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 ARHA 111 or 215. Limited to 25 students. Spring semester. Resident Artist Gloman.2019-20: Offered in Fall 2019 and Spring 2020
This course provides a survey of major artworks produced during the twentieth century in Europe and the Americas, as well as an introduction to their social and historical contexts, their theoretical justifications and critical receptions, and their varied functions. Toward these ends, we will discuss issues of agency and authenticity with regard to modernist and postmodernist artistic practice--from the utopianism of Constructivism to the subversions of Dada; from Abstract Expressionism to conceptual art; and from Fluxus performance to more recent trends. By combining an overview of the period with select in-depth case studies (including influential figures such as Kandinsky, Pollock, Beuys, Warhol, LeWitt, and Bourgeois) the course provides a forum for the development of visual (and verbal) acumen—how to look at, think about, and discuss the visual arts.
Limited to 30 students. Fall semester. Visiting Professor Saletnik.2019-20: Not offered
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.2019-20: Offered in Fall 2019 and Spring 2020
(Offered as HIST 242 [USP] and AHRA 133) 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. Omitted 2011-12. Professor K. Sweeney.2019-20: Not offered
(Offered as ARHA 135 and EUST 135.) 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. Spring semester. Professor Courtright.2019-20: Not offered
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. Fall semester. Professor Clark.2019-20: Not offered
(Offered as BLST 313 [A] and ARHA 138.) 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.
Fall semester. Professor Abiodun.2019-20: Offered in Fall 2019
(Offered as ARHA 145 and EUST 145.) 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 75 students. Omitted 2011-12. Professor Staller.2019-20: Not offered
(Offered as ARHA 146 and WAGS 113.) We begin with a long-standing Spanish obsession with dreams, analyzing images and texts by Calderón, Quevedo and Goya. We next will consider a range of dream workers from a range of cultures, centuries, and disciplines--among them Apollinaire, Freud, Breton, Dalí, Carrington, and Kahlo--as well as others working around the globe in our own time.
Limited to 15 students. Spring semester. Professor Staller.2019-20: Not offered
(Offered as ARHA 147 and ASLC 143.) 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.2019-20: Not offered
(Offered as ARHA 148 and ASLC 123 [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 2011-12. Professor Morse.2019-20: Offered in Fall 2019
(Offered as ARHA 149 and BLST 123 [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.2019-20: Offered in Spring 2020
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: ARHA 102 or 111, or consent of the instructor. Limited to 12 students. Fall and spring semesters. Resident Artist Garand.2019-20: Offered in Fall 2019 and Spring 2020
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: ARHA 102 or 111 or consent of the instructor. Limited to 14 students. Fall semester: Professor Keller. Spring semester: Professor Culhane.2019-20: Offered in Fall 2019 and Spring 2020
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: ARHA 102 or 111 or consent of the instructor. Limited to 18 students. Fall semester. Professor Sweeney.2019-20: Offered in Fall 2019 and Spring 2020
(Offered as EUST 216 and ARHA 216.) 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: ARHA 111. Admission with consent of the instructor. Limited to 10 students. Spring semester. Professor Long.2019-20: 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: ARHA 102 or 111, or consent of the instructor. Limited to 12 students. Fall semester: Visiting Lecturer Lynton. Spring semester: Visiting Lecturer Myren.2019-20: Offered in Fall 2019 and Spring 2020
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 102 or 111, or consent of the instructor. Limited to 18 students. Fall semester. Professor Sweeney.2019-20: Offered in Spring 2020
(Offered as ARHA 250 and EUST 250.) 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.
Requisite: One course in Art and the History of Art or consent of the instructor. Fall semester. Professor Upton.2019-20: Not offered
(Offered as ARHA 253 and EUST 253.) 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 2011-12. Professor Upton.2019-20: Not offered
The course will begin with a brief introduction to important themes in Northern Renaissance art that have direct bearing on later 16th-and 17th-century developments. Relevant historical issues for the entire course will include the effects of the Reformation and Counter-Reformation; changing attitudes toward sexuality, and toward the lower classes or peasants; social and economic movements in the Dutch Republic; and the open market for art and the consequent development of artistic specialties--landscape, portrait and still-life. Studying the works of Pieter Bruegel, Peter Paul Rubens, Anthony van Dyck, Jacob Jordaens, Pieter Saenredam, Frans Hals, Jacob van Ruisdael, Jan Vermeer and Rembrandt van Rijn, students will examine the attractions and pitfalls of the contextual analysis of works of art. The course will also address the role of present day viewers’ subjective responses when evaluating historical evidence and whether unexamined objectivity is possible or even desirable. We will also consider whether there is continued value in the notion of a period style or of an artist’s single-minded or consistent stylistic development. Specialized readings will shed light on all of these topics. Looking closely at original works of art from this period will be a crucial component of the course with special emphasis on refining our visual acuity. Two class meetings per week.
One previous course in art history or in European history strongly recommend. Limited to 20 students. Spring semester. Professor Harbison.2019-20: Not offered
(Offered as ARHA 262 and ASLC 238 [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.
Omitted 2011-12. Professor Morse.2019-20: Not offered
(Offered as ARHA 266 and ASLC 261.) An interdisciplinary study of the visual culture of the Buddhist and Shinto religious traditions in Japan. The class will examine in depth a number of Japan's most important sacred places, including Ise Shrine, Tôdaiji, Daitokuji and Mount Fuji, and will also look at the way contemporary architects such as Andô Tadao and Takamatsu Shin have attempted to create new sacred places in Japan today. Particular emphasis will be placed on the ways by which the Japanese have given distinctive form to their religious beliefs through architecture, painting and sculpture, and the ways these objects have been used in religious ritual.
Spring semester. Professor Morse.2019-20: Not offered
(Offered as ARHA 270 and BLST 293 [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.
Fall semester. Professor Abiodun.2019-20: Offered in Fall 2019
This course considers architecture and design of the 19thand 20thcenturies in light of contemporary disciplinary themes like space, globalization, and sustainability. In doing so, it strives to highlight the social, political, intellectual, and technological forces that have influenced (and continue to motivate) modern design. Key figures to be addressed include: Gottfried Semper, William Morris, Peter Behrens, Adolf Loos, Le Corbusier, Mies van der Rohe, Robert Venturi and Denise Scott Brown, Daniel Liebeskind, Herzog and de Meuron, and Zaha Hadid. This course may include field trips to the Department of Architecture and Design at The Museum of Modern Art and to important regional buildings/sites. Two class meetings per week.
Requisite: EUST 216, EUST364, a course in art history, studio art, or consent of the instructor. Limited to 20 students. Spring semester. Visiting Professor Saletnik.2019-20: Not offered
(Offered as ENGL 281, FAMS 220, and ARHA 272.) “Foundations and Integrations” will be an annual team-taught course between a Critical Studies scholar and moving-image artist. A requirement of the Film and Media Studies major, it will build on critical analysis of moving images and introductory production work to develop an integrated critical and creative practice. Focused in particular around themes and concepts, students will develop ideas in both written and visual form. The theme for spring 2012 will be “Film and Inner Life.”
Requisites: A foundations course in Critical Studies of Film and Media (such as “Coming to Terms: Cinema”) and an introductory film/video production workshop. Not open to first-year students. Limited to 15 students. Spring semester. Professor Hastie and Visiting Lecturer Chris Mason Johnson.2019-20: Not offered
(Offered as ARHA 284, EUST 284, and WAGS 206.) This course will examine the ways in which prevailing ideas about women and gender-shaped visual imagery, and how these images influenced ideas concerning women from the Renaissance to the Enlightenment. It will adopt a comparative perspective, both by identifying regional differences among European nations and tracing changes over time. In addition to considering patronage of art by women and works by women artists, we will look at the depiction of women heroes such as Judith; the portrayal of women rulers, including Elizabeth I and Marie de' Medici; and the imagery of rape. Topics emerging from these categories of art include biological theories about women; humanist defenses of women; the relationship between the exercise of political power and sexuality; differing attitudes toward women in Catholic and Protestant art; and feminine ideals of beauty.
Limited to 15 students. Spring semester. Professor Courtright.2019-20: 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 2011-12. Professor Upton.2019-20: Not offered
Common photographic and video cameras are increasingly similar but photographic and videographic imagemaking differ in significant ways. This class explores those differences. How do imagemaking artists parse varied understandings of time? What are the distinctions between how photographers and filmmakers look through a camera? How does this pragmatic distinction lead to how an imagemaker differentiates between past and present, or between nostalgia and trauma? How do photo-based artists, video artists, and artists using other media conceive of their practices differently? How does the overlap of the photographic and the videomaking tools affect the imagemaker’s practice?
In this studio class/investigation into how to “use” the camera to produce a clear artistic voice, we will investigate various existing and not-yet-existing strategies, such as “photograph as clock,” “photograph as artifact,” “stillness as motion,” and “images without images” to understand the We will invite artists working to produce photographic imagery, as well as artists who work in multiple media, to speak to the class. The class will visit contemporary installations that address how video has affected photography and vice versa, and we will look back in recent art history to determine trajectory of these overlapping imagemaking tools and how they relate to varied aesthetic strategies. We will view films that deal with the photograph and discuss how the “cinematic” gaze has affected contemporary photography. Additionally, we will explore how new media hardware and software (web-based technologies, personal viewing devices, cell phone cameras) continue to affect the changing relationship between photography, video and viewers.
Requisite: ARHA 218. Recommended: one course in basic video editing. Enrollment with consent of the instructor. Limited to 12 students. Spring semester. Visiting Artist-in-Residence Gottesman.2019-20: 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 with communities. In addition photographer Fazal Sheikh and other collaborative artists will discuss their practise. Students will work on an art project with communities in the Amherst area. 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 the practice of art. Limited to 12 students. Spring semester. Visiting Artist Ewald.2019-20: Not offered
(Offered as ARHA 313 and FAMS 225.) 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.
Requisite: ARHA 102 or 111 or consent of the instructor. Limited to 12 students. Fall semester. Artist-in-Residence Rivera-Moret.2019-20: Not offered
(Offered as ARHA 314 and FAMS 442.) How can cinema become a tool for reflection and inquiry? How do we express thought in cinema?
For filmmaker Dziga Vertov, the camera is a “Cine-Eye,” capturing, deciphering and reflecting on found reality to create its own cine-truths, apart from preceding art forms and beyond the stale conventions of traditional narrative and socially constructed realism. In his 1948 article “The birth of a new avant-garde: La caméra-stylo,” Alexandre Astruc envisions the camera as a pen to express abstract thought. Quite recently, in Terrence Malick’s fictionalized, autobiographical film, The Tree of Life, a brother’s death triggers a series of questions about the human condition that form the core of a wide-ranging, expansive film-poem with a narrative structure akin to a philosophical essay.
This advanced production seminar proposes a cinema of thought and investigation in which each filmmaker will engage the world with a reflexive eye. We will look closely at a group of films from genres that foreground inquiry and experimentation: the film essay, the political film, the diary, the notebook, the travelogue, the memoir and other hybrid forms. We will consider content, formal structure (mise-en scene, decoupage) and the content embedded within form, to understand how these films generate a cohesive cinematic/philosophical statement. Readings by filmmakers, theorists and critics will serve as a springboard and counterpoint for our own film projects.
In addition to short group and individual projects, each student will conceptualize, develop and produce a non-fiction film during the semester. Each week, students will present their work-in-progress for class and individual discussion and critique. Prior film production experience is required.
Recommended coursework: ARHA 102 or 111. Limited to 8 students. Fall semester. Visiting Artist Rivera-Moret.2019-20: Not offered
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: ARHA 222, 326 or 327. Limited to 8 students. Spring semester. Professor Sweeney.2019-20: Offered in Spring 2020
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 214 or consent of the instructor. Limited to 12 students. Omitted 2011-12. Professor Keller.2019-20: Not offered
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: ARHA 102 or 111 and ARHA 328 or consent of the instructor. Limited to 8 students. Fall semester. Professor Young.2019-20: 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: ARHA 215 or consent of the instructor. Limited to 18 students. Spring semester. Professor Sweeney.2019-20: Offered in Spring 2020
This course is an extension of intaglio and relief processes introduced in ARHA 213 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: ARHA 213 or consent of the instructor. Limited to 12 students. Spring semester. Resident Artist Garand.2019-20: Not offered
A continuing investigation of the skills and questions introduced in ARHA 218. 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: ARHA 218 or consent of the instructor. Limited to 12 students. Omitted 2011-12. Professor Kimball.2019-20: Offered in Fall 2019
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 and one intermediate level studio course. Admission with consent of the instructor. Limited to 10 students. Fall semester. Resident Artist Garand and Professor Keller.2019-20: Not offered
Designed to provide an intensive, advanced studio experience for students from all five campuses, this seminar explores contemporary art making by emphasizing reproduction and quotation within unique and editioned works. Students will make meaning with traditional and new media that may include explorations in paint, sculptural form, drawing, photography, book arts, installation, and video. Students will combine unique and mechanically reproduced marks, gestures, surfaces, and imagery using logics of pictorial space, pattern, reference, and self-reference. Models will be such artists as Luc Tuymans, Beth Campbell, Sonia Delaunay, Yinka Shonibare, Kevin Zucker, Andrew Kuo, Richard Prince, Frances Stark, Allan McCollum, Ann Craven, and Matthew Brannon. The majority of course work will be based on each student's proposed, semester-long series, although there also will be prompts and assignments. Attendance is required at the weekly class meetings, which will be devoted primarily to discussions, critiques, workshops, and presentations. An exhibition of student work produced in the course is scheduled during the last week of classes.
Requisite: Nomination by the art departments of each of the Five Colleges. Limited to 10 students, with spaces reserved for 2 students from each of the Five Colleges. Fall semester. Visiting Lecturer Rafferty.2019-20: Not offered
(Offered as ARHA 351 and EUST 351.) This course treats painting, sculpture, and architecture of the art historical periods known as the Early and High Renaissance, Mannerism, and the Counter Reformation. It will dwell upon works by artists such as Giotto, Donatello, Botticelli, Leonardo, Raphael, Bramante, Michelangelo, and Titian in the urban centers of Florence, Rome, and Venice, art produced for patrons ranging from Florentine merchants and monks to Roman princes and pontiffs. The art itself--portraits, tombs, altarpieces, cycles of imagined scenes from history, palaces, churches, civic monuments--ranges from gravely restrained and intentionally simple to monumental, fantastically complex or blindingly splendid, and the artists themselves range from skilled artisans to ever more sought-after geniuses. Emphasis will be upon the way the form and content of each type of art conveyed ideas concerning creativity, originality, and individuality, but also expressed ideals of devotion and civic virtue; how artists dealt with the revived legacy of antiquity to develop an original visual language; how art imparted the values of its patrons and society, but also sometimes conflicted with them; and how art and attitudes towards it changed over time. Rather than taking the form of a survey, this course, based on lectures but regularly incorporating discussion, will examine in depth selected works and will analyze contemporary attitudes toward art of this period through study of the art and the primary sources concerning it. Upper level.
Requisite: One other art history course or consent of the instructor. Fall semester. Professor Courtright.2019-20: Not offered
(Offered as ARHA 356 and EUST 356.) 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 2011-12. Professor Courtright.2019-20: Not offered
(Offered as ARHA 372 and MUSI 304) This seminar explores the practice and influence of John Cage. Although primarily regarded as a composer of music, Cage was also a writer, publishing essays and poetry, and a printmaker of both etchings and monotypes. He moved among creative media, yet understanding Cage’s practice in this regard has been a difficult—even an anxious—endeavor. Published debates on hearing, reading, and seeing that fuel this media anxiety will underscore discussions throughout the semester as we consider Cage alongside creative influences such as Erik Satie, Marcel Duchamp, and James Joyce, and collaborators such as Robert Rauschenberg, Merce Cunningham, and David Tudor. Furthermore, we will delve into the practice of contemporary artists whose work exhibits an indebtedness to Cage. This course may include a field trip to The John Cage Trust at Bard College. One class meeting per week. (NB: this course may be counted towards the music major, but it does not fulfill the seminar requirement for the major.)
Requisite: one course in art history, studio art, creative writing, or consent of the instructor. Limited to 15 students. Not open to first-year students. Spring semester. Visiting Professor Saletnik.2019-20: Not offered
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. Spring semester. Professors Clark and Morse.2019-20: Not offered
(Offered as ARHA 383 and ASLC 319.) 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 2011-12. Professor Morse.2019-20: Offered in Spring 2020
(Offered as ARHA 384 and ASLC 384.) An image that can be replicated serves a very different function from a single unique work of art; it addresses new audiences and elicits a wider range of responses. This seminar will explore three different types of replication in Japan—woodblock printing, lithography, and photography. Japanese prints have captured the imaginations of Westerners since the mid-nineteenth century. With the unprecedented achievement of literacy among urban populations during the early sixteenth century, Japan developed highly inventive woodblock texts and images. This seminar will investigate the history of the Japanese print in the Edo period (1615 -1868) through the works of artists such as Suzuki Harunobu, Kitagawa Utamaro, Katsushika Hokusai, and Utagawa Hiroshige. It will also examine how the postcard replaced the print as the favored format for the dissemination of images during the early twentieth century, becoming the primary visual means for communicating Japan’s modernity before the advent of World War II. In Japan, photography evolved from studio productions for tourist souvenirs to extremely creative compositions that transcend national boundaries. The course will make extensive use of the collection at the Mead Art Museum as well as that at the Boston Museum of Fine Arts. One class meeting per week held in the Study Room at the Mead.
Spring semester. Limited to 15 students. Visiting Lecturer A. Morse.2019-20: Not offered
(Offered as ARHA 385, EUST 385, and WAGS 310.) 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. Omitted 2011-12. Professor Staller.2019-20: 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.2019-20: Not offered
(Offered as ASLC 425 and ARHA 425.) The topic for the seminar changes from year to year; in 2011-12 the topic will be images and icons. The course will examine their role in various religious traditions, drawing in particular on the discipline of the history of art. The primary focus will be on images in the Buddhist and Hindu faiths; however, the class will also make comparisons with those in Christianity and the religions of Africa and New Guinea. Some of the topics to be covered will include the relationship between icons and deities, the authentication and animation of images, the connections between icons and political authority, their use in ritual, and aniconism and iconoclasm. Students will be expected to “write about art,” using formal, stylistic, and iconographic methods of analysis as well as to make a seminar presentation and complete a research paper.
Open to juniors and seniors with priority given to majors, juniors preparing to write a senior thesis, and seniors who have opted not to write a thesis. Limited to 15 students. Fall semester. Professor Morse.2019-20: Not offered
Fall and spring semesters. The Department.2019-20: Offered in Fall 2019 and Spring 2020
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.2019-20: Offered in Fall 2019