Special Topics in Art History and the Decorative Arts
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Course Information from the University Catalog
May be repeated for credit when topic is different.
Section Information from the Schedule of Classes for Fall 2012
Originals, Imitations, Fakes: Rethinking Authorship in Art —
Angela Ka-Yan Ho
04:30 PM to 07:10 PM R — Research Hall 201
Art history textbooks, museum displays and results of art auctions attribute cultural and monetary values to “original” works of art. A closer examination of the theory and practice of art-making suggests, however, that deciding what qualifies as an autograph work can be a complicated matter. This course explores how the definitions of “authenticity” and “authorship” have shifted over time. We will consider how traditional practices in artists’ workshops influence our understanding of “personal styles.” We will also analyze historical treatises and ask how patrons and collectors in different periods regarded copies and imitations. We will examine various forms of appropriation—e.g., copying, emulation, quotation, parody—and how they relate to the functions of works of art. Case studies will be drawn from different periods in the history of Western art. This seminar-style course will be offered as ARTH 440 and 599. Taking the course on the graduate level will require extra work but all students will be expected to fully participate in discussions. Reading and writing assignments, in-class discussions and presentations will help students develop skills in visual analysis, critical reading and art historical research. This course fulfills ARTH graduate elective.
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