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Undergraduate Courses

Please see SPIRE for current course offerings.

​​​​​Download our: Fall 2022 Course Offerings

Fall 2022 Undergraduate Art History Course Offerings

Class title Instructor Time
100 – Survey: Ancient to Medieval Art (#43214) La Follette M/W 11:15am - 12:05pm + Discussion

First half of a survey of art history from prehistoric times to the 21st century. Chronological and systematic approach; either a basis for more detailed study of individual periods in upper-level art history courses, or a solid general foundation for a heightened appreciation of the heritage of art. More professionally oriented than ART-HIST 115. Background for upper-level art history courses; required of majors. (Gen Ed AT, DG)

100H – Survey: Ancient to Medieval Art (#43212) Vickery M/W 11:15am – 12:05pm + Discussion

This course examines chronologically and thematically the unfolding of painting, architecture, sculpture and other artistic media from antiquity to the early 16th century in a global framework. Students will learn to analyze works of art visually and understand them within their cultural, religious, social, ideological, and economic contexts. Among the themes and ideas to be considered in lectures and honors discussions: art, politics, religion, and patronage; relationships between gender, sexuality, and art; cultural interactions and transformations in multicultural artistic productions; artistic identity and originality; art and cultural patrimony. Honors readings, methodological case studies, discussions, assignments, and museum visits will give students the opportunity to engage closely with and critically evaluate different modes of art historical interpretation and identify the viewpoints and interests that motivate varying accounts of art and artistic practices. (Gen Ed AT, DG)

115 – Visual Arts, Artists & Cultures (#43289) Denny M/W/F 10:10 – 11:00am

The discipline of art history and the tools of visual analysis it employs. Focus on issues such as Classicism, "primitive" art, realism, and modernity, presented in roughly chronological order. Discussion of these issues in relation to contemporary visual culture. (Gen Ed AT, DG)

314 – Sexuality, Drama and Invention: The Baroque Artist in Italy (#54929) Schmitter Tu/Th 2:30 – 3:45pm

This course focuses the lives, careers, and works of five famous Italian Baroque artists and architects: Michelangelo da Caravaggio, Artemisia Gentileschi, Guido Reni, Gianlorenzo Bernini, and Francesco Borromini.  Intermittently, we also examine works by some of their important, but perhaps less well known, contemporaries, such as Domenichino, Guercino, and Pietro da Cortona.  Special attention is given to the role of sexuality in the artists’ lives and works as well as in Baroque culture more broadly, and to the concepts of drama and invention in the theory and practice of Baroque art and architecture.

324 – Modern Art, 1880-Present (#43228) Kurczynski Tu/Th 11:30am – 12:45pm

This course takes a new and interactive look at 20th Century art, from the move toward total abstraction around 1913 to the development of Postmodernism in the 1980s. We examine the impact on art of social and political events such as World War I, the Russian Revolution, the rise of Fascism, the Mexican Revolution, the New Woman in the 1920s, World War II, the Cold War, and the rise of consumer culture. We will investigate the origins and complex meanings of movements such as Fauvism, Cubism, Dada, Surrealism, Mexican Muralism, Abstract Expressionism, and Pop Art. We will reconsider and reevaluate major issues in Modern art and culture such as the evolution of personal expression, the recognition of nonwestern culture in Euro-America, the interest in abstraction as a universal language, new technologies in art, the politics of the avant-garde and its attempts to reconnect art and life, issues of gender, race and representation, the role of myth and the unconscious, and the dialogue between art and popular culture. (Gen Ed AT DG)

342 – 19th Century Architecture: Reform, History & Technology (#43288) Rohan M/W 4:00 – 5:15pm

This lecture class surveys the practice of architecture in Europe and America from 1750 to 1914. It looks at the economic, social and political forces that led to the creation of new building types, institutions and technologies peculiar to the nineteenth-century by focusing on figures and movements such as Schinkel, Ruskin, Viollet-le-Duc, Frank Lloyd Wright, Haussmann's Paris, Olmsted's Central Park, the Gothic Revival, Arts and Crafts, and Art Nouveau. A particular emphasis will be placed upon the architect's role as a critic seeking social reform. Valuable for anyone concerned with design. 

348 – Islamic Art & Architecture II (#55785) Denny M/W/F 12:20 – 1:10

Survey of the art and architecture of Islamic peoples from the mid-13th century CE until the 19th century CE. Covers a wide variety of media from Marocco to India.

370 – Jr Year Writing (#43211) Rohan M/W 2:30 – 3:45pm

Course projects which give practice in different types of art historical writing (catalogue entry, book or exhibition review, interpretative essay, technical report) combined with in-class exercises in the writing of analytical and explanatory prose. Topic focuses from semester to semester on a period, culture and/or individual artist. Required of all art history majors in their junior year.

388 – Modern Art in East Asia (#43262) Ho Tu/Th 1:00 – 2:15pm

This course examines how art became modern in China, Korea, and Japan.  We explore issues distinctive to the history of modernism in East Asia: the confrontation between brush-and-ink traditions and new artistic mediums such as photography and easel painting; the spread of art academies and Japanese imperialism; urban modernity and Western semi-colonialism; proletarian art movements; and postwar legacies and the creation of new avant-gardes. Throughout the course we ask: can modernity and modernism become multiple?  Do histories from the periphery challenge, or reinforce, narratives of Western modernism? 

397S – Special Topics: The Black Subj in Hist and Contemp Popular Visual Culture (#56041) Nelson Tu/Th 10:00 – 11:15am

This course undertakes the critical examination of the representation of black subjects in historical and contemporary popular visual culture. Although the focus is mainly American, some examples from other locations will also be introduced. The topic of black representation is challenging due to the interconnected histories of western colonialism, slavery, and racism, which have participated in the constitution of black subjects as “other" by mainly white cultural and media producers. However, moments of transformation, resistance, and alternative identifications will also be addressed. The course will examine various types of historical and contemporary popular culture across various media and contexts including slavery, minstrelsy, globalization, and tourism.

397R – Special Topics: Women in Architecture (#43281) Vickery Tu/Th 10:00 – 11:15am

This course begins with an examination of gendered, architectural spaces and how and why they were structured for women in the 19th century in both Britain and America. Looking at primary and secondary sources, students will gain insight into societal norms and how they conditioned architecture generally associated with women, such as houses, asylums, and early women's colleges. This study will serve as a platform from which to understand the pressures upon women and the pioneers who rejected such norms and pursued architecture as a profession. The latter half of the course will look at the work of early women architects, the hurdles they faced and the examples they set. The course will conclude with a critical examination of women architects practicing today and how they navigate the profession.

398 – Practicum: Careers for Art History Majors (#43220) Vickery W 1:25 – 2:15pm

We will explore potential career paths with guest speakers from museums, libraries, archives, galleries, auction houses, and more. The course is designed to help majors begin to plan art history careers throughcoursework, internships, and other work experiences. (1 credit)