Art History Course Offerings

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.

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.

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.

Spring 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.

Chicana/o Art and Muralism: From the Street to the (Staniar) Gallery

ARTH 276 - Lepage, Andrea C.

This course fulfills the Arts and Humanities requirement for the LACS minor. This class examines the process by which Chicana/o artists have garnered public attention and respect, taking their artworks from the peripheries of the art world to museum and gallery spaces. Using the Great Wall of Los Angeles as a connecting thread, this class considers the broad theme of identity creation and transformation as expressed by Chicana/o artists from the 1970s to the present.

Leonardo da Vinci: Art, Science and Innovation in Renaissance Europe

ARTH 385 - Bent, George R.

Leonardo da Vinci has for years been considered the consummate "Renaissance Man," equally skilled as a painter, anatomist, engineer, and military scientist. This course examines the contextual background from which this true genius was sprung, the works he produced, the people for whom he produced them, and the visions of the artist both realized and unrealized that have captured the imaginations of people around the world since Leonardo's death in 1519.

Seminar in Museum Studies

ARTH 398 - El-Beshir, Isra

An exploration of the history, philosophy and practical aspects of museums. Topics of discussion include governance and administration, collections, exhibitions and education. The course alternates weekly readings and class discussion with field trips to regional museums. Requires short papers and a major project.

Winter 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: 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.

Survey of Western Art: Renaissance to the Present

ARTH 102 - Lepage, Andrea C.

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 - Gent, Madeline L.

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.

Art Works

ARTH 204 - Bent, George R. / Olan, Lorriann T. (Lorri)

This one-credit course prepares Art and Art History students to find internships and jobs. It assesses students' abilities and skills, provides resources about a variety of industries that majors pursue, helps students develop professional development tools, coaches them through mock interviews and networking, and showcases how to search and apply for internships and post-graduate opportunities. 

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.

History of Photography

ARTH 261 - Smigrod, Claudia M.

An art-historical introduction to the history of photography, from its origins in the 19th century to the present day. Lectures and discussions examine photography's aesthetic, documentary, and "scientific" purposes; important contributors to photography and its history; the evolution of the camera and related technical processes; and issues of photographic theory and criticism. Photography is considered as a medium with its own rich history - bearing in mind stylistic shifts and changes in subject matter related to aesthetic, social, and cultural concerns - but also as a key component in the wider narrative of modern art.

20th-Century European Art

ARTH 263 - King, Elliott H.

This course covers major European art movements and criticism from the late 19th century through the 20th century. Lectures and discussions explore the implications of what it means for art to be/appear "modern," the social and aesthetic goals of the early avant-garde, the "rise and fall" of abstraction, and artistic responses to post-war mass culture. Movements discussed include Fauvism, Cubism, Futurism, Dada, Surrealism, Abstract Expressionism, and New Realism.

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 Material Culture of Tibet

ARTH 343 - Holt, Amy-Ruth

Through a chronological presentation of sites and objects, we study Tibet's great artistic movements from the 7th-20th centuries. Our analyses of the art and material culture of Tibet, and its larger cultural zone, has an art historical and historiographic focus. This two-pronged approach encourages students to analyze not only the styles and movements of Tibetan art, but the methods by which this art world has been studied by and simultaneously presented to Western audiences.

Medieval Art in Italy

ARTH 350 - Bent, George R.

Art and architecture of the Italian peninsula, from circa 1200 to 1400. This seminar addresses issues of patronage, artistic training and methods of production, iconography, and the function of religious and secular imagery. Topics of discussion include the construction of Tuscan cathedrals and civic buildings; sculpture in Siena, Pisa, and Rome; and painting in Assisi, Padua, and Florence.

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.

Winter 2021, ARTH 394A-01: Seminar in Art History: Surrealism (3).  This seminar on Surrealist art will run concurrently with the lecture course, ARTH 264. In addition to examining the key writings, artworks and ideas aligned with surrealism, seminar students will delve more deeply into specific topics including Salvador Dalí's autobiography, Latin American surrealism, and the movement's stance against French colonialism. King.

 

Directed Individual Study

ARTH 401 - Lepage, Andrea C.

Individual or class study of special topics in art history. May be repeated for degree credit if the topics are different.

Directed Individual Study

ARTH 403 - Archer, Clover H.

Individual or class study of special topics in art history. May be repeated for degree credit if the topics are different.

Directed Individual Study

ARTH 403 - King, Elliott H.

Individual or class study of special topics in art history. 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 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.

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.

Honors Thesis

ARTH 493 - Kerin, Melissa 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 - King, Elliott H.

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 - 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.