History and Art History
College of Humanities and Social Sciences

Courses and Syllabi

The University Catalog is the authoritative source for information on courses. The Schedule of Classes is the authoritative source for information on classes scheduled for this semester. See the Schedule for the most up-to-date information and see Patriot web to register for classes.

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Choose a level to see the sections of Art History scheduled for Fall 2015.

Undergraduate

100-Level Courses in ARTH

ARTH 101: Introduction to the Visual Arts (3 Credits)

Introduction to the content and principles of the visual arts. Approach varies with instructor.

ARTH 102: Symbols and Stories in Art (3 Credits)

Themes and imagery in art from early Greece to the modern era.

ARTH 103: Introduction to Architecture (3 Credits)

Introduces study, principle, and understanding of art of architecture. Approach varies with instructor; may be historical, geographical, technical, or thematic.

ARTH 150: Freshman Seminar (3 Credits)

Focuses on skills and methods of learning as well as subject matter as a way of introducing the discipline of art history.

200-Level Courses in ARTH

ARTH 200: Survey of Western Art (3 Credits)

Major periods, monuments, and themes of Western art and architecture. Introduces Washington, D.C., museum collections and a historical framework for further study in art history. Covers prehistory, the ancient world, and the Middle Ages.

ARTH 201: Survey of Western Art (3 Credits)

Major periods, monuments, and themes of Western art and architecture. Introduces Washington, D.C., museum collections and a historical framework for further study in art history. Covers the art of the Renaissance, the baroque period, and modern Europe and the Americas.

ARTH 203: Survey of Asian Art (3 Credits)

Introduces the arts of South, Southeast, and east Asia. Examines aspects of the culture and history of Asia. Discusses monuments and artifacts in a variety of media and their relation to social and historical contexts.

ARTH 204: Survey of Latin American Art (3 Credits)

Introduces arts of Latin America from pre-Columbian to modern era. Discusses important examples of painting, sculpture, and architecture in relation to culture and history of region.

300-Level Courses in ARTH

ARTH 303: National Traditions (1-3 Credits)

Studies traditions of art and architecture within a single selected country or historical region.

ARTH 311: Design of Cities (3 Credits)

Explores problems in urban design in a particular geographical region or historical period. Approach varies with instructor and may involve archaeological or theoretical approaches appropriate to the specific context.

ARTH 315: Modern Architecture (3 Credits)

Studies in modern architecture from the Beaux Arts movement to the present; an investigation of stylistic, structural, or theoretical innovations.

ARTH 319: Art and Archaeology of the Ancient Near East (3 Credits)

Aspects of the art, archaeology, and culture of ancient Near East and Bronze Age Mediterranean. Approach varies depending on instructor; emphasis may be on Mesopotamia, Iran, Egypt, Anatolia, the Levant, or the Aegean.

ARTH 320: Art of the Islamic World (3 Credits)

Introduction to Islamic art, from the time of Muhammad to present. Cultural and regional approach, utilizing local museum collections.

ARTH 321: Greek Art and Archaeology (3 Credits)

History of ancient Greek architecture, sculpture, and painting.

ARTH 322: Roman Art and Archaeology (3 Credits)

History of Roman architecture, sculpture, and painting.

ARTH 324: From Alexander the Great to Cleopatra: The Hellenistic World (3 Credits)

Arts of the Hellenistic age within the context of history and culture of the period. Explores the powerful dynasties ruling wealthy empires; achievements in learning and literature housed in the Great Library at Alexandria; baroque sculpture adorning the Altar of Zeus at Pergamon; and Roman collectors of Greek art and antiques.

ARTH 333: Early Christian and Byzantine Art (3 Credits)

Aspects of medieval art and culture in eastern Mediterranean world. Topics may include late antiquity, early Christianity, and the Byzantine empire and its neighbors. Designed to take advantage of unique local museum resources.

ARTH 334: Western Medieval Art (3 Credits)

Aspects of art and architecture in medieval Europe, from the fall of the Roman Empire through the Gothic period.

ARTH 335: Arts of Medieval England (3 Credits)

Explores aspects of the art, architecture, and archeology of medieval England. Special emphasis may be placed on Cultural contexts and literary sources.

ARTH 340: Early Renaissance Art in Italy, 1300-1500 (3 Credits)

Studies in architecture, sculpture, and painting in the age of Giotto, Ghiberti, Masaccio, and Botticelli.

ARTH 341: Northern Renaissance Art (3 Credits)

Studies in the art of France, Germany, and the Netherlands in the age of Van Eyck and DÌ_rer.

ARTH 342: High Renaissance Art in Italy, 1480‰ÛÒ1570 (3 Credits)

Studies in architecture, sculpture, and painting in the age of Leonardo, Michelangelo, Raphael, and Titian.

ARTH 344: Baroque Art in Italy, France, and Spain, 1600‰ÛÒ1750 (3 Credits)

Studies in architecture, sculpture, and painting in the age of Caravaggio, Bernini, Velazquez, and Poussin.

ARTH 345: Northern Baroque Art, 1600-1750 (3 Credits)

Studies in architecture, sculpture, and painting in the age of Rubens, Van Dyck, Rembrandt, and Vermeer.

ARTH 350: History of Photography (3 Credits)

Development of photography from origins in France in the 19th century to the present.

ARTH 359: Art of the 18th and 19th Centuries (3 Credits)

Introduction to the art and architecture of the 18th and 19th centuries. Topics focus on specific art forms, media, geographic regions, or the thematic categories.

ARTH 360: Nineteenth-Century European Art (3 Credits)

Movements from neoclassicism to symbolism discussed in relation to social, cultural, political, and technological changes in Europe.

ARTH 362: Twentieth-Century European Art (3 Credits)

Study of major movements (fauvism, cubism, futurism, constructivism, surrealism, and expressionism) and important artists in 20th-century painting and sculpture.

ARTH 370: Arts of the United States (3 Credits)

Introduces students to high art (painting and sculpture) and popular material and visual cultural forms (prints, furniture, textiles) through a chronological and thematic survey of U.S. Art, 1600 to 1950. Explores changing roles of arts, artists, craftsmen; issues of gender, race, class; and formation of national identify through the arts. Lectures and discussion are featured.

ARTH 371: American Architecture and Material Culture (3 Credits)

Studies in the history of American architecture or decorative arts in cultural context. Topics range from 17th century to 20th century, depending on instructor.

ARTH 372: Studies in 18th- and 19th-Century Art of the United States (3 Credits)

Developments in visual culture and the changing status of art practitioners throughout these periods. Focus is either chronological (Colonial Period, Gilded Age) or thematic (19th-century genre scenes, the American landscape and national identity).

ARTH 373: Studies in 20th-Century Art of the United States (3 Credits)

Developments in 20th-century American visual culture across all media.

ARTH 374: Art Now (3 Credits)

Explores visual art production since 1980, drawing on regional resources. Examines social, institutional, and political issues in recent art and its markets.

ARTH 376: Twentieth-Century Latin American Art (3 Credits)

Major movements and important artists in 20th-century Latin American art discussed in relation to social, cultural, and political conditions in the region.

ARTH 380: African Art (3 Credits)

Focuses on sub-Saharan African art in terms of styles and aesthetics; materials and techniques; and geographical, social, cultural, and religious contexts. Specific focus of course may vary with instructor.

ARTH 382: Arts of India (3 Credits)

History, culture, and arts of south Asia from earliest civilizations along the Indus River to onset of Western colonialism. Emphasizes role of material evidence in the creation of the South Asian history and how political, social, and religious developments affected the arts. Discusses monuments and artifacts in a variety of media in relation to historical contexts.

ARTH 383: Arts of Southeast Asia (3 Credits)

Examines various cultural and artistic traditions of ancient Southeast Asia, from the earliest archaeological evidence to onset of colonialism. Lectures and discussions focus on material culture of the great civilizations that arose within borders of modern Thailand, Cambodia, Indonesia, Burma (Myanmar), Vietnam, Laos, and Malaysia.

ARTH 384: Arts of China (3 Credits)

Explores the complex and dynamic history of China by examining ways in which social, religious, and political shifts have given rise to new and variant forms of material culture.

ARTH 385: Arts of Japan (3 Credits)

Art and architecture of Japan, with particular attention to the ways political changes, religious movements, and social developments influenced and shaped those creations. Discusses monuments and artifacts in a variety of media in relation to social and historical contexts.

ARTH 386: The Silk Road (3 Credits)

Explores luxury arts and material culture of Eurasian trade routes between Mediterranean and China in historical, religious, and social contexts. Emphasizes cultural interactions in medieval Central Asia.

ARTH 393: Art History Internships (3-6 Credits)

Internship with a professional arts institution, organization, or individual in the Washington, D.C., area. Project to be arranged by student in consultation with faculty instructor and field supervisor.

ARTH 394: The Museum (3 Credits)

Examines history, theory, practice, ethics, and current problems of collecting and displaying art and artifacts to the public. Emphasizes issues central to museums in Washington, D.C., or museums in other locations; focus varies with instructor.

ARTH 398: Study Abroad in the History of Art (1-6 Credits)

Study abroad. Course topics, content, and locations vary.

ARTH 399: Special Topics in the History of Art (3 Credits)

Topics vary.

400-Level Courses in ARTH

ARTH 400: Historiography and Methods of Research in Art History (3 Credits)

Historical investigation of theories, methods, and critiques involved in the discipline of art history. Approach or focus may vary with instructor.

ARTH 420: Advanced Studies in Ancient Art (3 Credits)

Studies a particular area of ancient art of the Mediterranean, Near East, or Middle East. Topics may be art form or medium, geographical area, theme, function, or context.

ARTH 430: Advanced Studies in Medieval or Islamic Art (3 Credits)

Studies a single topic in medieval or Islamic art. May focus on a particular period, region, or medium, or may explore cultural interconnections within medieval Eurasian world.

ARTH 440: RS: Advanced Studies in Renaissance and Baroque Art (3 Credits)

Studies a particular aspect of Renaissance or baroque art. Topics may be monographic, thematic, or concentrated on the art of a smaller time period or a particular area.

ARTH 460: RS: Advanced Studies in 20th-Century European Art (3 Credits)

Study of a particular topic in 20th century European art. Course may focus on a specific period, region, movement, medium, or theoretical issue, or explore cultural connections and transfer between regions.

ARTH 471: Advanced Studies in Art of the United States (3 Credits)

Studies a particular area of American art, focusing on a form, such as landscape or genre painting; theme, such as nationalism, regionalism, or iconography of the family; or movement, such as American modernism.

ARTH 472: RS: Advanced Studies in 20th-Century Latin American Art (3 Credits)

Study of a particular topic in 20th-century Latin American art. Course may focus on a specific period, region, movement, medium, or theoretical issue, or explore cultural connections and transfer between regions.

ARTH 474: Advanced Studies in Contemporary Art (3 Credits)

Study of a topic in contemporary art in a research seminar setting. Focus on particular theme, region, artist, or medium, or take a comparative approach.

ARTH 482: Advanced Studies in Asian Art (3 Credits)

Seminar-style discussions on a specific topic in Asian art. May focus on the art of a particular period, movement, reign, or region, as well as theoretical issues or works in a particular medium.

ARTH 490: Independent Study in Art History (3 Credits)

Intensive study of a particular artist, period, or theoretical problem to be conducted by an individual student in consultation with instructor.

ARTH 491: Independent Study in Art History (3 Credits)

Intensive study of a particular artist, period, or theoretical problem to be conducted by an individual student in consultation with instructor.

ARTH 492: Honors Directed Readings, Honors Directed Research (3 Credits)

Linked individualized courses, usually given by same instructor. Involves directed readings.

ARTH 493: Honors Directed Readings, Honors Directed Research (3 Credits)

Linked individualized courses, usually given by same instructor. Culminates in research paper related to subject of readings.

ARTH 495: RS: Objects and Archives in Art History (3 Credits)

Conduct hands-on research with objects and primary and secondary sources. Select particular artifacts, works of art, or group of objects and undertake original research, and bring objects from storage to publication to exhibition. Develops skills in material analysis, critical reading, and academic writing. Focuses on VA/DC/MD libraries, archives, and storerooms.

ARTH 499: Advanced Studies in Art History (3 Credits)

Seminar-style discussion on specific subjects in art history.

Topics in ARTH

ARTH 303: National Traditions (1-3 Credits)

Studies traditions of art and architecture within a single selected country or historical region.

ARTH 311: Design of Cities (3 Credits)

Explores problems in urban design in a particular geographical region or historical period. Approach varies with instructor and may involve archaeological or theoretical approaches appropriate to the specific context.

ARTH 334: Western Medieval Art (3 Credits)

Aspects of art and architecture in medieval Europe, from the fall of the Roman Empire through the Gothic period.

ARTH 359: Art of the 18th and 19th Centuries (3 Credits)

Introduction to the art and architecture of the 18th and 19th centuries. Topics focus on specific art forms, media, geographic regions, or the thematic categories.

ARTH 372: Studies in 18th- and 19th-Century Art of the United States (3 Credits)

Developments in visual culture and the changing status of art practitioners throughout these periods. Focus is either chronological (Colonial Period, Gilded Age) or thematic (19th-century genre scenes, the American landscape and national identity).

ARTH 373: Studies in 20th-Century Art of the United States (3 Credits)

Developments in 20th-century American visual culture across all media.

ARTH 399: Special Topics in the History of Art (3 Credits)

Topics vary.

ARTH 420: Advanced Studies in Ancient Art (3 Credits)

Studies a particular area of ancient art of the Mediterranean, Near East, or Middle East. Topics may be art form or medium, geographical area, theme, function, or context.

ARTH 430: Advanced Studies in Medieval or Islamic Art (3 Credits)

Studies a single topic in medieval or Islamic art. May focus on a particular period, region, or medium, or may explore cultural interconnections within medieval Eurasian world.

ARTH 440: RS: Advanced Studies in Renaissance and Baroque Art (3 Credits)

Studies a particular aspect of Renaissance or baroque art. Topics may be monographic, thematic, or concentrated on the art of a smaller time period or a particular area.

ARTH 460: RS: Advanced Studies in 20th-Century European Art (3 Credits)

Study of a particular topic in 20th century European art. Course may focus on a specific period, region, movement, medium, or theoretical issue, or explore cultural connections and transfer between regions.

ARTH 472: RS: Advanced Studies in 20th-Century Latin American Art (3 Credits)

Study of a particular topic in 20th-century Latin American art. Course may focus on a specific period, region, movement, medium, or theoretical issue, or explore cultural connections and transfer between regions.

ARTH 474: Advanced Studies in Contemporary Art (3 Credits)

Study of a topic in contemporary art in a research seminar setting. Focus on particular theme, region, artist, or medium, or take a comparative approach.

ARTH 482: Advanced Studies in Asian Art (3 Credits)

Seminar-style discussions on a specific topic in Asian art. May focus on the art of a particular period, movement, reign, or region, as well as theoretical issues or works in a particular medium.

ARTH 499: Advanced Studies in Art History (3 Credits)

Seminar-style discussion on specific subjects in art history.

Graduate

500-Level Courses in ARTH

ARTH 570: Proseminar in History of Decorative Arts (3 Credits)

A writing-intensive course designed to equip students with the skills required for professional scholarship in the history of decorative arts. Examines a variety of theories and methods for analyzing objects. Teaches visual and contextual analysis skills as well as critical thinking about and documentation of primary and secondary sources.

ARTH 571: Survey of Decorative Arts I (3 Credits)

Overview of European decorative arts from fifteenth to eighteenth centuries, with focus on objects from Italy, France, and England. Examines the role of decorative arts in the formation of identity of the elite in Renaissance Italy as well as Renaissance France and England. Also concentrates on European decorative arts from seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, with emphasis on Paris and London.

ARTH 572: Survey of Decorative Arts II (3 Credits)

This writing-intensive course is designed to equip students with the skills required for professional scholarship in the history of decorative arts. Students will examine a variety of theories and methods for analyzing objects through assigned readings, class discussions, and short writing assignments.

ARTH 593: Internship in Art History and the Decorative Arts (3-6 Credits)

Internship with a professional arts institution, organization, or individual in the Washington, D.C., area. Project to be arranged by student in consultation with faculty instructor and field supervisor.

ARTH 594: The Museum (3 Credits)

Examines history, theory, practice, ethics, and current problems of collecting and displaying art and artifacts to the public. Emphasizes issues central to museums in Washington, D.C., or museums in other locations.

ARTH 596: Independent Study (1-3 Credits)

Independent reading and research on specific project under direction of department member.

ARTH 599: Special Topics in Art History and the Decorative Arts (1-6 Credits)

Topics vary.

600-Level Courses in ARTH

ARTH 600: Methods and Research in Art History (3 Credits)

Investigates theories, methods, and research strategies in discipline of art history. Designed for first-semester students in art history MA program; foundation for further graduate-level work in the program.

ARTH 601: Colloquium in Art History (3 Credits)

Offers graduate-level survey in academic art history led by an instructor of record, with input from full Art History faculty. Participants review the current field through lectures, focused readings and group discussions with relevant faculty member. Participants may read in more depth in areas of special interest. Provides preparation for MA exams and professional preparation for teaching.

ARTH 610: Theory of Decorative Arts (3 Credits)

Covers the analysis of objects and design from a number of different perspectives: cultural studies, art history, Marxism, the Frankfurt School, and feminism among others. OffersÊ different tools and viewpoints for each approach to analyze and understand decorative arts.

ARTH 620: Topics in Individual Decorative Arts (3 Credits)

Survey of a single decorative art including media and methods of production. Covers connoisseurship issues such as identifying materials and techniques, fakes, forgeries, repairs, reproductions.

ARTH 630: Material Culture Studies (3 Credits)

Introduction to traditions that have contributed to the field of material culture study. Examines a broad range of the material world from the past to the present. Surveys the field's historical roots and examines approaches to material culture scholarship.

ARTH 640: European Decorative Arts (3 Credits)

Examines one or more European decorative arts from periods from the Renaissance to the early 20th century. Arts may include tapestries, pottery and ceramics, silver, furnishing, jewelry and metalwork, glass as well as distinctive stylistic periods.

ARTH 650: Global Decorative Arts (3 Credits)

Examines specific key media, moments, or locations in the global decorative arts beyond the Western tradition.

ARTH 660: Museum Studies (3 Credits)

Explores the role of museums, through presentations by key museum personnel and discussion of required readings. Administrators, curators, conservators, educators, editors, among others, work with students to expand their knowledge of how museums function.

ARTH 670: Design and Design History (3 Credits)

Examination of key moments in design history. Through focus on the chosen topic, discusses the nature of design. Covers history of interiors, furniture and architecture, and theories of design and design composition.

ARTH 696: Independent Directed Readings (3 Credits)

Designed to prepare students for comprehensive exams by integrating past work and filling gaps in expected knowledge before the exam.

ARTH 699: Topics in Art History (3 Credits)

Research seminar on aspects of art history. Topics vary, but course entails extensive critical readings and discussion, development of bibliographies, and advanced-level research papers.

700-Level Courses in ARTH

ARTH 797: Thesis Writing Workshop (0 Credits)

ARTH 799: Master's Thesis (1-3 Credits)

Research and writing on approved thesis topic under direction of thesis committee.

Topics in ARTH

ARTH 599: Special Topics in Art History and the Decorative Arts (1-6 Credits)

Topics vary.

ARTH 699: Topics in Art History (3 Credits)

Research seminar on aspects of art history. Topics vary, but course entails extensive critical readings and discussion, development of bibliographies, and advanced-level research papers.