Fall 2007 Undergraduate Courses
(AHIS BC 1001) Introduction to the History of Art I
Either term may be taken separately. Brief examination of the techniques of visual analysis, followed by a chronological survey of the major period styles of Western European art. Emphasis on the introduction of form and content in the works studied and on the correlation of the visual arts with their cultural environments. BC1001: Greek and Roman art; medieval art. BC1002: Renaissance to modern art.
(ACLG W3002) Introduction to Archaeology
An exploration of past and present knowledge that exists because of the field of archaeology. Individual site-based and cultural studies from around the world combine with rediscoveries of systems of communication, such as languages and belief systems, to make for a broad-based introduction to archaeological discourse.
(AHIS W3020) Drawings and Prints
Graphic structures in pictorial representation. The style, function, and meaning of drawings and prints from the Renaissance to the 20th century, with emphasis on artists such as Pisanello, Leonardo daVinci, Dürer, Raphael, Michelangelo, Rembrandt, Goya, Cézanne, and Picasso.
(AHIS W3205) Introduction to Japanese Painting
A survey of the multifaceted forms of Japanese painting from antiquity through the early modern period. major themes to be considered include: painting as an expression of faith; the interplay indigenous and imported pictorial paradigms; narrative and decorative traditions; the emergence of individual artistic agency; the rise of woodblock prints and their impact on European painting in the nineteenth century.
(AHIS W3209) The Contemporary Arts of Africa
This survey will examine the new visual cultures emerging in Africa since 1950. It will pay special attention to the controversies rooted in the reception of contemporary African Art, including both the changing status of the artist and the art object as well as the nature of modernity itself.
(AHIS V3248) Greek Art & Archaeology
F. de Angelis
An introduction to the art and architecture of the Greek world during the archaic, classical, and Hellenistic period (11th - 1st c. BCE). Issues that will be addressed include: changing ideals of the human body in Greece; the expression of emotions in sculpture and painting; architecture and society; the religious aspects of Greek art; mythological images.
(AHUM V3340) Art in China, Japan, and Korea
Discussion section required. Introduces distinctive aesthetic traditions of China, Japan, and Korea—their similarities and differences—through an examination of the visual significance of selected works of painting, sculpture, architecture, and other arts in relation to the history, culture, and religions of East Asia. Major Cultures Requirement: East Asian Civilization List B.
(AHUM V3342) Masterpieces of Indian Art & Architecture
Introduction to 2000 years of art on the Indian subcontinent. The course covers the early art of Buddhism, rock-cut architecture of the Buddhists and Hindus, the development of the Hindu temple, Mughal and Rajput painting and architecture, art of the colonial period, and the emergence of the Modern.
(AHIS W3600) 19th Century Art
Studies European visual arts of the 19th century. Covers a century of rapid stylistic, political and technological changes beginning with the radical changes of the Enlightenment and ending with the glamorous portraits of the Belle Epoque. Considers careers and works of individual artists, formal innovation, the invention of new media, materials, institutional structures, and ideological functions. Discussion Section Required.
(AHIS BC3642) North American Art & Culture
Examines North American painting, sculpture, photography, graphic art and decorative arts from the colonial period until World War I. Artists discussed include West, Copley, Cole, Spencer, Powers, Aragon, Duncanson, Church, Homer, Eakins, MacNeill, Whistler, Cassatt, Moran, Tanner, and Muybridge.
(AHIS BC3658) History and Theory of the Avant-Garde
Examines the practice of artistic avant-gardism from the mid-19th to the late 20th century. Explores the relationship between the avant-garde, the institutions of art, and political radicalism. Studies art-historical theories of the modernist, historical and neo-avant-gardes as well as critiques of avant-gardism from feminist and democratic points of view, discussing the charge of "elitism" often leveled against avant-gardism.
Seminars and Colloquia
(AHIS W3800) The Ancient Egyptian Body
This seminar will examine ancient Egyptian art and architecture (primarily from the pharaonic period, c. 3000 BCE to c. 1000 BCE) using the body as a visual and conceptual theme. Utilizing art historical and archaeological methods, we will analyze sculpture, relief, painting, drawing, and architecture, as well as objects used to adorn and encase bodies both living and dead, emphasizing the context and interrelationships of these materials as they relate to the body and the corporeality of Egyptian society and culture.
(AHIS W3835) Rococo & Neoclassical Interiors in 18th Century Europe
This seminar explores the eighteenth-century European interior and the interrelationship between architecture, painting, sculpture, and the decorative arts. We will examine the role that objects and spaces played in the formation of eighteenth-century notions of desire, sensation, identity, and subjectivity. Focusing on domestic interiors, we will discuss a variety of patrons—actresses, bankers, salon intellectuals, and mistresses—and artists, among them Antoine Watteau, Jean-Honoré Fragonard, Robert Adam, and Claude-Nicolas Ledoux. Several sessions will be held at Avery library, where we will examine architectural treatises and other printed materials, and at area museums (including the Met and the Frick Collection), where we will consider the re-installation of eighteenth-century interiors in a museological, "period room" context
(AHIS W3843) The History of Urban Renewal
The seminar concerns 20th-century efforts to rebuild American cities. The first part will focus on efforts to improve slum conditions through housing reforms. The second part will consider the rise of slum clearance in the 1950s-70s; case studies in Boston, Philadelphia, New York, Chicago, San Francisco and Los Angeles, among other cities, will highlight efforts to restructure the center city as retail activity and the middle class relocated to suburbia. We will then turn to current redevelopment issues, including privatization of public space, eminent domain, and uses of historic preservation.
(AHIS W3855) Michelangelo
The art of Michelangelo in painting, sculpture, architecture, drawing and poetry. Special attention to the contexts and functions of his art, from the personal to the public, and to the problems and challenges of interpretation.
(AHIS W3895) Major's Colloquium: the Literature and Methods of Art History
Section 1: Z. Bahrani
Section 2: C. Grewe
Prerequisites: the department's permission. Students must sign up in 826 Schermerhorn. Introduction to different methodological approaches to the study of art and visual culture. Majors are encouraged to take the colloquium during their junior year.
(AHIS W3897) Black West: African American Artists in the Western United States
This course considers the creative production of African Americans primarily in California in the 19th and 20th centuries. Of interest are the graphic and photographic works of Grafton Tyler Brown and J.P. Ball and the narratives of black cowboys in the 19th century. Moving to the 20th century we will consider sculpture by Beulah Ecton Woodard and Sargent Johnson and architecture by Paul Williams and their relationship to modern themes and theory, particularly that of the Harlem Renaissance. We will also look at African American connection to the film industry through black westerns like The Bronze Buckaroo, Harlem Rides the Range, and Two Gun Man from Harlem all from the 1930s. In the contemporary period we will explore the work of artists in dialogue with the Black Arts Movement including Betye Saar, Charles White, David Hammons, and Senga Nengudi. Themes pertinent to the course include: how are African American identities and cultural production imbricated with concepts of what is considered "western" or trends of west coast artmaking?; what can these artists tell us about notions of space, place, and migration in the African American imagination?
(AHIS W3901) The Literature of Pre-Columbian Art
This seminar will explore the various assessments of Pre-Columbian Art from the 19th century until the present time. The focus will be on the pioneers of the field, such a George Kubler. Theories of art will be related to archaeology and literature.
(AHIS BC3949) Art of Witness
Attendance at the first class is mandatory. Limited to 15 students. Instructor determines class roster on first day of class. Examines aesthetic responses to collective historical traumas, such as slavery, the Holocaust, the bombing of Hiroshima, AIDS, homelessness, immigration, and the recent attack on
the World Trade Center.
(AHIS BC3968) Art Criticism
Please attend the first day of class if interested. No application required. Contemporary art and its criticism written by artists (rather than by art historians or journalistic reviewers). Texts by Dan Graham, (Art and Language), Robert Smithson, Brian O'Dougherty, Martha Rosler, Adrian Piper and others.
(AHIS BC3950) Photography and Video in Asia
Please attend the first day of class if interested. No application required.