Art History Course Offerings

Fall 2019

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.

Arts of India

ARTH 242 - Kerin, Melissa R.

This course explores the artistic traditions of India from the earliest extant material evidence of the Indus Valley Civilization (circa 2500 BCE) to the elaborate painting and architectural traditions of the Mughal period (circa 16th - 18th centuries). The course analyzes the religious and ritual uses of temples, paintings, and sculptures, as well as their political role in expressing imperial ideologies.

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.

19th-Century European Art

ARTH 262 - Lazevnick, Ashley / Lepage, Andrea C.

This course begins in the late 18th century and covers major European art movements and criticism up to c.1900. Topics include the art of the French Revolution as an instrument of propaganda; the rise of Romanticism; the advent and impact of early photography; and the aesthetic and ideological origins of Modern Art.

Art Since 1945

ARTH 267 - Lazevnick, Ashley / Lepage, Andrea C.

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

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 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, and develop methods of "critical seeing" through image analysis, art historical analysis, and cultural critique. We explore how structures of creating, organizing, and explaining knowledge, discursive practices, and forms of representation have been employed to dismiss and delimit US Latinx art. 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 - Lepage, Andrea C.

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.

Spring 2019

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 class examines the process by which Chicana/o artists have garnered public attention and respect, and have taken their artworks from the peripheries of the art world to more traditional 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.

Digital Florence

ARTH 383 - Bent, George R. / Gustafson, Erik D.

This course invites students to participate in and contribute to the Digital Humanities project "Florence As It Was: The Digital Reconstruction of a Medieval City". We consider how the built environment of Florence influenced--and was in turn influenced by--the culture, society, art, and history of the city. Students learn to translate historical, scholarly analysis into visually accessible formats, and collaborate on the "Florence As It Was" project, contributing to the digital mapping, data visualization, and virtual-reality reconstruction of medieval Florence.

Seminar in Museum Studies

ARTH 398 - Hobbs, Patricia A.

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 2019

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.

History of Western Architecture

ARTH 209 - Gustafson, Erik D.

A survey of Western architecture, including material from the ancient world to the 20th century, addressing the major traditions of architectural visual culture and practice. The course investigates the ways in which architecture has been designed to frame the significant socio-religious and political contexts of historical cultures.

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.

American Art to 1945

ARTH 266 - King, Elliott H.

A survey of painting and sculpture in the United States from its earliest settlement to about 1945. Lectures and discussions emphasize the English eastern seaboard development in the 17th and 18th centuries, though other geographical areas are included in the 19th and 20th centuries. Topics include art of the early colonies, the Hudson River School, Realism and Regionalism, and the reception of abstract art in the United States.

Between Things and Art

ARTH 302 - Gustafson, Erik D.

In the West, we are used to knowing what art is - grandiose paintings, monumental sculptures, and delicate drawings, all housed in stately museums. But is that characterization of art relevant any longer? This course investigates other ways that art can be understood, pulling from a variety of theoretical and historical contexts. We discuss broader interdisciplinary concepts and dig more deeply into specific historical contexts in order to consider what can make things significant.

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.

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.

Directed Individual Study

ARTH 403 - Lepage, Andrea C.

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 - Bent, George R.

An art history thesis. A thesis abstract with a written statement of objectives must be presented to the department for consideration by September 30.

Senior Thesis

ARTH 473 - King, Elliott H.

An art history thesis. A thesis abstract with a written statement of objectives must be presented to the department for consideration by September 30.

Senior Thesis

ARTH 473 - Gustafson, Erik D.

An art history thesis. A thesis abstract with a written statement of objectives must be presented to the department for consideration by September 30.

Honors Thesis

ARTH 493 - Lepage, Andrea C.

An art history thesis. Application for the honors candidacy 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 culmination is an oral defense of the thesis project.

Honors Thesis

ARTH 493 - Bent, George R.

An art history thesis. Application for the honors candidacy 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 culmination is an oral defense of the thesis project.

Honors Thesis

ARTH 493 - King, Elliott H.

An art history thesis. Application for the honors candidacy 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 culmination is an oral defense of the thesis project.

Honors Thesis

ARTH 493 - Gustafson, Erik D.

An art history thesis. Application for the honors candidacy 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 culmination is an oral defense of the thesis project.