Art History Course Offerings

Spring 2022

See complete information about these courses in the course offerings database. For more information about a specific course, including course type, schedule and location, click on its title.

Modern Art in Barcelona: From Gaudi to Dali

ARTH 268 - King, Elliott H.

Spanning the years 1888 to 1939, a period bookended by the Barcelona Universal Exposition and the end of the Spanish Civil War, this course provides a firsthand look at the artists, architects, and designers who defined Catalan modern art in the late-19th and early 20thcentury. Students will study the aesthetic and socio-political circumstances of the 'Renaixança;' 'Noucentisme;' and the young artists who merged to define modern European art - famous names that include Picasso, Miró, and Dalí. We will then turn to the national capital, Madrid, to visit some of these artist's most celebrated artworks. Anticipated site visits during our abroad experience include Gaudí's Palau Güell, Casa Batlló, the Fundació Joan Miró, the Fudació Gala-Salvador Dalí, and the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina.

Forget Me Not: Visual Culture of Historic and Religious Memorials

ARTH 347 - Kerin, Melissa R.

This class analyzes the visual material of memorial sites that shape social identity. Whether simple or elaborate in their construction, these creations allow people the space to connect with and/or honor a person or event from the historic or even mythological past. This global and thematic examination of memorials considers three primary foci: the built environment of a memorial; the performative role of visitors; and the function of memory at these sites.

Science in Art: Technical Examination of 17th-Century Dutch Paintings

ARTH 356 - Uffelman, Erich S.

Spring Term Abroad course. A survey of 17th-century Dutch history, art history, politics, religion, economics, etc., which links the scientific analysis of art to the art and culture of the time. The course begins on campus and then history, etc., will occur for a few days in Lexington and then proceed to Center for European Studies, Universiteit Maastricht, The Netherlands. Students visit numerous museums, hear guest lectures from faculty at Universiteit Maastricht, and observe at conservation laboratories at some of the major Dutch art museums. Students are graded by their performance on two research projects involving presentations and journals. Though students are not required to learn a world language to participate in the program, they are expected to learn key phrases in Dutch as a matter of courtesy to citizens of the host country.

Winter 2022

See complete information about these courses in the course offerings database. For more information about a specific course, including course type, schedule and location, click on its title.

Survey of Western Art: Renaissance to the Present

ARTH 102 - King, Elliott H.

Chronological survey of Western art from the Renaissance through the present. Topics include the Renaissance, from its cultural and stylistic origins through the Mannerist movement; the Baroque and Rococo; the Neoclassical reaction; Romanticism and Naturalism; the Barbizon School and Realism; Impressionism and its aftermath; Fauvism, Cubism, Dada, Surrealism, Abstract Expressionism, Pop, Minimalism, and the Postmodern reaction to Modernism.

Introduction to Cultural Heritage and Museum Studies: Problems of Ownership and Curation

ARTH 146 - Kerin, Melissa R.

Cultural heritage objects are powerful artifacts to own, display, and even destroy. But why? This introductory course explores the ways art and cultural heritage objects have been stolen, laundered, purchased, curated, and destroyed in order to express political, religious, and cultural messages. Case studies and current events are studied equally to shed light on practices of looting and iconoclasm. Some of the questions we consider: What is the relationship between art and war? Under what conditions should museums return artifacts to the country/ethnic group from which the artifacts originated? What role do auction houses play in laundering art objects? What nationalist agendas are at work when cultural heritage objects are claimed by modem nation states or terrorist groups?

Arts of Mesoamerica and the Andes

ARTH 170 - Lepage, Andrea C.

This course fulfills the Arts and Humanities requirement for the LACS minor. Survey of the art and architecture of Mesoamerica and the Andes before the arrival of the Europeans, with a focus on indigenous civilizations including the Olmec, Maya, Aztec, and Inca. Art is contextualized in terms of religious, social, political, and economic developments in each region under discussion. The class includes a trip to the Virginia Museum of fine Arts in Richmond or the National Gallery in Washington, D.C.

Ancient Cultures, New Markets: Modern and Contemporary Asian Art

ARTH 245 - Kerin, Melissa R.

Meets simultaneously with ARTH 394B-01. Students may not register or receive credit for both. This course examines the art movements of the last one hundred years from India, China, Tibet, and Japan primarily through the lenses of the larger sociopolitical movements that informed much of Asia's cultural discourses: Colonialism, Post-Colonialism, Socialism, Communism, and Feminism. We also address debates concerning "non-Western" 20th-century art as peripheral to the main canons of Modern and Contemporary art. By the end of the course, students have created a complex picture of Asian art/artists, and have engaged broader concepts of transnationalism, as well as examined the roles of galleries, museums, and auction houses in establishing market value and biases in acquisition practices.

Medieval Art in Southern Europe

ARTH 253 - Bent, George R.

Examination of the art and culture of Italy and Greece from the rise of Christianity to the first appearance of bubonic plague in 1348. Topics include early Christian art and architecture; Byzantine imagery in Ravenna and Constantinople during the Age of Justinian; iconoclasm; mosaics in Greece, Venice and Sicily; sculpture in Pisa; and the development of panel and fresco painting in Rome, Florence, Siena and Assisi.

Italian Renaissance Art

ARTH 256 - Bent, George R.

Survey of the art and architecture of Italy during the 15th and 16th centuries. The course focuses on innovations of the Early, High, and Late Renaissance through the work of Brunelleschi, Donatello, Masaccio, Alberti, Leonardo, Bramante, Raphael, and Michelangelo. Images are considered as exponents of contemporary political, social, and religious events and perceptions.

Surrealism

ARTH 264 - King, Elliott H.

Surrealism was one of the most multi-faceted and influential intellectual movements of the 20th century with a legacy and practice that continues today. This seminar examines the key writings and ideas that underlie surrealism with a focus on its artistic practice. We will consider works by artists including Salvador Dalí, René Magritte, and Max Ernst; watch surrealist films; discuss the significance of dreams; and play surrealist "games of chance."

Art and Revolution: Mexican Muralism

ARTH 274 - Lepage, Andrea C.

This course fulfills the Arts and Humanities requirement for the LACS minor. A survey of public monumental art produced by Mexican artists Diego Rivera, José Clemente Orozco, and David Alfaro Siqueiros in Mexico and the United States from 1910 to the 1970s. Lectures focus on art that promotes social ideals and the role that art played in building a new national consciousness in Mexico. Students also examine the impact of muralism throughout Latin America and the United States.

Seminar in Art History

ARTH 394A - King, Elliott H.

Research in selected topics in art history with written and oral reports. May be repeated for degree credit if the topics are different.

 

Seminar in Art History

ARTH 394B - Kerin, Melissa R.

Research in selected topics in art history with written and oral reports. May be repeated for degree credit if the topics are different.

 

Internship in Arts Management

ARTH 453 - Archer, Clover H.

Supervised experience in an art gallery, art dealership, museum, or auction house approved by the Art and Art History Department. Requires written exercises and readings, in addition to curatorial projects devised in advance by the instructor and student. May be carried out during the summer.

Senior Thesis

ARTH 483 - Lepage, Andrea C.

Continuation of ARTH 473. Students continue to research, write, and revise the senior thesis project. All students will present their work to faculty, students, and other members of the community in March. Honors will be determined based on the quality of writing and inquiry in March of the senior year. Students writing a thesis will be recognized at the baccalaureate department awards ceremony.

Senior Thesis

ARTH 483 - Bent, George R.

Continuation of ARTH 473. Students continue to research, write, and revise the senior thesis project. All students will present their work to faculty, students, and other members of the community in March. Honors will be determined based on the quality of writing and inquiry in March of the senior year. Students writing a thesis will be recognized at the baccalaureate department awards ceremony.

Honors Thesis

ARTH 493 - Bent, George R.

An art history thesis. Students should enroll in ARTH 493 only after honors candidacy has been determined by the Art History faculty. The culmination is an oral defense of the thesis project. Students achieving honors will be recognized at the baccalaureate department awards ceremony and in the university graduation program.

Honors Thesis

ARTH 493 - Lepage, Andrea C.

An art history thesis. Students should enroll in ARTH 493 only after honors candidacy has been determined by the Art History faculty. The culmination is an oral defense of the thesis project. Students achieving honors will be recognized at the baccalaureate department awards ceremony and in the university graduation program.

Fall 2021

See complete information about these courses in the course offerings database. For more information about a specific course, including course type, schedule and location, click on its title.

Survey of Western Art: Ancient to Medieval

ARTH 101 - Bent, George R.

Chronological survey of Western art from the Paleolithic Age through the Middle Ages in Italy and Northern Europe. Examination of cultural and stylistic influences in the art and architecture of ancient Mesopotamia, Egypt, Greece, and Rome. Consideration of distinct interests of Early Christian, Byzantine, and Medieval Europe. Focus on major monuments and influential images produced up to circa 1400.

Buddhist Art of South and Central Asia

ARTH 141 - Kerin, Melissa R.

This course investigates the multivalent world of Buddhist art from South and Central Asia, particularly areas that now fall within the modern-day boundaries of India, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Uzbekistan, China, Tibet, and Nepal. We study the nascent forms of Buddhist imagery and its ritual functions from the Indo-Pak subcontinent, focus on monumental sculpture and cave architecture of Central Asia (Afghanistan and the Tarim Basin) and issues of iconoclasm, and study the art and iconography of the Himalayas, as well as current-day production and restoration practices of Tantric Buddhist art.

Greek Art & Archaeology

ARTH 200 - Laughy, Michael H.

An introduction to ancient Greek art and archaeology. We encounter some of the greatest works of art in human history, as we survey the development of painting, sculpture, architecture, and town planning of the ancient Greeks. We encounter the history of the people behind the objects that they left behind, from the material remains of the Bronze Age palaces and Classical Athenian Acropolis to the world created in the wake of Alexander the Great's conquests. We also consider how we experience the ancient Greek world today through archaeological practice, cultural heritage, and the antiquities trade.

Dutch Arts, Patrons, and Markets

ARTH 257 - Lepage, Andrea C.

During the 17th century, the practices of making and buying art boomed as never before in the Dutch Republic. With the creation of the first large-scale open art market, prosperous Dutch merchants, artisans, and civil servants bought paintings and prints in unprecedented numbers. Dutch 17th-century art saw the rise of new subjects, as landscapes, still lifes, and scenes of daily life replaced formerly dominant religious images and scenes from classical mythology. Portraiture also flourished in this prosperous atmosphere.

Art Since 1945

ARTH 267 - King, Elliott H.

This course introduces students to art and art theory from 1945 to the present. The objectives of the course are: (1) to enhance student knowledge of the major works, artists, and movements of art in Europe and the United States since 1945; (2) to integrate these works of art within the broader social and intellectual history of the period; and  (3) to help students develop their skills in visual analysis and historical interpretation. Among the issues we examine are the politics of abstract art; the ongoing dialogue between art and mass culture; the differences between modernism and postmodernism; and contemporary critiques of art history's prevailing narratives. This is a lecture course with a heavy emphasis on in-class discussion.

Chinese Export Porcelain and the China Trade, 1500 to 1900

ARTH 288 - Fuchs, Ronald W. (Ron)

This course covers the development and history of Chinese export porcelain made for the European and American markets and its role as a commodity in the China Trade. Students examine Chinese export porcelain from several different perspectives, including art history, material culture, and economic history.

The Early Renaissance in Italy

ARTH 354 - Bent, George R.

Examination of the intellectual, cultural, and artistic movements dominant in Florence between ca. 1400 and ca. 1440. Images and structures produced by Ghiberti, Brunelleschi, Masaccio, Donatello, and Fra Angelico are considered within the context of Florentine social traditions and political events.

Border Art: Contemporary Chicanx and U.S. Latinx Art

ARTH 378 - Lepage, Andrea C.

This course fulfills the Arts and Humanities requirement for the LACS minor. This seminar engages broad-ranging debates that have looked at the Mexico-US border as a fruitful site of identity formation. In this seminar, we examine artworks with an emphasis on location, critical standpoint, interrelatedness, and the geopolitics of identity. Through readings and class discussions, students investigate protest art and arts activism. Students develop methods of "critical seeing" through image analysis, art historical analysis, and cultural critique. We consider artworks produced by Chicanx, U.S. Latinx, and other transnational artists in a wide range of formats including printmaking, performance art, mural painting, photography, film and video, books, comics, public art projects, and an array of post-conceptual practices..

Senior Seminar: Approaches to Art History

ARTH 395 - King, Elliott H.

This capstone seminar studies the origins, applications, strengths, and weaknesses of various methodological approaches that art historians use to study art. Topics include Formalism; Iconography and Iconology; Social History and Marxism; Feminism; Psychoanalysis; Semiotics; Structuralism and Post-Structuralism; Deconstruction; Reception Theory; Post-Colonialism; and Critical Race/Ethnicity Theories.

Senior Thesis

ARTH 473 - Lepage, Andrea C.

An art history thesis. Application to write a thesis must be made by May 1 of the junior year. A thesis abstract with a written statement of the objective must be presented at this time. The Art History faculty will evaluate all thesis proposals within three weeks to determine the student's preparedness and the project's validity, designating each as a 'Pass,' 'Provisional Pass' (requiring resubmission of proposal), or 'Re-direction' (to a 300-level seminar or independent study). Accepted students may begin their research over the summer and should plan to submit an updated proposal on September 20 of fall term. Honors will be determined based on the quality of writing and inquiry in March of the senior year. Student writing a thesis will be recognized at the baccalaureate department awards ceremony.

Senior Thesis

ARTH 473 - Kerin, Melissa R.

An art history thesis. Application to write a thesis must be made by May 1 of the junior year. A thesis abstract with a written statement of the objective must be presented at this time. The Art History faculty will evaluate all thesis proposals within three weeks to determine the student's preparedness and the project's validity, designating each as a 'Pass,' 'Provisional Pass' (requiring resubmission of proposal), or 'Re-direction' (to a 300-level seminar or independent study). Accepted students may begin their research over the summer and should plan to submit an updated proposal on September 20 of fall term. Honors will be determined based on the quality of writing and inquiry in March of the senior year. Student writing a thesis will be recognized at the baccalaureate department awards ceremony.

Senior Thesis

ARTH 473 - King, Elliott H.

An art history thesis. Application to write a thesis must be made by May 1 of the junior year. A thesis abstract with a written statement of the objective must be presented at this time. The Art History faculty will evaluate all thesis proposals within three weeks to determine the student's preparedness and the project's validity, designating each as a 'Pass,' 'Provisional Pass' (requiring resubmission of proposal), or 'Re-direction' (to a 300-level seminar or independent study). Accepted students may begin their research over the summer and should plan to submit an updated proposal on September 20 of fall term. Honors will be determined based on the quality of writing and inquiry in March of the senior year. Student writing a thesis will be recognized at the baccalaureate department awards ceremony.

Senior Thesis

ARTH 473 - Bent, George R.

An art history thesis. Application to write a thesis must be made by May 1 of the junior year. A thesis abstract with a written statement of the objective must be presented at this time. The Art History faculty will evaluate all thesis proposals within three weeks to determine the student's preparedness and the project's validity, designating each as a 'Pass,' 'Provisional Pass' (requiring resubmission of proposal), or 'Re-direction' (to a 300-level seminar or independent study). Accepted students may begin their research over the summer and should plan to submit an updated proposal on September 20 of fall term. Honors will be determined based on the quality of writing and inquiry in March of the senior year. Student writing a thesis will be recognized at the baccalaureate department awards ceremony.

Honors Thesis

ARTH 493 - Bent, George R.

An art history thesis. Students should enroll in ARTH 493 only after honors candidacy has been determined by the Art History faculty. The culmination is an oral defense of the thesis project. Students achieving honors will be recognized at the baccalaureate department awards ceremony and in the university graduation program.

Honors Thesis

ARTH 493 - Lepage, Andrea C.

An art history thesis. Students should enroll in ARTH 493 only after honors candidacy has been determined by the Art History faculty. The culmination is an oral defense of the thesis project. Students achieving honors will be recognized at the baccalaureate department awards ceremony and in the university graduation program.