Art History (ARTH)

ARTH 103     Art of Europe and the Americas: Prehistory to 1300  (4)

A survey of the architecture, sculpture, painting, and decorative arts of the West from prehistory to the end of the Middle Ages.

ARTH 104     Art of Europe and the Americas: 1300 to the Present  (4)

A continuation of ARTH 103, beginning with the art of the Italian Renaissance and concluding with the major artistic developments of the 20th century.

ARTH 105     Asian Art: Prehistory to Contemporary  (4)

A survey of the visual arts of India, China, Japan, and neighboring countries from prehistory to the present. The major monuments consisting of architecture, sculpture, and painting are discussed. Both indigenous and cross-cultural aspects of each art work are examined in the light of style, iconography, and historical context.

ARTH 111     Latin American Art, Ancient to Modern  (4)

This survey course introduces the art and architecture of ancient, colonial, modern, and contemporary Latin America spanning approximately 4000 years (c. 2000 BCE- 2000 CE) and two continents (North, Central, and South America from Mexico to Brazil). We examine the style, iconography, and context of key works of art and consider enduring regional legacies and the adaptation of outside influences.

ARTH 202     History of Photography  (4)

This course introduces students to the history of photography, from the invention of the medium in the 1830s to recent practices of photographers and artists working with a wide variety of photographic technologies. Emphasis is given to key artist, artistic movements, and theories of photography, as well as to visual literacy and familiarity with the multiple genres and social functions of photographic image production.

ARTH 210     Islamic Art and Architecture  (4)

A survey of the origins, characteristics, and development of Islamic art, approached by considering productions ranging from architecture to sumptuary arts. This course covers the early formation and definition of Islamic art during the Ummayad and Abbasid periods and later phases of splendor in late Medieval and Modern eras. It includes the art and architecture of Fatimids, Mamluks, Saljuks, Ottomans, Ilkhanids, Timurids, and Safavids, in areas stretching from the Iberian Peninsula and northern Africa to India.

ARTH 212     American Animation, 1910-1960  (4)

A chronological examination of the most significant and influential short and full-length animated features made in the United States between 1910 and 1960. This course begins with the experiments of Winsor McCay ("Little Nemo," 1911) and ends with the rise of made-for-television cartoon in early 1960s. Emphasis is placed both on major studios in New York, Kansas City, and Los Angeles and on pioneering directors and animators working in those studios. The course also situates the work of those studios, directors, and animators within the larger contexts of twentieth century American history and popular culture.

ARTH 300     Special Topics  (2 or 4)

This seminar focuses on a special topic in Art History not fully covered in existing courses. Special topics covered may include artistic movements, disciplines or traditions, genres, themes, or global regions. This course may be repeated for credit when the topic differs.

ARTH 305     Sacred Arts of Japan  (4)

This course introduces religious artworks of Japan from the sixth century to the present day. Following a chronological sequence, examines artwork from Buddhist, Shinto, and Christian belief systems. Investigates two-dimensional works, sculpture, and architecture. Explores topics such as the relationship between ritual practice and the visual arts, images of heaven and hell, hidden icons, relics, and interactions of sacred and secular in the visual realm. Readings taken from primary sources and scholarly articles in the field.

ARTH 306     Art and Disaster in Modern and Contemporary Japan  (4)

Using disaster as a starting point for understanding the visual culture of modern and contemporary Japan, this course provides students with a survey of Japanese art history from 1850 to the present day. Considers the intersections of popular culture and fine art, examines painting, sculpture, architecture, memorials, photography, prints, video, and installation art. Explores the impact and legacy of natural disasters, war, the nuclear bomb, imperialism, environmental issues, and terrorism in the visual arts, analyzing various artistic responses to calamity.

ARTH 308     Gender in Japanese Art  (4)

Using gender as a lens for examining works of art in the Japanese tradition from the thirteenth through twentieth centuries, this course examines a wide variety of formats and mediums, including corpse paintings, cross-dressing performers, and prints of the modern girl. Participants will identify and analyze varying interpretations of gender through time and across culture and address issues associated with applying contemporary gender theory to pre-modern works. Topics to be covered include: Buddhist ideas of the feminine, voyeurism in early modern woodblock prints, and the role of gender in contemporary art.

ARTH 309     Sacred Arts of China  (4)

Following a chronological sequence, this course introduces religious artworks of China from the prehistoric period to the present day and examines artwork from Buddhist and Taoist religions. It investigates two-dimensional works, sculpture, and architecture and explores such topics as the relationship between ritual practice and the visual arts, images of the natural landscape, pilgrimage, cave temples, religion and political rule, and the interactions of major religious and philosophical beliefs.

ARTH 310     Contemporary Chinese Art  (4)

This course examines major artistic currents in China from 1980 to the present day. Explores connections between artistic production, political movements, and political structures. Considers the position of Chinese artists in a global society, issues of diaspora, and the role of art institutions and markets in the production and reception of Chinese contemporary art.

ARTH 311     Japanese Print Culture  (4)

Explores the breadth of Japanese print culture, focusing on eighteenth to twentieth century artworks. Examines prints in light of economic and socio-cultural contexts, with special emphasis on topics such as the masculine culture of eighteenth century urban Japan, and globalization in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Genres covered include: early modern landscapes, “beautiful women” and actor prints, nineteenth-century political prints, and twentieth-century creative and revival prints from wartime and postwar Japan. Incorporates the study of museum print collections. Prerequisite: ARTH 105 or ARTH 305 or ARTH 306 or ARTH 308.

ARTH 312     Greek and Roman Art and Architecture  (4)

A chronological survey of the painting, sculpture, and architecture of the Greek, and Hellenistic worlds and Roman Empire from the eighth century B.C.E. to the fourth century C.E. While emphasizing stylistic developments, political and cultural contexts will also be examined. Prerequisite: ARTH 103 or HUMN 103 or HUMN 104.

ARTH 314     The Global “Renaissance”: 1400-1600  (4)

This advanced lecture course explores how the visual language known as the “Renaissance” was expressed in art in Europe, Africa, Asia, and the Americas from approximately 1400 to 1600. The course considers how the ideals and values of Renaissance visual culture expanded and transformed as they reached different parts of the world through trade and colonization. How did the meanings and narratives associated with the Renaissance shift when they were imposed outside of Europe and navigated through the hands of both willing and unwilling contributors? While consistently exploring this question, students will also interrogate how art historians define and identify Renaissance art to ensure an inclusive and critical understanding of its visual entanglements.

ARTH 316     Introduction to Museum Studies  (4)

Providing students with a survey of museology and the museum field, this course covers the history of museums, contemporary museum practice, and theories of representation. It explores the role of museums in society through readings, lectures, site visits, and class projects, and introduces the fundamentals of collections, exhibitions, the curatorial process, museum education, and administration.

ARTH 317     Approaches to Art History  (4)

This writing-intensive seminar addresses the history and methods of art history by exploring its philosophical development. The current state of the discipline as it negotiates the theoretical challenges of poststructuralism and postmodernism will also be explored. Written and oral assignments develop the students' research and communication skills. Open only to students pursuing programs in art history. Prerequisite: ARTH 103 and ARTH 104.

ARTH 320     Medieval Art and Architecture  (4)

The art and architecture of Western Europe from the late Roman Empire to the dawn of the Renaissance. Emphasis will be placed on the development of monumental architecture and the regional peculiarities of sculpture, painting, and the minor arts over the course of this thousand-year period. Prerequisite: ARTH 103 or HUMN 104.

ARTH 323     Imagining the Medieval Italian City  (4)

This course explores the ways medieval Italian city-dwellers imagined and shaped their communities and civic identities in art, architecture, and literature, with a focus on vibrant thirteenth and fourteenth century urban centers like Siena, Florence, and Padua. Medieval Italian urbanites strategically imagined and represented their civic ideals and communities in the face of factional divisions and violence. Art, architecture, and urban planning had essential roles to play, as communities, institutions, and religious orders sought to define themselves in an accessible visual language, and as organizations.

ARTH 325     Italian Renaissance Art and Architecture  (4)

This course explores art and architecture produced on the Italian peninsula between the late thirteenth and mid-sixteenth centuries, considering monuments in relation to specific, local circumstances of production and fertile cross-cultural and international exchange. This course will also consider the new kinds of discourse brought to bear on art and artmaking in the period, and its continuing implications. The conventional story of the Italian Renaissance, centered on Florence and featuring star artists, has exerted a powerful hold. How ought more expansive, inclusive, and critical stories about the artwork produced on the Italian peninsula in this period be told?. Prerequisite: ARTH 103 or ARTH 104 or HUMN 103 or HUMN 104 or HUMN 105.

ARTH 326     Northern Renaissance Art  (4)

A study of northern European art from the early 14th to the late 16th centuries. While the course will concentrate on Flemish and German panel painting, attention will also be paid to French and Flemish manuscript illumination as well as to Netherlandish sculpture. Prerequisite: ARTH 103 or ARTH 104 or HUMN 104 or HUMN 105.

ARTH 327     To Delight and to Move: The Global Baroque, 1600-1800  (4)

This course explores the early modern art movement known as “Baroque.” It begins with an historiographical examination of the term “baroque” and considers how and why the baroque visual language of delectare et movere appears across the globe from Europe to Asia and Latin America. (Of note: “global” in this sense would be excluding Africa.) The course examines and compares key works of painting, sculpture, architecture, and the decorative arts in consideration of their motivations and meanings. We conclude with an examination of the extension of baroque forms and styles in contemporary art in what has been referred to as the “Neobaroque” and “Ultrabaroque.”.

ARTH 333     French Art  (4)

A survey of French painting, sculpture, and architecture from the early seventeenth century to the end of the eighteenth century. Emphasis is placed on the founding of the Royal Academy of Painting and Sculpture, the artistic program of Louis XIV, the development of the rococo style, and the emergence of sensibilité and a new moralizing art in the years leading to the French Revolution.

ARTH 335     Nineteenth-Century Art  (4)

A survey of European painting and sculpture from the 1780s to 1900, with an emphasis on the social and political contexts in which the works were created. While the focus is on the art of France, that of Germany, Spain, and England is also discussed.

ARTH 336     Earth Art and Eco-Action  (4)

This course will examine the international movements grouped under the names Earth Art and Environmental Art. We will trace the historical development of these movements from the 1968 exhibition “Earthworks” up to the present day. The course tracks the changing aesthetic, political, biological, economic, technological, and climatic forces that influence such art, from the participatory approaches of the 1960s to the activist engagement with environmentalism today. The class seeks to understand the historical conditions that have given rise to such art and demonstrate ways in which artists have sought to intervene in and affect a changing environment.

ARTH 338     British Art  (4)

A survey of British art from the late 17th to the close of the 19th century. Emphasis will be on painting; sculpture, architecture, and landscape design will be considered as well.

ARTH 340     American Art  (4)

A survey of painting, sculpture, and architecture in the United States from the Colonial period to 1913, with an emphasis on the relationship between American and European art and artists. Other topics considered include the development of art institutions in this country, in particular art museums and academies.

ARTH 343     Visualizing the Other in Early Modern Latin America: Race, Ethnicity, and Art  (4)

This course examines how people of different races and ethnicities in Latin America were represented in art during the period of Spanish and Portuguese colonial rule (approximately 1500-1820). The course focuses primarily on how Europeans used both religious and secular art to maintain a vision of a complex and diverse set of indigenous ethnic groups (Nahua, Taino, Aztec, Maya, Inca, etc.), as well as people of Asian and African descent as simply the colonial “other.” We will explore how these images were informed by broader social, political, and religious motivations, while also examining if and how some representations confronted and challenged hegemonic identity norms.

ARTH 345     Modern Art in Europe and the Americas  (4)

This course examines the diverse trends in the visual art of Europe and the Americas from 1880 through 1960. Lectures, presentations, and in-class discussion of the rapid stylistic shifts in the visual arts during this period will seek to define “the modern” alongside similar developments in philosophy, society, and politics. The growth of art criticism and theory will also be examined alongside significant factors that changed how the art of this period was made and received including two world wars and the economic reorganization of Europe and North and South America.

ARTH 346     Contemporary Art and the Global Marketplace  (4)

This course examines the formal and thematic issues raised by visual artists working since 1980. Defining the global art world is central to the class with special focus on the economics of this multi-billion dollar industry. The current state of art criticism will be analyzed along with a survey of curatorial trends in galleries, exhibition spaces, and museums. The power of social media and the influence of international art fairs on the reception and commercial value of contemporary art (and artists) will also be addressed.

ARTH 350     Spanish Painting  (4)

A critical and historical survey of Spanish painting from the sixteenth through twentieth century, this course focuses on major artists against the backdrop of Spain's unique cultural traditions.

ARTH 352     Images, Politics, Change, and the Enlightenment in the Early Modern Hispanic World  (4)

The Enlightenment, particularly the brand of enlightened despotism promoted by the Bourbons, transformed art and art institutions in the Hispanic world. Despite the ideals of ‘enlightened despotism,’ in actuality colonialism as the larger cultural system in which art functioned was an ongoing and complex process that involved negotiation, resistance, reconciliation, and manipulation of new and old art forms. This course explores how a new intellectual movement—framed under specific political goals—was and wasn’t accepted and both did and did not change art in Spain and its colonies.

ARTH 353     Early Modern Art of Latin America  (4)

This course examines the art of Latin America produced during the early modern period beginning with the Spanish conquest and concluding with the independence period (approximately 1500-1820). While considering several important art movements, this course also explores objects as they speak to questions of race and identity and reflect political, religious, social, and economic contexts. This course will also introduce students to the major theoretical issues regarding the interpretation of art of the Spanish Americas.

ARTH 360     Pop Art: Identity and Politics in the Visual Culture of the 1960s  (4)

This course charts the development of Pop Art in the Americas and Europe between 1958 and 1973, investigating why art made by a diverse group of artists, using a variety of aesthetic techniques, is labeled "Pop." The famous subject matter of Pop art-- soup cans, comic books, and movie stars--will be studied as simultaneous celebrations and critiques of consumer culture. Lectures and discussions will also examine how Pop artists addressed the social and political struggles of the 1960s by dealing directly with racial inequality, the struggle for identity, and the Vietnam war through a series of experimental practices including the use of readymade imagery, photography, text, music, and performance. Prerequisite: ARTH 104 or HUMN 106.

ARTH 365     Modern and Postmodern Architecture  (4)

This survey of architecture and urban planning begins with the revivalist architecture of the nineteenth century and concludes with global contemporary practice, exploring along the way efforts to formulate a "modern" architecture and subsequent postmodern critiques. Students are introduced to significant figures like Frank Lloyd Wright, Le Corbusier, Jane Jacobs, Frank Gehry, Michael Graves, and Zaha Hadid, and to significant themes in modern and postmodern architectural practice, like the archetype of architect as hero, architecture as social engineering, and architecture as spectacle. Students thus learn of essential reference points for understanding our built environment and its discourse.

ARTH 370     Art in Germany: 1919-1933  (4)

This course examines artistic production in Germany within the social and political context of the Weimar Republic between 1919 and 1933. The course investigates Expressionism, the "anti-art" theories espoused by Dada artists, and the formal characteristics of New Objectivity painting under the influence of photography. The art and politics of the Bauhaus are explored in detail, including the practices of painting, architecture, and industrial design. The course concludes with consideration of the rapid change in leadership and direction at the Bauhaus and its closing at the hands of the Nazis.

ARTH 371     Post-World War II European Visual Culture  (4)

This course will consider issues of identity, migration, and politics in European art after World War II. Students will examine ways in which visual culture has intersected with these issues by traveling to different sites in Berlin to study the work of individual artists, local galleries, and established national institutions. The global art market will also be a topic of study. Students will be prompted to ask questions about the culture industry and its development since WWII. How do art institutions engage with political and social debate? How do changing notions of identity play a role in new categories for visual culture? This course is only available through the European Studies Program. Prerequisite: Only open to students admitted to the European Studies program.

ARTH 402     Senior Seminar  (4)

A seminar designed to introduce students to the research methods and interpretive approaches of art history. Written as well as oral assignments develop students' research and communication skills. Each year the seminar focuses on a specific historical, cultural, or thematic topic chosen by the instructor. Open only to seniors pursuing majors in art history. Prerequisite: ARTH 103 and ARTH 104.

ARTH 440     Independent Study  (2 or 4)

Permission of the instructor required. Prerequisite: Instructor prerequisite override required.

ARTH 495     Spanish Art, Western Art, and the Road to Santiago  (4)

An approach to Western Art, particularly Spanish, in connection with the development of the pilgrimage road to Santiago, starting from its origins in early Christianity, focusing on medieval art, and discussing its persistence in the Modern Era. Special emphasis will be given to the importance of multidisciplinary studies concerning the subject. This course is only available through the Sewanee Summer in Spain program. Prerequisite: Only open to students admitted to the Sewanee Summer in Spain program.

ARTH 496     Islamic Spain and Spanish Art  (4)

A survey of Spanish Muslim art from the Emirate to the Nasrid period (8th to 15th centuries), including extensive discussion of the main monuments such as the mosque at Cordoba and the Alhambra palace of Granada. The course examines the presence and persistence of Islamic influence on Spanish Christian art of the late Middle Ages and the modern era. Special attention is given to Mudejar art.

ARTH 497     Europe: A Community in the Arts  (4)

This art history course emphasizes the relationships and interactions between Spain and the other Western European countries as well as Spain as a cultural and artistic bridge between Europe and North Africa and between Europe and the New World. It includes visits to museums, monuments and cultural institutions in Spain, Belgium, the Netherlands, Germany and Morocco with special attention to art collections, collecting and their origins. Selected moments and artworks connected with the fundamental topics of the course are discussed, including examples from Medieval, Renaissance, and Baroque times. This course is only available through the Sewanee Semester in Spain program.