Art History Course Offerings

Fall 2020

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.

Asian Art

ARTH 140 - Kerin, Melissa R.

A survey of artistic traditions from South (including the Himalayan region), East, and Southeast Asia from roughly the 1st to the 18th centuries CE. The course focuses on a wide range of media - including architecture, sculpture, painting, textiles, and book arts - that serve a spectrum of religious and secular functions. The broad temporal, geographic, and topical scope of this course is meant to provide students with a basic understanding of not only the greatest artistic achievements and movements in Asia, but also the historical and political contexts that gave rise to these extraordinary pieces of art.

Greek Art & Archaeology

ARTH 200 - Laughy, Michael H., Jr.

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.

Medieval Art in Northern Europe

ARTH 254 - Bent, George R.

Survey of the art of France, Spain, Germany, and the British Isles from circa 700 to circa 1400. Discussions include Carolingian and Ottonian painting and architecture, Celtic and Anglo-Saxon manuscripts, and French cathedral design and decoration during the Romanesque and Gothic periods.

Northern Renaissance Art

ARTH 255 - Bent, George R.

A survey of Northern painting from 1300 to 1600, examined as symbols of political, religious, and social concerns of painters, patrons, and viewers. Among the artists covered are Campin, van Eyck, van der Weyden, Dürer, Holbein, and Brueghel. Emphasis placed on interpretation of meaning and visual analysis.

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.

Women, Art, and Empowerment

ARTH 365 - King, Elliott H.

This seminar explores female artists from the late 18th century through the present, whose depictions of women have directly challenged the value system in art history that has traditionally privileged white heterosexual male artists, audiences, collectors, historians, curators, etc. Lectures, discussions, and research projects address multicultural perspectives and provide a sense of feminism's global import in a current and historical context.

Senior Seminar: Approaches to Art History

ARTH 395 - Kerin, Melissa R.

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 2020

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.

Seminar in Art History

ARTH 394 - Lazevnick, Ashley

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

Spring 2020, ARTH 394-01: Seminar in Art History: "Little Magazines": In the Archives and on the Web (3). Between 1880 and 1950, hundreds of small-press, non-commercial journals were published in cities around the world, their pages filled with a mixture of radical poetry, fiction, avant-garde art, manifestos, and criticism. These so-called "little magazines" were small in publication run but not in ambition. In fact, many scholars believe that little magazines were the single most important factor in fostering modernist and avant-garde thought during the period. Through an in-depth exploration of little magazines, this seminar brings together two types of scholarly research: archival and digital. We first explore these journals in-person and then examine their "digital" afterlives in the archives. What are the advantages and disadvantages of migrating historical material to a virtual platform? What new kinds of scholarship are made possible due to increased accessibility to digitized little magazines and how might access to such materials change our ideas about modernism? Students make trips to Special Collections at W&L and the University of Virginia, and maintain a personal website based on their research. (HA) Lazevnik.

Seminar in Art History

ARTH 394 - Uffelman, Erich S.

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

Spring 2020, ARTH 394-02: Technical Examination of Paintings (3). Prerequisite: CHEM 156. An examination of the intersection of various imaging modalities and/or the study of the materiality of European and American paintings with their art history. We focus on publications from the technical art history literature and on research projects in which the professor has been involved. Uffelman . [applicable to Museum Studies]

Winter 2020

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 - 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.

Survey of Western Art: Renaissance to the Present

ARTH 102 - Lazevnick, Ashley

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.

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.

Special Topics in Art History

ARTH 295A - Lazevnick, Ashley

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

Winter 2020, ARTH 295A-01: African-American Art (3). A survey of African-American art and culture from the 17th century to the present. We investigate work in a wide range of media—painting, sculpture, quilts, photography, music, ephemera—produced during this period by people of African descent in North America. This course focuses on the social and political context surrounding artistic production and the ways that scholars have worked to define "African-American art" in relation to Euro-American art. Course participants travel to the National Museum of African American Art and Culture in Washington, D.C. (HA) Lazevnick.

Seminar in Art History

ARTH 394A - Lazevnick, Ashley

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

Winter 2020, ARTH 394A-01: Art and Technology (3). An investigation of the multiple intersections of technology and modern visual culture from the 19th century to the present. It is telling that the term "technology" derives from the ancient Greek word technê, referring to any manufactured object of art or craft. Taking this shared history as a point of departure, we consider how technological developments have shaped the making and viewing of art from the Industrial Revolution to the rise of net.art in the Digital Age. Students attend to the role of technology in re-shaping visual experience more broadly, asking how different innovations have successively altered the way that humans understand and engage with the world. (HA) Lazevnick.

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.

Winter 2020, ARTH 394B-01: Ancient Cultures, New Markets: Modern and Contemporary Asian Art (3). Meets simultaneously with ARTH 245. Students may not register or receive credit for both. This course has additional upper-level assignments. An examination of 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. (HA) Kerin.

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 - Kerin, Melissa R.

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 - 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 - Lazevnick, Ashley

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.