history of art course descriptions

ARH 0175 History of Art I

Credits: 3

A survey of western visual culture from prehistory through the Middle Ages, in architecture, sculpture, painting, and minor arts. Class lecture and discussion will be integrated with visits to area museums, such as the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archeology and Anthropology, the Philadelphia Museum of Art, and/or New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art, to view art of the ancient through medieval world. Offered fall semester.

No prerequisites.

ARH 0176 History of Art II

Credits: 3

A survey of architecture, painting, sculpture, and minor arts, from the 12th century Gothic through the mid-to late nineteenth century. Class lecture and discussion will be integrated with visits to museums, such as: Glencairn Museum and Bryn Athyn’s New Church, the Philadelphia Museum of Art, and/or New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art, Museum of Modern Art and The Cloisters.

No prerequisites. Offered spring semester.

During designated semesters, this course will have a travel/study component, featuring an eight-day experience in Florence, Rome, and Paris, to trace the visual culture of the fifteenth through nineteenth centuries in architecture, painting, sculpture, and minor arts. Visits to the major monuments and museums in these cities will accompany lecture/discussion on site.

ARH 0177 History of Art I Enrichment

Credits: 1

History of Art I Enrichment

ARH 0178 History of Art II Enrichment

Credits: 1

History of Art II Enrichment

ARH 0190 Beasts: Animals in Art and Society

Credits: 3

We will examine the various roles of animals in art and society across time, from the caves of the Paleolithic era through our present relationship with domestic, disposable, and working animals. Art is continually haunted by the animal; they are good to kill and eat, ride, hunt, train for battle, keep as companions, paint, and ritualize. What would Thanksgiving be without our national turkey, Easter without our rabbits and chicks? Proceeding chronologically, students will investigate and analyze key issues and themes in man’s attitudes and relationships to animals –often paradoxical– and the role of animals in art and society as manifest in visual culture and social studies, for example: the symbolism of animals; social constructions of animals and the human/animal boundary; animals in commerce, scientific research, pet-keeping, and therapy; the animal soul; abuse of animals and the animal protection movement; animal emotions, intelligence, and reflexivity; the human-animal bond.

No prerequisites. 

ARH 0230 Art of the Ancient World

Credits: 3

A study of architecture, sculpture, painting, and minor arts from circa 800 BCE to 400 CE in the West, with special emphasis on the classical in style. Projects and themes include investigation of the classical style in today’s monumental art and regular museum work/study in area museums.

No prerequisites. Usually offered in spring semester

ARH 0231 Painted Ladies: Women of the Ancient World

Credits: 3

An interdisciplinary exploration of images of women in Mediterranean painting from the Bronze Age through the Roman period. Topics covered include gender roles, women’s participation in religion, the aesthetics of female beauty, and modes of female dress and ornamentation. A studio art project will be a main component of this course. This course satisfies the Ancient requirement and the studio art requirement for the major/minor.

No prerequisite. Offered upon rotation with other courses in Ancient Art.

ARH 0232 Age of Dragons: Art of the Middle Ages

Credits: 3

A study of painting, sculpture, architecture, and minor arts from the second through the thirteenth centuries, including Early Christian, Byzantine, Carolingian, Ottonian, Romanesque, and Gothic cultures.

ARH-0175 or ARH-0230 are preparatory but not required courses. Offered regularly upon rotation with other courses in medieval art.

ARH 0235 Arts of Death: Portr/Icon/Photo

Credits: 3

This interdisciplinary course will examine the ars moriendi (art of dying) and associated rites of passage and commemoration in order to deconstruct the philosophical, sociological, psychological, and gendered underpinnings of images of the dead. Rituals associated with the decaying, natural body, cleaning, preparing, dressing, waking, displaying, burying, and recording the dead in images will be looked at cross-culturally with examples taken from ancient Egypt through nineteenth death-mask photographs.

No prerequisite. Offered upon rotation with other medieval art courses.

ARH 0236 The Arts of Pilgrimage

Credits: 3Pilgrimage of some sort and of some length was an integral part of the lives of most medieval men and women. Just as we travel to Europe and other faraway places to discover our roots, our tradition, ourselves, the medieval pilgrim journeyed to churches and shrines, to monasteries and holy wells, in order to bring him/herself closer to sacred sites, bodies and belongings of saints, nd significant relics, for either repentance or spiritual discovery and renewal. This course will examine the medieval arts involved in the art of pilgrimage: architecture, fresco, mosaic, statuary, stained glass, and liturgical arts.

ARH-0175 or ARH-0232 are preparatory but not required courses. Offered upon rotation with other courses on medieval art.

During designated semesters, this course will feature a 3-credit travel/study component in the form of a modern pilgrimage to visit the Romanesque and Gothic churches and other liturgical arts of the pilgrimage road to Santiago de Compostela in Spain.

ARH 0237 The Devil Made Me Do It: The Art of Sin, Faith, and Pilgrimage

Credits: 3

This course will meet for 6 weeks. The dates and costs of the trip are to be determined at a later date.

For credit/for no credit/for Experiential Learning Credit

ARH 0255 Art of the Italian Renaissance

Credits: 3

An investigation of Italian painting, sculpture, and architecture from circa 1280 to 1520. Masters of Italian Renaissance painting and sculpture are treated in detail. Significant work at Philadelphia’s or New York’s museums of art will be integral to course.

ARH-0175, ARH-0176, or ARH–0230 are preparatory but not required courses. Offered upon rotation with ARH-0256 and ARH-0260.

ARH 0256 Antiquity and The Renaissance

Credits: 3

This course investigates the art of the Italian Renaissance from circa 1400 to 1520, with a special emphasis on the nature and relationship of the art forms of Greco-Roman Antiquity to the Italian quattro-and cinquecento revival. In-class lecture and discussion are integrated with museum study.

ARH-0176, ARH-0230 are preparatory but not required. Offered regularly upon rotation with ARH-0255.

ARH 0260 Art of Northern Renaissance

Credits: 3

This course explores painting in northern Europe from the International Style through the Gothic and Renaissance to the rise of the Baroque. Special emphasis is given to the interrelationship of paintings with social, economic, philosophical, and religious ideas. Visits to and oral and written projects at the Philadelphia Museum of Art’s rich collection of northern European painting are integral to this course.

ARH-0175 or ARH-0176 are preparatory but not required courses. Offered upon rotation with ARH-0255 and ARH–0256.

ARH 0265 The Birth of the Modern: Mannerism and Baroque Art

Credits: 3

An examination of the late works of Michelangelo and Raphael will establish links with Mannerist painters such as Parmagianino, Pontormo, Bronzino, and others. Masters of seventeenth-century painting, sculpture, and architecture in Italy, France, the Netherlands, and Spain will be examined against the backdrop of Reformation and Counter Reformation Europe. Visits to and oral and written projects at the Philadelphia Museum of Art’s collections of sixteenth, seventeenth, and eighteenth-century painting and sculpture as well as to area monuments inspired by the Baroque style are integrated with class lecture and discussion.

ARH-0176, ARH-0255, or ARH–0256 are preparatory but not required courses. Offered upon rotation with other courses on sixteenth and seventeenth century art.

ARH 0275 American Art

Credits: 3

A study of the architecture, painting, and sculpture of the U. S. from the seventeenth century through the 1913 Armory Show and the introduction of major contemporary Paris-based art movements to the American art world. Integrated museum study and monument visitation are integral to course.

ARH-0176 is a preparatory but not required course. Offered upon rotation.

ARH 0279 Body Art: Tattooing, Piercing, and Their Ritual Meaning

Credits: 3

This course responds to the recent tattoo renaissance across Europe and the U.S. in which bodily inscription, piercing, scarification, cicatrization, and other bodily decorations have migrated from the margins of Western culture to the center of popular, commercial, bourgeois culture. We will excavate the meaning—art historical, cultural, historical, and psychological—of the tattoo from its beginning in the Ice Age through its development in tribal ritual, through its facile, modern translation. Some themes for discussion are: the typology of tattoos—penal, religious, patriotic, etc; gender relationships within tattoo art; the migration of the tattoo as symbols of working-class male rebellion to middle-class, female expressions of status, self-expression, and transgression; the body as canvas.

No prerequisites. Offered upon rotation.

ARH 0280 The Art of Asia: China and Japan

Credits: 3

A critical survey of the varied art forms of China and Japan from the Neolithic period to the nineteenth century, as influenced by religious philosophies and social institutions. A course in Asian history or Oriental religions is good preparation but not required. Area museum work/research is integral to this course.

No prerequisite. Offered occasionally.

ARH 0282 The Art of Asia: India and Islam

Credits: 3

A survey of the art and architecture of Islamic countries and India from the Neolithic to the nineteenth century. A course in Asian history or Oriental religions is good preparation but not required. Area museum work/research is integral to this course.

No prerequisite. Offered occasionally.

ARH 0284 #Selfie: The Art of Self-Reference

Credits: 3

This course will examine a selected historical body of some of the first self-portraits from the Italian and Northern Renaissance, to the development of the painted and photographed death portraits of the nineteenth century, to the assembly-line produced Pop Art celebrity portraits of artists like Andy Warhol, to the explosion of self-portraits with the camera and cell phone in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. Some themes to be investigated are: self-reference in art; social media and art; the artist and the camera; the emergence of the individual in art; narcissism and art. 

No prerequisites. Offered upon rotation.

ARH 0285 Art of the Native American

Credits: 3

A study of Native American stylistic traditions, monuments, and artifacts from the prehistoric southeastern and southwestern United States, organized by region. The emphasis is on the eighteenth-century Iroquois Confederacy, the northwest coast and plains, the Inuit peoples, and the art of nineteenth-century California. The course will also include lectures on contemporary Alaskan and Canadian artistic developments among the Navajos and other native groups.

No prerequisite. Area museum work/research is integral to this course. Offered occasionally.

ARH 0288 Art and the African-American Woman

Credits: 3

African-American art forms an important and integral but overlooked piece of our cultural heritage. This interdisciplinary course traces and investigates the role of African-American women in art, as both the objects and makers of representation, from their roots in slavery to the present-day. We will examine painting, sculpture, pottery, woodcarving, architecture, photography, and filmmaking from the colonil era through the nineteenth century, the Harlem movement of the early twentieth century, the Civil Rights movement of the 1960’s, and the contemporary art scene. Themes for discussion are the objectification of the black female body, the gendered portrayal of African-American women in art, the devaluation of the African-American woman’s artistic contribution, and the role of this art in political struggles.

Prerequisite: one history of art course or POI. Offered upon rotation.

ARH 0289 Exotic Other: Imaging Race West Art

Credits: 3

This course will examine the representation of the non-Western body in Western art and culture from roughly the eighteenth century to the present. It will encompass a wide range of visual imagery, including nineteenth century depictions of Africa and the Orient, scientific illustrations, “primitivism” in the works of Picasso and Gauguin, bringing in as well examples from contemporary popular culture. The course is framed around the following questions: How are race and identity constructed in visual imagery? How do race and gender intersect? And more broadly, how does power operate in representation? This course is cross-listed with WST-0289.

No prerequisites. Offered upon rotation with other modern art history and women studies courses.

ARH 0293 Dressing Up: The History of Costume From Antiquity Through Today

Credits: 3

This course will study selected textiles, costumes, and shoes from Antiquity to the present day, in order to situate ourselves within this complex clothing equation, history, and commerce. We will examine the technical and aesthetic development of clothing and textiles and consider geography, trade, economics, politics, and societal and cultural influences on the design, production, and wearing of different styles of clothing.

No prerequisites. 

ARH 0297 History of Photography

Credits: 3

The role of photography as an art form has been debated since its earliest days. This course will examine photography’s origins in nineteenth-century France and England, and then examine American adaptations. Both images and processes will be examined and various uses of photographic images will be considered. The focus will be on the years circa 1830 to 1945.

Prerequisite: ARH-0176 or one history of art course. Offered occasionally.

ARH 0299 Art of Ireland: Prehistory/12th Century

Credits:  3

A study of the history of the art of Ireland, from the Old Stone Age with its dolmens and passage graves, through its Romanesque architectural efflorescence in the twelfth century. Particular attention will be paid to the Golden Age of Ireland with its treasures of richly illuminated manuscripts, precious metal work ,and austere monastic settlements.

No prerequisite. Offered regularly.

A short field trip to Ireland (for two academic credits) is an optional feature, at student’s additional expense.

ARH 0308 From Revolution to Modernism: Art in Europe 1789-1889

Credits: 3

The nineteenth century reflects a pluralism of styles. This course focuses on some of the major European styles in painting and sculpture, including Neoclassicism, Romanticism, Realism, Impressionism, and Post-Impressionism.

ARH-0176 is preparatory but not a required. Museum study/panel discussion complement class lectures. Offered upon rotation with other courses in modern art.

ARH 0309 20th Century Painting and Sculpture

Credits:3

A study of the major movements in painting and sculpture of the twentieth century in Europe and the United States. Museum work/study is integral to this course.

ARH-0176 is preparatory but not required. Offered upon rotation with other courses in modern art.

ARH 0310 Pop Art I: Andy Warhol, Marilyn Monroe, and the Commercialization of Beauty

Credits: 3

This interdisciplinary course examines New York’s Pop Art of the1960’s, with its bold graphic design and language, its giant scale and carnival color, and its positive embrace of contemporary commodity culture. Pop Art’s bitter “pink pill” was the beauty myth as swallowed by women. Themes to be examined: Marilyn, the limpid blonde; Elvis, the gyrating body; the packaging and pursuit of beauty in Hollywood; commodity, cartoon, and comic painting; the impersonal handling of love. Research and presentations at area museums will be integral to this study.

AHR-0175 or ARH–0176 are preparatory but not required. Recommended for Graphic Design students. Offered upon rotation with other courses in modern art.

ARH 0311 Pop Art II: Star Power, Coca Cola, and Mass Culture

Credits: 3

This interdisciplinary course examines New York’s Pop Art of the1960’s. Incorporating heavy black outlines, flat primary colors, Benday dots used to add tone in printing, and the sequential images of film into painting, Pop gurus such as Warhol and Lichtenstein crafted images which drew on popular and powerful commercial culture for their style and subject matter. War and romance comic books, Madison Avenue advertising, television, and Hollywood movies and movie stars provided Pop artists with grist for their new, bold mills. Pop Art threatened the survival, many feared, of the sophisticated, modernist art and high culture it mocked. Themes to be examined: Pop Art’s embrace or parody of popular culture; shower curtains, coke bottles, lipstick erotic or banal art; post WWII and a new art mirroring a society of contented women and men with ample time to enjoy cheap and plentiful material goods.

ARH 0175 or ARH 0176 are preparatory but not required. Recommended for Graphic Design students. Incorporates museum work.

ARH 0312 Fast Food for Thought: Italian Futurist Art and Cuisine

Credits: 3

Speed, travel, life in the fast lane of the new industrial city, and the changing dynamics of new technology informed and propelled Italian Futurism, the early twentieth century avant garde movement. The Futurist Manifesto of February 1909, which appeared on the front page of the French newspaper, Le Figaro, shivered with enthusiasm for a new language in all of the arts: visual arts, music, literature, theatre, film, and cooking—a reflection , after all, of historical and sociological issues portrayed in modern Italian literature from the early1900’s on. This course will investigate the artistic ideals that inspired the Futurists to create their vision of modernity, and, as well, the “Futurist Cuisine” of the artist, critic, founder of the movement, and cuisinier, Filippo Tommaso Marinetti. He hoped his “extreme eating experiences” would shock Italians into a futuristic world. Cooking will be included in the course.

ARH 0176 is preparatory but not required.

ARH 0325 The Moving Image: A History of Film 

Credits: 3

The history of the development of the film as an art form from its origins in France and England to the present.

Prerequisite: one history of art course. Offered upon rotation with other courses in film.

ARH 0328 Film and Politics

Credits: 3

An examination of the narrative content and visual style of American cinema and the studio politics of that representation in the theatre and on television. As a means of comparative analysis, films representing Hollywood cinema, network television, and other western and nonwestern societies are considered. Alternative cinema, dialectical cinema, and film propaganda are examined. Extra-curricular work with film and political science issues is integral to the course.

Prerequisite: one history of art course. Offered upon rotation with other courses in film.

ARH 0331 Women, Violence, & Hollywood Horror Film

Credits: 3

Exploring art historical and contemporary feminist film theory, students in this interdisciplinary history of art and women’s studies course will discover the roles of women in the horror film genre and its role in popular visual culture. Themes to be examined: women and violence; horror versus sadism; recreational terror and its broader cultural implications.

Prerequisite: one history of art/women’s studies course or with permission of instructor. Offered upon rotation with other film and women studies courses

ARH 0335 Women and Film 

Credits: 3

The issues raised by feminism create new contexts through which to understand human behavior and the functioning of culture. Through the examination of certain films as well as recent psychological, social, and political theories, this course examines current issues in narrative structure and the female subject. Extracurricular work with a women’s association or film association is integral to course.

Prerequisite: one history of art course. Offered upon rotation with other film and women studies courses.

ARH 0350 Women and Art

Credits: 3

An investigation of the role of women in art from antiquity to the present, both as objects of gendered representation and as artists. The historical devaluation of the contributions of women to art is examined. Extra-curricular work with various local women’s agencies is integral to the course.

ARH-0175 or ARH-0176 are preparatory but not required courses. Offered upon rotation with other art history and women studies courses.

ARH 0352 Guerilla Girls: Feminist Arts Since 1970

Credits: 3

Feminist art emerged within the context of the Women’s Liberation movement of the late 1960’s and early 1970’s. A generation later, this movement calls for reintegration into art’s mainstream. This course will examine the works of well-known women artists such as Judy Chicago, Miriam Schapiro, Alice Neel, Ana Mendieta, and many others, who have changed the shape of the art world. Political activist groups such as the world-renowned, international Gorilla Girls will be studied and interviewed, when possible.

ARH-0176 is preparatory but not required. Offered upon rotation with other courses in modern art and women’s studies.

ARH 0355 Sleeping Beauties: Nude/Model Visual Culture

Credits: 3

This course examines the multi-dimensional role of the nude in nineteenth and twentieth-century art—historically, critically, thematically, and aesthetically. Students critically examine questions such as gender and power, the body as battleground, the body as landscape, art versus pornography, and the objectification and politicization of the nude. Extra-curricular work with local women’s groups is integral to the course.

ARH-0176 and/or ARH–0176 are preparatory but not required. Offered upon rotation with other history of art and women’s studies courses.

ARH 0370 Sisters in Art: Represent VS. Reality

Credits: 3

This interdisciplinary history of art and women’s studies course focuses on the unique relationship between biological sisters, analyzing the history of cultural constructions of sisters in sacred texts, mythology, fairytales, painting, film, television, and advertising. From Rachel and Leah to Roseanne and Jackie, sisterly relations will be examined with regard to the complicated mixtures of love, envy, hatred, devotion, jealously, dispassion, etc. How have representations of sisterhood reflected/betrayed larger cultural constructs, concerns, an prejudices? Fieldwork at areamuseums and/or with local women’s organizations is integral to this course.

Prerequisite: one course in women’s studies. Offered upon rotation with other history of art and women’s studies courses.

ARH 0375 Honor Seminar: The Arts of Egypt and North Africa- From the Ancients Through Early Christians 

Credits: 3

This interdisciplinary course will deal with the visual culture, religions, death and other rituals, and cosmologoies of the Ancient Egyptians through the Early Christians of Egypt, Ethiopia, and the Sinai peninsula. The questions and the fields that this course will prove will necessitate sophisticated research, collaborative work, and critical analysis. Students will conduct discussions of a pre-arranged image or series of images of their choice and will work in learning groups, in order to involve them in the conversation and to build an interactive scholarly community. 3 credits.

Prerequisite: Students must be honors program participants at sophomore or higher class standing.

ARH 0390 In Your Face: Contemporary Art Since1954 to 2000

Credits: 3

A study of the dramatic shift in the form and content of visual art from the end of World War II to the present. Within a lecture/discussion format, this course investigates issues of significant artistic and cultural concern beginning with the rise of Abstract Expressionism in the U.S. The course also explores the art of women and other traditionally marginalized cultural groups and the return to figuration in art in the avant-garde of the eighties and nineties.

ARH-0175, ARH-0176, or ARH-0308 are preparatory but not required courses. Gallery and museum work/research is integral to this course. Offered upon rotation with other courses in modern art. 

ARH 0400 German Expressionism, Dada, and Surrealism

Credits: 3

An investigation of the three movements in early twentieth-century art in which artists rejected classical and realistic doctrines and began to respond to materials and procedures of personal artistic activity. Questions of artistic and societal revolt, non-objective art, the relationship of the artist to society, and the influence of literature on art are explored. Work/research with area museums is integral to this course, and studio projects maybe assigned.

ARH-0176 or ARH-0308 are preparatory but not required course. Offered occasionally.

ARH 0410 Seminar: Heaven and Earth: The Art of Byzantium

Credits: 3

This course will cover the Art of Byzantium, from its beginnings in the court of Constantine until the invasion of the Turks in the mid-fifteenth century: church architecture and mosaic decoration, sculpture, and liturgical arts. Objects featured in the National Gallery of Art exhibition (6 Oct, 2013–2 March, 2014) will be central to the discussion of the development of these Byzantine art forms.

A trip to the exhibition will be mandatory.

ARH 0460 Seminar: Special Topics

Credits: 1 to 3

Advanced topics of special interest selected by instructor.

Intended for history of art majors/minors but open to others with interest and permission of instructor. Selected course topics will feature travel/study components. Offered upon rotation.

ARH 0465 Independent Study

Credits: 1 to 3

Area of study to be selected by student and instructor relative to a student’s special interests and needs.

Must be arranged in advance with the discipline coordinator and requires approval of the Academic Dean. Offered as needed.

ARH 0470 Art Historical Methodology & Research 

Credits: 3

Tutelage in art historical methods and research, progressing from the fundamental level to a comprehensive investigation of the diverse approaches to the discipline.

Designed for first semester seniors and/or second semester juniors who are majoring or minoring in the history of art and as preparation for the comprehensive examinations and the senior thesis/writing sample. Offered spring semester.

ARH 0475 History of Art Criticism 

Credits: 3

An investigation of the principles and methods involved in writing about the history of art. Historiographical literature of the major critical historians of art from Antiquity through the twentieth century is examined.

Designed for, but not restricted to, junior or senior majors and minors in the history of art. Interviews with art critics, artists, and historians of art are conducted by students. Offered when needed.

ARH 0480 Internship

Credits: 1 to 3

Applications of the study of the history of art and studio art for majors, minors, and interested students through work in the marketplace. Students intern at museums, galleries, historical societies, stained glass window studios, architectural firms, graphic arts firms, and other art related institutions to gain insight into the job market, to practice skills, and to learn the discipline from other practical and professional points of view. Students are advised to discuss possibilities and arrangements with the internship coordinator.

Contract required. Offered each semester.