WA)
  • 71-634 ART SINCE 1945
    Encompasses the visual arts produced primarily in Europe and the United States between 1945 and present day. Includes a consideration of modernism and Abstract Expressionism, art informel, Post-painterly abstraction, Pop art, Happenings and performance art, environmental art, Minimalism, Conceptualism, Arte Povera, feminist art, Neo-Expressionism, issue-based art and post-modernism. Students are encouraged, but NOT required, to take one of these courses as preparation: Art History 71-614, 71-624, 71-644 or 71-674. (Biennially) (FAL) (WA)
  • 71-644 GENDER AND ART
    A study of the ways in which gender and sexuality are intricately involved in the making, reception and criticism of art. Includes a consideration of how the art historical canon is generated and an examination of the ways in which art imagines both femininity and masculinity. An investigation into theories of gender identity and sexuality will aid in better understanding both representation and production in the visual arts. Also Feminist Studies 04-414. (Biennially) (FAL) (WA) (SJ)
  • 71-674 GERMAN ART IN THE MODERN ERA
    Encompasses the visual arts produced in Germany from the early-19th to mid-20th centuries. Includes German Romanticism, the importance of the academy and history painting, artistic responses to the 1848 revolution, industrialization and the unification of the German nation state in 1871. Moving into the late 19th century, Realist painting, the internationalist Impressionist and Symbolist styles and the transition to modernist and avant-garde art movements, such as Expressionism, Dada and Neue Sachlichkeit will be covered. The last weeks of the course will be devoted to an examination of the Weimar Republics culture of surfaces, as manifested in photography, film, architecture and the Bauhaus. (Biennially) (FAL) (WA)
  • 71-684 THEORY AND METHODS OF ART HISTORY
  • 71-764 MODERN ARCHITECTURE
  • 71-804 CAPSTONE RESEARCH SEMINAR
    A research seminar in various topics of students choosing with faculty approval. Open to majors only, except with permission of instructor Must be taken in fall semester senior year. Prerequisite: Art History 71-104 or 114, and four additional upper-level courses in Art History. (Fall semester only) .
  • 71-814 THEORY AND METHODS OF ART HISTORY
  • 71-901 TUTORIAL
  • 71-902 TUTORIAL
  • 71-903 TUTORIAL
  • 71-904 TUTORIAL
  • 71-941 ACADEMIC INTERNSHIP
    Internships related to specific fields of study. Must be taken Pass/D/F.
  • 71-942 ACADEMIC INTERNSHIP
    Internships related to specific fields of study. Must be taken Pass/D/F.
  • 71-943 ACADEMIC INTERNSHIP
    Internships related to specific fields of study. Must be taken Pass/D/F.
  • 71-944 ACADEMIC INTERNSHIP
    Internships related to specific fields of study. Must be taken Pass/D/F.
  • 71-951 INDEPENDENT STUDY
    May be repeated with a change of topic. At the invitation of the instructor.
  • 71-952 INDEPENDENT STUDY
    May be repeated with a change of topic. At the invitation of the instructor.
  • 71-953 INDEPENDENT STUDY
    May be repeated with a change of topic. At the invitation of the instructor.
  • 71-954 INDEPENDENT STUDY
    May be repeated with a change of topic. At the invitation of the instructor.
  • 71-984 HONORS
    At least eight credits of work over two semesters (beginning spring junior year.

Art & Art History

  • Contact

    Chair of Art History
    Thomas Howe, Ph.D.
    Professor of Art History
    512-863-1376
    email

    Chair of Studio Art
    Victoria Star Varner, MFA
    Professor of Art
    512-863-1355
    email

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