Art History Courses, 2008-2009Last updated: September 20, 2012
P. Berlekamp, C. Cohen, J. Elsner, D. English, P. Foong, T. Gunning, E. Helsinger, M. Jackson, A. Kumler, C. Mehring, W. J. T. Mitchell, R. Neer, V. Platt, J. Snyder, K. Taylor, Y. Tsivian, M. Ward, H. Wu, R. Zorach
10100. Introduction to Art. Students must attend first class to confirm enrollment. For nonmajors, this course meets the general education requirement in the dramatic, musical, and visual arts. This course seeks to develop skills in perception, comprehension, and appreciation when dealing with a variety of visual art forms. It encourages the close analysis of visual materials, explores the range of questions and methods appropriate to the explication of a given work of art, and examines the intellectual structures basic to the systematic study of art. Most importantly, the course encourages the understanding of art as a visual language and aims to foster in students the ability to translate this understanding into verbal expression, both oral and written. Examples draw on local collections. Autumn, Winter, Spring.
ARTH 14000 through 16999. Art Surveys. May be taken in sequence or individually. Students must attend first class to confirm enrollment. For nonmajors, any ARTH 14000 through 16999 course meets the general education requirement in the dramatic, musical, and visual arts. The major monuments and masterpieces of world painting, sculpture, and architecture are studied as examples of humankind’s achievements in the visual arts. Individual objects are analyzed in detail and interpreted in light of society’s varied needs. While changes in form, style, and function are emphasized, an attempt is also made to understand the development of unique and continuous traditions of visual imagery throughout world civilization. Courses focus on broad regional and chronological categories.
14009. Art from Alexander to Augustus. (=CLCV 16808) This course surveys the visual arts of the Mediterranean from the court of Alexander the Great to the principate of Augustus, the first Roman emperor, and is designed to follow on from Richard Neer’s Autumn quarter survey on Greek Art and Archaeology. During the first half of the quarter we will explore the civic, domestic and religious uses of art in major settlements of the Hellenistic world such as Alexandria, Pergamum and Rhodes. Concentrating on the third to first centuries BC, we will examine the development of Greek artistic traditions in recently Hellenised regions such as Egypt. During the second half of the quarter we will focus on the development of Rome and the relationship between native Italian artistic traditions and those of the Hellenised world, as Rome drew influences (and booty) from its conquered territories. Throughout the course we will examine visual images alongside relevant literary and archaeological material, emphasizing art’s place within broader aesthetic, intellectual and political trends. V. Platt. Winter.
14107. Early Greek Art and Archeology. (=CLCV 21807) This course will survey sculpture, painting, and architecture from ancient Greece from the end of the Bronze Age to the Hellenistic period. In addition to close study of the major works, particular attention will be paid to their cultural context and to key issues such as nudity in art and life, the origins and development of narrative, art and politics, the status and role of the artist, and also to fakes, forgeries and the difficulties of archaeological inference. Wherever possible, newly-discovered artifacts will be included and given special attention. R. Neer. Autumn.
14200. Introduction to Medieval Art: From Missionary Images to Image Explosion. This course explores the challenging world of medieval art. Beginning with the fourth-century fusion of Imperial and Christian images and ending with the advent of print, we will trace how images and art-making took on new roles –and re-invented old ones– over the course of the Middle Ages. We will consider architecture, sculpture, wall-painting, manuscript painting, stained glass, metalwork, and textiles in their historical contexts, questioning why medieval objects look the way they do and how they were seen and used by medieval viewers. Readings include medieval sources (in translation) and exemplary modern scholarship. A. Kumler. Autumn.
14400. Italian Renaissance Art. Not open to students who have taken ARTH 15100 for credit. This course is a selective survey of the major monuments, personalities, and issues in the Italian art from around 1400 to 1550. At the same time, it attempts to introduce students with little or no background in art history to approaches, methods, or tools for looking at, thinking about, even responding to works of art. The origins and value of broad style groupings such as Late Gothic, Early Renaissance, High Renaissance and Mannerism will be critically examined, though we will concentrate on fewer artists and works rather than attempt a uniform survey of the vast body of material at the core of the Western tradition. Attention will also be given to the invention and development of distinctive artistic types and their association with particular moments in history (e.g., "sacred conversation" altarpiece, centrally planned church, landscape painting). A major theme of the course will be the changing social context for the practice of art and with it the evolving nature of artistic creativity. Where possible, students will be asked to supplement their close study of the imagery with contemporary written documents such as contracts, letters and theoretical texts. The ability to talk critically and creatively about text and image will be the focus of required biweekly section meetings. C. Cohen. Spring.
15600. Twentieth Century Art. Focusing on the interrelationships between avant-garde culture and the emerging mass cultural formations of industrializing societies in Europe, North America, Asia and South America, our survey will address a wide range of historical and methodological questions: the impact of new technologies of production, the utopian projects of the Euro-American avant-gardes, the transformation of modernist conceptions of artistic autonomy, the changing roles of cultural institutions, the construction of social Others, the formation of new audiences, and the rise of “contemporary art.” M. Jackson. Autumn.
15600. Description Forthcoming. J. Cheng. Winter.
15609. Visual Art in the Postwar U.S. A survey of major figures and developments in visual arts and related fields since roughly 1945. Chronological in progression, this course nevertheless affords a wide view of consequential developments in and beyond major art centers and occurring across mediums and national borders. Themes to be considered will include Abstract Expressionism, Color Field Painting, Happenings, Neo-Dada, Pop Art, Op Art, Minimal Art, Process, Performance, Situationism, Conceptual Art, experimental film and video, Earth Art, Neo-Geo, and others. D. English. Winter.
16100. Art of Asia: China. (=EALC 16400) This course is an introduction to the arts of China focusing on the bronze vessels of the Shang and Zhou dynasties, the Chinese appropriation of the Buddha image, and the evolution of landscape and figure painting traditions. This course considers objects in contexts (from the archaeological sites from which they were unearthed to the material culture that surrounded them) to reconstruct the functions and the meanings of objects, and to better understand Chinese culture through the objects it produced. H. Wu. Spring.
16109. Art of Asia: Korea. This course explores the dynamics of Korean art with a particular focus on its identity in a larger context of cultural exchanges with China, Japan, and beyond. As a chronological survey from the Neolithic period to the present, this course will deal with diverse genres of visual forms such as painting, sculpture, porcelain, and architecture, considering their meaning and function in the original context. Through topic-wise lectures, we will examine the ways in which Korean art present its uniqueness against its neighboring countries as well as the role it played in the formation of East Asian visual culture from the ancient period to the present. Major topics include splendors of funerary art of the Koguryŏ, Backche, and Silla kingdoms, transmission and transformation of Buddhist art in relation to China and Japan, mesmerizing colors of Koryŏ celadon, artlessness of Korean architecture, "true-view" landscape painting tradition in the Chosŏn dynasty, status of modern and contemporary Korean art, and others. S. Choi. Winter.
16709. Islamic Art and Architecture, 1100-1500. (=NEAA 10630) This course surveys the art and architecture of the Islamic world from 1100-1500. In that period, political fragmentation into multiple principalities challenged a deeply rooted ideology of unity of the Islamic world. The courts of the various principalities competed not only in politics, but also in the patronage of architectural projects and of arts such as textiles, ceramics, woodwork, and the arts of the book. While focusing on the central Islamic lands, we will consider regional traditions from Spain to India and the importance for the arts of contacts with China and the West. P. Berlekamp. Winter.
16809. Islamic Art and Architecture, 1500-1900. (=NEAA 10631) This course surveys the art and architecture of the Islamic world from 1500-1900. This was the period of the three great Islamic empires: the Ottomans, the Safavids, and the Mughals. Each of these multi-religious, multi-linguistic, multi-ethnic empires developed styles of art and architecture that expressed their own complex identities. Further, they expressed their complex relations with each other through art and architecture. The various ways in which contact with regions beyond the Islamic world throughout this period impacted the arts will also be considered. P. Berlekamp. Spring.
17000 through 18999. Art in Context. Students must attend first class to confirm enrollment. For nonmajors, any ARTH 17000 through 18999 course meets the general education requirement in the dramatic, musical, and visual arts. Courses in this series investigate basic methods of art historical analysis and apply them to significant works of art studied within definite contexts. Works of art are placed in their intellectual, historical, cultural, or more purely artistic settings in an effort to indicate the origins of their specific achievements. An informed appreciation of the particular solutions offered by single works and the careers of individual artists emerges from the detailed study of classic problems within Western and non-Western art.
17208. Art and Nature in Ancient Rome. (=16008) This course will explore two themes related to art and nature in Roman culture: first, the role of naturalistic styles of representation in the visual arts, and second, the ways in which Romans constructed their broader relationship with the natural world. We will pay special attention to the popularity of motifs derived from nature in Roman sculpture and wall-painting, setting genres such as landscape and still life painting in the contexts of the Roman houses and gardens they adorned. We will also look at the ways in which Roman culture blurred the relationship between fiction and reality, whether in trompe l’oeil wall-paintings, gladiatorial games or theatrical dining complexes. As well as visual material we will discuss numerous texts that negotiate the relationship between art and nature, such as Pliny’s Natural History, exploring their place in the rhetoric of Roman ethics and cultural identity. V. Platt. Autumn.
17400. The University of Chicago Campus. An introduction to architecture and planning, this course examines the changes in thinking about the University campus from its origins in the 1890s to the present. Many of the University’s choices epitomize those shaping American architecture generally and some of our architects are of national significance. The course develops skill in analyzing architectural and urban form in order to interpret: how the University images itself in masonry, metal, and lawn; how it works with architects; whether buildings have influenced social and intellectual programs or values; the effects of campus plans and the siting of individual buildings; and the impact of technological change. “On site” sessions and viewings of archival documents required. K. Taylor. Spring.
17509. Modern Painting in Paris 1907-1925. This course examines some of the masterpieces of modern painting such as Picasso’s Demoiselles d’Avignon (1907), Matisse’s The Red Studio (1911) or Miró’s The Birth of the World (1925). Focusing on new structures of pictorial meaning emerging in the early 20th century, the course will also consider the shifting place of painting in the context of avant-gardism (from Futurism to Surrealism) and discuss the impact of critical artistic strategies such as the ready-made and collage. Through close analysis of single works, the course introduces various, often opposing models of art historical interpretation. R. Ubl. Spring.
17903. 1900 in the Smart Museum of Art. All the materials considered in this course are twentieth-century works of art located in the University’s Smart Museum of Art. Group discussions focus on how to look at works of art and the questions to ask of them. We concentrate on different media (painting, sculpture, print) and works drawn from different movements (Cubism, German Expressionism, Abstract Expressionism, contemporary art). Visits to the Smart Museum of Art required. M. Ward. Winter.
18000. Photography and Film. Art History 18000 is a core course that serves as an introduction to the history of art by concentrating on some fundamental issues in the history of photography and film. The course is divided roughly in half between still photography and film. The central theme of the course concerns the way in which photographs and films have been understood and valued during the past 165 years. There have been profound changes in attitudes and beliefs regarding the nature of photographs throughout the history of photography (this is likewise true of film). The current range of views is very different from those held by the various audiences for photographs and films in the last century and the century before. For instance, photographs were originally conceived of as copies of things that can be seen, but the notion of copy was drawn from a long established set of views about what makes a picture a work of art and copies were said to be incapable of being works of art. This view continues to haunt the writings of some critics and historians of photography and film. The course will concentrate on the work of photographers, theorists of photography and film, and on films by John Huston, Billy Wilder, and Roman Polanski. J. Snyder. Autumn.
18109. Visual Style in Still and Moving Images. The course surveys elements of styles and techniques common to the visual arts. We will discuss framing and editing, moment and movement, action and narration and other visual devices as used by artists, photographers, architects and filmmakers in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Y. Tsivian. Spring.
The following courses do not meet the general education requirement in the dramatic, musical, and visual arts.
20400/30400. Greek Vase-Painting: Style and Politics. (=CLCV 23208, CLAS 33208) This course surveys Greek painted pottery from the Geometric to the late Classical periods (ca. 1100-325 BCE), with an emphasis on Athens. The format is that of a seminar. Topics include: iconography and the consolidation of civic identity; the politics of upper-class display; mortuary practice; the articulation of gender; the development of democratic ideology; re-thinking the development of naturalism and the history of style; discourses of slavery, "barbarity," and alterity; the connection between poetry, sophism, and painting; theater and theatricality; authorship and portraiture. R. Neer. Spring.
20508/30508. Roman Painting. (=CLCV 23808, CLAS 33808) This course will involve intensive study of Roman painting from the first century BC to the fourth century AD, paying special attention to issues of context (domestic, funerary, religious); style; the influence of Greek “old master” paintings; literary treatments of painting (e.g. Pliny’s Natural History, Philostratus’ Imagines); and historiography (e.g. Mau’s “Four Styles” system). It is designed as a precursor to the 400 level Traveling Seminar on Roman Painting to be taught in the Winter quarter. During the Autumn quarter students will prepare an extended presentation on a specific set of paintings selected from the material we will cover in seminars. Key sites in Rome will be: the Villa della Farnesina, the House of Augustus on the Palatine, painted tombs in the Vatican Necropolis, and the Via Latina Catacomb. Key sites in Campania will be: the Museo Nazionale di Napoli, domestic and public buildings in Pompeii and Herculaneum, and the villa at Oplontis. Places in the course are dependent upon a personal letter of application addressed to Prof. Platt. Knowledge of Classical languages will be taken into account when places are allocated. V. Platt. Autumn.
20609/30609 Early Christian Art. This course, intended for graduates and undergraduates, will explore the primary materials and secondary literature of early Christian art – its birth as a field of academic study, its genesis as a particular strand within the religious arts of the Roman empire, its formal relations and disjunctions from earlier Roman art, its place as the central visual idiom in the converted Christian empire. From the second and third century world of catacombs and sarcophagi, we will move through the developments of early Byzantium to the world of sixth century Ravenna and Constantinople. J. Elsner. Spring.
22809/32809. French Art from 1415 to 1515. This seminar will survey French art from the time of the English occupation of Paris during the Hundred Years War to the beginning of the reign of Francis I, using the question of royal patronage and symbolism as a point of entry. The political events during this period will be sketched as background—the revival and expansion of France after the debacle of the Hundred Years War culminating in the Italian campaigns of Charles VIII and Louis XII. Through a range of different types of monuments and media—portraits, tombs, works for private devotion and public altarpieces, as well as castle design—the seminar will explore how the prestige and the special role of French kings found expression in the visual arts. In the process, connections with Netherlandish and Italian art will be explored as will the work of the chief artists employed by the kings and princes of France, among them Jean Fouquet, Jean Bourdichon, the Master of Moulins (Jean Hey), Michel Colombe. Ability to read French strongly recommended. Course meets at the Art Institute. M. Wolff. Winter.
23009/33009. Mongol and Timurid Art and Architecture. (=NEAA 20760/30760) The course explores art and architecture in the Islamic east from 1258 to 1506. After the sack of Baghdad in 1258, the eastern half of the Islamic world was incorporated into a Mongol world empire stretching from China to Eastern Europe. Along with a brutally imposed new world order came new visual forms, such as the phoenix; as well as shifts in patronage patterns, evidenced by the rise of women patrons. Conquerors and conquered negotiated their positions vis-à-vis each other through the arts, and rival Turko-Mongol princes vied to attract the best artists to their courts. The vibrancy of this period was universally acknowledged under subsequent Islamic dynasties. Later writers traced the origins of Persian manuscript painting tradition to the early fourteenth century, and later courts positioned themselves as heirs of the Timurid artistic legacy. P. Berlekamp. Spring.
23700/33700. Raphael and the High Renaissance in Florence and Rome. This course concentrates on Raphael, perhaps historically the most influential figure of the outsized trio (including Leonardo and Michelangelo), who embody the “culminating moment” of the Renaissance. Some attention will be given to the history of the idea and to the style concept “High Renaissance” and its usefulness as a vehicle for understanding three such diverse personalities. While we will try to do justice to the enormously diverse, if short, career of Raphael, the investigation of the High Renaissance will lead us to examine the mature works of Leonardo and Michelangelo’s painting and sculpture through 1520 (including the Sistine Ceiling and the Julius Tomb). The artistic culture of this moment will be further contextualized by looking briefly at other important artists such as Fra Bartolommeo and Andrea del Sarto, and by introducing the complex question of the critical change of style and cultural direction in Florence and Rome around 1520, which has been called Mannerism, but proven very hard to define. Special attention will be given to the writings and drawings of the major artists as a means of interpreting their creative intentions. PQ: 100-level ArtH or DOVA course or consent of instructor. C. Cohen. Spring.
24109. Relics and Icons in the Middle Ages. Relics and icons are both characteristic objects of devotion during the Middle Ages, offering material and visual access to the otherworldly. Their impact and relative importance has often been divided according to cultural geography, contrasting the cult of relics in the Latin West with icons in the Byzantine East. The goal of this course is to explore relics and icons in both East and West, highlighting moments of intersection and exchange. We will trace debates over the role of images and relations between the material and spiritual from Late Antiquity to the eve of the Reformation. Class presentations will focus on thematic case studies in roughly chronological order. Your participation in discussion and a thoughtful, critical response to assigned readings is expected. K. Hess. Winter.
24608/34608. Chinese Painting and the Amateur Ideal. This course will explore the theory and practice of painting by Chinese artists who presented themselves as scholar-amateurs ("literati painters") rather than as fulltime professionals. After the eleventh century, influential critics praised painters who revealed their personal qualities through form and technique, rather than those who were skilled in objective representation. A belief that writing and painting had a common origin encouraged scholar-artists to express their thoughts and feelings in the visual medium, and "calligraphic" brushwork became common, especially in landscape painting. As the discourse of connoisseurship evolved, a painter's characteristic brushwork, motifs, and compositions became formulas that informed viewers could recognize and that other painters could deploy. In addition, the literati aesthetic became a commodity that painters who were not scholars could produce. We will use the Smart Museum's collection of Chinese paintings to explore these developments. J. Murray. Autumn.
24609. Buddhist Art along the Silk Road: India, China, Korea, and Japan. This course explores the development of Buddhist art in four regions—India, China, Korea, and Japan. Beginning with its formation in India, we will trace how the practice of image-making interacted with religious ideas at different periods and cultures. Objects from diverse media including sculpture, painting, and architecture, and key monuments in the four regions such as the Ajanta Cave in India, Dunhuang Grottoes in China, Sokgulam in Korea, and Daitokuji in Japan will be introduced in the lecture with a special attention to their historical and ritual context. Based on the understanding of the meaning and function of each visual form, we will discuss fundamental issues in the study of religious images in general, such as the ontology of figural representation (aniconism and iconoclasm), the function of miracles in the image and relic veneration, the relationship between art and politics, problems of modern gaze, and others. S. Choi. Spring.
24708/34708. JAPANESE WOODBLOCK PRINTS: From 1660 to the Present. This class will explore the birth of the commercial Japanese print and its many incarnations leading up to and including the designs of contemporary artists. Issues of connoisseurship will feature strongly in this course taught from a curatorial point of view. As this class will be conducted largely in the Art Institute's Japanese print storage area, it represents a rare opportunity to view works of art up close and unframed, essential for an understanding of printing techniques and collecting practices. Meets at Art Inst. of Chgo. Students need to gather at Monroe Street entrance of museum by 10:20 every Monday to get security tags to go into storage. Latecomers will be denied access to the building. J. Katz. Autumn.
24709/34709. South Asian Visual Culture. (=ANTH 22525 / 41025, SALC 22500 / 32500) What is the relation between economic liberalization and aesthetic production? At a time when economic reforms have produced new social inequalities alongside an efflorescence of middle class consumerist fantasy, South Asian cultural production has witnessed an extraordinary explosion in both creativity and global visibility. Future historians may well discuss early twenty-first century Mumbai and Delhi in terms similar to those used during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries for evoking Paris and New York. But what can we learn today from a close exploration of contemporary South Asian cultural production? How do artists, filmmakers, advertisers and writers envision their work, and how does their work encode dreams of the future and fantasies of the past? What are the relevant genealogies by which we might interpret the present? This jointly taught class will feature a range of visiting speakers and a series of engagements with films, exhibitions, quotidian visual materials and textual fictions. Graduate students and advanced undergraduates with some background in South Asian studies are welcome to participate. W. Mazzarella. C. Pinney. Winter.
26409. Photography and American Cultural Memory. Spanning the 1840s to the present, this course investigates three questions: How have photographs served both to construct and to interrogate the United States’ perception of its history, culture, collective identity, and the relationships among them? How has photography been implemented as an art of memory—and an art for contesting memory—in the United States? And as American photographers have borne these questions in mind, how have they constructed for themselves a peculiarly “American tradition” of photography and energetically mined this invented tradition? Readings will combine primary sources—original photographic publications and written criticism—with key theoretical work from American Studies, cultural history, and art history. Our class will prioritize the study of methodology, analyzing how claims are made from various disciplines and perspectives about the inter-operations of photographic images and cultural myth and memory. Several sessions will be conducted at local museums. S. Miller. Spring.
26600/36600. Ideas of the City in the Early 20th Century. It is hard to understand contemporary architectural debate about how cities should be reshaped without knowing its origins in the influential city planning proposals developed by architects in pre-World War II Europe and the U.S. This course examines some leading strategies to order or replace the metropolis from the late 19th and early 20th centuries, ranging from the City Beautiful movement in Chicago, Camillo Sitte’s critique of Vienna’s Ringstrasse, and the English garden city alternative Lewis Mumford championed for the New York region, to Le Corbusier’s Plan Voisin for Paris, Frank Lloyd Wright’s Broadacre City model at New York’s Rockefeller Center, and Speer’s and Hitler’s intentions for Berlin. We conclude with urban renewal in New York and Chicago, as regarded by Jane Jacobs. Readings from polemical tracts by our protagonists are placed in historical context in class meetings. K. Taylor. Autumn.
26709. The Holocaust and the Visual Arts. This course will consider how the Holocaust has shaped the production and reception of visual art over the last seven decades across a range of media, including film, painting, photography, and sculpture. Key questions framing the course material include: How was art used to justify an intensification of violence against Jews that culminated in the Holocaust? How should one evaluate a work produced by a persecuted artist given the piece’s overlapping functions as historical document, mnemonic device, and aesthetic object? What limits have been imposed upon and contested by post-World War II artists in representing a seemingly un-representable subject? How should we account for the art produced during and after the Holocaust within narratives of modernism? M. Tymkiw. Winter.
27400/37400. Photography/Modernism/Esthetics. The course presents the history of photographic practices in the United States, beginning in the late nineteenth century and extending into the 1980s, aimed at gaining an audience for photographs within museums of art. The issues under study include the contention over claims about medium specificity, notions of photographic objectivity,a peculiarly photographic esthetics, the division of photography into two categories—art vs. documentary— and the role of tradition and canon formation in the attempted definition of the photographic medium. Photographers whose work will be studied include Alfred Stieglitz, Edward Steichen, Gertrude Käsebier, Paul Strand, Edward Weston, Berenice Abbott, Man Ray, Robert Frank and Diane Arbus. Texts for the course include essays by Stieglitz, Strand, T.S. Eliot, Edward Weston, Elizabeth McCausland, Walter Benjamin, Beaumont Newhall, John Szarkowski, and Douglas Crimp. J. Snyder. Spring.
27509/37509. Reading Artists’ Writing. What is the place of text in a practice chiefly understood in its visual dimension? If every artistic practice has its own conditions of visibility, then what is the role of an artist’s writing in the establishment of those conditions? In a situation where reams of prose vie with plastic works of art for the historian’s attention, what is to be done? Are writing and making to be distinguished as forms of artistic engagement? If so, according to what criteria? If not, then where is the critical history of art to draw the line? Such questions play an increasingly important role in the elaboration of histories for contemporary art and will be guiding ones for this seminar. A case-study format will be employed and practices for possible consideration include those of Vito Acconci, Romare Bearden, Louise Bourgeois, Frank Bowling, Mary Kelly, Donald Judd, Mike Kelley, Agnes Martin, William Pope.L, Raymond Pettibon, Robert Smithson, Frank Stella, Kara Walker, Andy Warhol, et al. This seminar is a rigorous close-reading situation and the robust participation of all will be weighted very heavily. Enrollment limited to 10 with instructor consent required. D. English. Spring.
27609/37609. The Pasted-Paper Revolution: History and Theory of Collage. (=SCTH 37600) In the early 20th century, collage established itself as a form of artistic expression that challenged the visual arts altogether. Painting, sculpture, and drawing would never be the same after Picasso and Braque began to work with paper, scissors, and glue. We will extensively discuss the invention of cubist papiers collés in 1912/13, explore the impact of this medium on the visual arts up to the 1930s and consider alternative models and genealogies of collage. Other than Picasso and Braque we will discuss artists such as Hans Arp, Sophie Täuber-Arp, Francis Picabia, Max Ernst, John Heartfield, Hannah Höch, Kurt Schwitters, and El Lissitzky. The issue of collage inspired a critical literature including writings by Louis Aragon, Bertolt Brecht, Walter Benjamin, Clement Greenberg, and Rosalind Krauss, among others. R. Ubl. Spring.
27709/37709. Theodore Géricault (1791-1824). (=SCTH 37610) In this in-depth study of Géricault’s paintings, drawings and sculpture, we will explore the aesthetic structure of his work and discuss it in the context of more general questions surrounding post-revolutionary art in Europe. These include the place of painting in history, the relation of painting to its public, the poetics of alterity, and the question of art and life. R. Ubl. Winter.
28600/38600. History of International Cinema II: Sound Era to 1960. (=CMST 28600/38600) This course (which compliments and continues HISTORY OF INTERNATIONAL CINEMA (SILENT ERA) offered in the Autumn quarter) takes students from the end of the 1920s (the advent of sound) to 1960 (the end of the classical epoch). Y. Tsivian. Winter.
28609/38609. Left-Wing Art and Soviet Film Culture of the 1920s. (=CMST 24700/34700) The course will consider Soviet "montage cinema" of the twenties in the context of coeval aesthetic projects in other arts. How did Eisenstein's theory and practice of "intellectual cinema" connect to Fernand Leger and Vladimir Tatlin? What did Meyerkhold's "biomechanics" mean for film makers? Among other figures and issues, we will address Dziga Vertov and Constructivism, German Expressionism and Aleksandr Dovzhenko, Formalist poetics and FEKS directors. The course will be film-intensive (up to three hours of out-of-class viewings per week). Y. Tsivian. Winter.
29309/39309. Soviet Art. During the first fifteen years of its existence, the USSR produced many of the twentieth-century's most vibrant modernist experiments, yet art historical surveys rarely have much to say about the half-century of art-making that followed. In this course, we will trace the many strands of production and consumption that define the history of Soviet art from the Bolshevik Revolution to 1991. Special attention will be devoted to Suprematism, Constructivism, Socialist Realism, Moscow Conceptualism and Sots-Art. M. Jackson. Autumn.
29400/39400. “Feminine Space” in Chinese Art. (=EALC 27708, 37708) "Feminine space" denotes an architectural or pictorial space which is perceived, imagined, and represented as a woman. Unlike an isolated female portrait or an individual female symbol, a "feminine space" is a spatial entity---an artificial world comprised of landscape, vegetation, architecture, atmosphere, climate, color, fragrance, light, and/or sound, as well as selected human occupants and their activities. This course traces the construction of this space in Chinese art and the social/political implications of this constructive process. H. Wu. Winter.
29408/39408. Visual Cultures of the American City 1750-1950. In an 1854 account of life in New York, the reformer Solon Robinson asked his readers, “What does it mean that I see so many squalid-looking women, so many tender children, so many boys or crippled men…What does it mean that I see these things in the heart of this great commercial city, where wealth, luxury, extravagance, all abound in such profusion?” While they suggest the confusion that urban life provoked among nineteenth-century American observers, Robinson’s anguished queries invoke the visual as a primary framework by which the disorienting complexities of city living might be engaged, interpreted, and understood. The reformer’s illustrated book was in fact one of a wide body of pictorial productions that addressed the newly fluid conditions of urban experience for post-Revolutionary audiences. This course will survey this body of imagery, examining paintings and popular prints of American cities and city dwellers made in the 18th, 19th, and early 20th centuries. Drawing on theories of visual culture, the course will study pictorial languages that developed within and across media boundaries, and which attempted to organize the bewilderingly dynamic and heterogeneous fabric of city life for wide audiences. In so doing, the course will focus on visual tropes—including urban figural “types,” bird’s-eye views, streetscapes, calamity scenes, and slum exposés—that illuminate the confidence, excitement, anxiety, and confusion that modern urbanity inspired among everyday Americans. R. Barrett. Autumn.
29600. Junior Seminar: Doing Art History. Required of third-year students who are majoring in art history; open to nonmajors with consent of instructor. The aim of this seminar is to deepen an understanding of art history as a discipline and of the range of analytic strategies art history affords to students beginning to plan their own B.A. papers or, in the case of students who are minoring in art history, writing research papers in art history courses. Students read essays that have shaped and represent the discipline, and test their wider applicability and limitations. Through this process, they develop a keener sense of the kinds of questions that most interest them in the history and criticism of art and visual culture. Students develop a formal topic proposal in a brief essay, and write a final paper analyzing one or two works of relevant, significant scholarship for their topics. This seminar is followed by a workshop in Autumn Quarter focusing on research and writing issues for fourth-year students who are majoring in art history, which is designed to help writers of B.A. papers advance their projects. A. Kumler. Winter.
29700. Reading Course. PQ: Consent of instructor and Undergraduate Program Chair. Students are required to submit the College Reading and Research Form. Must be taken for a quality grade. With adviser’s approval, students who are majoring in art history may use this course to satisfy requirements for the major, a special field, or electives. This course is also open to nonmajors with advanced standing. This course is primarily intended for students who are majoring in art history and who can best meet program requirements by study under a faculty member’s individual supervision. The subject, course of study, and requirements are arranged with the instructor. Autumn, Winter, Spring.
29800. Senior Seminar: Writing Workshop. Required of fourth-year students who are majoring in art history. This workshop is designed to assist students in researching and writing their senior papers, for which they have already developed a topic in the Junior Seminar. Weekly meetings target different aspects of the process; students benefit from the guidance of the workshop instructors, but also are expected to consult with their individual faculty advisers. At the end of the course, students are expected to complete a first draft of the senior paper and to make an oral presentation of the project for the seminar. Autumn.
29900. Preparation for the Senior Paper. PQ: Consent of instructor and Undergraduate Program Chair. Students are required to submit the College Reading and Research Form. May be taken for P/F grading with consent of instructor. This course may not count toward the twelve courses required in the major. This course provides guided research on the topic of the senior paper. Students arrange their program of study and a schedule of meetings with their senior paper adviser.
40100. Proseminar: Art Historical Theory & Method. This intensive course provides an overview of art-historical methods and their theoretical bases. Although there is an historiographic component, emphasis is on the current state of the discipline. Each week we will read and critique one book, usually something published within the last five years or so. The goal is to provide tools for producing art-historical scholarship and for evaluating the scholarship of others. Required for incoming ARTH grads. Others by permission. R. Neer. Autumn.
40409. Philostratus, Imagines. This course explores the single most thoughtful, playful and creative text on naturalistic painting written in antiquity. Arguably, it is the most interesting exploration of the brilliance and the problems of naturalism ever written in the Western tradition. Hugely influential on the likes of Vasari and Winckelmann in the post antique tradition, theImagines was in its own time a revolutionary development of the genre of ekphrasis, spawning a number of late Roman and Byzantine imitations. The course is primarily intended for graduates –a reading knowledge of Greek could not be described as a disadvantage but is not a necessary requirement. J. Elsner. Spring.
40509. Roman Painting: Traveling Seminar. (= CLAS 43808) This course is designed as a continuation of the 200/300 level course on Roman painting taught in the Autumn quarter, and is based upon a trip to Rome and the Bay of Naples which will take place during the Christmas vacation. During the Winter quarter, we will focus on two projects. The first half of the quarter will concentrate on theories of vision and painting in antiquity, paying special attention to technical treatises and philosophical texts. The second half will concentrate on the preparation of an extended piece of writing based on material seen at first hand in Italy, which art history graduate students will be encouraged to submit as their qualifying paper for the PhD program. Students will also present their work in a mini conference. Key sites in Rome will be: the Villa della Farnesina, the Palatine House of Augustus, tomb paintings in the Vatican Necropolis, and the Via Latina Catacomb. Key sites in Campania will be: the paintings in the Museo Nazionale di Napoli, the houses and public buildings of Pompeii, Herculaneum, and the Villa at Oplontis. Places on the course are dependent upon a personal letter of application addressed to Prof. Platt. Knowledge of Classical languages will be taken into account when places are allocated. Students must have taken the 200/300 level course on Roman Painting in the Autumn quarter, and be prepared to begin the course with the trip to Italy during the Winter break. V. Platt. Winter.
42009. Art, Science, and Magic in the Pre-Modern Islamic World. (=NEHC 40723) This seminar examines relationships between arts and the study of the cosmos in the pre-modern Islamic world. Our objects of study mediated human understanding of the cosmos, and/or offered humans the possibility of manipulating their position within it. The media in which these objects were made include manuscripts, textiles, ceramics, metalwork, and architecture. Recurrent questions of the seminar include the following. How closely can we define historically appropriate theoretical frameworks (eg., Neoplatonic, Hermetic, Aristotelean, Prophetic Medicinal) for particular objects? How do we explain objects of similar forms which might be theorized through divergent models, or objects of divergent forms which might be theorized through similar models? P. Berlekamp. Winter.
42208. Love’s Looks, Love’s Books: Textual and Visual Perspectives on the Roman de la Rose. The course will initiate students into the complex allegorical narrative of the Roman de la Rose and its images. Through discussion of topically organized scholarship on the Rose and its historical ambient the seminar will provide students with the historical and historiographical orientation required for sophisticated interpretation of the work. The seminar will provide a setting for discussion and debate that draws from the special disciplinary skills of seminar participants and works toward a more integrated and mutually engaging conversation about how we can work to ‘see’ the Rose collaboratively. A. Kumler. Autumn.
42509. Image, Object, Site: Mediterranean Art Histories (400 – 1600). The seminar focuses on the artistic exchange and interaction in the Mediterranean from the transformation of the Roman Empire in Late Antiquity to the Early Modern globalization process, beginning with the colonization of the Americas. Whereas with Fernands Braudel's famous work on the Mediterranean the latter has become a subject for historical studies for decades, regarding the visual arts this cultural area until recently has remained divided into Byzantine, Jewish, Islamic, Western and other "art histories". The seminar cannot integrate all these special fields into what could be called the history of art of the Mediterranean, but will delineate a set of cross-cutting topics as well as methodological concerns which will be discussed in a series of case studies and readings. Among these topics are the "migration" and "hybridisation" of objects, pilgrimage and sacred topographies, monarchical representation, the concepts role of image and ornament in the monotheistic religions, and the historiographical constructions themselves. In this way, the seminar invites a critical reflection on the notion of "global art history" within a circumscribed historical "laboratory". In a final analysis, the Mediterranean itself proves to have fluid borders and must be seen in a broader context including its relations to and connectivity with Africa, Central Asia and the Far East. G. Wolf. Spring.
42908. Contemporaneity. Through close readings of works by seminal contemporary artists, this course will address how and to what extent the present is legible through the work of art. Key questions include: How is history configured in art? What was postmodernism? Where is globalization? In an information-saturated era, can the work of art lay claim to a privileged perspective outside that of the media? How new is so-called new media? Using a range texts, the goal of this seminar is to develop a variety of interpretive strategies for better understanding the very fluid dynamic between the present and varying degrees of pastness. H. Walker. Autumn.
43100. Venetian Art: 1525-1575. This course will cover the central post Giorgionesque years of the “golden age” of Venetian painting, including the mature career of Titian and the early years of Tintoretto and Veronese. The major theoretical thrust will be to understand the uniqueness of Venetian art within the context of the Italian Renaissance by examining Venetian art and culture at a moment when it comes into dramatic contact with the art of central Italy. Attention will be given to the nature and mechanisms of this interaction, especially after the Sack of Rome, and responses to it such as Titian’s so-called crisis and the meaning of Mannerism in Venice. In addition to painting, we will examine drawing, sculpture, theory (especially the disegno-colorito controversy) and their quite particular venezianità. C. Cohen. Winter.
45009. Narrative in Chinese Art. This course studies various narrative modes in Chinese art and their relationship with specific pictorial formats, viewing conventions, and architectural contexts. Students are encouraged to conduct in-depth research on well-defined topics. H. Wu. Spring.
45209. China and the Dutch Republic in the Seventeenth and Eighteenth Centuries. In this seminar we will consider the movement of artistic style and material culture between China and the Dutch Republic in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. A focus of the seminar will be on issues of realism (or reality effects), a term with a long history in the field of Dutch art but used only recently in discussions of Chinese art from the period. Among other topics, the seminar will consider the hierarchies of art present in each culture, histories of language and conceptions of writing as an art form, the use of print as a means of documenting and also translating cross-cultural contact, relationships between narrative and decoration, and the effect of the rising merchant classes on taste and the visual arts. An aim of the seminar is to bring the "decorative" arts into focus as primary materials for understanding the visual vocabularies that communicated social status and national identities across cultures. Meets first week of quarter and last five weeks of quarter. D. Odell. Spring
46109. Vision, Painting, Modernity. CANCELLED. R. Ubl. Winter.
46209. Baudelaire and the Visual Arts. In this seminar we will discuss Baudelaire's art criticism, his view of modernity, the place of the visual arts in his poetic work as well as the importance of his writing for painters such as Delacroix, Manet, and Degas. Starting from close readings both of texts and paintings we will explore the wider theoretical and aesthetic implications of Baudelaire's engagement with the visual arts. Knowledge of French, while not required, is strongly recommended. R. Ubl. G. Most. Winter.
46409. The Modernist Museum. This seminar will aim to understand changes in art museum display through a comparative history, including developments in art making and art history, varying notions of the public, and the impact of reproductive technologies. Each week will focus on a particular museum, from 1900 to 1945, and especially on changes introduced in the name of modernism. Examples will be drawn from the U.S., Germany, France and Italy, but seminar participants will be encouraged to pursue research topics from their own areas of interest. Readings will encompass basic theoretical perspectives in museum history and primary sources. Reading knowledge of French is highly desirable. Seminar participants will be expected to produce a research paper on an example of art museum practice. M. Ward. Autumn.
46809. The “Writing” of Modern Life. (=ENGL 42404) This course, offered in conjunction with a Mellon exhibition running concurrently at the Smart Museum, “The Etching Revival (1850-1940) in Britain, France, and the United States,” begins from the parallels between writing and etching (as varieties of both hand-writing and authorship) noted by contemporaries as disparate as Charles Baudelaire and Samuel Palmer (a visionary disciple of William Blake). The course will explore different approaches to “writing” modernity in the two media, comparing visual and verbal representations in several genres (poetry, fiction, and journalism as well as artists’ etchings and etched illustration) in a number of areas (“dark” pastoral, the city, travel and the picturesque, figures of labor, grotesques). Attention will be paid to the uneven development of non-narrative and increasingly abstract languages and modes of notation. We will also study the rhetorics of value (economic and aesthetic) surrounding the etching and the book. In addition to readings (literary and critical) and close study of the exhibition objects and others in the Smart Museum’s or the Art Institute’s collections, the course may include visits to a print gallery and a print-maker’s workshop. Response papers, final paper. Not designed as a seminar, but Ph.D. students may petition to write a seminar-length paper if desired. E. Helsinger. Winter.
48504. Alternative Approaches to the Visual. What constitutes ‘responsibility’ in the use of non-art historical procedures to pursue art historical problems? What does it mean to read and think widely with art historical objectives in mind? Such questions drive this seminar, which introduces graduate students to a variety of interpretive and theoretical frameworks which originate outside art history but which have reshaped the disciplinary terrain in recent years. Frameworks to be considered include continental aesthetics and phenomenology, psychoanalysis, cultural studies, gender theory, and other literary and political theories of cultural production. The seminar is a rigorous close-reading situation and the robust participation of all will be weighted very heavily. Instructor consent required. D. English. Autumn.
48709. Performance Art: Theory and History. Performance-based artworks not only define several crucial chapters in the history of twentieth and twenty-first century art, they also consistently present the art historian with complex interpretative challenges. In this course, we will attempt to map differing theoretical approaches to the history of performance, while also analyzing performance's transformation into an object of art historical investigation. This seminar will concentrate on episodes in the history of performance art in Western Europe, North America and the former USSR. M. Jackson. Spring.
48809. Montage: History, Theory, Practice. (=CMST 67201). This seminar will look at the history of editing from early attempts at multi-shot sequencing to self-conscious experiments in "intellectual montage;" at editing techniques ranging from cross-cutting to CGI sequences; and at the variety of montage theories from Eisenstein and Pudovkin to Bazin. We will test Eisenstein's hypothesis about biological foundations of temporality in art; connect dynamic patterns of film editing to Daniel Stern's study The Present Moment; link temporal contours of cutting to theories of gendered narratology. Y. Tsivian. Spring.
48908. Photography and Contemporary Art. This course will concentrate on the relatively recent turn to the use of photographic materials and technology by contemporary artists and a number of concurrent and crucial changes in museum exhibition practice, art school pedagogy; the heightened role of commercial art galleries in advancing the careers of artists; and the failure of curators and critics to devise new explanatory schema for photographically based contemporary art. Students will study the work, among others, of Andreas Gursky, Candida Höfer, Thomas Struth, Thomas Ruff, Jeff Wall, Martin Parr, and Rineka Dijkstra. Readings will include exhibition catalogues, critical reviews, art gallery public relations releases, and recent essays by, among others, Michael Fried, Rosalind Krauss, and W.J.T. Mitchell. J. Snyder. Autumn.
48909. Thinking Through Ten Films. This seminar will involve detailed discussions of ten films in juxtaposition with philosophical and critical texts. The list of films is: Éloge de l'amour (Godard 2001), The New World (Malick 2005), North by Northwest (Hitchcock 1959), Talk to Her (Almodóvar 2002), City Lights (Chaplin 1931), Sansho the Bailiff (Mizoguchi 1954), Umberto D. (De Sica 1952), Grand Illusion (Renoir 1937), Diary of a Country Priest (Bresson 1951), The Lady from Shanghai (Welles 1947). Texts include writings by André Bazin, Manny Farber, William Rothman, Erwin Panofsky, Michel Chion, Maurice Merleau-Ponty, Stanley Cavell and Martin Heidegger. The hope is that readings and films will prove mutually illuminating. Themes will include: the ontology of film; the articulation of cinematic space; claims to community in viewing; the idea of a ""new medium"" (or ""new media""); and the concept of style as applied to film. PQ: Consent of instructor. One class session and one evening screening/week. R. Neer. J. Snyder. Spring.
49409. American Art and the Ordering of Nineteenth-Century Life. Everyday American experience was jarred by continual and cataclysmic turbulence in the nineteenth century. Among other seismic shifts, the century witnessed the emergence and contestation of mass democracy, the eruption of civil war, the maturation of corporate capitalism, and the ruthless pursuit of expansionist and imperialist ambitions—developments that persistently troubled, altered, and displaced familiar categories of belief and practice. Working in the midst of this maelstrom, American painters, sculptors, and graphic artists faced continuing demands for symbolic resolutions to the crises and conflicts of the age. By examining the ways that period artists visualized stability and turbulence for their anxious audiences, this seminar seeks to address the place of American art in the dynamics of nineteenth-century order and disorder. The course will focus on artworks that negotiated moments of drastic social, economic, and political instability: partisan electoral battles; military conflicts; urban riots, slave uprisings, and insurrections; natural and human disasters; sectional struggles and Reconstruction; economic depressions; strikes and labor conflict; western campaigns; and reformist and radical challenges to official democracy. Using a series of case studies, we will address several key problems, including the relationship between art and various forms of “order” in the nineteenth century, the artistic languages developed to visualize order and disorder, and the politicized constraints shaping these visual languages. Along the way, we will consider theoretical approaches to the relationship of culture and order in the writings of Lukács, Gramsci, Foucault, Barthes, Althusser, Williams, Hall, and others. R. Barrett. Spring.
49709. Skyscrapers. PQ: Previous course work in architectural, urban, geographical, or art history, or consent of the instructor. The Autumn course on ideas of the city in the early 20th century provides valuable background. Since its inception—attributed to Chicago—the skyscraper has posed a special design challenge. Neither technology (entailing the most self-effacing materials yet devised for construction) nor the program of its major clients (the honeycomb of the office building), nor the cultural status of those clients (who have had to justify overshadowing the traditional collective spheres defined by public and religious buildings) provides an obvious basis for the high-profile imagery the tall building invites. Yet the capital that funds this building form has shaped mass marketing and public relations, and used the skyscraper in that enterprise. What have architects made of this situation, particularly in a century of architectural avant-gardes, which have embraced modernity as embodied in the skyscraper but sought to define its formal terms? This seminar will consider issues of representation and transparency, as well as cultural significance, in the skyscraper throughout its history. We’ll explore those ideas as broached in a range of writings and through case studies and research papers. K. Taylor. Winter.
49900. Historiography of Art History. This course examines methodologies in art history and theory through the rigorous analysis of selected texts in these fields. The intent is to foster inquiry into art history's practices and institutions, and to aid graduate students in the discernment of art history's relationship to other disciplines, as well as to their own practices within (or outside of) it. Offered to 1st and 2nd year graduate students. M. Olin. Winter.