Art History

2017 - 2018 Catalog

Art History major leading to BA degree

A major in art history leading to a Bachelor of Arts degree requires completion of at least 36 credits, as follows:

  1. ARTH 101, 102
  2. ARTH 140, 141, 170, or 195
  3. One course in ARTS
  4. at least 18 credits in ARTH to include at least 12 credits chosen from 200-level courses and at least six credits from 300-level courses
  5. ARTH 473 or 493 or one additional course chosen from ARTH at the 300-level
  6. Capstone: ARTH 395
  1. Required courses
    • ARTH 101 - Survey of Western Art: Ancient to Medieval
      FDRHA
      Credits3
      PrerequisiteFirst-year and sophomore standing or instructor consent
      FacultyBent

      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.


    • ARTH 102 - Survey of Western Art: Renaissance to the Present
      FDRHA
      Credits3
      FacultyKing, Lepage

      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.


    • ARTH 395 - Senior Seminar: Approaches to Art History
      Credits3
      PrerequisiteSenior art history major
      FacultyStaff

      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.


  2. Take one course
    • ARTH 140 - Asian Art
      FDRHA
      Credits3
      FacultyKerin

      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.


    • ARTH 141 - Buddhist Art of South and Central Asia
      FDRHA
      Credits3
      FacultyKerin

      This course investigates the multivalent world of Buddhist art from South and Central Asia, particularly areas that now fall within the modern-day boundaries of India, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Uzbekistan, China, Tibet, and Nepal. We study the nascent forms of Buddhist imagery and its ritual functions from the Indo-Pak subcontinent, focus on monumental sculpture and cave architecture of Central Asia (Afghanistan and the Tarim Basin)and issues of iconoclasm, and study the art and iconography of the Himalayas, as well as current-day production and restoration practices of Tantric Buddhist art.


    • ARTH 170 - Arts of Mesoamerica and the Andes
      FDRHA
      Credits3
      FacultyLepage

      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
    • ARTH 195 - Special Topics in Art History
      FDRHA
      Credits3 credits in fall or winter, 4 in spring

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


  3. Take one studio art course (ARTS)
  4. at least 18 credits in ARTH to include at least 12 credits chosen from 200-level courses and at least six credits from 300-level courses
  5. Take one:
    • ARTH 473 - Senior Thesis
      Credits3
      PrerequisiteARTH 395
      FacultyStaff

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


    • or
    • ARTH 493 - Honors Thesis
      Credits3-3
      PrerequisiteARTH 395, 3.500 cumulative grade-point average, honors candidacy and senior standing
      FacultyStaff

      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.


    • or one additional course chosen from ARTH at the 300-level
  6. Capstone:
    • ARTH 395 - Senior Seminar: Approaches to Art History
      Credits3
      PrerequisiteSenior art history major
      FacultyStaff

      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.