Art History Course Offerings

Spring 2018

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.

The Business of Contemporary Art

ARTH 125 - King, Elliott H. / Schwartz, Adam L.

This course combines finance, tax policy, marketing, economics, and art history to provide a 'nuts-and-bolts' view of how the contemporary art world operates. Appropriate for business students with an interest in contemporary art as well as museum studies and art history majors who wish to gain an understanding of business concepts in the art world, the course serves as preparation for students who may anticipate acquiring art for personal or business investment/use, serving on a museum board, pursuing employment in the art world, or advising high wealth clients on business matters related to art. Each topic begins with an overview of general principles before reviewing applications to the art world. For example, discussion of charitable giving covers the general tax rules of charitable deductions before discussing the specific rules related to art and museums.

Community Muralism: The Art of Public Engagement

ARTH 275 - Lepage, Andrea C. / Olson-Janjic, Kathleen

Our nation is currently witnessing a community mural renaissance. Public murals help to create welcoming and inclusive public spaces, build and solidify community identity, commemorate individuals or events, arouse social consciousness or impact social change, and recognize the voices of traditionally disempowered groups. During the term, we trace the historical development of community murals. Students participate in studio exercises that give them experience with a variety of methods, materials, and techniques necessary to plan, design, and produce a largescale community mural. We produce and document a mural in collaboration with a local community partner.

Science in Art: Technical Examination of 17th-Century Dutch Paintings

ARTH 356 - Uffelman, Erich S.

Spring Term Abroad course. A survey of 17th-century Dutch history, art history, politics, religion, economics, etc., which links the scientific analysis of art to the art and culture of the time. The course begins on campus and then history, etc., will occur for a few days in Lexington and then proceed to Center for European Studies, Universiteit Maastricht, The Netherlands. Students visit numerous museums, hear guest lectures from faculty at Universiteit Maastricht, and observe at conservation laboratories at some of the major Dutch art museums. Students are graded by their performance on two research projects involving presentations and journals. Though students are not required to learn a foreign language to participate in the program, they are expected to learn key phrases in Dutch as a matter of courtesy to citizens of the host country.

Seminar in Art History

ARTH 394 - Gustafson, Erik D.

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

Spring 2018, ARTH 394-01: When Jesus was Zeus? From Pagan to Christian Art (4). An investigation of the development of Christian art out of pagan Late Antique culture. Students consider how early Christians adopted Greco-Roman art, tweaking and adapting those older traditions into images of Christian triumph and propaganda. As a colloquium driven by student conversation and participation, discussion is rooted in the historical complexities of Pagan and Christian relationships. We examine current scholarly debates on what has been called the Clash of the Gods: Christ as a magician, as Zeus or Asclepius, and even as feminine. (HA) Gustafson.

Winter 2018

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.

Ancient Cultures, New Markets: Modern and Contemporary Asian Art

ARTH 245 - Kerin, Melissa R.

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.

Questions of Ownership: Looting, Curating, and Destroying Cultural Heritage Objects

ARTH 246 - Kerin, Melissa R.

Cultural heritage objects are powerful artifacts to own, display, and even destroy. But why? This courses 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 equally studied 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 repatriate art from its collections? What nationalist agendas are at work when cultural heritage objects are claimed by modem nation states or terrorist groups?

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.

Arts of Colonial Latin America

ARTH 271 - Lepage, Andrea C.

A survey of the art and architecture of Latin America from the 16th through early-18th centuries, this course begins with an exploration of the art of Aztec and Inca before the arrival of Europeans. Classes then explore the cultural convergence that resulted from the conquest in the 16th century, focusing on the role of indigenous artists and traditions in the formation of early colonial culture. Later lectures consider the rise of nationalism and its effect on the arts.

Special Topics in Art History

ARTH 295A - Gustafson, Erik D.

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

Winter 2018, ARTH 295A-01: History of Islamic Art & Architecture (3). An introductory survey to the art and architecture of the Islamic world, from the founding of Islam in the 7th century to the present day. The course concentrates on selected moments and monuments in the central historic regions—the Middle East, North Africa, Spain, Iraq, Iran, Central Asia, India, Turkey—and considers the relationship of the visual arts to the history, geography, and traditions of each region. The class includes a trip to the Freer and Sackler Galleries of the Smithsonian in Washington, DC. (HA) Gustafson .

Special Topics in Art History

ARTH 295B - Gustafson, Erik D.

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

Winter 2018, ARTH 295B-01: History of Western Architecture (3). This survey of Western architecture, which includes material from the ancient world to the 20th century, is structured chronologically with lectures addressing the major traditions of architectural visual culture and practice. Central to this course is an investigation of the ways in which architecture has been designed to frame the significant socio-religious and political contexts of historical cultures. (HA) Gustafson.

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 402 - Fuchs, Ronald

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.

Directed Individual Study

ARTH 403 - Gustafson, Erik D.

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

Senior Thesis

ARTH 473 - Lepage, Andrea C.

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 - Kerin, Melissa 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 - Kerin, Melissa 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.

Fall 2017

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 - Gustafson, Erik D.

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 Mesoamerica and the Andes

ARTH 170 - Lepage, Andrea C.

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.

Medieval Art in Southern Europe

ARTH 253 - Gustafson, Erik D.

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.

Baroque and Rococo Art

ARTH 258 - Lepage, Andrea C.

A survey of the art and architecture of Europe during the 17th and 18th centuries. The course focuses on the stylistic and ideological issues shaping western art during the age of Religious Wars. This course considers the stylistic innovations of Caravaggio, Bernini, Rubens, Rembrandt, Velasquez, Poussin, Watteau, Boucher, and Fragonard, as well as the function of- and interest in-artistic production within the context of 17th- and 18th-century society.

19th-Century European Art

ARTH 262 - King, Elliott H.

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.

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.

Art and Material Culture of Tibet

ARTH 343 - Kerin, Melissa R.

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.

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 - 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.

Internship in Arts Management

ARTH 453 - Archer Lyle, Clover

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.

Honors Thesis

ARTH 493 - Olson-Janjic, Kathleen

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 - Kerin, Melissa 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.