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Art History Courses

Faculty | Master's | Courses


All courses carry 3 credits unless otherwise specified.

602 Evaluating Greek Art: Ancient Culture, Scientific Technology and Modern Politics
The origins, unfolding, and flowering of Greek sculpture, architecture, and painting from approximately 900 to 100 B.C. Readings from ancient literature provide essential historical and cultural background. Particular attention paid to the powerful magic of early Greek images and to issues and controversies surrounding Greek art as it is presented to the American public. Ms. LaFollette

603 Roman Art: Politics, Power and Society
The artistic and cultural achievements of the Romans—portraiture, illusionistic wall painting, and the development of vast interior spaces in architecture—as well as the creation of a multi-ethnic empire extending from England to Egypt. Particular attention paid to the dynamic of reciprocal influence between conquered and conqueror. Ms. LaFollette

605 Early Medieval Art
Development of Christian art in Western Europe from early Middle Ages to beginning of Romanesque period. Focus on Early Christian Byzantine, Hiberno-Saxon, Carolingian and Ottonian periods and related political, intellectual and cultural developments. Ms. Haney

607 Romanesque and Gothic Art
Development of architecture, sculpture, painting and minor arts from 1050 to 1400 in France, England and Italy; society in which these art forms developed. Relationship of monuments to contemporary political, social, intellectual, and literary trends. Ms. Haney

608 Medieval Painting
The history of the illustrated book from early Christian period through the high middle ages. Problems in materials and technique; stylistic and iconographic questions. Ms. Haney

610 Art and the City-State in Early Renaissance Italy (1250-1500)
How city-states developed distinctive artistic styles, and how different governmental systems favored various forms of patronage. Cities include Naples, Rome, Siena, Florence, Milan, Mantua, Ferrara, Padua, Urbino, and Venice. Focus on the revival of interest in classical antiquity and the development of the mathematical system of one-point perspective. Ms. Schmitter

613 Late Renaissance and Mannerist Italian Art
The development of the visual arts in the major artistic centers of Italy during the 16th century, including Florence, Rome, Venice, Mantua, Ferrara, Parma, and Bologna. The lives and works of specific artists, such as Leonardo, Raphael, Titian, and Michelangelo. Focus on thematic issues concerning the relationship between art and society, including: the rise in social status of the artist and the conception of artistic genius; the influence of patronage and collecting; art and the creation of political identities; women as subjects, patrons, and practitioners of art; classicism and “anti-classicism” (Mannerism); art and religious reform; government and city planning. Ms. Schmitter

614 Sexuality, Drama and Invention: The Baroque Artist in Italy
The lives, works, and careers of five Baroque artists and architects: Michelangelo da Caravaggio, Artemisia Gentileschi, Guido Reni, Gianlorenzo Bernini, and Francesco Borromini. Focus on the role of sexuality in the artists’ lives and works as well as in Baroque culture more broadly. Concepts of drama and invention in relation to the theory and practice of Baroque art and architecture. Ms. Schmitter

618 The Play of Realism in the Northern Renaissance
Topical survey of art of the renaissance in northern Europe. Jan van Eyck and symbolism, late Gothic spiritualism; Hieronymus Bosch and the fantastic; Durer and the Reformation; rise of landscape and art of Pieter Bruegel. Focus on painting. Overall emphasis on understanding expressive value of the works of art in their cultural contexts.

619 Court, Church and Community in Northern Baroque Art
Survey of 17th-century painting outside Italy. Focus on Velazquez, Poussin, Rubens, Rembrandt, and Vermeer. Emphasis on understanding meaning and function of the art in its historical and cultural contexts.

623 European Art, 1780-1880
Major artists and developments from David through Impressionism. Emphasis on historical context and related cultural and intellectual developments.

624 Modern Art, 1880 to Present
Focus on movements from Post-Impressionism, Symbolism, Expressionism, Cubism, Dada, Surrealism, to post-World War II and contemporary directions from Abstract Expressionism to Post-Modernism. Mr. Ontiveros

626 Criticism of Modern Art
Practical exercises and studies in evaluation of modern painting, including supporting theory. Readings, discussion, and reports on assigned topics.

627 Contemporary Art
Issues and developments in American art after 1940 from perspective of the nineties. Questions of cultural and art historical contexts for the work of American artists during the postwar period, from Abstract Expressionism through recent options raised in the works themselves, artists’ writings, critics’ interpretations, and public reception and support. Mr. Ontiveros

628 American Art to 1860
Survey of American art and architecture to 1860. Emphasis on major painters within the cultural and historical contexts. Mr. Oedel

629 American Art 1860 to 1940
Survey of American art and architecture from 1860 to 1940. Emphasis on major painters within the cultural and historical contexts. Mr. Oedel

634 History of Decorative Arts
The history of the decorative arts from the Renaissance to 1960. Various media examined, with an emphasis on furniture. Ms. Haney

642 19th-Century Architecture: History Reform and Technology
The economic, social, and political forces that led to the creation of new building types, institutions, and technologies from 1750 to 1914. Seminal figures, monuments, urban environments such as Pugin, Viollet-le-Duc, Wright, Haussmann’s Paris, Olmsted’s Central Park, the Gothic Revival, the Beaux-Arts, and the various city-planning movements. Mr. Rohan

643 20th-Century Architecture: Modernism, Capitalism and Globalism
The architecture, design, and theory of the Modernist movement considered in relation to the primary ideologies of the twentieth century—socialism, capitalism, and globalism. Includes the works of founding figures—Wright, Mies, Gropius, and Le Corbusier—and significant themes such as the individual vs. the collective; European vs. American ideals; contributions of non-western cultures; impact of war, mass culture, and new technologies. Mr. Rohan

644 Vernacular Architecture
Seminar. American Colonial architecture of New England; variety of vernacular structures in later periods; e.g., barns, windmills, factories, etc. Important for students of architectural preservation and renovation.

645 Architecture Now
Seminar. For architects, interior designers, and environmentalists. Discussion, reading and prepared reports on immediate problems of architects, clients and the public with regard to characteristics of architecture today. How we have arrived; where we may go. ART-HIST 531 and 532 advantageous.

647 History of Islamic Art and Architecture I
Chronological study of history of Islamic art from its origins in Byzantine and Sasanian traditions of Near East, to its formation under Arab Empire and subsequent Turkish and Iranian dynastic patrons. Islamic world from Spain to India, with emphasis on the central Islamic lands of Middle East. Architecture, painting, textiles, carving in wood, crystal, stucco, stone, and ivory, metalware, ceramics, other media. Museum field trip. Given alternate years with ART-HIST 537. Mr. Denny

648 History of Islamic Art and Architecture II
Continuation of ArtHis 536. Artistic legacy of Islamic peoples from 14th through 17th centuries, including the arts of the Mamluk, Timurid, Ottoman, Safavid, and Mughal dynasties in the Middle East and India. Museum field trip. Given alternate years with ART-HIST 536. Mr. Denny

671-5 Great Themes in Art History
Changing treatment of central themes, issues and problems in art history. Topics often cut across traditional geographic or chronological boundaries. Although topics change from semester to semester, offerings are usually available every year in Modern, Islamic, and American art and architecture. List of current offerings available in Art History Office, 317B Bartlett. Prerequisite: upper-level survey course bearing on the particular theme, or consent of instructor.

Graduate Seminars

(Topics may change from semester to semester.)

692A Winslow Homer and American Culture in the Gilded Age

693 Images and Reproductions
Meets one evening a week through the early part of the semester. The various ways in which works of art have been reproduced and how reproduction affects our perception of art. Includes methods of photography used in the scientific examination of art works. Practical discussion of photography of art and architecture, sources of reproductions, copyright laws. (Pass/Fail) Credit, 1.

694A 19th-Century Painting in the United States

696 Independent Study: Art History
Credit, 3-12.

700 Problems in Greek Art

701 Problems in Roman Art

705 Studies in Medieval Iconography

710 Problems in Italian Art of the Early and High Renaissance

711 Problems in Italian Art of the Later Renaissance and Mannerism

718 Art of Northern Europe 1400-1600

719 Art of Northern Europe 1600-1700

721 19th-Century Painting and Sculpture

722 Art Since 1880

725 Problems in Contemporary Art

742 19th-Century Architecture

743 Themes in Postwar Architecture, 1945-1972

747 Problems in Islamic Art and Architecture

781 Methods of Art History
History of the discipline, methodological orientations, and the conceptual and technical framework for art-historical research. Required of all M.A. candidates in Art History during first year of study.

782 Museum Studies
Introduction to museum methods and practices. Issues such as the role of museums in society, the development of collections, conservation, curatorial and registrarial responsibilities, museum management, public relations, funding, ethics, and the production of exhibitions and catalogs. Includes field trips to area museums. Consent of instructor required.