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Fields of Study: Modern



Karen A. Bearor
Modern American Art and Theory

Adam Jolles
Modern European Art, History of Photography

Lauren Weingarden
19th & 20th Century Art; Word and Image Studies


Course Listing – Modern

Graduate students generally enroll for 5000-level coursework. Many of these courses are tutorials linked to the parallel 4000-level undergraduate course. It is the general practice that students attend undergraduate lectures as well as fulfill the particular requirements for the 5000-level tutorial.

ARH 5440. Modern European Art: Neoclassicism through Impressionism (3)

This course treats European art from 1780-1880, concentrating on the evolving dialogue between academic and anti-academic practices through an investigation of the relationship between theory, criticism and techniques of representation. Topics of inquiry include: David and Neo-classicism; British landscape painting; Delacroix and French Romanticism; Courbet’s Realism and Manet’s Naturalism; and French Impressionism.

ARH 5441. Modern European Art: Postimpressionism through Surrealism (3)

This course covers the development of abstraction from Symbolist art to Abstract Expressionism (from 1880-1950). Topics of discussion include the relationship between the techniques and forms of abstract representation and contemporary philosophical, social, scientific and political events. The writings of artists and critics provide the basis for this inquiry.

ARH 5461. 20th-Century Feminist Art Criticism (3)

This course analyzes questions raised by feminist art critics in the U.S. since 1970 and their responses, based upon their philosophical and ideological stances as liberal, radical, cultural, materialist or post-structuralist feminists.

ARH 5625. American Art before 1940 (3)

Styles in art and architecture of America from the Revolutionary painters to early twentieth century Modernism.

ARH 5648. Art after 1940 (3)

Course covers American and European art after 1940, from Abstract Expressionism to the present. This course begins with an examination of the reactions against Abstract Expressionism and investigates late-modernist practices (e.g., Pop Art, Minimalism, Conceptualism, Earth Art, Performance Art). Topics discussed include contemporary artistic practices and the relationship between “modernism” and “post-modernism.”

ARH 5685. American and Ethnic Folk Art (3)

This course is an introduction to American folk arts from the 17th century to the present. Course is designed to provide students with a framework for understanding how folk arts worked within the social and cultural context of the time. It will also discuss the different ways folk arts have been defined, redefined, utilized, collected and understood by the art world at large.

ARH 5887. Walt Disney and the American Century (3)

This course considers the artistic output of Walt Disney and his company in relation to fine art, society and politics during the twentieth century, emphasizing contributions in the realms of film, architecture and the theme park. In an effort to judge Disney’s impact on the production and consumption of leisure, students engage with some thirty years of academic discourse.


Graduate Seminars – Modern

In addition to these “linked” tutorials, the Department also offers traditional graduate seminars in which students work closely with the professor in small groups. Students may take up to nine (9) semester hours of ARH 6694r. Topics in 19th-Century Art and/or up to nine hours of ARH 6695r. Topics in 20th-Century Art. The subjects of these seminars are varied; recent Modern seminars include:

Word and Image Studies:  Methodologies of word and image studies

International Contemporary Art Since 1945:  Explores contemporary art as produced globally in the wake of the deconstruction of formalist theories

The Soviet Moment in Russian Art:  Explores the transformation of visual culture from the Bolshevik Revolution to the dissolution of the Soviet Union

U.S. Art between the Wars:  Examines painting, photography and film between the World Wars.

Documentary Photography and Film:  Explores forms, strategies and conventions of documentary photography and film.

Memory, Monuments, and Memorials in the U.S.:  Examines the recent scholarship on memory as it applies to the production of a national consciousness through monuments.


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