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Information on this website is posted for historical reference only. Please visit the Office of the Registrar for current requirements.

Art History

1. Introduction to the History of Art I

11F, 12F: 11

A study of the basic problems in the understanding and criticism of architecture, sculpture, the graphic arts, and painting in Western and non-Western cultures. The course introduces the student to the basic terminology of the arts, the language of stylistic criticism, and the relationship of the arts to each other and to their historical background.

Art History 1 will concentrate on historical periods prior to 1500. Dist: ART; WCult: W. Corrigan, Kangas.

2. Introduction to the History of Art II

12W, 13W: 11

A survey of art and architecture from 1500 to the present. The course introduces the student to the basic terminology of the arts, the language of stylistic criticism, and the relationship of the arts to each other and to their historical background. Art History 1 is not prerequisite to Art History 2. Priority for enrollment is given to first- and second-year students. Dist: ART; WCult: W. Heck, Kenseth.

4. Introduction to World Architecture

12S: 2

A comparative study of several architectural styles past and present, Western and Non-Western. Consideration will be given to a variety of building types ranging from the monumental to the residential. Dist: ART. Heck, Hockley.

7. First-Year Seminars in Art History

Consult special listings

10. Foreign Study I

12S, 13S: D.F.S.P.

The History of Art in Rome. This course entails the on-site examination of mosaics, paintings and sculptures of particular art historical interest. The approach will be thematic, with emphasis falling on major issues within the History of Art. These may include narrative, iconography, social history, gender, perception, patronage, and formal analysis.

Prerequisite: membership in the Foreign Study Program. Cohen.

11. Foreign Study II

12S, 13S: D.F.S.P.

Architecture and Urbanism in Rome. Rome offers a broad array of building types, architectural styles and urban spaces. This course introduces students to the principles of architectural analysis, while simultaneously plotting out a history of Roman architecture and urbanism. The course will begin with the study of ancient architecture. It will, however, focus on the evolution of architectural practices and forms during the late Middle Ages, Renaissance, and Baroque.

Prerequisite: membership in the Foreign Study Program. Dist: ART; WCult: W. The staff.

12. Foreign Study III

12S, 13S: D.F.S.P.

The Language and Culture of Rome. This course is equivalent to Italian 2. This course aims at expanding students’ knowledge of Italian language and culture. It begins with a review of basic verb forms and moves on to explore new tenses and moods. Throughout, students engage in practical exercises geared to improve their oral and written expression, as well as enhance their vocabularies. All classes will be conducted in Italian. Note that this course may not be counted as part of the Art History major.

Prerequisite: membership in the Foreign Study Program. The staff.

16. Special Topics in the History of Art

12W: 11 12S: 12 12F: 10

In 12W, Indigenous Australian Art and the Politics of Curation (pending faculty approval). This course studies contemporary Indigenous Australian art and the cultural practices, philosophical beliefs and socio-political events that shape it. It focuses on case studies of leading contemporary artists. Through discussions of Indigenous identity, aesthetics, history and curation, we will address the politics of place, cultural representation and the changing paradigms of exhibition. Students will undertake close readings of seminal texts on art and postcolonial museology and will collaborate on an exhibition at the Hood Museum. Dist: ART; WCult: CI. Gilchrist.

In 12S, Mexican Muralism (identical to Latin American, Latino and Caribbean Studies 48). This survey course introduces students to Mexican muralism. Students will learn about the fresco technique and how to visually analyze a mural. We will consider the following themes: cultural nationalism; art and class politics; the legacy of muralism in the US; the ethics of aesthetic indigenism; and the gender politics of public art. Student projects will concentrate of Jose Clemente Orozco’s mural at Dartmouth College. Dist: ART; WCult: CI. Coffey.

In 12F, Mexican Art. In this course we study Mexican art through the research and exhibition of the Hood Museum’s collection of Mexican art. Students will learn about the history of Mexican art, enhance skills in the visual analysis of modern and contemporary art, refine their ability to conduct original research and to write effectively, and develop an understanding of the logistics, politics, and aesthetics of mounting an exhibition. Dist: ART; WCult: W. Coffey.

17. Special Topics in the History of Art

12S: 2 12F: 10A 13W: 10A

In 12S, Abstract Expressionism. Abstract Expressionism, the first American artistic movement to gain international recognition, embodied many conflicts and paradoxes. Steeping themselves in earlier European modernism, the artists nonetheless pursued a style that was to be a-historical in its immediacy. They aimed to address the most profound questions of civilization solely through acts of spontaneity. Lectures, readings, and discussions will examine Pollock, Gorky, DeKooning, Rothko, and others amidst the complexities of American culture of the 1930s, 40s, and 50s. Dist: ART; WCult: W. Jordan.

In 12F, Caravaggio (pending faculty approval). Sometimes called the first modern artist, Caravaggio spurned tradition and radically changed the course of painting in 16th- and early 17th-century Italy. This course examines the works he produced during his short and violent life, and considers as well the impact his dramatic and streetwise style had on his followers. Dist: ART; WCult: W. Kenseth.

In 13W, Ancient Art and Myth. Rich and suspenseful, ancient mythology holds a central place in our imagination. One thinks of myths as a series of definitive plots, but art reveals all sorts of interpretive disagreements. Ancient art did not just illustrate mythology but participated in its construction. This course considers the notions of myth and visual story-telling from a theoretical perspective; briefly explores mythological narrative in the ancient Near East and Egypt; and focuses on myth-making in Greece and Rome. Dist: ART; WCult: W. Kangas.

20. The Art of Ancient Egypt and the Ancient Near East

11F: 12 13S: 12

A study of painting, sculpture, architecture, and occasionally minor arts in the Near East and Egypt from prehistory through approximately the first millennium B.C.E. The course aims at a parallel treatment of the Egyptian and various Near Eastern civilizations, especially those that developed in Mesopotamia, Anatolia, Syria/Palestine, and Iran. Special attention will be paid to the cultural contacts among different ancient centers at key moments in history, as conjured up by individual monuments. Dist: ART; WCult: NW. Kangas.

21. The Art of Greece: Prehistoric to Classical

11F: 10A

The course treats chronologically the history of Greek art from its beginnings to the end of the fifth century B.C. The principal monuments of architecture, sculpture, and painting will be examined in terms of style, theme, and context. The question will be posed as to how Greek art came to serve Greek society, while some attention will also be given to the ways in which the classical tradition has persistently served later cultures. Dist: ART; WCult: W. Cohen.

22. Late Classical and Hellenistic Art in the Greek World

Not offered in the period from 11F through 13S

Dist: ART; WCult: W. Kangas.

25. Roman Art

12W: 12

A study of architecture, sculpture, painting, and decorative arts in Rome and the Empire from the Republican period through the second century A.D. Such issues as the influence of the Etruscan and Greek traditions, stylistic change and its determinants, and the role of art in Roman society will be considered in relation to both the great public monuments of Republican and Imperial Rome and the works made for private individuals. Dist: ART; WCult: W. Corrigan.

30. Early Christian Art

13W: 12

A study of painting, sculpture, architecture, and the minor arts in the Mediterranean from the third through seventh centuries. Emphasis will be placed on the role of art in late antique society, especially in the process of transformation from the classical to the medieval world. Dist: ART; WCult: W. Corrigan.

31. Byzantine Art

Not offered in the period from 11F through 13S

Dist: ART; WCult: W. Corrigan.

32. Early Medieval Art

13S: 10A

Though the 8th-11th centuries are often erroneously known as the “Dark Ages,” this course will explore the vibrant life in the emerging northern Europe of Charlemagne and William the Conqueror. Evolving methods of societal organization and identity through religion, nationhood and the cult of personality will be examined through the art and architecture of the period. Dist: ART; WCult: W. Carroll.

33. Gothic Art and Architecture

Not offered in the period from 11F through 13S

Dist: ART; WCult: W. Carroll.

36. Italian Medieval Art and Architecture, 1200-1400

11F: 11

What is it to picture divinity? What can paintings do that texts cannot? How do public buildings communicate political ideas? This course addresses such questions in relation to the art and architecture of late medieval Italy. We analyze paintings by Duccio, Giotto, and the Lorenzetti, sculptures by the Pisani, and Italian Romanesque and Gothic architecture. We discuss these in relation to mendicant spirituality, communal politics, and the emergence of Italian vernacular literature. Dist: ART; WCult: W. Randolph.

40. Florence 1400-1450: Culture, Politics, Society

Not offered in the period from 11F through 13S

Dist: ART; WCult: W. Randolph.

41. Italian Visual Culture, 1450-1500

Not offered in the period from 11F through 13S

Dist: ART; WCult: W. Randolph.

42. The High Renaissance and Mannerism in Italy

12F: 2A

A study of the major monuments of painting and sculpture in Italy during the sixteenth century. The course surveys the classical style of the High Renaissance (beginning with Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo, and Giorgione) and then traces the development of Mannerism and Maniera in the work of such artists as Pontormo, Bronzino, and Tintoretto. The art of the reformers at the end of the century is also considered, especially as it looks forward to the Baroque. Dist: ART; WCult: W. Kenseth.

43. Northern Renaissance Art

12W: 10A

A survey of the major monuments of painting, sculpture, and the graphic arts in the Low Countries, Germany, and France, from the late fourteenth century through the Reformation. Content as well as style is examined in the light of its relation to social transformation and the cultural evolution of the period. Emphasis is placed on the work of such significant personalities as the van Eycks, van der Weyden, Bosch, Bruegel, Grünewald, Dürer, and Holbein. Dist: ART. Class of 2007 and earlier: WCult: EU. Class of 2008 and later: WCult: W. Carroll.

45. Southern Baroque Art

Not offered in the period from 11F through 13S

Dist: ART; WCult: W. Kenseth.

46. Northern Baroque Art

12S: 10A

Painting in Flanders and Holland from 1600 to 1700. This course considers the naturalistic tradition from Caravaggio’s northern followers to the Haarlem School of Hals; the art of Rembrandt; the classical genre of Vermeer and the Delft School; Rubens and the Flemish High Baroque. The growth of specialized genres of painting and the differing aesthetic aims of Dutch and Flemish painters are viewed against the background of the Protestant reformation and the rise of a mercantile society. Dist: ART; WCult: W. Kenseth.

48. Rococo to Neoclassicism

12W: 2A

This course explores the transformative period in European art and culture between 1700 and 1800, when the Rococo, seen as playful and decadent, gave way to the politically and morally charged art of Neoclassicism. We study painting, sculpture, and prints in France, England, and Italy in relation to academic art theory, the public sphere, the exhibition, the Grand Tour, colonialism, and the socio-political upheavals leading to the French Revolution. Artists include Hogarth, Boucher, Tiepolo, Kauffman, Reynolds, David. Dist: ART; WCult: W. O’Rourke.

50. Romanticism

Not offered in the period from 11F through 13S

Dist: ART. WCult: W.

51. Realism, Impressionism and Post-Impressionism

Not offered in the period from 11F through 13S

Dist: ART; WCult: W.

52. Building America: An Architectural and Social History (Identical to History 34)

12S: 11

This course draws upon recent scholarship in anthropology, archaeology, material culture, social history and architectural history in its review of five centuries of American architecture. Course lectures not only emphasize America’s principal architects and their designs, but also summarize the social and cultural forces that shaped the country’s built landscape. Dist: ART; WCult: W. Heck.

53. Classic Modernism: Painting and Sculpture 1900-1914

Not offered in the period from 11F through 13S

54. The First Crisis of Modernism: Painting and Sculpture 1914-1945

Not offered in the period from 11F through 13S

55. Late and Post-Modernism: Art from 1945 to the Present

Not offered in the period from 11F through 13S

Dist: ART; WCult: W.

59. Modern Architecture

Not offered in the period from 11F through 13S

Dist: ART; WCult: W. Heck.

60. The Arts of China

Not offered in the period from 11F through 13S

Dist: ART; WCult: NW. Hockley.

61. Introduction to Korean Art (Identical to Asian and Middle Eastern Studies 38)

12S: 2A

This course will introduce the arts and culture of Korea from the prehistoric period through the twentieth century.  Significant examples of painting, ceramics, sculpture, and architecture will be closely examined in their political, social, and cultural contexts.  We will explore how East Asian motifs were incorporated into traditional Korean art. We will see how Korea struggled to find its artistic identity within the international context during the 20th century. Dist: ART; WCult: NW. Kim.

63. Sacred Art and Architecture of Japan

13W: 10

This course examines Shinto and Buddhist architectural, sculptural, painting and print traditions from the prehistoric to the modern era. The primary emphasis will be on the relationship of these arts to their doctrinal sources and the ritual, social, and political contexts in which they were created and utilized. Dist: ART; WCult: NW. Hockley.

64. The Japanese Painting Tradition

Not offered in the period from 11F through 13S

Dist: ART; WCult: NW. Hockley.

65. Japanese Prints

12W: 10 13S: 11

A survey of the Japanese print tradition from its inception in the seventeenth century through modern prints in the early twentieth century, this course emphasizes the relationship between prints and the political, social, and cultural milieu in which they circulated. The curriculum includes applications of recent critiques and theoretical approaches from fields as diverse as sexuality and gender studies, mass culture and media studies, aesthetics of popular arts, and the sociology of consumption. Dist: ART; WCult: NW. Hockley.

66. The Camera in Nineteenth-Century Asia

Not offered in the period from 11F through 13S

Dist: ART; WCult: NW. Hockley.

67. Contemporary Arts of Asia

12F: 11

This course examines the contemporary art of Asia from a variety of historical, cultural, and critical perspectives. Lectures, readings and discussions range across broad themes such as identity, globalization, trans-nationalism, and feminism and include examination of both traditional and new media. Case studies examine the work of both well-established and emerging young artists. This course is designed to equip students with the critical skills necessary to appreciate, discuss, and analyze contemporary Asian art. Dist: ART; WCult: NW. Hockley.

70. American Encounters: From Conquest to 1900

11F: 10

This course surveys visual culture in North America from the sixteenth century to 1900. In addition to the development of Anglo-American culture and identity, the course also explores the influence of Dutch, Spanish, and French settlers as well as Native American, African, and Asian contributions to North American art. We will consider painting, sculpture, architecture, photography, graphic art, folk traditions, and material culture with special emphasis on race, nation, gender, and class. Dist: ART; WCult: CI. Coffey.

71. The “American Century”: Modern Art in the United States

12S: 10

This course surveys visual culture in North America over the twentieth century. While the United States will be emphasized, we will also consider art produced in Canada and Mexico. In addition to mainstream artists, we will explore art produced by marginalized communities, in particular African Americans, Native Americans, Asian Americans, Mexican Americans, women, and Queer artists. Genres covered include: painting, sculpture, mural art, performance, installation, photography, and political graphics. Dist: ART; WCult: CI. Coffey.

75. Twentieth Century Art from Latin America (Identical to Latin American and Caribbean Studies 78)

Not offered in the period from 11F through 13S

Dist: ART; WCult: CI. Coffey.

76. Mexican Modernism

Not offered in the period from 11F through 13S

Dist: ART; WCult: CI. Coffey.

80, 81, 82, 83, 84. Advanced Seminars in Art History

Intensive study of special fields in art history. Open to all classes without prerequisite (except as noted), but with the permission of the instructor.

80. Advanced Seminar

Not offered in the period from 11F through 13S

81. The Colonial Lens

12W: 2

This course examines the uses of photography by colonial governments, anthropologists, commercial photographers, and tourists in nineteenth-century Africa and Asia. While the primary focus of the course is on photographs, consideration is also given to the diffusion of photographic images into other media including news publications, government documents, academic studies, travelogues, guidebooks, and museum displays. Hockley.

82. History of Museums and Collecting.

12S: 2A

This seminar will look closely at the history of museums and collecting from 16th and 17th century cabinets of curiosity to modern institutions such as the Smithsonian, MoMA and the Centre Pompidou.  In addition to examining the theoretical and philosophical foundations of museums, the course will consider how museums and private collections reflect the social and political aspirations of their founders. The seminar will include several field trips to museums and collections in New England. Kenseth.

83. Topic to be announced. Cohen.

12F: 2A

84. Advanced Seminar

Not offered in the period from 11F through 13S

85. Senior Seminar in Art Historical Theory and Method

11F: 3A

This course, identical to Art History 86, constitutes the Culminating Experience in the Art History major. Cohen.

86. Senior Seminar in Art Historical Theory and Method

12W: 10A 13W: 10A

This course, identical to Art History 85, constitutes the Culminating Experience in the Art History major. Coffey.

89. Independent Study

All terms: Arrange

Independent Study is intended for advanced students who have demonstrated their ability to do independent research in art history and who wish to study some topic in greater depth than is possible in a regularly scheduled course or seminar. The Independent Study project should be preceded by at least one Art History course in an area related to the topic under consideration, and may even develop out of that course. A student interested in undertaking Independent Study must first submit a proposal to the faculty member with whom he or she wishes to study. Assuming agreement by that faculty member, the proposal will then be reviewed by the entire Art History faculty. Ordinarily, this must be done in the term immediately preceding the term in which the Independent Study course will be taken. The Independent Study course cannot be used to fulfill any of the requirements of the Art History major or minor.