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Art History Course List

View titles & descriptions for the Art History Department's courses offered.

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Course # Course Title Credits
AH 100 Art Matters 3 credits
A first-year foundation experience, this course introduces issues of fundamental importance to art, the artist, and art history. Though each instructor teaches it largely from his/her area of expertise and perspective, the course centers around concepts common to each section. Moreover, instructors address a common list of topics that encourage students to think broadly about issues that will be of critical importance to them in their careers as artists; these topics include library use and research, the artist’s profession, the role of the artist, censorship, the history of art history, the museum, authenticity, and aesthetics.
AH 200 Renaissance Through 1855 3 credits
This course surveys European art from the 14th through the mid-19th centuries. It surveys Renaissance art in Italy and Northern Europe, its origins in medieval art, and examines shifts in artistic concepts and forms from the 16th through the mid-18th centuries that led to the emergence of Mannerist, Baroque, and Rococo art. The course concludes with an examination of Neoclassicism, Romanticism, and Realism. Prerequisite: AH 100.
AH 201 Modernism & After 3 credits
Offers a survey of avant-garde European and American art from the mid-19th century to the present. Some of the many artistic movements covered include Realism, Impressionism, post-Impressionism, German Expressionism, Cubism, Dada, Surrealism, de Stijl, early American Modernism, Abstract Expressionism, Pop Art, Minimalism, Conceptual Art, and post-Modernism. Prerequisite: AH 100.
AH 202 Ancient Through Gothic 3 credits
Surveys the art of Europe and the Near East from the prehistoric period through the 14th century CE. Cultures and styles examined include Mesopotamian, Egyptian, Greek, Roman, Byzantine, Romanesque, and Gothic, with an emphasis on how the arts of the ancient and medieval periods interact to form the basis for the later Western tradition. Prerequisite: AH 100.
AH 231-IH1 Italian Renaiss Thought & Art 3 credits
Involves an extended consideration of several patterns of thought in the Italian Renaissance, and of the relationship between the history of ideas and the history of art. Generally, each session involves a close analysis of an artist or groups of artists, of related primary documents, and of the broader implications of both. By the end of the semester, students should be comfortable discussing the Italian Renaissance as an artistic and intellectual movement, as well as the work of many of its primary artists and thinkers.
AH 250 Wrld Arch: Pre-history to 1855 3 credits
This class is an introduction to world architecture from pre-history to the mid-nineteenth century. We will analyze buildings, sites, and cities from Asia, Africa, the Americas, and Europe, alongside architectural concepts, artistic movements, and social phenomena. In this way, this course is a focused examination of key architectural developments in time and space. Students will gain not only a broad repertoire of architectural references, but—more importantly—a critical perspective on architecture in its cultural and historical context.
AH 286-IH2 An Introduction to Aesthetics 3 credits
What is art? What do we mean by beauty? Can we ever really understand a work of art? Through a number of deeply influential primary readings, this course offers an introduction to the history of aesthetics. Authors to be considered may include Plato, Kant, Weitz, and Danto; discussions, reading responses, and a longer essay allows students to formulate their own positions. Prerequisites: AH 100 and LA 101.
AH 300 Indian Art 3 credits
Indian art is a creative, mythical, ethnically valued, extensive area for artists to explore, and yet many research scholars after their years of research have discovered very little. There is a resulting new explosive and dimension of exploration, interpretation and inspirations. This subject gives a basic understanding on Indian art and a perspective towards its nature and existence. Note: No class on May 27.
AH 301 Arts of China 3 credits
AH 302 Arts of Japan 3 credits
Examines the arts of Japan from pre-history to the 20th century with reference to religious, cultural, and literary traditions. Group and individual projects. Prerequisites: AH 201 (Modernism and After).
AH 306 Introduction to Art Criticism 3 credits
“What is the function of a critic?” asked W.H. Auden in 1963. This course considers a range of potential answers to Auden’s question, through an overview of the history of art criticism, through a close reading of the work of several influential art critics, and through assignments that will require students to develop critical stances of their own, in relation to current shows and/or films. Prerequisite: AH 201.
AH 308 American Art of the 19thC. 3 credits
Surveys American Art of the 19th century, concentrating on painting, sculpture and architecture.
AH 309 Art Since the 1960'S 3 credits
Examines important developments in American and European art and criticism from the 1960s until the present. Topics include Minimalism, Pop, Conceptual Art, Earthworks, the art of institutional critique, performance, Feminism, site-specificity, appropriation and commodity art, activism, and Post-Modernism. Prerequisites: AH 100 and AH 201.
AH 310 Art/Arch of Ancient Near East 3 credits
Examines the diverse artistic traditions of the ancient Near East: pre- and proto-historic Sumerian, Akkadian, Neo-Sumerian, Babylonian, Kassite, Middle and neo-Assyrian, neo-Babylonian, Persian, Hittite, Phoenician, Ugaritic, Syro-Palestinian, Israelite, and the Hellenistic and Roman East. Topic-driven and centered around student exploration and discussion, this course is for those interested in ancient art, archaeology, and Middle Eastern culture. Prerequisites: AH 201.
AH 314 Nigerian Art & Archaeology 3 credits
An introduction to the study of Nigerian art and archaeology. Students discuss a number of significant ancient and modern cultures, with complex histories, religions, social and political systems that are situated in modern Nigeria. The course begins with an examination of the ancient cultures of Nok, Igbo, Ukwu, Ife and Benin that are most famous for the hundreds of exquisite terracotta and bronze sculptures. The class goes on to examine cultural expressions and their contexts in modern Nigerian societies. With the participation of African nations in a global society during the post-independence era (second half of the 20th century) the art of Nigeria became an extremely complex cultural phenomenon. We examine the major movements, figures, and styles in Nigerian modern art. Prerequisite: AH 201
AH 316 African Art Forms 3 credits
Examines traditional art forms from the continent of Africa. It deals with conceptual, philosophical, and aesthetic issues in African art, and with the fundamental character of its iconography, movement, and form. Prerequisites: AH 201.
AH 317 Africans in the New World 3 credits
Surveys African-American art from the pre-Columbian period to the present. Prerequisites: AH 201.
AH 318 Traditional African Art 3 credits
Ten societies spanning ten thousand years of African history to the present will be examined in this course with emphasis on the diversity and culture within Africa and unified artistic systems from Africa throughout the Diaspora. This course meets at the Baltimore Museum of Art. Fulfills non-Western art history requirement. MICA van provided. Juniors and seniors only.
AH 319 Art/Arch of Ancient Egypt 3 credits
Examines the art and architectural traditions of one of the most influential of the world’s civilizations: ancient Egypt. Beginning with the village culture of the pre-dynastic period, the class studies the rise of the pharaonic power and the Egyptian state in the early dynastic period, the great achievements of the old, middle, and new kingdoms, the increased impact of foreign ideas in the late dynastic period, and the brilliant new culture formed by the arrival of Greeks and Romans in the Ptolemaic and Romano-Egyptian periods. If time permits, some of the other civilizations of northeast Africa, especially those of Sudan are investigated. The class is a lecture-discussion style; students are expected to participate in class discussions and complete an oral report as well as more traditional course work. Prerequisites: AH 100 and AH 201.
AH 320 Arts of Asia 3 credits
Investigates traditions of sculpture, painting, and architecture of the Far East, and includes reference to cultural history, religious traditions, relevant literature, and performing arts. Students complete group and individual projects. Prerequisites: AH 201. Students who enroll in this class may not enroll in AH 321.
AH 321 Greek Art and Architecture 3 credits
An in-depth treatment of the art and architecture of ancient Greece from the Bronze Age to the Hellenistic period, focusing on important topics currently or traditionally discussed in the discipline, including problems of interpretation in Bronze Age art, attributions in Archaic and Classical art, perceptions concerning Hellenistic art, the influence of Greek tradition on later art styles, and the continuation of Greek art as a living tradition within the modern Western consciousness. Lecture/discussion style. Prerequisites: AH 100 and AH 201.
AH 322 American Folk Life & Folk Art 3 credits
Through a series of introductory lectures and training in field research methods, students design and conduct research projects that address the three main pivots of folk cultural studies—community, genre, and interpretation. Prerequisite: AH 201.
AH 323 Japan on Line 3 credits
This course looks at the arts of Japan from prehistory to the 20th century with reference to religious, cultural and literary traditions. There are group and individual projects and an exploration of local and Worldwide Web resources. Class meets on-line.
AH 324 History of World Textiles 3 credits
This course will provide students with a general overview of the development of textile forms and practices in various geographies and cultures, including Africa, Asia, the early Americas, India, Pacific Islands, Southeast Asia, and Islamic cultures.
AH 325 Art of the Pilgrimage Roads 3 credits
This course, aimed at upper-level students with experience in art history, examines the relations between Romanesque visual culture and the industry of pilgrimage, often viewed as a dynamic force in the development of architectural forms in the years after 1,000 CE. Through a study of relevant primary sources and recent work on medieval pilgrimage routes, this class investigates the ways in which 11th- and 12th-century art and architecture anticipated and responded to a rising tide of pilgrimage. By the end of the class, students should have a familiarity with the seminal works of the Romanesque era and an ability to relate them to contemporary economic and artistic patterns. Prerequisites: AH 201.
AH 326 History of Prints 3 credits
Examines the evolution of modern printmaking from the Renaissance through the 19th and 20th centuries using the collections of the Baltimore Museum of Art, particularly those from the Lucas and Cone collections. The first part of the course will focus on the technical innovations of earlier printmakers including the invention of lithography and seriography. With these innovations and a growing recognition of the print’s artistic significance, the stage was set for the rapid growth of the print in the 20th century. Prerequisites: AH 100 and AH 201.
AH 327 Oceanic Arts and Cultures 3 credits
Examines cultures from each of the major geographic regions of the Pacific: Melanesia, Indonesia, Australia, Micronesia, and Polynesia, in terms of the form and content of artistic expression and the roles of art forms in their respective societies. Specific areas are used to illustrate the importance of art forms to trade, religion, social reproduction, and social authority. This course enables students to visually differentiate between artistic forms from various parts of Oceania, to broaden their factual knowledge about the region, and to enable them to understand the variety of ways in which people express history, cosmology, and identity. Prerequisites: AH 100 and AH 201.
AH 327B Oceanic: Australia/Melanesia 3 credits
Over the past centuries, the Indigenous peoples of Oceania have experienced drastic changes affecting their lifestyles and cultural forms. Following the initial transition from independent nations to colonized populations, Indigenous communities have become active participants in an increasingly global world. Oceanic art has broadened from being a traditional device for symbolic communication within and among Indigenous communities to include multifaceted devices for contemporary global exchange. Part I of this course examines art created by Indigenous Australians. Attention will be paid to art production in different Australian regions, contexts, and periods. Part II will examine Melanesian art with a focus on the Trobriand Islands, and a focus on the dichotomy between art endowed with magical power for community success, and non-magical art created for internal sale.
AH 329 Fashion in the Avant-Garde 3 credits
Explores the role of fashion in modern and avant-garde art movements from the nineteenth to the mid-twentieth century. The course will begin with the Aesthetic Dress and Dress Reform movements and their connections to the Pre-Raphaelites in England and the Secessionists in Vienna. Considering ways that designers engaged with and influenced artistic movements and trends, the course will examine the role of fashion in Cubism, Constructivism, Futurism, Dada, and Surrealism. Looking at designs of the Wiener Werkstätte and designers such as Mario Fortuni, Paul Poiret, Sonia Delaunay, Varvara Stepanova, Lyubov Popova, Coco Chanel, Elizabeth Hawes, and Elsa Schiaparelli, the course will consider a wide range of themes including utopianism in dress, collaboration between artists and designers, and issues of gender within modernism.
AH 332 History of Photography 3 credits
Surveys of the development of photography from its prehistory through the present day. It includes an examination of the interrelationships between photography and other arts, the effect of technology on the photographic image, the tradition of the popular photograph, as well as the study of major photographers and photographic movements. Prerequisites: AH 201 Preference is given to photography majors.
AH 334 A Baroque Feast 3 credits
A banquet for the eyes with works by the 17th-century artists Caravaggio, Velasques, Rubens, Rembrandt, and Poussin, among others, set in sumptuous locales like Versailles, as well as middle-class homes and peasant hovels. The concept of "baroque," despite its originally pejorative connotations, is discussed as a pan-European cultural movement with regional variations, as a reaction to the increasingly airless art of late 16th-century mannerism, and in a certain sense as a revocation of some of the ideals of the Renaissance. Murder, mayhem, political intrigue, and scandal are also on the menu. Prerequisites: AH 201.
AH 336 Baroque Art in Italy 3 credits
This course examines the art and architecture of Italy from the 1560s to the 1670s, taking in the work of such major figures as Barocci, Annibale Carracci, Caravaggio, Bernini, Borromini, Poussin, Claude and Pietro da Cortona. We will focus largely on artists working in Rome who, in the seventeenth century, produced some of the most influential images, monuments, styles and genres in the history of Western art.
AH 338 Roman Art and Architecture 3 credits
An examination of the art and architecture of ancient Rome, this course explores topics relating the arts of Etruscan and early Roman Italy, the role of Greek and other influences in the Central Mediterranean, the developments of a distinctly “Roman” art under the Republic, the influence of Augustus on art and architecture, the development of Roman imperial art, and late Roman art down to the time of Constantine the Great. Organized around distinct art historical topics and student discussions, the course is designed for those with a specific interest in ancient art. Prerequisites: AH 100 and AH 201.
AH 339 19th Century French Art 3 credits
This course begins by recognizing the neoclassical style as it was promoted by the French Revolution and continued to dominate through the Napoleonic era. In the 1820s, however, romantic art, with its interest in drama, emotions, and the exotic, challenged the neoclassical tradition; by mid-century realist artists also began to rebel against an academic art that was widely perceived as “petrified.” In the process, modernism was born, and the foundation for 20th-century art established. Prerequisite: AH 201. Students may not take this class if they have taken AH 355.
AH 340 Islamic Art History 3 credits
An overview of the development of Islamic art and architecture. Lectures and discussions focus on the evolution of mosque architecture and calligraphy and on important regional centers. Prerequisites: AH 201.
AH 341 History of Graphic Design 3 credits
Aims to make designers literate about their own discipline and help them understand the connections between design and a broader history of objects and ideas. Students are exposed to a wide array of images as well as a broad range of reading materials, including primary texts by designers and cultural critics. The course focuses on 20th-century design in Europe and the United States. Prerequisites: AH 100 and AH 201.
AH 343 Material, Technique &Conservat 3 credits
This six-credit multidisciplinary course (listed jointly with Painting) fuses technical art history and studio painting. Students explore materials and techniques used in painting from the 13th century to the present, including egg tempera with gilding, specific applications of oil, and various synthetic media. Students prepare surfaces and make paint and mediums using historic materials and sources in the reconstruction of masterworks, and in the application of historic methods to original compositions. Individual projects may include encaustic or fresco. The basic principles of art conservation are introduced, and trips include a visit to the National Gallery conservation studio. Many topics covered are applicable to disciplines other than painting.
AH 345-TH Art History and its Methods 3 credits
The practice of art history has never been monolithic; its methods, its goals, and its underlying assumptions are inevitably diverse. This course is designed for students with some art historical experience, and traces the development of art history as a discipline, closely examining some of the field’s more influential methods, including formalism, iconographic analysis, reception theory, feminism, and structuralism. Prerequisites: AH 100 and AH 201.
AH 346 History of Material Culture I 3 credits
Material culture is the tangible evidence of those things created by man—including categories of site, place, architecture, fiber, and ceramics as well as theater, music, literature, and art. This material evidence has direct links to the socioeconomic and political influences under which it was created. In this class, the impact of the Industrial Revolution on the design and production of material culture and specifically the work developed in the Arts and Crafts movement will be discussed. The lectures will look at work across the disciplines of fine arts and design, with particular emphasis in the areas of environmental design, fiber, ceramics, and sculpture. Weekly lectures are augmented by a series of guest speakers and organized to reflect the range of interdisciplinary interests in this material culture course. Prerequisites: AH 100 and AH 201.
AH 347 History of Material Culture II 3 credits
A survey of material culture including architecture, furniture, painting, sculpture, textiles, jewelry, transportation, clothing, and decorative arts, as it relates to influences of time, place, and use in the human experience. Topics covered are socio-political/economic factors as well as important designers who have influenced each period to make them uniquely characteristic to a given time and place and in turn provided inspiration to later and future artists and designers. Prerequisite: AH 201.
AH 348 Medieval Art and Architecture 3 credits
Offers a generally chronological overview of European medieval art and architecture, with side glances at the influences of Byzantium and Islam. Through a series of period-based lectures and discussions of relevant primary documents, students gain a flexible, fluent knowledge of primary works made between 300 and 1348 CE. Secondary readings will also suggest a variety of applicable methods, and two visits to The Walters Art Museum will allow students to view original works and to consider the difficulties of treating medieval art outside of its original context. Prerequisites: AH 100 and AH 201.
AH 349 Food and Architecture 3 credits
This course explores the connections between food, object design, and the built environment from historical and critical perspectives. The production, presentation, distribution, and consumption of food have an impact on the design and organization of buildings, public spaces, and cities. Food is also at the center of object design, from furnishings and appliances to food carts and trucks. Finally, food is also itself an artistic and design medium, the object both of traditional arrangements and innovative compositions—from Japanese lunchboxes and kaiseki meals to the deconstructed dishes of molecular gastronomy. This course will tackle these themes from a variety of disciplinary approaches, from architectural and urban history to design theory and practices. Themes will include: café culture and the emergence of an urban public sphere; the aesthetics of Japanese architecture, food, and design; urban agriculture; food and public spaces; and food as a medium in modern and contemporary art, among other topics.
AH 350 History of Illustration 3 credits
Traces the concept of illustration as narrative art beginning with Lascaux cave paintings and working down through to contemporary times. Students look at visual storytelling and the cultural, social, political, and technological issues that shaped—and were shaped by—this terribly vital art form. Examples such as Egyptian papyri, illuminated manuscripts, Renaissance painting, moveable type and the development of printmaking (Dürer, Rembrandt, Goya), Art Nouveau and the rise of the poster, the Golden Age of American Illustration and the rise of magazine ephemera, and graphic novels and contemporary approaches to storytelling and mass production are studied. Prerequisite: AH 201.
AH 351-TH Graphic Design Theory 3 credits
This course connects the history of modern graphic design to issues in current practice. In the first unit, students will discover how avant-garde artists, architects, and poets in the early twentieth century laid the ground for the modern design professions. In the second unit, students will explore the development of typography in terms of history, theory, technology, and form. The third unit considers the relationship between design and systems; topics range from branding and rule-based aesthetics to environmentalism and social design. This hybrid course includes both an on-line and classroom component. Each week, a two-hour lecture will be complemented by one hour of moderated online discussions, quizzes, and other activities. Substantial reading and writing assignments complete the course. Prerequisite: Modernism & After
AH 352 World Prehistoric Art &Culture 3 credits
This course addresses world prehistory; that is, the period from the rise of hominids in Africa to the development of complex cultures c. 3000 BC (“mankind’s first three million years”). This era represents the vast majority of humanity’s experience here on earth, yet most people know very little about it. Some of humankind’s most important intellectual breakthroughs occurred in prehistory: the development of social systems and subsistence strategies that made human beings the most resilient, adaptable, and ultimately dominant species on the planet; the manipulation of natural materials to make tools and other objects (“material culture”); the creation of symbolic systems of communication and complex representation (language, writing, and “art”); the development of plant and animal domestication, and of complex and hierarchical social systems (“civilization”). Prerequisite: AH 201.
AH 353 Topics in Russian Art 3 credits
This course will cover specific topics in Russian Art, proceeding roughly chronologically. The course will discuss Russian icons of the 12th – 16th centuries, the major changes in painting under Peter the Great, art in Imperial Russia, the Russian Avant-Garde, Socialist Realism, and Non-Conformist Art. Particular attention will be paid to the methodologies and biases of secondary sources; primary sources will be addressed in seminar discussions and group projects.
AH 354 Late Antiquity 3 credits
This course focuses on issues of continuity and change in the visual culture of the Mediterranean world in Late Antiquity (circa 300-700 CE). During this period, complex interchanges between the Roman elite, Christian communities, and "barbarian" peoples brought about significant social and cultural transformations. Students will examine both primary sources and recent scholarship that applies new approaches to analyzing architecture, objects, and images from Late Antiquity. Topics of discussion will include the impact of secular and religious patronage on artistic production; the development of Christian iconography and debates about the role of images in the early Church; and the fluid modes of representation employed in different contexts and regions. There will be visits to the Walters Art Museum and the Dumbarton Oaks Collection
AH 355 European Art of the 19th Cent. 3 credits
Examines painting and sculpture of 19th century Europe, investigates romanticism from Neo-Classicism through the Realist and symbolist movements. Key artists of the first half of the course include Constable and Turner in England, Goya in Spain, Friedrich in Germany and Ingres, Delacroix, and Courbet in France. Also explores the modernist movements of Impressionism, post-impressionism, and symbolism. Prerequisite: AH 201.
AH 356 Contemporary Global Cinema 3 credits
While films have historically been produced and exhibited as emblems of national culture, international film festivals, multinational production companies and global distribution systems have encouraged film producers to make work that focuses on global issues and reaches a global audience. This course examines the structural issues that shape both the form and content of contemporary global cinema, and will touch on several related themes: expatriation, nativism, diasporas, and the future of globalization. Prerequisite: AH 201.
AH 357 Perform/Art in Global Context 3 credits
Considers visual and other forms of performance art from a global perspective. We will evaluate issues of intercultural artistic presentation broadly in terms of both history and culture. We will start by considering the current state of contemporary art as an intercultural practice, defining the field through a variety of examples from the worlds of art and performance. Moving into specific locations and events, such as festivals and other international venues around the world, the course will interrogate the politics behind and around the resulting aesthetics associated with these contexts. Prerequisite: AH 201.
AH 358 History of Modern Design 3 credits
Surveys the last three centuries of the development of modern utilitarian and decorative design. It provides for the examination of the rich legacy of craft production and the creative use of newer materials, from the beginning of the Industrial Revolution to the rise of modernism, and the pluralism of today. The course investigates the often contested duality between artist and artisan within the Western tradition of the visual arts, the relationship of design and mechanization, technology, environmental responsibility, individual needs, the design reforms and the role of standards for design, and the expression of social values, including the concept of “good” design and popular culture. Prerequisite: AH 201.
AH 359-TH Design Theory 3 credits
Debates about the social implications of design significantly marked modern design movements. In contemporary design theory, modern principles of social engagement have evolved and taken on new ambitions. This course provides an historical overview of texts written by important design movements and practitioners since the 19th century. Theories of architecture, product design, graphic design, textiles, and experience design will be explored through primary- and secondary-source texts. Movements to be examined include: Arts & Crafts, German Werkbund, Bauhaus, International Style, Deconstruction, Postmodernism, and interdisciplinary directions in contemporary design practice.
AH 360 African American Art 3 credits
An overview of the history of African-American art from the colonial era to the present, with an emphasis on subjects such as the idea of a distinctively African-American art, the notion of “invisibility,” and the Harlem Renaissance. Also concentrates on ways in which artists have used creativity to confront, deny, or complicate understandings of racial identity and racism, and encourages a familiarity with individual artists such as Henry Ossawa Tanner, James Van Der Zee, Aaron Douglas, Romare Bearden, and Adrian Piper. Prerequisite: AH 201.
AH 361 African Cinema 3 credits
Offers an overview of African cinema. Through screenings of selected African films, different styles, techniques and aesthetics will be explored. Students will be introduced to cinema as an artistic medium in a non-Western context through technical and formal analysis and through consideration of alternative uses of cinema. Different trends of African cinema will be addressed, including “return to the source” of the pre-colonial past, “Social Realist” narratives and critiques of postcolonial Africa, reconstruction of colonial history from the colonized perspective, and the documentary. This course offers an opportunity for looking at African culture as well as issues of social change, gender, class, tradition and modernization through African eyes.
AH 363 Modern Craft: Western Ceramics 3 credits
This course will examine the history and theory of modern craft though a study of ceramic artists and movements, primarily from Europe and America. From the Orientalists and Adelaide Robineau to today's expanded formats, this course will consider the radical changes that ceramics has experienced since the late-19th century. Lectures and readings will provide students with a chronological overview of more than a century of ceramics occurring within art, design, and architecture, but will also consider the field's links to other crafts. Time will be reserved for discussions on the consequence of socioeconomic, political, philosophical, and industrial influences as drivers of change. Prerequisite: AH 201.
AH 365 Contmp Practice in Print Media 3 credits
At the same time that information is increasingly delivered by pixel rather than ink, printed matter has become the defining visual language of the industrial world. How can print be dead when it is literally everywhere one looks? In this context, the art world has witnessed a new print revival. Through lectures, readings, field trips, and discussions, this course explores the current state of art in print and the various parallel communities that support the creation of printed art and self-publication. This course will also focus on the critical implications of new technologies, including discussion of the implications of an increasingly digital culture for artists. Prerequisite: AH 201.
AH 366 History of Animation 3 credits
Explores the history of animation from its beginnings to the present, and the social, artistic, and political contexts in which those films were created. Prerequisite: AH 201.
AH 367 Women as Creators 3 credits
This course explores the contributions of women to the world of art as creators of both traditional fine arts and crafts. This is a broad chronological study that surveys the artistic creations of women from a global perspective.
AH 370 Problems in Contemporary Art 3 credits
In a seminar format, students examine a series of case studies in recent artistic production, generally organized around a common theme; the central theme varies from year to year and instructor to instructor. Fall 2012: This course will examine some of the issues raised by the emergence of art from the Middle East on the international art scene in the last two decades. In particular, we will explore the implications for questions of regional, national, and personal identity of the development of new institutions for art in the region, of the rise in interest in Middle Eastern art since 9/11 and more recently, since the events of the “Arab Spring,” and of the strong presence on the international art scene of diasporic Middle Eastern artists.
AH 371 History of Western Sculpture 3 credits
The course focuses on Western sculpture, its origin and centuries-long evolution. Special attention is given to the radical break with this long tradition early in the 20th century as constructed and abstract sculpture emerged. The course explores how later in the century and up to the current time, an eclectic approach to three-dimensional art forms becomes an important venue for conceptual structures and objects.
AH 375 Arts of Native America 3 credits
Explores prehistoric through contemporary art of North American native peoples. Focus is on the perspective of the artists and their culture. Prerequisites: AH 201.
AH 376 Modern Architecture & Urbanism 3 credits
An introduction to modern architecture and urban planning, with a focus on those instances when the dialogue between the two professions was at its most fruitful and productive. Some topics include Haussmann’s transformation of Paris, Cerda, Gaudi, and the Eixample, Burnham, the City Beautiful, and the Chicago School, the Garden City Movement and its legacy, Frank Lloyd Wright and the Prairie School, the Bauhaus, the Futurists, and the Russian Constructivists, CIAM and the International Style, Rossi’s Neo-Rationalism, and Venturi’s Postmodernism. Time is also reserved for a discussion of contemporary ideas about architecture and urban planning, including the “New Urbanism,” of Duany and Plater-Zyberk, the “Posturbanism” of Rem Koolhaas, and the “Everyday Urbanism” of Venturi and his disciples. The class concludes with a survey of contemporary strategies for sustainable architecture and development. Prerequisites: AH 201.
AH 377 Arch., Art & the Open City 3 credits
Defined loosely as “an arena in which diverse social and ethnic groups can coexist, interact, and generate complex relationships and networks,” the ideal of the Open City is typically contrasted with the reality of the built environment in America, where homogeneous and exclusionary suburbs are abundant. This class considers the Open City as an ideal urban condition. It first traces the history of this idea, with a focus on how it has been advanced in architecture, art, philosophy, and literature; then it considers case studies of American communities, asking to what degree these communities exhibit the Open City’s ideals. Finally, the class considers how architecture and urban planning have tried to enact versions of the Open City, using tools such as inclusionary zoning and smaller-scale, site-specific projects. Prerequisites: AH 201.
AH 378 Contemp. Global Urban Dynamics 3 credits
This is a class about the contemporary city. Its aim is to evolve an awareness about the ways in which cities around the world are changing, and to use this awareness to challenge prevailing notions about urbanity, urban life, and the urbanized world. After considering various theories of globalization, the class considers case studies of various western and non-western cities and regions in order to develop a language for talking critically about what’s happening out there. Following this, with the aid of our most acute observers of global urbanization (for example, Castells, Harvey, Sassen), the class considers the social, political, and cultural currents that shape the built environment, and, finally, the implications of some of the more spectacular aspects of contemporary urbanization. Prerequisite: AH 201.
AH 379-TH Contmp Architectural Criticism 3 credits
This course presents a selected range of topics in contemporary architectural theory and criticism. Diverse answers to the question ‘What is Architecture?’ will be discussed from a historical perspective, as well from the perspective of current debates. Examining key readings in architecture and in theoretically related areas, students will learn to contextualize design questions, cross reference written texts with works of architecture, and to articulate their own design positions in written form. Invited instructors will teach this course and the precise topic of study may change from year to year
AH 380 Art & Arch.of Mesoamerica 3 credits
AH 381 Intro to Object Conservation 3 credits
This course offers an introduction to the theory and practice of object conservation, as practiced in contemporary museums and related institutions. Featuring a range of examples in different media and drawn from different cultures, and involving several appearances by specialist guests, the course will accent a cross-disciplinary approach to the subject of conservation, and will stress connections between the fields of art conservation, ethnography, and anthropology. Topics will also include deteriorating factors, procedures for handling, storage, and display, and preventive treatment.
AH 385 History of Video 3 credits
Takes a critical and historical look at independent video production and video art. Beginning with work produced in the early 1970s, the class views and discusses the different strategies of video and related theories. Numerous artists have a critical relationship to television, and many of the tapes and readings center on this relationship; others works are concerned with critical commentaries of contemporary culture and social behavior. Prerequisite: AH 201.
AH 388 Intro to Curatorial Studies 3 credits
This course will introduce and engage students in the consideration and observation of the broad spectrum of exhibition and presentation possibilities in the context of the larger art world, as well as introduce important practical skills associated with exhibition development and execution, art handling, and art presentation.
AH 389 Intro to Historic Preservation 3 credits
Historic preservation has made an important contribution to the design and management of the built environment – by affirming the value of the past, and by challenging excesses of urban renewal. But where does our current approach to preservation come from? Why do we preserve? How do we preserve, and for whom? This course will explore these questions, looking at the theory and practice of preservation from an historical and critical perspective.
AH 390 History of Film 3 credits
An overview of film history. Among the topics covered are the prehistory of cinema in the 19th century; the early emergence of narrative and documentary forms; the growth of silent film as a popular art form; the influence of Soviet montage and German expressionism; the conversion to sound cinema; the rise of such movements as the French New Wave, the American avant-garde, and revitalized Asian cinema; and such contemporary trends as “indie” cinema, digital filmmaking, and computer animation. Weekly film screenings are required in addition to regular class sessions. Prerequisite: AH 201.
AH 395 Archive/ Gallery/ Museum Pract 3 credits
This course is designed to provide students with professional development in the field of art history. Field trips and guest speakers will introduce students to a variety of archival sources and help students gain professional knowledge regarding academic, museum, and gallery settings. Students will also draft applications to graduate school and help develop programming for the lunchtime speaker series, Art@Lunch. Prerequisite: AH 201 (Modernism & After)
AH 398 Art History Independent Study 1.5-3 credits
3 Credit. For students wishing to work with a particular instructor on subject matter not covered by regularly scheduled classes, a special independent study class may be taken. A contract is required, including signatures of the instructor and the student's department chair. A 398 class may not be used to substitute for a department's core requirement or senior thesis / senior independent. Minimum of junior class standing and 3.0 GPA required.
AH 403 20th Cent. Latin American Art 3 credits
Explores the emergence of the Latin American aesthetic in the art of the 19th and 20th centuries within the context of cultural nationalism. Examines the pre-Hispanic and African heritage, the colonial past, as well as political and religious themes in Latin American art and their relationship to European and North American cultures.
AH 405 Exhibition Development Seminar 3 credits
This two-semester seminar examines the curatorial process through the research, planning and production of a major exhibition. Students serve as curators, designers and educators as they develop and implement proposals for the exhibit’s graphic and exhibit designs, interpretive texts, public programs, community outreach, website, publications, and public relations strategy. Fall semester (Part I) is devoted to the conceptualization and development of the artistic, design and educational components for the exhibition in spring semester. Previous exhibitions include Follies, Predicaments, and other Conundrums: The Works of Laure Drogoul , Comics on the Verge and At Freedom’s Door and Baltimore: Open City. Requirement: Enrollment in both semesters (Fall: AH 405- Art History elective; Spring: EX 405- studio elective in your major). Open to undergrad and graduate students in all majors by Permission of the instructor only.
AH 412 Aspects of Contemporary Art 3 credits
An introduction to individuals making art today with an emphasis on specific information from a private collection of slides, audio and videotapes, and periodicals. Reference will be made to (1) artists’ aesthetic beliefs/attitudes and specific intentions, along with criteria that determine their different art styles, and (2) specific examples of their art, concentrating on the subjects, materials, methods of working, and ways of structuring (formal organization) that makes everyone’s work what it is. Discussion is twofold, including the metaphorical relationship of artists to their world through their work and working methods, as well as the metaphoric relationship of the students to the work viewed. Prerequisites: AH 100 and AH 201.
AH 412FL SACI: History of Opera 3 credits
AH 414 Art in Nature: Listen the Wind 3 credits
Examines artists whose works belong to the original “Earth Art” movement and monumentallyscaled land masses (Smithson, Heizer, De Maria, Turrell, Ross, etc.), artists whose works emphasize the transitory and the ephemeral (Vicuña, Oppenheim, Goldworthy, Long), and artists whose works are sited in nature and acted out in the body (Mendieta, Metson, and Abramovic, among others). Special attention will be given to the relationships between art and nature (transforming, interpreting, invading, interrupting, defining, marking, and reversing); materials; significance of site; documentation of work; environmental and ecological consciousness; time, space, and scale; and spirituality. Slides, videos, readings, open discussion, student on-site in-nature projects, a paper, and a journal constitute the essence of the course. Prerequisites: AH 100 and AH 201.
AH 416 Contemporary African Art 3 credits
This course addresses the arts and artists of Africa from the 1950s to the present. Although contemporary African art is essentially post-colonial in terms of its dates, students will be introduced the historical as well as transnational contexts within which various art movements emerged. In addition to exploring the works of selected artists such as Twins Seven-Seven, Sokari Douglas Camp, Ibrahim el Salahi, Berni Searle, and Yinka Shonibare, the course examines artworks within the context of issues such as decolonization, independence, modernity, nationalism and globalization.
AH 422 Visual Culture & the Holocaust 3 credits
This graduate seminar will focus on a variety of visual cultural forms that address events surrounding the Holocaust and its aftermath. The central questions guiding our inquiry will revolve around notions of history, memory, and the ethics of representation. This course will examine diverse media ranging from painting, sculpture, film, and television to graphic novels/autobiographies, monuments/memorials, museums, individual curatorial projects/exhibitions, and performance. We will consider works by artists and architects, including Christian Boltanski, Rachel Whiteread, Art Spiegelman, Shimon Attie, David Levinthal, Renata Stih & Frieder Schnock, Daniel Liebeskind, Peter Eisenman, Charlotte Salomon, Anselm Kiefer, and Gerhard Richter as well as writings by Primo Levi, Sigmund Freud, Theodor Adorno, and Alexander and Margarete Mitscherlich. Discussions focus on questions related to genocide, cultural memory, mourning, and commemoration. Open to Graduate, Post-Bac, and Senior level students only.
AH 424 The Artist's Studio Ren.-1855 3 credits
Explores how the artist’s studio has evolved since the 15th century. We see how the studio’s evolution sheds light on the artist’s changing status in society, how artists have promoted their works over the centuries, the effect of modernization of art materials in the studio space, and the history of artistic collaboration. Specific areas covered include the itinerant versus the professional artist, problems of attribution related to the studio workshop model, use of the nude model and plaster casts in the studio, art education (apprentices and assistants) in the studio, use of optical instruments in art production, and the role of manuals and treatises over the centuries. The class spends time in local museums studying works of art and learning about methods of connoisseurship. Prerequisites: AH 201.
AH 427 Japanese Print Culture 3 credits
Examines issues in Japanese print culture, especially the development and circulation of ukiyo-e prints, during the Edo and Meiji periods (1615-1912). Topics will include technological innovations, the role of publishers, censorship, prints as didactic objects, and the reception of ukiyo-e prints in the West. Prerequisite: AH 201 (Modernism and After)
AH 428 Way of Tea 3 credits
A course based in both the theoretical and the hands-on aspects of the Japanese tea ceremony. It is cross-disciplinary, with experiences in museums and a school of tea; lectures (historical background, aesthetic theories, stylistic analysis, research on sound); hands-on participation in ceramics, fibers, graphic design, environmental design, and flowers; and participation as host and guest at tea by learning traditional gestures and postures. The style of tea taught in the course is the Urasenke School Ryakubon Form, or tray-style—the simplest, least formal, and most flexible form. Prerequisites: AH 201.
AH 429 Modern/Contemp. Chinese Art 3 credits
This course explores artistic development in China from the late nineteenth century to the present. This has been a period of extensive political upheaval including the fall of imperial rule, the growth of warlordism, the war with Japan, a civil war, and the Communist rise to power. In addition, China has been transformed by rapid economic changes since the 1980s. In this course, we will examine the effect these changes have had on the visual arts in China, focusing on painting, sculpture, and printmaking. This period provides an opportunity to examine how a country with long-standing artistic traditions can alter its visual language in response to great political, economic, and social change.
AH 430 Making Medieval Books 3 credits
Throughout the Middle Ages illuminated manuscripts were one of the most important vehicles for the development and transmission of visual ideas. This course provides a survey of European manuscript production from the early medieval period through the late Gothic era, and touches on the early history of printed books. Students learn about the lavish miniatures found in deluxe manuscripts and examine the ornamental treatment of the text, including display script, illuminated initials, colored parchment, and marginalia. Manuscript illumination is discussed in the context of the owners, users, and purchasers of these objects. In addition, students learn about the techniques and materials used to make manuscripts and the binding of medieval books. Includes lectures, class discussions, and several trips to the Walters Art Museum to view manuscripts firsthand Prerequisites: AH 201
AH 434 Dada and Surrealism 3 credits
In the 1920s and 1930s, artists, writers, and filmmakers of all nationalities produced work that was rooted primary in notions of non-rationality and intuition. Rejecting Enlightenment “reason” as complicit with systems that had used logic to justify the mass destruction of World War I, these cultural producers celebrated instead the marvelous, the irrational,and the accidental. This course examines diverse output of these so-called Dadaists and Surrealists. Should time provide, students also reflect upon the Dada revival of the 1960s and its similar roots in an antiauthoritarian age. Prerequisites: AH 201.
AH 435 Art Meets Ecology 3 credits
Cross listed with AH 435. The poet, Rainer Maria Rilke, suggests “the artist’s task is to imprint the temporary earth into ourselves so deeply and passionately that it can rise again inside us." Sculptor Jackie Bookner echoes Thomas Berry’s belief that our own actions are truly creative only when we surrender to the intimate experiencing of the primacy of the natural world and its spontaneous functioning in all we do. Students will explore these ideas through field studies at Baltimore’s Herring Run Park. Their research into basic ecological principles will serve as the foundation for an inquiry into the relationships between self and the natural world and between close observation and the impulse to create. Lectures, field experience and notebook, independent project and written critique form the basis of this class. Prerequisites: AH 100 and 201, LA 101.
AH 441 Japanese Music Performing Arts 3 credits
Enjoy the world of Japanese music, theater, performance, and sound aesthetics. Introduction to traditional musical instruments; secular and religious (Shinto and Buddhist) performance; and Noh (masked), Kabuki (popular), and Bunraku (puppet) theatre. No music background necessary. Prerequisites: AH 100 and AH 201.
AH 442 Bodies and Sites 3 credits
Over the last decade, art historians have increasingly examined aspects of embodied subjectivity in art and architecture. These inquiries have been critical to the understanding of such analytical themes as performance, spectacle, ritual, gender, and the materiality of the media within the scope of producing, viewing, and experiencing the visual world. This course will explore ideas of embodiment and experiential encounters with “art” from the late 19th century to the present within a global context. Relying on diverse theories and methodologies that address the body, corporeal encounters, spectatorship, and embodiment (such as anthropology, cultural studies, Lacanian psychoanalysis, film and theater studies), this course will examine a range of artistic works, including photography, installations, performance art, monuments and memorials, site-specific works, and architecture.
AH 443 The Bauhaus 3 credits
Examines the practical and theoretical innovations of the Bauhaus school of design, located in Germany between the First and Second World Wars. Examines the highly influential pedagogical model of the preliminary and form-theory courses as well as the significant objects and prototypes conceived in various workshops—such as weaving, pottery, furniture, metalwork, and graphic design. Also looks at the shift from the early, so-called Expressionist phase of the Bauhaus to the later, functionalist phase, which coincided with the move of the institution to the city of Dessau. While examining this history, the class also considers the key debates that have shaped Bauhaus scholarship and the reception of Bauhaus ideas within art and design history. Prerequisites: AH 201.
AH 445 Postwar Italian Cinema 3 credits
Examines several examples of literary adaptation, reading closely both the literary texts and their cinematic counterparts. Investigates the politics of adaptation, as well as the criteria by which we can evaluate films based on texts as works of art in their own right. Analyzes both the films and the texts that we cover, focusing on individual authors’ works, as well as how they generate a dialogue between one another. Prerequisites: AH 201.
AH 446 Arch&Public Dimensns/ Cont Art 3 credits
This course will investigate postwar art practices that emerged out of a discontent with the ideals of functionalism and progress preached by international architecture on the one hand, and technoscientistic oriented pictorial and sculptural practices on the other. Throughout the Americas and Europe, the postwar situation was marked by both a crisis of rationalism and an ethics of reconstruction: in Europe, the horror of mass extermination; in the U.S., the eminence of capital and mass consumption; and in the Americas, the clash between modernity and underdevelopment. During this period, artists as disparate as Helio Oticica, Dan Graham, and Constant, in their efforts to supercede conventional object-based sculptural and pictorial paradigms deployed various architectural strategies such as the use of real space, environmental scale and temporal conditions, an engagement with urban experience, a concern with spectator involvement and public address, a critique of monumentality, and the incorporation of the vernacular. In exploring more recent aesthetic practices engaged in a dialogue with social space and its different constituencies we will ask: What is the relationship between socio-economic urban structures and emergent visual practices? What models of spectatorship and participation are embodied? How is the city and the global administrative network that regulates it, subverted or foregrounded? These are some of the questions that we will address in class.
AH 448 Jewish Art: Moses to Modernity 3 credits
Focuses on the major monuments of Jewish art produced in the ancient and medieval periods. It considers issues such as the function and (sometimes the problem) of “the image,” interaction with surrounding cultural and religious traditions (such as Hellenism, Christianity, and Islam), the decoration of the synagogue, and the illumination of manuscripts. Prerequisites: AH 100 and AH 201.
AH 451 Artists as Writers 3 credits
This course will consider historical and contemporary writings by artists and examine artworks that use text as an integral element. Considering issues of representation, appropriation, and modernism versus postmodernism within these documents, we will ask: When is the artist who writes a cultural critic, a diarist, scriptwriter, or archivist? What is the relationship between his or her textual and artistic practice? Artists’ writings will be considered in their historical context and alongside relevant works of art.
AH 452 Contemporary Art Seminar 3 credits
Considers movements and issues in art since the 1960s in relation to students’ own studio work. Combines lectures and seminars with group and individual critiques and reading programs. Lectures and seminars focus on the work, primarily since the ’60s, that reflects on its own art-historical, architectural, institutional, and discursive contexts. Topics include minimalism, performance, conceptual art, the art of institutional critique, and site-specificity. Examines the relations between artistic movements, considers their social and political context, and studies key texts by artists and critics. Prerequisites: AH 201.
AH 455 Reliquaries 3 credits
In many traditions, reliquaries have been fashioned to house sacred remains, and to signify the link between past and present. This course will explore the main themes of the special exhibition Treasures of Heaven: Saints, Relics and Devotion in Medieval Europe at the Walters Art Museum. In addition, it will consider cross-cultural and contemporary conceptions of reliquaries. Students will develop a broad understanding of reliquary traditions through an analysis of primary and secondary sources; research on the formal and symbolic aspects of reliquaries; and museum visits. Prerequisites: AH 100 and AH 201.
AH 458 Gods, Graves & Scholars 3 credits
This course introduces students to field methods in art history and archaeology, using the ancient Mediterranean as a “laboratory,” from the origins of agriculture and town life to traditions in the modern period. The course title is from C.W. Ceram’s classic book, which introduced generations of readers to a romantic view of archaeology. The class consists of two 3 credit experiences: For the first half of the semester, weekly six-hour course meetings will be divided into lecture and discussion periods, with studio-based practica involving object drawing, mapping, and modeling. For the second half of the semester, instructors will also be actively working to involve students in a research project involving the ancient site of Lucus Augusti (modern Lugo) in Spain—including an opportunity to travel to that site.
AH 459 Art, Arch, Ideology/Dictatrshp 3 credits
This seminar examines the visual culture of Fascist Italy, Nazi Germany, Stalinist Russia, and Greece under Metaxas with a view toward how totalitarian regimes do (and do not) shape visual culture. Before embarking on four case studies, students review working models of what constitutes avant-garde and modern practice in order to consider these regimes’ influence on the art, architecture, and film produced within the greater context of European modernism. Throughout the course (e.g., WPA programs), students analyze both the aestheticization of politics and the politicization of aesthetics. Lastly, the course includes a brief consideration of visual culture in the United States contemporary to the four European totalitarian regimes under investigation. Prerequisites: AH 100 and AH 201.
AH 464 Contemp. Asia thru Postcolonl 3 credits
Focuses on post-colonialism and cultural theory as the theoretical framework for understanding contemporary culture and art of Asia. The readings of Asia extend beyond the scope of traditional, Eastern, and Oriental perspectives of study. Students look at the difference between the Asian experience, as embodied by personal politics, to the disembodied/dislocated Internet advertisement of Asia-exotica in order to gain a broader understanding of what determines “Asian-ness” and its difference within a cultural situation, and how Asian cultural objects are manifested in a global context. Prerequisite: AH 201.
AH 465 Contemporary Portraiture 3 credits
This interdisciplinary seminar examines portraiture through case studies that combine the work of specific artists with art criticism and theory. In addition to providing a historiographic overview of the genre, the course examines the motivation behind and function of portraiture in varied settings. Authors to be read include philosophers and psychoanalysts such as Montaigne, Barthes, Foucault, Freud, Lacan, and Derrida, as well as critics Louis Marin, Georges Didi-Huberman, and Richard Brilliant. Artists featured are Bruce Nauman, Glenn Ligon, Dawoud Bey, Cindy Sherman, Nikki Lee, Ken Lum, Fiona Tan, William Kentridge, Shirin Neshat, Lorna Simpson, Gillian Wearing, Ben Gest, Michelangelo Pistoletto, Zwelethu Mthethwa, Christian Boltanski, Jenny Saville, Yasumasa Morimura, Felix Gonzalez-Torres, Adrian Piper, Isaac Julien, Diane Arbus, Chris Ofili, Sophie Calle, Tracy Emin, and more.
AH 470 Topics in Ancient Art: Bronze 3 credits
The Trojan War has fired imaginations since the end of the Bronze Age in Europe, from Homer’s Iliad to Ovid’s Metamorphoses, from medieval romances to modern movies and graphic novels. But it also inspired the birth of the science of archaeology, as scholars of the 19th and 20th centuries attempted to prove that the war and its great heroes really existed. This seminar-style class examines the Bronze Age cultures of the ancient Aegean, as well as the ancient sources and documents, and try to address the question: Was there really a Trojan War? Prerequisite: AH 201.
AH 470B Art, Artists, and the City 3 credits
Work for Central Baltimore," a unique studio class that we propose to teach at MICA in the Spring of 2010. The studio would critically examine recent strategies to use the arts, history and culture as tools for revitalization. Taking Central Baltimore and its "Station North Arts District" as our focus, the studio will ask students to work with members of the Central Baltimore community to analyze and assess existing arts-based revitalization strategies in order to suggest new ways in which art can contribute to Central Baltimore's vitality and sustainability. Ultimately, the studio's goal will be to produce a collection of implementable arts-based design and planning ideas for Central Baltimore, ranging in scale from vision plans, to temporary events, to small-scale, interventions.
AH 472 Women in the History of Art 3 credits
Explores the role women have played in the visual arts as artists, patrons, critics, and historians. This upper-level course is suitable for advanced undergraduate and graduate students. Prerequisites: AH 100 and AH 201.
AH 473 Mod. Italian Art, Arch &Design 3 credits
An overview of modernism and nationalism in Italian visual culture from 1861 to the present. Movements covered include Realism, the Macchiaioli, Stile Liberty, Divisionism, Futurism, Rationalism, Metaphysical Painting, Novecento, Arte Povera, and Memphis. Readings and lectures focus on the relationship between art, architecture, design, and politics, beginning with Italy’s reunification and continuing through the post-war decades of reconstruction. Through the study of international exhibitions and expositions, students also consider intersections and interactions between Italian artistic practitioners and their foreign counterparts. Prerequisite: AH 201
AH 475 The World on Show 3 credits
Examines the world’s fair phenomenon from 1851, when the first major international exposition was held in London, to the International Decorative Arts and Modern Industry fair held in Paris in 1925. These large-scale exhibitions were encyclopedic in their scope and were designed to demonstrate western progress in industry, trade, transportation, arts, sciences and culture. This course will closely examine approximately 12 international fairs held in Europe and the United States from 1851 to 1925. Pays special attention to the design of each fair, including its architecture and layout, and importantly, the classification and display of nations, peoples, and objects. Prerequisite: AH 201.
AH 476 Latin American Architecture 3 credits
The course presents Latin America’s modern architecture in relation to cultural, political, artistic, and economic currents. We will consider the meaning of “Latin American Modernism” and the very possibility of an autonomous, self-determined local identity in a region that has been historically constituted out of multiple global forces. These forces include the material and symbolic legacy of the Iberian colonizers; the influence of immigrants from Europe, Africa, and Asia; the presence of diverse indigenous cultures; and the ambivalence towards foreign cultural models. Case studies will be drawn from Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Mexico, Venezuela, and Uruguay, among others. We will raise questions of modernism and modernity, local identity, political independence, economic development, social inequality, globalization, recent architectural developments, and heritage.
AH 477 Geometric Abstraction Americas 3 credits
The artists covered in this course—from South, Central, and North America—considered spectatorship and subjectivity, public address and environmental scale, as integral to their sculptural and pictorial work. Although under the aegis of Constructivism, these artists sought to absorb and displace Constructivist tenets: autonomy, rationalism, functionalism, objectivity, systematicity, and technological optimism. The concept of crisis will be used to understand (1) the transfigurations to the Constructivist model performed by these artists, (2) the historical conditions that underscored the reception of certain European artists and works in the region, and (3) the aesthetic operations that led to a redefinition of the modernist work of art, the exhibition space, and the viewer.
AH 478 Modern/Cont Arab Art & Culture 3 credits
This seminar will examine modern and contemporary visual production from the Arab world using as a lens key texts that highlight issues pertaining to post-colonial contexts. Some of these texts will be specific to the history of art, while others will be drawn from cultural studies more broadly. The aim of this course is twofold: first, to familiarize students with a little known area of visual production, and second, to acquaint them with textual and critical tools that might be applied to other contexts in the visual arts.
AH 479 Trauma 3 credits
This seminar investigates the connections between artmaking and trauma in the twentieth century. Our particular emphasis will be on the cataclysmic effects of armed conflict, from WWI to Vietnam, 9/11, and Afghanistan. Other modes of disruption and dislocation will also be considered, such as forced migration, slavery and diaspora, economic crisis, and psychic or domestic violence. As such, we will investigate a wide spectrum of artists and practices, from Weimar-era painting and Marcel Duchamp's portable objects to Cindy Sherman's photographs and Mike Kelly's installations. Readings will blend primary sources with passages of military and social history, and will be supplemented be germane film and literature. Key art historical touchstones will be Rosalyn Deutsche, TJ Demos, Susan Emily Apter, Susan Buck-Morss, and Hal Foster.
AH 480 Performance Art 3 credits
This course investigates the development of performance art from the 1960s to the present. It is guided by inquiries into how conceptual and performance work has encouraged new theorizations of identity (gender, class, race, sexuality) on a personal and social scale. Our investigation will interrogate the politics of participation and the ethics of spectatorship. Serving as an introduction to the practice of visual artists using their bodies, time, and space as mediums for their work we will engage the history of performance art to gain an understanding of these practices, their context, and their influence on the contemporary world. Special areas of focus will be: Futurism, Fluxus, Neo-Dada, the 60's and 70's in America, and the Interventionists. We will examine artists such as: Sol Lewitt, Joseph Beuys, Chris Burden, Allan Kaprow, the Womanhouse Project, Judy Chicago, Marina Abromovic, e-Xplo, Orlan, YOMANGO, Critical Art Ensemble, Tino Seghal, and Gregor Schneider among others. By the end of this course, students will be able to (1) Demonstrate a familiarity with canonical and lesser-known performance artists and their work (2) Approach performance historically and theoretically as a lens for understanding, critiquing, and creating art, and (3) Critically think through the complexities of the world they live in and the relationships of performance art to their worlds.
AH 481 Colonial/Postcolonial/Postmode 3 credits
Postmodernism and Postcolonial theory are vital avenues into understanding the production and reception of art during the past fifty years. This course will explore the various debates that constitute those critical formations, emphasizing art practice, theoretical texts, criticism, and exhibition design from the United States and Europe to Africa, Latin America, and South Asia. In so doing, we will look more deeply into the formation of global modernity and its entanglements with the colonial enterprise, in order to answers questions such as: is the "post" in postmodern the same as in postcolonial? Is postmodernism a continuation of the modernist project? Can we speak of centers and peripheries in the history of contemporary art? And what is the difference between the modern and the contemporary?
AH 483 The Medium in Contem Art 3 credits
Investigates the recent, expanded concept of the "medium" in contemporary art. We will begin by considering the debates that shaped the definition of "medium" and "medium specificity" within European and American modernism, and then consider how, in the 1960s and 70s, movements like minimalism, conceptual art, and institutional critique rejected those modernist criteria. More recently, relational aesthetics has defined its "medium" as a set of situations in which viewers actively participate. And artists since the mid-1990s consider it normal to use a spectrum of media—from drawing to video, installation art to performance—within a single body of work. Authors and critics to be examined include Clement Greenberg, Michael Fried, Hal Foster, Rosalind Krauss, Alex Potts, Nicolas Bourriaud, and Tim Griffin.
AH 484 Sites, Places and Monuments 3 credits
This graduate seminar will explore the thorny issues of site specificity and monumentality in contemporary art. We will trace their genealogy in the work of the sixties and seventies (Smithson, Matta-Clark, Serra) and will map the experimental terrain they engendered in the sculptural reversals that followed: (Wodiczko, Holzer, Jaar, Salcedo, Whiteread). Issues of memory and representation in public space will be addressed by case studies of artists engaging the notion of the "countermonument" and monumentality and of exhibitions which attempted to articulate similar issues (Mary Jane Jacob's Culture in Action, 1993 and Bruce Ferguson's Longing and Belonging, 1995). Finally, we will discuss "aesthetic agency," community-oriented work and the influence of relational aesthetics in work produced in the last ten years (Sierra, Hirschhorn, Tiravanija and others).
AH 485 Conflict and Coexistence 3 credits
The course introduces students to research and studio practice surrounding the topic of settlement patterns and strategies in the Middle East, from the origins of town life to the contemporary period. Topical discussions will focus on issues like settlement patterns and lifeways in the Middle East; the importance of nomadic pastoralists and other “alternatives” to patterns of sedentism; the role of geography and natural resources; behavioral and cultural reactions to stressed geographies and ideas of sustainability; interaction of different settlement/behavioral patterns through time, the art and architecture of early city dwellers, and survivals of traditional lifeways in the contemporary era. The weekly six-hour course meeting will be divided in to lecture and discussion periods, and studio-based practica involving mapping, modeling, and other environmental design techniques.
AH 490A Topics World Art/Arch: Gardens 3 credits
This course includes a survey of the history of garden and landscape design from prehistory to the 20th century. It explores the relationship among gardens, buildings, and human beings throughout history from ancient Mesopotamia to contemporary America. Putting equal emphasis on eastern and western traditions of the garden design, it discusses interactions among different civilizations and their impact on the design of gardens and pavilions. This course also examines contemporary approaches in studying gardens through landscape, architectural, and artistic lenses. It examines the cultural, political, social, metaphysical, and materialistic context of gardens and explores the relationship between solid and void in the history of landscape and garden design. (Please Note: No Class May 27)
AH 499 AH Senior Thesis Seminar 3 credits
The senior thesis seminar in Art History will instruct students in advanced library- and archival-research methods. Students will produce substantial thesis papers and create presentations for a formal conference of their research. The course will help focus their research and writing through in-class workshops and individual meetings with the professor.