Art & Art History

Art History: Courses

Below you will find a list of our current or recent offerings. See the course catalog for descriptions and updated information.

ART HISTORY (ARH)


71-024 INTRODUCTION TO ART HISTORY: EAST ASIAN This course provides an introduction to the disciplinary methods and concepts of art history, presented in the context of East Asian Art. Open only to first- or second-year students, or with consent of instructor. (Annually)(FAL) (WA) (IP)


71-034 INTRODUCTION TO ART HISTORY: LATIN AMERICAN This course provides an introduction to the disciplinary methods and concepts of art history, presented in the context of Latin American art, from the pre-Columbian, colonial, and modern eras, including US-Latino art. Open only to first- or second-year students, or with consent of instructor. (Annually)(FAL) (IP)(SJ)(WA) (Also RES 37-394)(LAS06-804)


71-044 INTRODUCTION TO ART HISTORY: ITALIAN RENAISSANCE. This course provides an introduction to the disciplinary methods and concepts of art history, presented in the context of Italian Renaissance art. Open only to first- or second-year students, or with consent of instructor. (Annually)(FAL) (WA)


71-054 INTRODUCTION TO ART HISTORY: MODERN ERA This course provides an introduction to the disciplinary methods and concepts of art history, presented in the context of European and American art from the 18th to the 20th centuries. Open only to first- or second-year students, or with consent of instructor. (Annually) (FAL) (WA)


71-204 EAST ASIAN ART & ARCHITECTURE 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. (Annually) (FAL) (WA) (IP)


71-214 ARTS OF CHINA. This course surveys the arts of China from the Neolithic to the contemporary period. Each lecture will consist of an in-depth examination of one of twenty-three landmarks of Chinese art. A variety of works will be considered including jades, ancient bronzes, calligraphy, Buddhist murals, landscape paintings, Chinese gardens, temples, contemporary works, and more. Each work will be examined in its historical context, introducing students to China’s social and political history, as well as its major religious and humanistic traditions including Confucianism, Buddhism, and Daoism. (Biennially) (FAL) (WA) (IP)

71-224 ARTS 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)

71-234 ANCIENT CHINESE ART AND CIVILIZATION. This course covers China’s rich and complex ancient civilization, beginning in the Neolithic and concluding with the fall of China’s first long-lasting imperial administration, the Han dynasty. It considers the development and trajectory of Chinese art and architecture in relation to the formation of local states, kingdoms, and the early Chinese empires. Topics covered include painted ceramics, jades, oracle bones, bronze vessels and bells, lacquer works, mummies, gold ornaments, stone shrines, early palaces and cities, silk, and much more. Art works will be studied in the archaeological context in which they were discovered and in relation to the material culture surrounding them. (Biennially) (FAL) (WA) (IP)

71-244 BUDDHIST ART OF EAST ASIA. This course explores the Buddhist art of China, Korea, and Japan by looking at the distinctive styles, genres, and traditions of Buddhist art in each region as well as their shared cultural heritage. Students will study thangkas, mandalas, deity sculptures, portable paintings, temples, and rock-cut cave-chapels. They will also become familiar with the different traditions of East Asian Buddhism including Pure Land, Zen, and Esoteric traditions by reading original Buddhist sutras and looking at Buddhist art and architecture in its socio-religious context. (Biennially) (FAL) (WA)

71-254 LANDSCAPE AND ENVIRONMENT 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) (IP) (also ENV49-264)


71-264 ART IN CHINA SINCE 1911. This course, conducted in seminar format, will present an overview of the development of visual arts in China from the late 19th century to the present. Students will consider the ways that recent works created by Chinese artists responded to the turbulent politics of the 20th century, the global art market, and past traditions of Chinese art. Works in a range of mediums will be considered—from painting and calligraphy to architecture, film, and performance works. This course is open to non-majors, and there are no pre-requisites.(Biennially) (FAL) (WA) (IP)(Also FST04-274, RES37-284)


71-314 ART OF MESOAMERICA. A survey of the ancient Americas, concentrating on the archaeology and ritual aesthetics of the Mezcala, Olmec, Zapotec, Maya, Nayarít, Chupícuaro, Teotihuacan, Totonac, Toltec, Mixtec, Purépecha and Aztec, among others, and focusing on each culture’s 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. (Biennially) (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, Chavín, Jama-Coaque, Tairona, Coclé, Paracas, Nazca, Moche, Tiwanaku, Wari, Chimu and Inca, among others, and focusing on each culture’s 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)


71-344 COLONIAL LATIN AMERICAN ART. Current issues in the study of art and architecture of the colonial period in Latin America, focusing on racial politics, religious conversion, and territorial control. Topics include missions and their decoration, religious conversion and resistance, social aspects of city planning and architecture, indigenous artistic traditions and the emergence of hybrid subjects and new genres, the rise of miraculous images such as Our Lady of Guadalupe, the social identities of artists, and civic and religious performances. (Biennially) (FAL) (WA)


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 Spain’s 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 questions 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. Students are strongly encouraged but not required to take any 300- course in Latin American art as preparation. (Biennially) (FAL) (WA) (SJ) (Also RES 37-574)


71-414 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 will examine theoretical models of cultural formation. It uses extensive readings in ancient history and original ancient texts (in translation). (Annually)(FAL) (WA) (Also CLA 07-354).


71-454 ART OF SPAIN: Looking at both sides of the pivotal year of 1492, this course examines aspects of cultural hybridity in art and architecture that resulted from the ideological conflicts and cultural intermingling of Christians, Muslims, and Jews, questioning the conflicting notions of convivencia, or peaceful communion of these religious groups, and the Reconquista, or Christian conquest of Spain. Highlights include the crucible city of Toledo, the Great Mosque of Córdoba, pilgrimage architecture on the route to Santiago de Compostela, and the al-Hambra palace in Granada. The course then turns toward Spanish artistic production of the Counter Reformation, concentrating on the roles of paintings and sculptures in visionary practices and the intellectual contributions of artists such as el Greco, Francisco de Zurbarán, and Diego Velázquez. (Biennially) (FAL) (WA)


71-484 WORLD ARCHITECTURE: A COMPARATIVE CULTURAL HISTORY. 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 Euro-American 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, their meanings and their functions.. (Biennially) (FAL) (IP) (WA) (Also CLA 07-114)


71-494 MODERN ARCHITECTURE. A survey of Euro-American architecture from c. 1750 through present day. Material considers the context of intellectual history, industrial and political revolutions, mass culture and technological innovation. It is also an introduction to issues of architectural theory and the history of the modern architectural profession. (Biennially) (FAL) (WA)


71-514 ROCOCO TO ROMANTICISM. Encompasses the visual arts produced in Europe and the United States during the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. Considers Rococo art made under the ancien régime, the influence of Enlightenment thought on the academic tradition, Salon culture, Neo-Classicism in art, Romantic painting, and native and colonial American art. Issues to be addressed include the relationship between revolution and art; the representations of gender, race and class; the tensions between Enlightenment and Romantic philosophies, and the connections between imperialism and art. (Biennially) (FAL) (WA)


71-524 19th C. ART IN EUROPE AND THE UNITED STATES. Encompasses the visual arts produced in Europe and the United States between 1830 and 1900. Organized according to chronological developments in the history of nineteenth-century art, concentrating on the emergence of a photographic visual culture, Realism in art, painting in the academy, the Impressionists, and post-Impressionist movements such as Divisionism, Symbolism, and Art Nouveau. The course also focuses on thematic issues including the rise of mass culture; class identity and conflict; gender in artistic representation and practice; and the politicization of art. (Biennially) (FAL) (WA)


71-534 MODERNISM AND THE 20TH C. AVANT-GARDES. Encompasses the visual arts produced in Europe and the United States between 1900 and 1945. Organized according to chronological developments in the history of twentieth-century art, concentrating on fin de siècle design, Fauvism, Cubism, Expressionism, the Russian avant-garde, De Stijl, photography and painting between the wars, Surrealism, and art under totalitarian regimes. The course also focuses on thematic issues including primitivism and the colonial imaginary; gender and modern art; abstraction in theory and practice; and the politics of modernism. (Biennially) (FAL) (WA)


71-544 ART AFTER 1945. Encompasses the visual arts produced primarily in Europe and the United States after the end of World War II. 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 strongly encouraged but not required to take one of these courses as preparation: ARH 71-494, 71-524, 71-534, or 71-554. (Biennially) (FAL) (WA)


71-554 FEMINISM AND ART HISTORY. This course draws on feminist theory and scholarship to analyze art, artists, and the discipline of art history itself. Concentrates on how gender identifications and ideologies are involved in the making, reception and criticism of art. Provides a feminist reflection on the making of the art historical canon, and on how images sustain or challenge gender relations. Incorporates an intersectional perspective, considering how relational constructions of gender, sexuality, race, ethnicity, disability, class, and nation affect visual representation and practice. (Biennially) (FAL) (WA) (SJ) (Also FST 04-414)


71-814 THEORY AND METHODS OF ART HISTORY. Introduces the theories and methodologies that have been of crucial importance to the development of the discipline of art history. These may include Kantian aesthetics, German formalism, iconography, Marxist critical theory, structural and semiotic methods, feminist theory, and post-structuralism. Incorporates extensive classroom discussion and debate. This course is intended for juniors in the major. Art History majors should plan to take this during the fall semester of junior year, but may enroll during the fall of senior year if necessary . Prerequisite: Art History 71-0xx (71-024, -0334, -044, OR -054), and two additional upper-level courses (71-200, -300, -400, -500) in Art History (Fall semester annually. Art History majors must take it fall junior or fall senior year.)


71-824 CAPSTONE RESEARCH SEMINAR. A research seminar in various topics of the 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 71-0xx (71-024, -034, -044, OR -054), and four additional upper-level courses (71-200, -300, -400, -500) in Art History. (Fall semester annually. Art History majors must take it fall senior year.)


71-001, 002, 003, 004 SPECIAL PROJECTS. May be repeated with a change in topic.

71-301, 302, 303, 304 SPECIAL PROJECTS. May be repeated with a change in topic.

71-901, 902, 903, 904 TUTORIAL.

71-941, 942, 943, 944 ACADEMIC INTERNSHIP. Internships related to specific fields of study. Must be taken Pass/D/F.

71-951, 952, 953, 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 or fall senior year) on a single independent in-depth research project chosen in consultation with a faculty adviser and with the approval of the art history faculty. Students may begin the development of their honors project either independently spring semester junior year or fall semester senior year, or they may begin the development of their project during their capstone seminar, fall semester senior year, and continue that project with further research and writing spring semester senior year. A student may also opt to develop the honors project independently of the capstone seminar, in which case all eight credits must count as University electives. If a student begins the project in the capstone seminar, only four credits must count as university electives. Continuation of the honors project in the second semester, and final granting of honors, is dependent upon approval by the faculty committee. If Honors are not awarded the credits count as independent study (71-954).