Spring 2010 Undergraduate Courses
(AHIS BC1001) Introduction to the History of Art II
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.
(AHIS V3205) 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 V3250) Roman Art & Architecture
F. de Angelis
The architecture, sculpture, and painting of ancient Rome from the 2nd century B.C. to the end of the Empire in the West.
(AHUM V3340) Art in China, Japan & Korea
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
N. Podday & S. Kaligotla
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 W3464) Later Italian Art
This course offers an overview of painting, sculpture, and architecture in Italy from about 1475 to about 1600. It concentrates on artists in four geographical areas and periods: (1) Florence in the late-15th and early-16th centuries (Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo); (2) Rome from 1502 to about 1534 (Bramante, Michelangelo, Raphael); (3) Florence from 1520 to 1565 (Andrea del Sarto, Pontormo, Bronzino, Cellini); and (4) Venice from about 1500 to 1588 (Bellini, Giorgione, Titian, Veronese, Tintoretto, Jacopo Sansovino).
(AHIS W3607) Latin American Artists: Independence to Present
The course looks at works produced in the more than 20 countries that make up Latin America. Our investigations will take us from the Southern Cone nations of South America, up through Central American and the Caribbean, to Mexico in the north. We will cover styles from the colonial influences present in post-independence art of the early 19th century, to installation art from the beginning of the 21st century. Along the way we will consider such topics as the relationship of colonial style and academic training to forging an independent artistic identity; the emergence and establishment of a modern canon; experimentations in surrealism, neo-concretism, conceptual art, and performance. We will end the course with a consideration of Latino artists working in the U.S.
(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 W3645) Twentieth Century Architecture & City Planning
M. De Michelis
This undergraduate lecture course is an introduction to the crucial and peculiar topics in the history of modern (western) architecture of the twentieth century. The course does not systematically cover all the major events, ideas, protagonists, and buildings of the period. It is organized around thematic and sometimes monographic lectures, which are intended to represent the very essential character of modern architecture from its beginnings around 1900 until some more recent developments at the end of the century.
(AHIS W3650) Twentieth Century Art
The course will examine a variety of figures, movements, and practices within the entire range of 20th-century art—from Expressionism to Abstract Expressionism, Constructivism to Pop Art, Surrealism to Minimalism, and beyond—situating them within the social, political, economic, and historical contexts in which they arose. The history of these artistic developments will be traced through the development and mutual interaction of two predominant strains of artistic culture: the modernist and the avant-garde, examining in particular their confrontation with and development of the particular vicissitudes of the century’s ongoing modernization. Discussion section complement class lectures. Course is a prerequisite for certain upper-level art history courses.
(AHIS BC3654) Institutional Critique
Examines precedents for institutional critique in the strategies of early twentieth-century historical avant-garde and the post-war neo-avant-garde. Explores ideas about the institution and violence, investigates the critique and elaboration of institutional critique from the late 1970s to the early 1990s, and considers the legacies of institutional critiques in the art of the present.
(AHIS BC3673) Intro to the History of Photography
Focuses on the intersection of photography with traditional artistic practices in the 19th century, on the mass cultural functions of photography in propaganda and advertising from the 1920s onwards, and on the emergence of photography as the central medium in the production of postwar avant-garde art practices.
(AHIS BC3681) Late 20th Century Art
Examines the history of contemporary artistic practices from the mid-1970s to the present. Focusing on the interrelationships between the emerging concepts of postmodernism and the idea of contemporary art, the course addresses a wide range of historical and methodological questions. These include the evolving idea of artistic autonomy, the changing role of cultural institutions, the shifting relationship of high art and mass culture, the impact of new technologies on cultural production, and the emergence of new audiences for art.
(AHIS G4085) Andean Art & Architecture
Open to undergraduates. Survey of the art of the Andes from earliest times until the Spanish conquest. Emphasis on the nature of Andean tradition and the relationship between art and society.
Seminars and Colloquia
(AHIS W3895) Major's Colloquium
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 BC3031) Imagery and Form in the Arts
Operation of imagery and form in dance, music, theater, visual arts and writing; students are expected to do original work in one of these arts. Concepts in contemporary art will be explored. Enrollment limited to 15 students. Note: No application is necessary for this course.
(AHIS W3828) Leaves of Gold: The Medieval Illuminated Manuscripts
Books written and illuminated on parchment are among the most evocative and complex records of life in the Middle Ages. This course will consider manuscripts made in the Latin West from 500 to 1500, the span of time in which the handwritten codex dominated the production of writing. We will examine the books of the Middle Ages thematically with special consideration given to the purposes for which books were made and illustrated. Consequently historical text, patronage, and reception will be stressed throughout. Several sections held in the rare books and manuscripts library, along with visits to local museums will serve to familiarize students with actual manuscripts from the Middle Ages.
(AHIS W3865) Paris: Capital of the 19th Century
PLEASE NOTE: APPLICATION DUE TO 826 SCHERMERHORN. A travel seminar on Paris in its nineteenth-century heyday. Painting, prints, architecture, urban planning, fashion, romance, revolutions and death will all be studied. Assignments will include novels about Paris. During spring break, the class will travel to Paris to experience the city.
(AHIS W3885) Intellectuals, Gods, Kings, & Fishermen
During the Hellenistic period (330-30 BCE), themes that were considered uninteresting, even inappropriate for the viewer of Classical and Late Classical sculpture became extremely attractive: old people, hard working peasants, old drunken prostitutes, fishermen in the big harbours, or persons ethnically different from the Greek ideals became the subject of the Hellenistic sculpture in the round that also produced images of serene divinities and dynamic members of the elite in an entirely Classical tradition. Besides Athens, new cultural and artistic centres arose: Alexandria in Egypt, Antiocheia and Pergamon in Asia Minor, or Rhodes. Despite its importance as the birthplace of all arts, Athens did not dominate anymore the artistic language, so that an unprecedented variety of styles characterises the sculptural production of the Hellenistic period. The seminar will study the sculpture of the Hellenistic period as an extremely imaginative and dynamic artistic expression without the Classical bias. The styles of the various Hellenistic artistic centres will be individually analysed based on representative works and then compared to each other and to the sculptural traditions of the Classical period, so that Hellenistic sculpture can be understood both as a continuation of the Classical and especially Late Classical sculpture and as an artistic and intellectual revolt against the ideals of the past.
(AHIS W3904) Aztec Art & Sacrifice
This seminar explores the issues of art and sacrifice in the Aztec empire from the points of view of the sixteenth century and modern times.
(AHIS W3921) Patronage and the Monuments of India
Exploration of the multiple aspects of patronage in Indian culture—religious, political, economic, and cultural. Case studies focused on specific monuments will be the subject of individual lectures.
(AHIS BC3941) Contemporary African Photo
Explores the development of contemporary photographic and video practices as they relate to Africa. Organized thematically, it focuses on the individual case studies, artists, and exhibitions that comprise the dynamic and international realm of contemporary photography and video by artists living on and off the African continent.
(AHIS BC3948) The Harlem Renaissance
Attendance at the first class is mandatory. Introduction to the paintings, photographs, sculptures, films and graphic arts of the Harlem Renaissance and the publications, exhibitions, and institutions involved in the production and consumption of images of African-Americans. Focuses on impact of Black northward and transatlantic migration and the roles of region, class, gender, and sexuality.
(AHIS W3954) The Architecture of the Long 19th Century
Z. Celik Alexander
Nineteenth-century European architecture was not only a series of historicist styles, as polemicists of the Modern Movement would have us believe, but also the architecture of revolutions and counter-revolutions, utopias and dystopias, and order and anarchy. This course follows the arc of the long nineteenth century from the French Revolution to the First World War to examine the ethical question at the heart of architectural modernism. How did buildings, cities, and landscapes (as well as theories produced about them) propose to change or uphold the social order in nineteenth-century Europe? How did architecture participate in the making of the modern world in which we live today?
(AHIS W3956) Medieval Art at the Cloisters
Meeting at the Cloisters, this seminar will provide the opportunity to work directly with the works of art themselves. Having introduced the works of art and located them in their present context, we will use the works as a means of passage to the principal periods and great themes of medieval art.