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Courses

Undergrad Banner Art History Courses

 *An indicates a course that may be repeated when topics vary.

SPC 2067 Communication for Arts and Design (3)

This course fulfills the university’s oral communication requirement using examples drawn from a diverse range of artistic contexts (required for majors).

ARH 2000 Art, Architecture, and Artistic Vision (3)

This course focuses on a thematic approach to the understanding and appreciation of works of art.

ARH 2814 Information Technology for the Art Historian (3)

Prerequisite: Admission to the Art History major. Technical training in computer applications that are particularly useful to educators and professionals in the field of art history (required for majors).

ARH 2050 History and Criticism of Art I (3)

This course is an introductory survey from prehistoric through late-Medieval art history (required for majors).

ARH 2051 History and Criticism of Art II (3)

This course is an introductory survey from early Renaissance through modern art history including developments in American art (required for majors).

ARH 3130 Survey of Greek Art and Archaeology (3)

This course reviews the major accomplishments in Greek art from early times through the Hellenistic period through a survey of principal monuments, works and archaeological evidence.

ARH 3150 Art and Archaeology of Ancient Italy (3)

This course is a survey of Italian art and archaeology including early Italy, the Etruscans and Rome with reference to the major monuments, works and archaeological evidence.

ARH 3515 History of African Art (3)

This course surveys the history of African art, covering numerous regions of a vast continent. We will examine artistic expressions and visual traditions in the Sahara; along the Nile, Congo, and Niger rivers; in the Central and Western Sudan; the Atlantic Forests; the Cameroon grasslands; and eastern and southern Africa, among others. Based on the undocumented nature of so much African history, the course does not follow a chronological model, but rather adopts a regional and thematic approach. We will consider the development of known traditions and their legacy in modern and contemporary art and architecture, where possible. The course covers a range of visual and material expressions, including painting, sculpture, architecture, costuming, ritual implements, cultural landscapes, and ephemera.

ARH 3530 The Arts of Asia (3)

This course is a general introduction to the visual arts of Asia, covering primarily India, central Asia, China and Japan. The course is organized along thematic lines, with topics such as the ancient world, Buddhism, Chinese aesthetic theory and painting and native and foreign currents in Japanese art.

ARH 3612 Visual Cultures of the Americas (3)

Through an interdisciplinary and hemispheric investigation this course introduces the visual and material cultures of the Americas from the Archaic Period to the present. We examine the development of the art and visual cultures generated in the Americas through the complex historical exchanges among indigenous, European, African, and Asian societies and peoples.  This class highlights not only the richness of the Americas’ indigenous cultures, but also that of the visual culture produced through colonialism and the continuous development of these forms through the modern period. This course is designed to introduce students to the arts of the Americas and the methodological and theoretical foundations for the hemispheric study of American cultures.

ARH 3794 Museum Basics: History and Theory (3)

This course introduces students to the history and theory of museums and museum practices, museum administration, exhibition planning, museum education and museum careers.

ARH 3854 The Museum Object (3)

Prerequisite: ARH 3794. The course covers the philosophy and practice of acquiring, processing, preserving, displaying and interpreting museum objects. Material culture and the museum objects are addressed from the perspective of various disciplines, such as art history, archaeology, anthropology, history and the natural sciences. Hands-on experience is gained in designing and executing an exhibition of the students’ conception.

ARH 3930r Special Topics (1–3)

(S/U grade only.) May be repeated to a maximum of six semester hours.

ARH 4067 History of Modern Architecture (3)

This course traces the major shifts in architectural thinking and design from the 19th to 21st centuries. While focused on European and American debates and movements, the course makes links to the architectural implications of Western territorial ambitions in the colonies such as the Indian Subcontinent, the Muslim heartland and North Africa.

ARH 4110 Art and Archaeology of the Bronze Age in the Aegean (3)

This course studies the major archaeological evidence related to the Bronze Age in Crete and Greece: the major sites, monuments and artistic works.

ARH 4118 Archaeology of Ancient Egypt (3)

This course surveys the archaeology and art of ancient Egypt from the Pre-dynastic to the Ptolemaic and Roman periods. An emphasis is placed on the art, architecture and culture of the Old and New Kingdoms.

ARH 4120 Etruscan Art and Archaeology (3)

This course is a study of Etruscan culture, art and archaeology.

ARH 4131 Greek Art and Archaeology of the Fifth and Fourth Centuries B.C. (3)

This course surveys the accomplishments of classical Greek art through an examination of the monuments, works and archaeological evidence.

ARH 4151 Art and Archaeology of the Early Roman Empire (3)

This course examines Roman art and archaeology from Augustus through the Antonines with a survey of the major artistic accomplishments and the archaeological remains.

ARH 4154 Archaeology of the Late Roman Empire (3)

This course comprises a study of Roman art and archaeology from the second to sixth century CE with emphasis on important sites and monuments.

ARH 4173r Studies in Classical Archaeology and Art (3–9)

This course studies specific aspects of the archaeology and art of Greece and Italy. May be repeated to a maximum of nine semester hours.

ARH 4210 Byzantine Art (3)

Prerequisite: ARH 2050 or instructor permission. This course explores Byzantine art and architecture from the rise of Christianity in the second and third centuries to the end of the sixth century. Emphasis is placed on how imperial rulers used art to further their political and religious agendas.

ARH 4211 Early Medieval Art (3)

Prerequisite: ARH 2050 or instructor permission. This course explores the development of the uses of art in the European Middle Ages, from Barbarian metal work to the acceptance of the classical tradition, to the first mature pan-European art of Romanesque architecture and sculpture. Topics of special interest include pilgrimage, imperial imagery, manuscripts and monasteries.

ARH 4212 Late Antique and Early Christian Art (3)

Prerequisite: ARH 2050 or instructor permission. This course focuses on the art and architecture produced in Late Antiquity, a time of transition from the Roman and Medieval periods. Emphasis is on the processes of transmission, adoption and adaptation of established iconographies and architectural forms from Jewish and pagan arts to serve the needs of the newly established Christian religion.

ARH 4230 Later Medieval Art (3)

Prerequisite: ARH 2050 or instructor permission. This course covers what is generally called Gothic art, including the cathedrals and their sculpture built by bishops and towns, as well as the castles, sumptuous arts and manuscripts commissioned by princes and lords. Topics of special interest include the Black Death, devotional art, civic expression and the arts of the courts.

ARH 4301 Cosmopolitan Renaissance (3)

This course surveys artistic exchange in painting, sculpture and printmaking in continental Europe during the Renaissance, with emphasis on cosmopolitan centers Bruges, Florence, Augsburg, Venice, Prague and Cracow.

ARH 4304 History of Renaissance Architecture (3)

Prerequisite: ARH 2051 or instructor permission. This course is a survey of 15th- and 16th-century architecture in Italy with emphasis on works by Brunelleschi, Alberti, Bramante, Michelangelo and Palladio. Discussion centers on how the major architectural types developed and why, including: churches, city palaces, public piazzas and country villas. Particular attention is paid to the impact of antiquity and the emergence of urban planning.

ARH 4310 Early Italian Renaissance Art: 15th Century (3)

Prerequisite: ARH 2051 or instructor permission. This course examines how social and historical issues influenced the arts during the first great cultural flowering of the Renaissance in Florence, Rome and Venice. Discussion centers on how the requirements of the patron, the vitality of local traditions and the interaction among the arts all contributed to the creation of the new Renaissance vocabulary.

ARH 4312 Later Italian Renaissance Art: 16th Century (3)

Prerequisite: ARH 2051 or instructor permission. This course examines works by the great masters of the Renaissance, including Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo and Titian, against the backdrop of the social and political realities of the day. Discussion includes the rise of the artist-hero, the sources and meaning of Mannerism and the impact of the religious controversies of the age.

ARH 4331 Northern European Renaissance Art (3)

Prerequisite: ARH 2051 or instructor permission. This course focuses on developments in northern European 15th- and 16th-century art with emphasis on painting and printmaking: Flemish, French, German and Dutch artists.

ARH 4352 Southern Baroque Art (3)

Prerequisite: ARH 2051 or instructor permission. This course investigates painting, sculpture and architecture in Italy and Spain during the 17th century, stressing the theatrical, ecstatic and virtuoso character of works produced for royalty, the Church and the rising middle class by such masters as Caravaggio, Bernini and Velázquez.

ARH 4353 Northern Baroque Art (3)

Prerequisite: ARH 2051 or instructor permission. This course examines the Golden Age of painting, sculpture and architecture in France, England and the Netherlands, showing how such figures as Rembrandt and Vermeer encoded meaning in works of detailed realism and contributed to the rise of new subjects in art, including still life, landscape and portraiture.

ARH 4355 18th-Century Art (3)

Prerequisite: ARH 2051 or instructor permission. This course studies painting, sculpture and architecture produced in Western Europe during the Enlightenment, with emphasis on the luxurious, sensual art of the Rococo, the rational classicism of the Palladian Revival, the new moral and philosophical image of women and the rise of the decorative arts.

ARH 4372 Spanish Colonial Art: The Hapsburg Period, 1492/1506–1700 (3)

Prerequisite: ARH 2051 or instructor permission. The art, architecture and visual culture of Spain’s overseas colonies during the period of early exploration and Austrian Hapsburg rule in Spain (1506–1700).

ARH 4413 Spanish Colonial Art: The Bourbon Period, 1700–1821/1898 (3)

Prerequisite: ARH 2051 or instructor permission.  The art, architecture and visual culture of Spanish colonial art during Bourbon rule in Spain.

ARH 4414 Modern European Art: Neoclassicism through Impressionism (3)

Prerequisite: ARH 2051 or instructor permission. 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 4431 Northern European Renaissance Art (3)

This course will survey the most spectacular examples of painting, sculpture, and the graphic arts of the Netherlands, France, and Germany from the late fourteenth to mid-sixteenth century, including Van Eyck, Hans Memling, Martin Schongauer, Grünewald, Hans Holbein, and Albrecht Dürer.

ARH 4450 Modern European Art: Post-Impressionism through Surrealism (3)

Prerequisite: ARH 2051 or instructor permission. This course covers the development of art from 1880 to 1940. Topics of discussion include abstraction, Symbolism, Surrealism, as well as the relationship between the techniques and forms of abstract representation and contemporary philosophical, social, scientific and political events. The writing of artists and critics provides the basis for this inquiry.

ARH 4540 Arts of India (3)

This course offers an introduction to the visual culture of South and Southeast Asia with an emphasis on the Indian Subcontinent. The course examines the role that artistic production has played in the transmission of religious beliefs and the development of cultural systems from the Indus Valley to the present day. Students are encouraged to explore the form and functions of art in a variety of media, including but not limited to architecture, urban form, sculpture, painting and performance.

ARH 4551 Arts of China (3)

This course introduces the visual arts of China, covering the Neolithic to the modern period. The framework for the course is both chronological and thematic, with special emphasis on how the Chinese have viewed themselves and the world in different periods and how this has been expressed in their arts. Topics include ancient China, the introduction of Buddhism, aesthetic theory and painting and masters of landscape.

ARH 4554 Arts of Japan (3)

This course introduces the visual arts of Japan, covering the ancient to the modern period. The framework for the course is both chronological and thematic, with particular focus on the relationship between culture and the visual arts. Among the topics covered are ancient Japan, Japanese aesthetics, Buddhist art, the rise of the samurai, garden architecture and tea ceremony, castle decoration and the world of ukiyo-e.

ARH 4571 Islamic Art and Architecture, 7th – 21st Centuries (3)

This course surveys the art and architecture of the Islamic world from its early days in the mid-seventh century to the present day. While the concept “Islamic world” is both vague and vast, stretching from Spain to Indonesia and beyond, the course focuses on several geographic areas to explore the visual culture produced by Muslims.

ARH 4583 The Arts of Oceania, Africa and Native America (3)

This course discusses, analyzes and examines the arts of people from Oceania, Africa and Native America. It provides students with a valid framework for understanding the complexities involved with these art forms from inside and outside specific social and cultural contexts.

ARH 4620 U.S. Art: Centennial through Late Modernism (3)

Prerequisites: ARH 2051 or instructor permission. This course surveys painting, sculpture, architecture, photography and material culture from 1876 to the 1950s, reflecting regional and multicultural responses to questions of subjectivity and modernity such as “What is ‘American’ about our country and its art?” The course also explores how developing a national identity in this culture was a central concern during this period.

ARH 4621 U.S. Art: Colonial Era to the Centennial (3)

Prerequisites: ARH 2051 or instructor permission. This course examines an emerging national identity as reflected and developed in the arts and material culture from the Colonial period to 1876 using concepts from European images of “discovery” to conceptions of national culture presented to visitors at the Philadelphia Centennial. The course content is multicultural and includes discussions of women’s contributions.

ARH 4642 Art after 1940 (3)

Prerequisite: ARH 2051 or instructor permission. This course covers American and European art from Abstract Expressionism to the present. The course examines 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 “postmodernism.”

ARH 4653 Great Traditions in Mesoamerican Art and Culture (3)

This course provides an introduction to the art and architecture of Mesoamerica from the rise of the Olmec in 1500 B.C. to the Spanish conquest of the Aztec capital of Tenochtitlan in 1521.  The course focuses on how changes in visual culture reflect larger religious and political transformations.

ARH 4675 The Art and Culture of the Maya (3)

This course examines the art and culture of the Maya from approximately 350 BC to the present, focusing primarily on the Classic period (AD 250-900). This course highlights the role of art in Maya religion, politics and ritual, addressing both the Maya conception of time and their hieroglyphic script. The class examines a range of media in which the Maya worked, including architecture, sculpture, ceramic painting, calligraphic monuments and primary texts in translation, such as the Popol Vuh.

ARH 4710 History of Photography (3)

This course surveys the history of photography from its invention in the 1830s up to the present. It addresses the historical development of the medium both topically and chronologically, focusing on photography’s global reach and its diverse array of social functions. Topics include historical debates about photography’s status as art; commercial and scientific applications; advertising and fashion photography; photojournalism and propaganda; the rise of amateur photography; and contemporary trends and practices. Prior experience in photography is not required.

ARH 4720 History of Graphics (3)

This course provides a historical survey of printmaking processes from the beginning of printing to the 20th century. Of special interest is print’s role in social critique through the personalities of Dürer, Rembrandt, Goya, Hogarth, Daumier, Whistler, Toulouse-Lautrec, Cassatt, Hockney, Thiebaud, and Warhol.

ARH 4772 Japanese Animation (3)

This course follows the history of Japanese animation from the early 20th century to the present time, with special focus on the contemporary period. The course investigates not only the richness of what is commonly referred to as anime, but also anime’s various origins in Japan and abroad.

ARH 4800 Methods of Art Criticism (3)

Prerequisites: ARH 2050, ARH 2051 and twelve prior credit hours in upper-level art history. This course is an undergraduate seminar in art history with changing topics. May be repeated to a maximum of twelve semester hours.

ARH 4810 Art History Methods and Media (3)

Prerequisites: ARH 2050, ARH 2051, twelve prior credit hours in upper-level art history and instructor permission. This seminar is designed for undergraduate art-history majors who plan to continue at the graduate level. The seminar introduces to art media and research methods.

ARH 4815r Honors Work in Art History (1–6)

This course requires a written thesis. May be repeated to a maximum of nine semester hours, subject to approval of faculty adviser.

ARH 4876 Global Women’s Art (3)

This course covers global women’s art in the 20th and 21st centuries, with investigations into women’s painting, sculpture, installation, performance, photography, film and multimedia, often challenging conventional perceptions of gendered roles to reshape possibilities for themselves and their communities.  The course also includes coverage of immigrant and exiled women’s contributions to the arts in the U.S.

ARH 4882 Visual Cultures of the African Diaspora (3) 

This course engages the visual cultures of the African Diaspora with geographic attention to the contemporary nations of Cuba, Haiti, Brazil, Puerto Rico, the Bahamas and Jamaica. The background of West Africa, particularly the visual cultures of Yoruba origin, will serve as a foundation. The course will also consider the transformative impact of Atlantic World slavery and colonial institutions on African traditions.

ARH 4884 Walt Disney and the American Century (3)

This course considers Disney and his company in relation to art, society and politics during the twentieth century. Special attention is paid to Disney’s contributions in the realms of film, architecture and theme park. Through assigned readings and visual material such as cartoons, slides and documentaries, the course assesses the relationship between high art and popular art and evaluates Disney’s impact on the production and consumption of leisure.

ARH 4905r Directed Individual Study (3)

May be repeated to a maximum of nine semester hours; duplicate registration is allowed in the same term.

ARH 4933r Special Topics in Art History (3)

This course is an undergraduate, upper-level lecture course in art history with changing topics. May be repeated to a maximum of twelve semester hours.

ARH 4941r Internship in Museum Studies (3–12)

This course is an internship in a collaborative museum to provide students with firsthand knowledge of, and practical experience in, museums. May be repeated to a maximum of twelve semester hours, only three of which may be applied toward the major in art history. May be repeated within the same semester.