An introduction to works of art as the embodiment of cultural, social, and political values from ancient civilizations of the West to the present. Students will approach a selected number of paintings, sculptures, and buildings from a number of perspectives, and the course will address various historical periods, artists, artistic practices, and themes through objects of Western art that are united by contemplation of the uniquely artistic expression of meaning in visual form. The course will also emphasize cultural and artistic exchanges between societies of Europe, the Americas, Asia, and Africa. Weekly sections will meet at the Mead Art Museum to study original works of art. Two hour and 20-minute lectures and one discussion section per week.
Requisite: Preference will be given to studio art concentrators, first-year students and sophmores with no previous art history experience. Limited to 40 students. Omitted 2010-11.2015-16: Not offered
An introduction to two-dimensional and three-dimensional studio disciplines with related lectures and readings. Historical and contemporary references will be used throughout the course to enhance and increase the student’s understanding of the visual vocabulary of art. How the comprehension of differing visual practices directly relates to personal investigations and interpretations within the covered disciplines of drawing, sculpture, painting, photography and printmaking. This includes applying elements of composition, weight, line, value, perspective, form, spatial concerns, color theory and graphics. Work will be developed from exercises based on direct observation and memory, realism and abstraction. Formal and conceptual concerns will be an integral aspect of the development of studio work. Class time will be a balance of lectures, demonstrations, exercises, discussions and critiques. Weekly homework assignments will consist of studio work and reading assignments. Two two-hour class sessions per week.
No prior studio experience is required. Not open to students who have taken Art 04 or 15. Limited to 25 students. Fall semester. Resident Artist Gloman.2015-16: Offered in Fall 2015 and Spring 2016
An introductory course in the fundamentals of drawing. The class will be based in experience and observation, exploring various techniques and media in order to understand the basic formal vocabularies and conceptual issues in drawing; subject matter will include still life, landscape, interior, and figure. Weekly assignments, weekly critiques, final portfolio. Two three-hour sessions per week.
Limited to 20 students. Fall semester: Visiting Lecturer Culhane. Spring semester: Resident Artist Gloman.2015-16: Offered in Fall 2015 and Spring 2016
An introduction to intaglio and relief processes including drypoint, engraving, etching, aquatint, monoprints, woodcut and linocut. The development of imagery incorporating conceptual concerns in conjunction with specific techniques will be a crucial element in the progression of prints. Historical and contemporary references will be discussed to further enhance understanding of various techniques. Critiques will be held regularly with each assignment; critical analysis of prints utilizing correct printmaking terminology is expected. A final project of portfolio making and a portfolio exchange of an editioned print are required.
Requisite: Art 02 or 04, or consent of the instructor. Limited to 12 students. Fall and spring semesters. Resident Artist Garand.2015-16: Offered in Fall 2015 and Spring 2016
An introduction to the practice of sculpture in a contemporary and historical context. A series of directed projects will address various material and technical processes such as construction, modeling, casting and carving. Other projects will focus primarily on conceptual and critical strategies over material concerns. By the end of the course, students will have developed a strong understanding of basic principles of contemporary sculpture and have acquired basic skills and knowledge of materials and techniques. Further, students will be expected to have formed an awareness of conceptual and critical issues in current sculptural practice, establishing a foundation for continued training and self-directed work in sculpture and other artistic disciplines. Two three-hour class meetings per week.
Requisite: Art 02 or 04 or consent of the instructor. Limited to 14 students. Fall and spring semesters. Professor Keller.2015-16: Offered in Fall 2015 and Spring 2016
An introduction to the fundamentals of the pictorial organization of painting. Form, space, color and pattern, abstracted from nature, are explored through the discipline of drawing by means of paint manipulation. Slide lectures, demonstrations, individual and group critiques are regular components of the studio sessions. Two three-hour meetings per week.
Requisite: Art 02 or 04, or consent of the instructor. Limited to 18 students. Fall and spring semesters. Resident Artist Gloman.2015-16: Offered in Fall 2015
(Offered as EUST 52 and ARHA 16.) In this intermediate architectural design studio we will explore the intellectual and creative process of making and representing architectural space. The focus will be to explore the boundaries of architecture--physically and theoretically, historically and presently--through digital media. Our process will prompt us to dissect 20th-century European architectures and urban spaces and to explore their relationships to contemporary, global issues. The capstone of the course will be a significant design project (TBD) requiring rigorous studio practices, resulting in plans, sections, elevations and digital models. This course will introduce students to various digital diagramming, drawing, and modeling software, while challenging students to question the theoretical and practical implications of these interdisciplinary media processes. This course will combine lectures, reading, discussion, and extensive studio design.
Requisite: Basic Drawing. Admission with consent of the instructor. Limited to 10 students. Spring semester. Professor Long.2015-16: Not offered
An introduction to black-and-white still photography. The basic elements of photographic technique will be taught as a means to explore both general pictorial structure and photography’s own unique visual language. Emphasis will be centered less on technical concerns and more on investigating how images can become vessels for both ideas and deeply human emotions. Weekly assignments, weekly critiques, readings, and slide lectures about the work of artist-photographers, one short paper, and a final portfolio involving an independent project of choice. Two three-hour meetings per week.
Requisite: Art 02 or 04, or consent of the instructor. Limited to 12 students. Fall and spring semesters. Professor Kimball.2015-16: Offered in Fall 2015 and Spring 2016
A course appropriate for students with prior experience in basic principles of visual organization, who wish to investigate further aspects of pictorial construction using the figure as a primary measure for class work. The course will specifically involve an anatomical approach to the drawing of the human figure, involving slides, some reading, and out-of-class drawing assignments. Two two-hour meetings per week.
Requisite: ARHA 02 or 04, or consent of the instructor. Limited to 18 students. Omitted 2010-11. Professor Sweeney.2015-16: Offered in Fall 2015
A studio course that will emphasize compositional development by working from memory, imagination, other works of art and life. The use of a wide variety of media will be encouraged including, but not limited to, drawing, painting, printmaking and collage. Students will be required to create an independent body of work that explores an individual direction in pictorial construction. In addition to this independent project, course work will consist of slide lectures, individual and group critiques, in-class studio experiments and field trips.
Requisite: Drawing II, Painting II or Printmaking II. Limited to 8 students. Spring semester. Professor Sweeney.2015-16: Offered in Spring 2016
A studio course that investigates more advanced techniques and concepts in sculpture leading to individual exploration and development. Projects cover figurative and abstract problems based on both traditional themes and contemporary developments in sculpture, including: clay modeling, carving, wood and steel fabrication, casting, and mixed-media construction. Weekly in-class discussion and critiques will be held. Two two-hour class meetings per week.
Requisite: ARHA 14 or consent of the instructor. Limited to 12 students. Spring semester. Professor Keller.2015-16: Offered in Spring 2016
This course is an exploration of the materials, processes, techniques, and aesthetics of color photography. It is designed for those who already possess a strong conceptual and technical foundation in black-and-white photography. An emphasis is placed on students’ ability to express themselves clearly with the medium. Concepts and theories are read, discussed, demonstrated and applied through a series of visual problems. This course offers the opportunity for each student to design and work on an individual project for an extended period of time. This project will result in a final portfolio that reflects the possibilities of visual language as it relates to each student’s ideas, influences and personal vision. Students may work with 35mm, medium format, or U5 cameras. Student work will be discussed and evaluated in both group and individual critiques, complemented by slide presentations and topical readings of contemporary and historical photography. Two two-hour class meetings per week.
Requisite: Art 02 or 04, and Art 28 or consent of the instructor. Limited to 8 students. Fall semester. Professor Kimball.2015-16: Not offered
This course offers students knowledgeable in the basic principles and skills of painting and drawing an opportunity to investigate personal directions in painting. Assignments will be collectively as well as individually directed. Discussions of the course work will assume the form of group as well as individual critiques. Two three-hour class meetings per week.
Requisite: Art 15 or consent of the instructor. Limited to 18 students. Spring semester. Professor Sweeney.2015-16: Offered in Spring 2016
This course is an extension of intaglio and relief processes introduced in Art 13 with an introduction to lithography. Techniques involved will be drypoint, etching, engraving, aquatint, monoprints, monotypes, woodcut, linocut and stone lithography. Printmaking processes will include color printing, combining printmaking techniques and editioning. Combining concept with technique will be an integral element to the development of imagery. A final project of portfolio-making and a portfolio exchange of prints will be required. Individualized areas of investigation are encouraged and expected. In-class work will involve demonstration, discussion and critique.
Requisite: Art 13 or consent of the instructor. Limited to 12 students. Spring semester. Resident Artist Garand.2015-16: Offered in Fall 2015
A continuing investigation of the skills and questions introduced in Art 18. Advanced technical material will be introduced, but emphasis will be placed on locating and pursuing engaging directions for independent work. Weekly critiques, readings, and slide lectures about the work of artist-photographers, one short paper, and a final portfolio involving an independent project of choice.
Requisite: Art 18 or consent of the instructor. Limited to 12 students. Spring semester. Professor Kimball.2015-16: Offered in Spring 2016
An advanced level interdisciplinary studio course focused on the development of a personal and independent body of work, and the technical and conceptual problems associated with such a project. Students concentrating in any visual medium or across mediums are welcome and encouraged to enroll. Each student, in consultation with the professors, will design a semester-long project. This project will result in a final body of work or series that reflects the student’s ideas, influences and personal vision. In addition to production of this extended independent project, course work will consist of weekly group critiques, historical and topical readings, discussions, field trips and in-class studio experiments. This course is highly recommended for any ARHA major considering a senior honors project with a concentration in studio; however, it is open to any student having the necessary prerequisites.
Requisite: Two introductory level studio courses, one intermediate level studio course. Admission with consent of the instructor. Limited to 10 students. Fall semester. Resident Artist Garand and Professor Keller.2015-16: Not offered
An advanced studio seminar course focusing on the expanded realm of processes constituting drawing in the 21st century. Course work will consist of two bodies of production. Weekly in-class assignments will emphasize the construction of drawings with prescribed limited means. These assignments will broach a wide range of materials, building processes, and conceptual considerations. Parameters for the execution of these assignments will be set by the instructor; subject matter and imagery will be determined by the individual student. The second body of work will consist of an ongoing line of self-directed studio inquiry exploring contemporary issues in drawing. Students will be asked to present their independent projects for weekly class critiques and discussions. Relevant readings, museum trips, and contextual lectures will be regular features of the course. Two two-hour class meetings per week.
Requisite: Art 04 in conjunction with any one additional practice of art course, or consent of the instructor. Limited to 8 students. Omitted 2010-11. Professor Keller.2015-16: Not offered
(Offered as ARHA 32 and EUST 73.) By learning how specifically to encounter the transcendent symbolism of the catacombs of Rome, the devotional intensity of monastic book illumination, the grandeur and vision of the first basilica of St. Peter, the Byzantine church of Hagia Sophia, and selected monasteries and cathedrals of France, we will trace the artistic realization of the spiritual idea of Jewish and Christian history from the transformation of the Roman Empire in the fourth century C.E. to the apocalyptic year of 1500 C.E. Several prophetic masterpieces by Albrecht Dürer, Leonardo da Vinci and Michelangelo Buonarroti completed on the very eve of the modern world will reveal a profound “forgotten awareness” crucial to our collective and private well-being but long obscured by the “renaissance” bias that called this period “medieval.” Two class meetings per week.
Omitted 2010-11. Professor Upton.2015-16: Not offered
(Offered as HIST 37 [USP] and ARHA 33.) Using architecture, artifacts, visual evidence and documentary sources, the course examines social and cultural forces affecting the design and use of domestic architecture, home furnishings, and domestic technology in the eastern United States from 1600 to 1960. In addition to providing a survey of American domestic architecture, the course provides an introduction to the study of American material culture. Field trips to Historic Deerfield, Old Sturbridge Village, Hartford, Connecticut, and sites in Amherst form an integral part of the course. Two class meetings per week.
Limited to 25 students. Spring semester. Professor K. Sweeney.2015-16: Offered in Fall 2015
(Offered as ARHA 35 and EUST 38.) This course is an introduction to painting, sculpture, and architecture of the early modern period. The goal of the course is to identify artistic innovations that characterize European art from the Renaissance to the French Revolution, and to situate the works of art historically, by examining the intellectual, political, religious, and social currents that contributed to their creation. In addition to tracing stylistic change within the oeuvre of individual artists and understanding its meaning, we will investigate the varied character of art, its interpretation, and its context in different regions, including Italy, France, Spain, Germany and the Netherlands.
Limited to 30 students. Professor Courtright. Spring Semester2015-16: Offered in Fall 2015 and Spring 2016
Through the study of form, content, and context (and the relationship among these categories) of selected works of painting, architecture, and sculpture made in colonial America and the United States from the seventeenth to the twentieth century, this course will probe changing American social and cultural values embodied in art. We will study individual artists as well as thematic issues, with particular attention to the production and reception of art in a developing nation, the transformation of European architectural styles into a new environment, the construction of race in ante- and post-bellum America, and the identification of an abstract style of art with the political ascendance of the United States after World War II. Introductory level.
Limited to 35 students. Omitted 2010-11. Professor Clark.2015-16: Not offered
(Offered as BLST 43 [A] and ARHA 38.) In the traditionally non-literate societies of Africa, verbal and visual arts constitute two systems of communication. The performance of verbal art and the display of visual art are governed by social and cultural rules. We will examine the epistemological process of understanding cultural symbols, of visualizing narratives, or proverbs, and of verbalizing sculptures or designs. Focusing on the Yoruba people of West Africa, the course will attempt to interpret the language of their verbal and visual arts and their interrelations in terms of cultural cosmologies, artistic performances, and historical changes in perception and meaning. We will explore new perspectives in the critical analysis of African verbal and visual arts, and their interdependence as they support each other through mutual references and allusions.
Omitted 2010-11. Professor Abiodun.2015-16: Offered in Fall 2015
(Offered as ARHA 45 and EUST 59.) This course will explore the self-conscious invention of modernism in painting, sculpture and architecture, from the visual clarion calls of the French Revolution to the performance art and earthworks of "art now." As we move from Goya, David, Monet and Picasso to Kahlo, Kiefer and beyond, we will be attentive to changing responses toward a historical past or societal present, the stance toward popular and alien cultures, the radical redefinition of all artistic media, changing representations of nature and gender, as well as the larger problem of mythologies and meaning in the modern period. Study of original objects and a range of primary texts (artists’ letters, diaries, manifestos, contemporary criticism) will be enhanced with readings from recent historical and theoretical secondary sources.
Limited to 80 students. Spring semester. Professor Staller.2015-16: Not offered
(Offered as ARHA 47 and ASLC 43.) An introduction to the history of Chinese art from its beginnings in neolithic times until the end of the twentieth century. Topics will include the ritual bronze vessels of the Shang and Zhou dynasties, the Chinese transformation of the Buddha image, imperial patronage of painting during the Song dynasty and the development of the literati tradition of painting and calligraphy. Particular weight will be given to understanding the cultural context of Chinese art.
Fall semester. Professor Morse.2015-16: Not offered
(Offered as ARHA 48 and ASLC 23 [J].) A survey of the history of Japanese art from neolithic times to the present. Topics will include Buddhist art and its ritual context, the aristocratic arts of the Heian court, monochromatic ink painting and the arts related to the Zen sect, the prints and paintings of the Floating World and contemporary artists and designers such as Ando Tadao and Miyake Issey. The class will focus on the ways Japan adopts and adapts foreign cultural traditions. There will be field trips to look at works in museums and private collections in the region.
Omitted 2010-11. Professor Morse.2015-16: Not offered
(Offered as ARHA 49 and BLST 46 [A].) An introduction to the ancient and traditional arts of Africa. Special attention will be given to the archaeological importance of the rock art paintings found in such disparate areas as the Sahara and South Africa, achievements in the architectural and sculptural art in clay of the early people in the area now called Zimbabwe and the aesthetic qualities of the terracotta and bronze sculptures of the Nok, Igbo-Ukwe, Ife and Benin cultures in West Africa, which date from the second century B.C.E. to the sixteenth century C.E. The study will also pursue a general socio-cultural survey of traditional arts of the major ethnic groups of Africa.
Spring semester. Professor Abiodun.2015-16: Offered in Spring 2016
(Offered as ARHA 50 and EUST 74.) This course aims to be a visually and spatially attentive search for the ‘art’ of the monastic and cathedral masterpieces of medieval France. First, by learning how to recognize, define, and respond to the artistic values embodied in several “romanesque” and “gothic” monuments including the Abbeys of Fontenay, Vézelay and Mont St. Michel and the Cathedrals of Laôn, Paris, Chartres, Amiens and Reims, we will try to engage directly (e.g., architecturally and spatially) the human aspiration these structures embody. Secondly, with the help of two literary masterpieces from the period, The Song of Roland and Tristan and Isolde, we will discover that the heart of the “monastic” challenge to our own era is not the common opposition of the medieval and modern worlds, but rather the recognition of the potential diminishment of ‘art’ by an exclusively ratiocinated view of all reality. The tragic love affair of Eloise and Peter Abelard will dramatize a vital existential dilemma too easily forgotten that always (but especially in our time) threatens ‘art,’ human compassion and spirituality. Our goal is to reclaim the poetic potential of the word “cathedral.” Two class meetings per week.
Fall semester. Professor Upton.2015-16: Not offered
(Offered as ARHA 53 and EUST 75.) This course means to ask the question: What would it be like actually to respond to the paintings of Jan van Eyck, Roger van der Weyden, Hugo van der Goes, Hieronymous Bosch, Pieter Bruegel, Jan Vermeer and Rembrandt van Rijn and to reclaim in such a direct encounter the rejuvenating powers of insight and wisdom residing within the work of art itself. In addition to reaffirming the practice of pictorial contemplation for its own sake, “Dutch and Flemish Painting” will provide explicit instruction in the means and attitude of beholding complex works of art. Two class meetings per week.
Omitted 2010-11. Professor Upton.2015-16: Not offered
(Offered as ARHA 56 and EUST 56.) After the canonization of the notion of artistic genius in the Italian Renaissance and the subsequent imaginative license of artists known as Mannerists, phenomena sponsored throughout Europe by the largesse of merchants, courtiers, aristocrats, princes, and Churchmen alike, a crisis occurred in European society--and art--in the second half of the sixteenth century. Overturned dogmas of faith, accompanied by scientific discoveries and brutal political changes, brought about the reconsideration of fundamental values that had undergirded many facets of life and society in Europe at the beginning of the seventeenth century, the starting point of this course. Unexpectedly, these upheavals led to a renewed proliferation of innovative art. In this century of remarkably varied artistic production, paradoxes abounded. Some artists sought the illusion of reality by imitating unimproved, even base nature through close observation of the human body, of landscape, and of ordinary, humble objects of daily use, as others continued to quest for perfection in a return to the lofty principles implicit in ancient artistic canons of ideality. More than ever before, artists explored the expression of passion through dramatic narratives and sharply revealing portraiture, but, famously, artists also imbued art meant to inspire religious devotion with unbounded eroticism or with the gory details of painful suffering and hideous death. They depicted dominating political leaders as flawed mortals--even satirized them through the new art of caricature--at the same time that they developed a potent and persuasive vocabulary for the expression of the rulers’ absolutist political power. This class, based on lectures but regularly incorporating discussion, will examine in depth selected works of painting, sculpture, and architecture produced by artists in the countries which remained Catholic after the religious discords of this period-e.g., Caravaggio, Bernini, Poussin, Velázquez, and Rubens in Italy, France, Spain, and the Spanish Netherlands--as well as engaging the cultural, social, and intellectual framework for their accomplishments. Upper level.
Requisite: One other course in art history or consent of the instructor. Limited to 25 students. Omitted 2010-11. Professor Courtright.2015-16: Not offered
(Offered as ARHA 62 and ASLC 38 [J].) In 1590 the Tokugawa family founded its provincial headquarters in eastern Japan. By the eighteenth century, this castle town, named Edo (now known as Tokyo), had become the world’s largest city. This class will focus on the appearance of artistic traditions in the new urban center and compare them with concurrent developments in the old capital of Kyoto. Topics of discussion will include the revival of classical imagery during the seventeenth century, the rise of an urban bourgeois culture during the eighteenth century, the conflicts brought on by the opening of Japan to the West in the nineteenth century, the reconstruction of Tokyo and its artistic practices after the Second World War, and impact of Japanese architecture, design and popular culture over the past twenty years.
Spring semester. Professor Morse.2015-16: Not offered
(Offered as ARHA 70 and BLST 45 [D].) The course of study will examine those African cultures and their arts that have survived and shaped the aesthetic, philosophic and religious patterns of African descendants in Brazil, Cuba, Haiti and urban centers in North America. We shall explore the modes of transmission of African artistry to the West and examine the significance of the preservation and transformation of artistic forms from the period of slavery to our own day. Through the use of films, slides and objects, we shall explore the depth and diversity of this vital artistic heritage of Afro-Americans.
Omitted 2010-11. Professor Abiodun.2015-16: Offered in Fall 2015
This course focuses on the study of selected works from the Mead’s collection of American art. Students will encounter at first hand paintings and sculpture by such artists as John Singleton Copley, Charles Willson Peale, Thomas Cole, W. H. Rinehart, Winslow Homer, Thomas Eakins, Robert Henri, and Paul Manship. By looking closely and reading widely, students will learn to engage these works of art from various perspectives. While our emphasis will be on their historical contexts, we will consider the way the museum shapes our understanding of a work of art. Class discussion, student presentations, short written assignments, and a research project are expected. Two class meetings per week, one of which will be at the museum.
Requisite: One art history course or consent of the instructor. Limited to 12 students. Omitted 2010-11. Professor Clark.2015-16: Not offered
Preparation of a thesis or completion of a studio project which may be submitted to the Department for consideration for Honors. The student shall with the consent of the Department elect to carry one semester of the conference course as a double course weighted in accordance with the demands of his or her particular project.
Open to seniors with consent of the Department. Fall semester. The Department.2015-16: Offered in Fall 2015
This course considers how art museums reveal the social and cultural ideologies of those who build, pay for, work in, and visit them. We will study the ways in which art history is (and has been) constructed by museum acquisitions, exhibitions, and installation and the ways in which museums are constructed by art history by looking at the world-wide boom in museum architecture, and by examining curatorial practice and exhibition strategies as they affect American and Asian art. We will analyze the relationship between the cultural contexts of viewer and object, the nature of the translation of languages or aesthetic discourse, and the diverse ways in which art is understood as the materialization of modes of experience and communication. The seminar will incorporate visits to art museums and opportunities for independent research. One meeting per week.
Limited to 25 students. Omitted 2010-11. Professors Clark and Morse.2015-16: Not offered
(Offered as ARHA 83 and ASLC 19.) An examination of the history of chanoyu, the tea ceremony, from its origins in the fifteenth century to the practice of tea today. The class will explore the various elements that comprise the tea environment-the garden setting, the architecture of the tea room, the forms of tea utensils, and the elements of the kaiseki meal. Through a study of the careers of influential tea masters and texts that examine the historical, religious, and cultural background to tea culture, the class will also trace how the tea ceremony has become a metaphor for Japanese culture and Japanese aesthetics both in Japan and in the West. There will be field trips to visit tea ware collections, potters and tea masters. Two class meetings per week.
Limited to 20 students. Omitted 2010-11. Professor Morse.2015-16: Not offered
(Offered as ARHA 85, EUST 70, and WAGS 10.) This course will explore the construction of the monstrous, over cultures, centuries and disciplines. With the greatest possible historical and cultural specificity, we will investigate the varied forms of monstrous creatures, their putative powers, and the explanations given for their existence-as we attempt to articulate the kindred qualities they share. Among the artists to be considered are Bosch, Valdés Leal, Velázquez, Goya, Munch, Ensor, Redon, Nolde, Picasso, Dalí, Kiki Smith, and Cindy Sherman. Two class meetings per week.
Limited to 25 students. Fall semester. Professor Staller.2015-16: Not offered
What would it be like to “Behold” with a work of art--that is, to engage its human realization according to its unique and shared embodiment--rather than merely or exclusively observe, analyze or situate it culturally and historically? This seminar will offer a working hypothesis concerning the definition and integrative potential of “Beholding” with the “art”of a work of art and provide each member of the seminar the opportunity to test and experience this hypothesis by way of a semester-long encounter with one painting of their own choosing, culminating in a sustained direct experience with this painting. In sharing the progress of each encounter during our class meetings, we will aim to re-imagine together contemplative action as the highest aspiration of human being.
Limited to 12 students. Omitted 2010-11. Professor Upton.2015-16: Not offered
This course will look at the phenomenon of globalization and contemporary art through the lens of border culture, a term that refers to the "deterritorialized" nature of an image when it is removed from its context or place of origin. Its themes include borders within the realms of language, gender, ideology, race, and genres of cultural production. Border culture emerged in the 1980s in Tijuana/San Diego in a community of artists who had spent many years living outside their homelands or living between two cultures—an experience that today might well represent the nature of contemporary life as well as art praxis.
Requisite: One course in an area of cultural studies or art history or consent of the instructor. Limited to 24 students. Fall semester. Visiting Lecturer Falk.
2015-16: Not offered
This course will examine the approaches of various contemporary artists to creating collaborative work. Over the last two decades a growing number of artists have adopted a mode of working that is radically different from the usual modernist model. These artists are working as collaborators with people or groups outside the world of art--with children, senior citizens, sanitation workers, or residents of a particular neighborhood. The artists often create work with, not for a community, and share decision making with people not ordinarily given a place in the world of museums or other art world sites. The results are artworks that express a variety of social and aesthetic positions. In general, the work is intertwined with progressive educational philosophies and radical democratic theory.
Some of the issues examined will be: What is the special attraction for artists of working collaboratively? What are the roles of the artist, community, and audience? How does one attribute quality or success to collaborative projects? What is the relationship between process and product? This course will examine the work of artists working in various media, including Ewald’s methods for working with children in photography and Rick Lowe’s transformative practice of working with communities. Students will work on a public art project designed by Lowe with communities in the Amherst area. The economies of giving will be the focus of a space or event in which community members can discuss goals and problems. Weekly class discussions will provide students the opportunity to reflect upon their own experiences and observations as artists. They will also read about and discuss collaboration, social issues, and pedagogy as it relates to the people they will be working with.
Requisite: One course in practice of art. Limited to 12 students. Fall semester. Visiting Artist Ewald.2015-16: Not offered
This seminar examines the history, theory, and practice of displaying art to the public in the twentieth century. The course begins with an overview of the innovative exhibition techniques developed by the modern avant-garde, followed by an investigation of continuity and change in art exhibition practices since the 1960s. Issues we will discuss include the diverse contexts in which art is displayed, such as museum galleries, public spaces, and virtual realms; the evolving motivations for such displays; and the ways in which modes of exhibition change our interpretation of art. We will also consider the roles art exhibitions play in our world today, as arbiters of history and culture but also as catalysts for controversy, and the expanded function of the museum, from a home or repository for the arts to a source of artistic inspiration and activity. Students will regularly lead class discussions on assigned readings, and a short writing assignment will incorporate exhibitions of contemporary art at Mass MoCA and other nearby museums. Students will present the results of a research paper on a particular exhibition or series of exhibitions, or on the role of the museum as "muse" in contemporary art. Limited to 12 students.
2015-16: Not offered
This course will provide an analytic and critical review of photography, one of the predominant art forms of the 19th through 21st centuries. There will be references to photography's historical and cultural context, with particular emphasis on works after mid-century (1950) and the place of photography inside and outside the canon. Some consideration will be given to the relationship among the three prevailing strains of the medium: fine art, popular culture, and photojournalism. The course will be taught by an art historian and an artist, each participating in the significant and indissoluble dyad involved in the close examination of art. This course will include lectures, seminar discussion, colloquy, and a course-long practicum integrated into the syllabus along with primary source readings and some reference to secondary sources. The practicum will involve self-directed fieldwork, subject to class-wide discussion and critiques. Students should have some knowledge of art history and the practice of photography as well as a general familiarity with works of art in any medium. Access to and use of conventional photographic equipment (preferably digital, for ease of class-wide access, viewing and distribution) is expected.
Spring semester. Visiting Lecturer Dinin.
2015-16: Not offered
The course will survey the Visual Arts since World War II, primarily in the United States and Europe, but with some consideration of developments in the larger international arena. Following a brief overview of modernism, the course will offer a detailed examination of Abstract Expressionism and Minimalist developments; Pop, Conceptual, and Environmental Art; renewed interest in painting and figuration, and the critical debate surrounding the subject of Postmodernism. The survey will conclude by exploring key issues in art at the turn of the twenty-first century, such as the impact of globalization, digital technology, and the Internet on art and its production, display, and interpretation.2015-16: Not offered
(Offered as ARHA 92-02 and FAMS 45.) How does the physical weight of a video camera influence the emotional weight of the captured image? What can we uncover as we explore a space through the broad, sensuous perspective of a stereo microphone or through the stark directionality of a shotgun microphone? Conversely, what remains of a space that is slowly going out of focus? What meanings are generated when a hand-held camera gesture crashes, through editing, against the stillness of an image captured on a tripod? How can we generate ideas through film form? Can we talk about the ethics of a tracking shot? What cinematic stories can we tell? This course is a hands-on, in-depth exploration of the expressive, narrative possibilities of moving image and sound. We will work with video cameras to take advantage of the accessibility of this medium, always bearing in mind the differences with the filmic image. We will begin with a study of the camera, and, through in-class projects and individual assignments, with an emphasis on inquiry, experimentation and discovery, we will explore framing and composition; light, color and texture; camera movement and rhythm; editing and relationships between image and sound. We will approach set-up and documentary situations from a variety of formal and conceptual perspectives. We will consider all equipment not simply as technology, but as powerful creative tools to be explored and manipulated, incorporating other equipment (tripods, lenses, filters, lighting kit, and sound recording equipment) as they relate to the topics explored. At every step, we will consider the narrative potential of the formal elements studied: narrative understood in a broad sense that goes beyond formulas or standard storytelling modes to include the abstract, the fragment, the open-ended structure and the small gesture. During the semester, students will create a video diary, a motion-picture sketchbook. With entries on a daily basis, the diary will be a moving, changing record of formal reflections and intellectual, emotional and physical engagement with the environment. The goal is to make the camera an extension of our eyes and minds, to learn to see and think the world around us through moving images and sound. As source and counterpoint to our studio work, we will examine, from a maker's point of view, the films and writings of international filmmakers from the classical period, underground and avant-garde cinema, the New Waves of the 1960s and 70s, and contemporary filmmakers. An individual final video project will give students the opportunity to bring their approach to image, movement and sound explored throughout the term into a work with a expressive, cohesive cinematic language. In rio du film Passion, Jean-Luc Godard expresses his desire to turn a camera movement into a prayer. It is this profound engagement with the world and intense, thoughtful consideration of the medium that we seek to achieve.
Limited to 12 students. Spring semester. Artist-in-Residence Rivera-Moret.
2015-16: Not offered
We will investigate a series of historical events (such as the Vietnam War, the Cuban missile crisis, Stonewall, the assassinations of John and Robert Kennedy, and Martin Luther King) as well as the Civil Rights Movement, the rise of identity politics (Feminism, Black Power, the Brown Berets) and the counterculture. We will study the myriad art forms and their attendant ideologies invented during the decade (such as Pop, Op, Color Field, Minimalism, Land Art, Conceptual Art, Performance Art, Fluxus), as well as some crucial critics, dealers and art journals, in an effort to understand the ways in which artists rejected or appropriated, then transformed, certain themes and conceptual models of their time.
Requisite: One course in modern art or consent of the instructor. Limited to 12 students. Spring semester. Professor Staller.2015-16: Not offered
Fall semester. The Department.2015-16: Not offered