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.Other years: Offered in Spring 2012, Spring 2013, Fall 2013, Fall 2014, Spring 2015, Fall 2015, Spring 2016, Fall 2016, Spring 2017, Fall 2017, Spring 2018, Fall 2018, Spring 2019, Fall 2019, Spring 2020, Fall 2020, Spring 2021, Fall 2021, Spring 2022, Fall 2022, Fall 2023
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.2023-24: 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: Resident Artist Gloman; Visiting Lecturer Culhane. Spring semester: Resident Artist Gloman.Other years: Offered in Fall 2011, Spring 2012, Fall 2012, Spring 2013, Fall 2013, Spring 2014, Fall 2014, Spring 2015, Fall 2015, Spring 2016, Fall 2016, Spring 2017, Fall 2017, Spring 2018, Fall 2018, Spring 2019, Fall 2019, Spring 2020, Fall 2020, Spring 2021, Fall 2021, Spring 2022, Fall 2022, Spring 2023, Fall 2023
(Offered as ARHA 132 and EUST 132.) 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 2012-13. Professor Upton.2023-24: 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. Omitted 2012-13. Professor Courtright.Other years: Offered in Spring 2012, Spring 2014, Spring 2015, Fall 2015, Spring 2016, Fall 2016, Spring 2017, Fall 2018, Spring 2023
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. Spring semester. Professor Clark.2023-24: Not offered
(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 2012-13. Professor Staller.2023-24: Not offered
(Offered as ARHA 146, EUST 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 20 students. Spring semester. Professor Staller.2023-24: 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.
Omitted 2012-13. Professor Morse.Other years: Offered in Fall 2011, Fall 2013, Spring 2018, Spring 2022, Fall 2023
(Offered as ARHA 148 and ASLC 123.) 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.
Spring semester. Professor Morse.2023-24: Not offered
(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.2023-24: Not offered
This course is a history of western architecture from Classical Greece to Post-Modern America in the form of relatively detailed considerations of two dozen buildings. After introductory discussions of the nature of architecture and various structural materials and systems, each class will be devoted to a single building. This approach offers the scope to demonstrate that works of architecture can be historically important for different reasons: some conclude a line of stylistic or technical development, others initiate them; some are structurally daring while others are quite unadventurous; some were built to solve standard problems, others to solve new and unprecedented ones.
The lectures are intended as both introductions to particular buildings and examples of the varied ways architecture can be considered. What makes specific buildings great will be emphasized rather than how they fit into an apparently inevitable development.
Among the buildings to be studied are: the Parthenon, the Pantheon, Constantine’s church of Saint Peter, Hagia Sophia, Chartres cathedral, The Ospedale degli Innocenti in Florence, Sant’Andrea in Mantua, Bramante’s Saint Peter’s, Saint Eustache in Paris, the Villa Rotunda, Sant’Ivo alla Sapienza in Rome, the Petit Trianon at Versailles, the Crystal Palace, the Paris Opera, the Guaranty Building in Buffalo, Villa Savoye near Paris, Fallingwater, the Seagram Building in New York and the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao.
Limited to 30 students. Fall semester. Visiting Professor Lieberman.2023-24: Not offered
(Offered as ARHS 152 and ASLC 142.) This introductory course explores the architecture, manuscripts, painting, textiles, decorative arts, material culture, and popular art of the Islamic world, from the late seventh century C.E., touching on the present. It follows a basic chronology, but is structured primarily through thematic issues central to the study of Islamic visual culture, including, but not limited to: orality and textuality, geometry and ornament, optics and perception, sacred and royal space, the image and aniconism, modernity and tradition, and artistic exchange with Europe, China, and beyond. The class will focus on the relationships between visual culture, history, and literature, analyzing specific sites or objects, for example the Dome of the Rock in Jerusalem, carved ivory boxes from Spain, luxury manuscripts from Cairo, gardens of Iran, and contemporary art from Pakistan, alongside primary and secondary texts. Films, audio recordings, and field-trips to local museum collections will supplement assigned readings and lectures. Participation in class discussion, a significant component of the course, is expected. No previous background is presumed, and all readings will be available in English.
Limited to 25 students. Fall semester. Five College Mellon Fellow Rice.Other years: Offered in Fall 2012, Fall 2013, Fall 2015, Fall 2016, Fall 2017, Spring 2019, Spring 2020, Spring 2021, Fall 2021, Fall 2023
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 semester: Visiting Professor Gross. Spring semester: Resident Artist Garand.Other years: Offered in Fall 2011, Spring 2012, Fall 2012, Spring 2013, Fall 2013, Spring 2014, Fall 2014, Spring 2015, Fall 2015, Spring 2016, Fall 2016, Spring 2017, Fall 2017, Fall 2018, Spring 2019, Fall 2019, Spring 2020, Spring 2022, Fall 2022, Spring 2023, Fall 2023
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 and spring semesters. Professor Keller.Other years: Offered in Fall 2011, Spring 2012, Fall 2012, Spring 2013, Fall 2013, Spring 2014, Fall 2014, Spring 2015, Fall 2015, Spring 2016, Fall 2016, Spring 2017, Fall 2017, Spring 2018, Fall 2018, Spring 2019, Fall 2019, Spring 2020, Fall 2020, Spring 2021, Fall 2021, Fall 2022, Fall 2023
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.Other years: Offered in Fall 2011, Fall 2012, Fall 2013, Fall 2014, Fall 2015, Fall 2016, Fall 2017, Fall 2018, Fall 2019, Spring 2021, Spring 2022, Fall 2022, Fall 2023
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 and spring semesters. Professor Kimball.Other years: Offered in Fall 2011, Spring 2012, Fall 2012, Spring 2013, Fall 2013, Spring 2014, Fall 2014, Spring 2015, Fall 2015, Spring 2016, Fall 2016, Spring 2017, Fall 2017, Spring 2018, Fall 2018, Spring 2019, Fall 2019, Spring 2020, January 2021, Spring 2021, Fall 2021, Spring 2022, Spring 2023, Fall 2023
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.Other years: Offered in Fall 2011, Fall 2012, Fall 2013, Fall 2014, Fall 2015, Fall 2016, Spring 2017, Spring 2018, Fall 2018, Spring 2019, Spring 2020, Fall 2020, Fall 2021, Spring 2022, Fall 2022, Fall 2023
(Offered as ARHA 225 and FAMS 225.) This course is a hands-on, in-depth exploration of the formal elements of moving images and sound. We will begin with a study of the camera, and, through in-class projects and individual assignments, 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 creative tools to be explored and manipulated. Our goal is to make the camera an extension of our eyes and minds, to learn to see and think about the world around us through moving images and sound. An individual final video project will give students the opportunity to bring the concepts explored throughout the term into a work with an expressive, cohesive cinematic language. In Scenario 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. Fall semester. Visiting Professor Rivera-Moret.Other years: Offered in Fall 2012
Combining traditional and alternative approaches to time-based media, students will investigate the idea of the “immersive environment” by incorporating sound, video, and sculpture into a comprehensive installation. Cross-disciplinary and mixed media approaches are integral to the course. Students will work in a range of mediums and styles that may include video-based, stop-motion style, image variation sequencing strategies, and images originating as hand drawn, printed, painted, sculptural, photographic or digital format. We will work with such software as Photoshop, After Affects and Final Cut Pro for image acquisition, editing and manipulation, file preparation, animating and exporting. Students have the option to make interactive or collaborative works. Guest artists and researchers who use such technologies as sensors, robotics and virtual reality will visit our class.
Recommended requisite: One studio course. Limited to 12 students. Spring semester. Artist-in-Residence Tolley.2023-24: Not offered
The human image was at the core of what are understood as the first steps into modern sculpture. We will look at the beginnings of the modernist approaches to the human image in sculpture and continue through its use by a wide variety of contemporary artists. Students will build sculptures based on the head and the figure, working from life, as well as from memory and imagination. From initial studies in clay from observation, students will move on to a variety of self-directed projects using the human image as central subject matter. Casting techniques, a range of materials, and a multiplicity of approaches to both analyzing and building form will be covered in the course. Two three-hour class meetings per week.
Requisite: At least one of the following--ARHA 111, ARHA 102, or ARHA 214. Limited to 10 students. Fall semester. Professor Keller.Other years: Offered in Fall 2012, Fall 2013, Spring 2015, Spring 2016
(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. Omitted 2012-13. Professor Upton.2023-24: Not offered
(Offered as ARHA 253 and EUST 253). This course means to ask the question: What would it be like to engage with the paintings of Jan van Eyck, Roger van der Weyden, Hieronymous Bosch, Pieter Bruegel, Jan Vermeer and Rembrandt van Rijn as a consciously embodied person and to reclaim in such a direct encounter the rejuvenating powers of erôs, insight and wisdom residing within ourselves and in the art of works of art with which we would behold. In addition to reaffirming the practice of artistic contemplation for its own sake, “Dutch and Flemish Painting” will offer explicit guidance in both the means and the attitude of being that underlie and enable such beholding. Our goal will be to allow a series of exemplary masterpieces including Van Eyck’s Arnolfini Double Portrait, Roger’s Prado Deposition, Bosch’s Garden of Earthly Delights, Vermeer’s Portrait of a Girl with a Pearl Earring, Rembrandt’s Nightwatch and several intimate Self Portraits to open outward and implicate us in their human aspiration to wholeness. Two class meetings per week.
Limited to 25 students. Fall semester. Professor Upton.2023-24: 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. Omitted 2012-13.2023-24: Not offered
(Offered as ARHA 255 and EUST 255.) A monographic course designed to allow the study in some depth of Michelangelo’s accomplishments as a painter, sculptor and architect, as well as a preliminary exploration of his poetry.
Serious attention will be paid to establishing a credible and coherent biography of the artist, who carefully shaped – in fact invented – many details of his life story, promoting the image of himself that he wanted posterity to have. His fictional autobiography is one of Michelangelo’s most successful and durable creations and the course offers, as well as the chance to study the breadth of his achievement, the opportunity to develop skill at determining what is real in a welter of conflicting and self-serving claims.
The course will be organized as a colloquium, with introductory lectures and assigned readings on specific topics, followed by class discussion of the stylistic and historical issues. There will be three short papers summarizing the state of our knowledge about particular subjects, and one more substantial research paper.
Limited to 25 students. Spring semester. Visiting Professor Lieberman.
(Offered as ARHA 261 and as ASLC 260.) Visual imagery plays a central role in the Buddhist faith. As the religion developed and spread throughout Asia it took many forms. This class will first examine the appearance of the earliest aniconic traditions in ancient India, the development of the Buddha image, and early monastic centers. It will then trace the dissemination and transformation of Buddhist art as the religion reached South-East Asia, Central Asia, and eventually East Asia. In each region indigenous cultural practices and artistic traditions influenced Buddhist art. Among the topics the class will address are the nature of the Buddha image, the political uses of Buddhist art, the development of illustrated hagiographies, and the importance of pilgrimage, both in the past and the present.
Spring semester. Professor Morse.2023-24: 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 2012-13. Professor Morse.2023-24: 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.
Omitted 2012-13. Professor Morse.Other years: Offered in Spring 2012, Spring 2015, Fall 2023
(Offered as ARHA 267 and ASLC 267.) This course considers the arts of the book at the royal courts of Greater Iran (including Afghanistan and parts of Central Asia) and Islamic South Asia from the thirteenth through seventeenth centuries. It will focus in particular on illustrated histories and poetic works in Persian, including Abu'l Qasim Firdausi's Shahnama (Book of Kings), Nizami Ganjavi's Khamsa (Quintet), and Abu'l Fazl's Akbarnama (Book of Akbar), among others. All aspects of manuscript production will be considered, from the arts of “miniature painting,” calligraphy, and illumination, to the preparation of paper, brushes, inks, and pigments. The class will explore in depth the nature of the royal manuscript workshop, the formation of visual idioms, the roles of originality and imitation in artistic practice, the aesthetics of the illustrated page, and the theorization of painting and calligraphy in technical treatises, poetry, and other primary texts. Emphasis will be placed on the great movement of artists, materials, and ideas across the Islamic world, all of which contributed to the rise of an elite, cosmopolitan culture of manuscript connoisseurs. Examination of objects in the Mead Art Museum and other local collections will supplement classroom discussion and assigned readings. No previous knowledge of the topic is presumed, and all reading will be available in English.
Requisite:One course in Art History or Studio Art. Limited to 20 students. Spring semester. Five College Mellon Fellow Rice.2023-24: 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.2023-24: Not offered
(Offered as ARHA 271, ARCH 271 and EUST 271.) This course considers architecture and design of the 19th and 20th centuries 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 Libeskind, Herzog and de Meuron, and Zaha Hadid. Two class meetings per week.
Requisite: EUST 216, EUST 364, a course in art history, studio art, or consent of the instructor. Limited to 20 students. Spring semester. Visiting Professor Saletnik.2023-24: Not offered
Through case studies, this course explores the art of Western Europe between 1100 and 1500. The great church, including the cathedrals of Chartres and Paris, serves as the matrix for the consideration of architecture and its integration of sculpture, stained glass, and ritual performance. Thematic surveys examine art as a political tool in the hands of the secular elite, its construction of gender roles, and its reflection of the values of medieval society.
Limited to 30 students. Spring semester. Visiting Professor Davis.Other years: Offered in Spring 2013, Fall 2023
(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. Omitted 2012-13. Professor Courtright.2023-24: Not offered
What would it be like to “behold”? Without diminishing the value of objective observation, analysis, cultural and historical positioning of works of art, this seminar will offer a working hypothesis concerning the act of “beholding” as a deliberate and disciplined means of entering into the thrall of the art of individual works of art. Learning to behold by beholding: Each member of the seminar will have the opportunity to experience and assess the power of “beholding” by way of a semester-long encounter with one painting of their choosing, including time spent with this painting in situ. We will follow the progress of each encounter in conversation and presentation during our class meetings through a series of particular focused steps leading to the direct experience of “beholding,” both individually and as a group. Our goal will be to re-imagine the possibility that artistic contemplation realized in multiple forms (not only pictorial, architectural and sculptural, but social, political, economic, religious and spiritual) is the highest aspiration of our human being in which love will have become the animating source of compassionate action. One class meeting per week.
Limited to 10 students. Fall semester. Professor Upton.Other years: Offered in Fall 2012, Fall 2013, Fall 2014, Fall 2022
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 differences. 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 requisite: One course in basic video editing. Admission with consent of the instructor. Limited to 12 students. Omitted 2012-13. .2023-24: 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. Human rights photographer Fazal Sheikh will be in residence and working on a project in the Pioneer Valley for periods of time during the semester. Students will work with Fazal as well as completing companion projects 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 as it relates to the people they will be working with.
Requisite: One course in the practice of art. Limited to 10 students. Fall semester. Visiting Artist Ewald.2023-24: 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 requisite: ARHA 102 or 111. Limited to 8 students. Omitted 2012-13. Visiting Artist Rivera-Moret.2023-24: Not offered
(Offered as ARHA 315 and FAMS 443.) What constitutes cinematic narrative, distinct from other forms of storytelling? How do we engage film form to tell a story? Can the camera be a narrator? How can we alter a traditional narrative structure, and, what are the implications of these transformations? How can we use color to construct the subjective space of a character, or use sound to manipulate the temporal order of the story, creating flashbacks, ellipses or flash-forwards?
In this advanced production workshop we will explore cinematic narrative first by closely studying how a group of classical, experimental, and contemporary filmmakers have engaged narrative through filmic form. We will then formulate our own new cinematic narratives. Cinema is no longer restricted to the theater or the gallery. Moving images surround us--online, on our phones and screens, in the streets, and in stores, taxis, and train stations. We will consider the formal parameters of these new cinematic spaces and their possibilities. Coursework consists of film viewing, analysis and discussion, and the production of several short narrative films.
Requisite: Prior film production experience; Recommended requisite: ARHA 102 or 111. Limited to 8 students. Fall semester. Visiting Lecturer Rivera-Moret.2023-24: 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.Other years: Offered in Spring 2012, Spring 2013, Spring 2015, Spring 2016, Spring 2017, Spring 2018, Spring 2019, Spring 2020, Fall 2020, Fall 2021, Spring 2022, Fall 2022, Fall 2023
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. Spring semester. Professor Keller.Other years: Offered in Spring 2013, Spring 2014, Spring 2016, Spring 2017, Spring 2018, Spring 2019, Spring 2022, Spring 2023
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. Omitted 2012-13.2023-24: 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.2023-24: Not offered
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.Other years: Offered in Spring 2012, Spring 2013, Fall 2013, Fall 2014, Spring 2015, Fall 2015, Spring 2017, Spring 2018, Spring 2019, Spring 2023
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. Spring semester. Professor Kimball.Other years: Offered in Spring 2013, Spring 2014, Spring 2016, Fall 2016, Spring 2017, Fall 2017, Spring 2018, Fall 2019, Spring 2021, Fall 2022
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 Gloman and Professor Kimball.2023-24: 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. Omitted 2012-2013. Professor Courtright.2023-24: Not offered
(Offered as ARHA 352, EUST 352 and WAGS 352.) In this research seminar, we will explore how sickness and healing were understood, taking examples over centuries. We will analyze attitudes toward bodies, sexuality, and deviance--toward physical and spiritual suffering--as we analyze dreams of cures and transcendence. We will interrogate works by artists such as Grünewald, Goya, Géricault, Munch, Ensor, Van Gogh, Schiele, Cornell and Picasso, as well as images by artists in our own time: Kiki Smith, the AIDS quilt, Nicolas Nixon, Hannah Wilke, and others. Texts by Edgar Allen Poe, Sander Gilman, Roy Porter, Susan Sontag, Thomas Laquer and Caroline Walker Bynum will inspire us as well. Significant research projects with presentations in class. Two class meetings per week.
Limited to 15 students. Fall semester. Professor Staller.2023-24: Not offered
This course will cover the history of printmaking in Europe from its origins in the early fifteenth century in Germany to a time just before WW II. Three major concerns will be treated throughout the semester: (1) technique. The various graphic techniques of woodcut, engraving, etching, aquatint, mezzotint and lithography will be analyzed in detail in the studio and through various historical examples. (2) history and popular culture. The history of printmaking often grows from and reflects important historical, social and political developments (early publishing, Reformation and Counter-Reformation, political upheavals throughout the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries). We will repeatedly examine the relation between printmaking as a fine art and the wider social and political purposes it can serve. (3) aesthetics. Although the issue of color in printmaking will be considered from the sixteenth century onward, we will focus on the development of a graphic aesthetic, the beauty and power of “black lines alone,” something noted already in the sixteenth century. Among the major artists covered will be Martin Schongauer, Albrecht Dürer, Lucas van Leyden, Rembrandt van Rijn, Jacques Callot, Francisco Goya, Honore Daumier, Pablo Picasso and Kathe Kollwitz.
This will be a writing-attentive course with assignments including a critical book review, an exhibition catalog introduction and entry, an evocative essay, a biographical study, and a research paper on an individual original print. Field trips to study original prints in the Mead Art Museum will be an integral part of the course. There will also be optional field trips to the Smith College Art Museum printroom and, at the end of the semester, a trip to the Zea Mays Printmaking Studio in Florence, a rare example of a “green” printmaking studio, which avoids the traditional use of toxic chemicals in the production of prints.
Requisite: One course in art history. Limited to 15 students. Omitted 2012-13. Visiting Professor Harbison.2023-24: 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. Omitted 2012-13. Visiting Professor Saletnik.2023-24: Not offered
This seminar explores the conceptualization and employment of matter in modern and contemporary artistic practice. Matter will be considered plainly as constituent material having mass and occupying space, but also as material means for expression, action, and the formation of thought. We will probe the material process of Kurt Schwitters, Joseph Beuys, Robert Rauschenberg, Eva Hesse, Richard Serra, Robert Irwin and other artists in context of broad understandings of these practices as performing a social or even epistemological role.
Requisite: One course in art history, studio art, or consent of the instructor. Limited to 15 students. Not open to first-year students. Fall semester. Visiting Professor Saletnik.2023-24: 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. Omitted 2012-13. Professors Clark and Morse.Other years: Offered in Spring 2012, Spring 2014, Fall 2023
(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. Fall semester. Professor Morse.2023-24: 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 Valdés Leal, Velázquez, Goya, Munch, Ensor, Redon, Nolde, Picasso, Dalí, Kiki Smith, and Cindy Sherman. Two class meetings per week.
Limited to 20 students. Fall semester. Professor Staller.Other years: Offered in Fall 2012, Fall 2013, Fall 2014, Fall 2016, Fall 2017, Fall 2018, Fall 2020, Fall 2021, Fall 2022, Fall 2023
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.2023-24: Not offered
Fall and spring semesters. The Department.Other years: Offered in Fall 2011, Spring 2012, Fall 2012, Spring 2013, Fall 2013, Spring 2014, Fall 2014, Spring 2015, Fall 2015, Spring 2016, Fall 2016, Spring 2017, Fall 2017, Spring 2018, Fall 2018, Spring 2019, Fall 2019, Spring 2020, Fall 2020, Spring 2021, Fall 2021, Spring 2022, Fall 2022, Spring 2023, Fall 2023
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. Spring semester. The Department.Other years: Offered in Spring 2012, Spring 2013, Spring 2014, Spring 2015, Spring 2016, Spring 2017, Spring 2018, Spring 2019, Spring 2020, Spring 2021, Spring 2022, Fall 2022, Spring 2023