Art History Courses, 2009-2010Last updated: September 20, 2012
C. Bargellini, P. Berlekamp, C. Cohen, J. Elsner, D. English, P. Foong, C. Foxwell, C. Fromont, T. Gunning, E. Helsinger, M. Jackson, A. Kumler, A. Leonard, M. Luke, C. Mehring, W. J. T. Mitchell, M. Naef, R. Neer, V. Platt, J. Snyder, K. Taylor, Y. Tsivian, R. Ubl, M. Ward, H. Wu, R. Zorach
Courses: Art History (ARTH)
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.
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.
14107. Greek Art & Archaeology. (=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 given special attention. R. Neer. Winter.
14610. Art of the Northern Renaissance. This course offers an overview of the art and material culture in France, Germany, and the Netherlands ca. 1350-1570 through selected case studies. As a secondary goal for non-majors, it is designed to introduce methods and issues in art history. We will study the development of new artistic genres and media such as oil painting and printmaking; questions of style (realism, classicism) and social context (courts, cities, and countryside); the location and circulation of art (markets, sacred spaces, regionalism and internationalism, exchange with Italy); uses and conflicts over religious imagery, and the impact of the Protestant Reformation. Course is open to undergraduates. Graduate students interested in sitting in should contact instructor in advance. R. Zorach. Winter.
15600. Twentieth Century Art. Cancelled
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.
15610. Imitation of Life: Art in the Twentieth Century. This course introduces numerous challenges posed to painterly and sculptural traditions by artists working in Europe and America in the twentieth century. We will consider the profusion of utopian dreams and schemes, artists’ fascination with everyday experience, and their flirtation with kitsch, mass culture, and authoritarian propaganda. As we map the shifting terrain between the avant-gardiste and the reactionary, we will attend to profound revolutions in artistic labor. The changing formal and material organization of the art object shall be considered in tandem with the equally mutable structure of the commodity and modern subjectivity. Lectures will focus on specific artists and alliances and provide periodic overviews of art historical methodologies, novel techniques like the monochrome, collage, and the readymade, and debates about the relationship of art and life. No prior coursework in art history is required. M. Luke. Winter, Spring.
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. Wu. H. 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 course 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 form Spain to India and the importance for the arts of contacts with China and the West. P. Berlekamp. Autumn.
16800. Art of Asia: Japan. (=EALC 16800) This course surveys the arts of the Japanese archipelago through the focused study of selected major sites and artifacts. We will consider objects in their original contexts and in the course of transmission and reinterpretation across space and time. How did Japanese visual culture develop in the interaction with objects and ideas from China, Korea, and the West? Prehistoric artifacts, the Buddhist temple, imperial court culture, the narrative handscroll, the tea ceremony, folding screens, and early modern prints are among the topics covered. C. Foxwell. Autumn.
16809. Islamic Art and Architecture, 1500 to 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 enmpires 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.
17107. Chinese Calligraphy and Civilization. (=EALC 17107) If the invention of writing is regarded a mark of early civilization, the practice of calligraphy is a unique and sustaining aspect of Chinese culture. This course will introduce concepts central to the study of Chinese calligraphy from pre-history to the present. For discussion: materials and techniques, aesthetics and communication, copying/reproduction/schema and creativity/expression/ personal style, public values and the scholar’s production, orthodoxy and eccentricity, official scripts and the transmission of elite culture, wild and magic writing by “mad” monks. P. Foong. Autumn.
17110. Sinotopos: Chinese Landscape Representation and Interpretation.This course surveys major areas of study in the Chinese landscape painting tradition, focusing on the history of its pictorial representation during pre-modern eras. Format will be primarily class discussion following a series of lectures. Areas for consideration may include: first emergence and subsequent developments of the genre in court and literati arenas; landscape aesthetics and theoretical foundations; major attributed works in relation to archaeological evidence. Emphasis is on artistic options and the exercise of choice within the context of social, political, religious, and economic forces. Students are expected to gain skills in formal analysis through looking with reading, and a critical perspective on the processes of art historical placement and interpretation based on assigned readings in secondary literature. P. Foong. Spring.
17209. Art in France, 1598-1661. France emerged from the 16th century devastated by wars of religion. Sixty years later it was the most powerful state in Europe. This course will provide an overview of French art and in this period. Three themes will predominate: the rise of philosophical skepticism (pyrrhonisme) and the New Science, and their impact on ideas of painting; the relationship between new “practices of the self” and practices of knowledge; and political centralization and the emergence of the police state. We will discuss major artists like Nicolas Poussin, Philippe de Champaigne, Georges de la Tour, Claude Lorraine and Charles Le Brun, as well as lesser-known figures like Laurent de la Hyre, Lubin Baugin, Eustache Le Seur and Valentin de Boulogne. Readings will be drawn largely from primary sources, all in translation. R. Neer. Autumn.
17210. Art and its Audiences in Early Modern Japan. (=EALC 17210) This course examines the diversity of Japanese art in the 17th through 19th centuries, relating it to audience diversity during the same period. The shogunal government and imperial court, samurai and merchants, regional lords and wealthy farmers, geisha and learned women, urban dandies and lovers of Chinese culture--all distinguished themselves by their patronage and appreciation of paintings, ceramics, and other arts. This course will also consider changes in the display of objects, concluding with the emergence of the modern Japanese artist and the museum. C. Foxwell. Spring.
17400. 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 architecture and urban form in order to interpret: how the University images itself in masonry, metal, and lawn; how it works with architects; the role of buildings in social and intellectual programs and values; the effects of campus plans and the siting of individual buildings; and the impact of technological change. “On site” sessions and study of archival documents required. K. Taylor. Spring.
17500. History Painting in France. 1780-1830. This course examines some of the masterpieces of the French tradition such as David’s Oath of the Horatier, Géricault’s Raft of the Medusa, or Delacroix’ Liberty Leading the People. Through the close analysis of single paintings, the course introduces different and competing models of art historical interpretation. Focusing on new structures of pictorial meaning emerging around 1800, the course will also discuss the shifting place of painting in a (post)revolutionary world. Ubl. Autumn.
17510. Édouard Manet. In this in-depth study of Manet’s paintings, we will explore the aesthetic structure of his work and discuss it with respect to more general questions concerning the interpretation of modernism. R. Ubl. Winter.
17710.Pioneers of Abstraction. (##Paris Program) This class introduces students to the roughly forty years between the early 1880s and the 1920s, when a series of pioneering artists laid the groundwork for abstract painting, a mode of artistic expression that was new to Western art and would become a defining strand of 20th century art. We will explore relationships between this seemingly non-representational art and its broader artistic and cultural context, centered largely around Paris and its outskirts. Artists considered include Paul Cézanne, Robert and Sonia Delaunay, Wassily Kandinsky, Henri Matisse, Piet Mondrian, Pablo Picasso, Sophie Taeuber-Arp, and others. A significant portion of class meetings will be held in Parisian museums. C. Mehring. Spring.
17800. Leonardo & Michaelangelo: Their Art in Context. This course examines the art and personality of the two artists who are often considered the culminating figures of the Italian Renaissance. Some attention will be devoted to understanding the Florentine artistic and social context out of which these two near-contemporary, but very different, individuals emerged. Their careers will then be followed and examined in the context of the other major centers in which they worked, especially Rome and Milan. The course will encompass the whole artistic career of Leonardo (d. 1519), but concentrate on the first half of Michelangelo’s much longer career (including juvenalia, Pieta, David, Sistine ceiling, and Julius Tomb). Through the concentrated art-historical material studied, the course will take seriously the attempt to introduce students with little or no background in art history to some of the major avenues for interpretation in this field including formal, stylistic, iconographical, psychological, social and theoretical. Readings are chosen with this diversity of approach in mind. Special attention will also be given to the writings and drawings of these artists as means of thinking about the complex issues of artistic intention. C. Cohen. 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. Spring.
18110. The Image of Space: Sculpture and Mass Media. This course surveys key texts for the study of modern sculpture and it considers how the invention of photography raised anxiety about the impact of new technologies on norms of spatial perception and aesthetic judgment. We examine how the industrial dissemination of images redefined the work of art, shaped the discipline of art history, inflected our understanding of the relationship between touch and vision, and reignited debate over the representation of three dimensions on planar surfaces. What is at stake is not only the relation of copy to original, but also the resistance sculpture could provide to what many regarded as the total and instantaneous visibility promised by the camera. Each week we focus on photographs and illustrated publications, including readings by authors such as Herder, Hildebrand, Panofsky, Benjamin, Kracauer, Giedion-Welcker, Kahnweiler, and Krauss. Artists considered include Rodin, Rosso, Brancusi, Duchamp, Schwitters, Picasso, Giacometti, and Moholy-Nagy. No prior coursework in art history required. M. Luke. Winter, Spring.
18305. New Art in Chicago Museums and Other Spaces. Through very regular, required site visits to museums, galleries, and experimental spaces in the greater Chicago area, this course will introduce students to the close consideration—in situ—of works of art created in our times, as well as to the application to these works of pertinent modes of critical and historical inquiry. Sites to be visited include the David and Alfred Smart Museum of Art, the Fraction Workspace, Mess Hall, the Hyde Park Art Center, The Art Institute of Chicago, Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, the Museum of Contemporary Photography, Gallery 400 at the University of Illinois at Chicago, among others. D. English. Winter.
The following courses do not meet the general education requirement in the dramatic, musical, and visual arts.
20100/30100. The Art Of Ancestral Worship. (=EALC 20101/30101, RLST 27600) This course focuses on various art forms (e.g. ritual jades and bronzes, tomb murals and sculptures, family temples and shrines) that were created between the third millennium B.C. and the second century A.D. for ancestral worship, the main religious tradition in China before the introduction of Buddhism, Central questions include how visual forms convey religious concepts and serve religious communications, and how artistic changes reflect trends in the ancestral cult. H. Wu. Spring.
20605/30605. Roman Art. CANCELLED. J. Elsner. Spring.
21410/31410. Introduction to Theories of Sex/Gender: Ideology, Culture, and Sexuality. (=GNDR 21400/31400) (=ENGL 21401/30201, MAPH 36500) PQ: Consent of instructor required; GNDR 10100-10200 recommended. This course examines contemporary theories of sexuality, culture, and society, with a particular focus on visual culture. We situate these theories in global and historical perspectives. Topics and issues are explored through theoretical and ethnographic texts, and film, video, and performance art. PQ: Consent of instructor required; GNDR 10100-10200 recommended. R. Zorach. Winter.
22609/30509. Skills and Methods in Chinese Painting History. (=EALC 20101/30102) This course aims to provide groundwork skills in conducting primary research in the study of Chinese painting history. Emphasis will be on the study of early periods, especially the Song and Yuan Dynasties. To consider implications in the material investigation of medium (silk, paper, mounting, ink, color) in conjunction with relevant sinological tools. Discussion will focus on traditional connoisseurship practices and issues of authenticity and provenance (identification and judging the authenticity of seals, inscriptions). Graduate level: to develop proficiency in the use of standard primary/historical and reference sources through an investigation of their strengths and limitations, such as dictionaries (encyclopedic, bibliographic, biographical, etc), database queries, etc. Weekly task-based reports. Chinese and/or Japanese language(s) highly recommended. Undergrads must have taken at least a survey or 170-level class in Chinese or Japanese field or in East Asian Art. History. No exceptions. P. Foong. Autumn.
23400/33400. Art, Architecture, and Identity in the Ottoman Empire. Though they did not compose a 'multi-cultural society' in the modern sense, the ruling elite and subjects of the vast Ottoman Empire came from a wide variety of regionally, ethnic, linguistic, and religious backgrounds. The dynamics of the Empire's internal cultural diversity, as well as of its external relations with contemporary courts in Iran, Italy, and elsewhere, were continuously negotiated and renegotiated in its art and architecture. This course examines classical Ottoman architecture, arts of the book, ceramics, and textiles, focussing particularly on the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries. P. Berlekamp. Autumn.
24110/34110. Venetian Painting from Bellini to Tintoretto. PQ: Any 100-level course in Art History or Visual Arts. The works of Giovanni Bellini, Giorgione, Titian, Tintoretto and other major figures are studied in the context of the distinctive Venetian version of the Renaissance. The course will explore the patterns of patronage, iconography and practice as they are impacted by the Venetian cult of the state, the role of the great charitable institutions in Venetian society, the conservative Venetian guild and workshop organization. Some of the major art-historical themes will include the understanding of Giorgione and Giorgionism as a decisive turn towards modernity in European art; the complex place of the long-lived Titian throughout the entire period; the role of drawing in an art most noted for its light, color and touch; the complex interaction of Venetian and Tusco-Roman visual cultures throughout the Renaissance. C. Cohen. Winter.
24710/34710. Japan and the World in Nineteenth-Century Art.(=EALC 20201/30201) PQ: Arts of Japan or instructor permission. This seminar will explore artistic interaction between Japan and the West in the late 19th century. Topics include: changing European and American views of Japan and its art, the use of Japanese pictorial “sources” by artists such as Manet and Van Gogh, Japan's invocation by decorative arts reformers, Japanese submissions to the world’s fairs, and new forms of Japanese art made for audiences within Japan. Class sessions and a research project are designed to offer different geographical and theoretical perspectives and to provide evidence of how Japonisme appeared from late 19th-century Japanese points of view. C. Foxwell. Winter.
25010/35010. New World Mission Art. The course will center on the art and architecture of the Franciscan and Jesuit missions among the Amerindian peoples of northern New Spain (northern Mexico and southwest US) during the 17th and 18th centuries. It will examine supply, production and functions of various objects, images and buildings throughout the varied geographies and cultural contexts of this area. It will consider contrasts and continuities with respect to the early colonial period of the 16th century, as well as with the native cultures the missions attempted to transform. It will also explore comparisons with other mission areas, especially in the Americas. C. Bargellini. Spring.
25900/35900. Theories of Media. (=ENGL 12800/32800, CMST 27800/37800, ARTV 25400) This course will explore the concept of media and mediation in very broad terms, looking not only at modern technical media and mass media, but at the very idea of a medium as a means of communication, a set of institutional practices, and a habitat" in which images proliferate and take on a "life of their own." The course will deal as much with ancient as with modern media, with writing, sculpture, and painting as well as television and virtual reality. Readings will include classic texts such as Plato's Allegory of the Cave and Cratylus, Aristotle's Poetics, and modern texts such as Marshall McLuhan's Understanding Media, Regis Debray's Mediology, and Friedrich Kittler's Gramaphone, Film, Typewriter. We will explore questions such as the following: What is a medium? What is the relation of technology to media? How do media affect, simulate, and stimulate sensory experiences? What sense can we make of concepts such as the "unmediated" or "immediate"? How do media become intelligible and concrete in the form of "metapictures" or exemplary instances, as when a medium reflects on itself (films about films, paintings about painting)? Is there a system of media? How do we tell one medium from another, and how do they become "mixed" in hybrid, intermedial formations? We will also look at recent films such as The Matrix and Existenz that project fantasies of a world of total mediation and hyperreality. Students will be expected to do one "show and tell" presentation introducing a specific medium. There will also be several short writing exercises, and a final paper. PQ: Any 100-level ARTH or COVA course, or consent of instructor. Mitchell. Winter '10.
26400/36400. The History of Photography in America. (=ARTV 26300/36300, HIPS 25300) PQ:Any 10000-level ARTH or ARTV course, or consent of instructor. The invention of the photographic system as a confluence of art practice and technology is studied in detail. The aesthetic history of photography is traced from 1839 through the present. Special emphasis is placed on the critical writing of P. H. Emerson, Erwin Panofsky, Alfred Stieglitz, Lewis Mumford, Susan Sontag, and Michael fried. J. Snyder. Autumn.
26509/36509. Modern Ideologies in Architecture is an international survey of avant-garde thinking in architecture—from the 20th century to the present. The course will use the Art Institute’s opening Architecture and Design Collection exhibition (as well as its vast collection not on view) as a backdrop for this survey. Structured chronologically, the class will explore major movements and their architects as well as lesser-known figures who have collectively—and continually—defined and revised what constitutes modern ideology in the pedagogy and practice of architecture. The course will be organized around four larger narratives to allow the juxtaposition between these major and minor themes to be explored. They are as follows: The Organic versus the Machine Aesthetic (1900-1940), The American mainstream corporate modern-style and the arrival of fictional architecture—Archigram in London and Metabolism in Japan (1940-1968), Architecture outside of itself—ideologies influenced by semiotics, film, linguistics, art, politics—and the return to hyper-formalism in the discipline—the “Whites” versus the “Grays”—(1968-88), The birth of digital literacy in architecture and the revival of figurative aesthetics (1988-2009). Meets at the Art Institute of Chicago. Contact email@example.com if you wish to enroll. J. Rosa. Autumn.
26609/36609. Abstraction. This class centers around the different ways of understanding abstraction in the paintings, sculptures, installations, photographs, and moving images produced in Western art in the course of the 20th century. We will examine the role of the notions of utopia, phenomenology, non-composition, decoration, identity, and reproductive media, among others. Artists discussed include Lucio Fontana, Eva Hesse, Wassily Kandinsky, El Lissitzky, Piet Mondrian, Blinky Palermo, Jackson Pollock, Hans Richter, Sophie Taeuber, and more. Permission of instructor required for both graduate and undergraduate students. Familiarity with art history required and with 20th century art preferred. Please send an e-mail to Prof. Mehring per instructions given in the first class meeting. Limited to 20 students. C. Mehring. Autumn.
26610/36610. Public and Private in Nineteenth-Century Art. Art of the nineteenth century offers many paradoxes that challenge “public” and “private” as meaningful interpretive categories. Prints, as multiples, are an ideal medium for disseminating imagery far and wide, yet in the nineteenth century printmaking was often the arena in which artists felt most free to pursue experimental techniques or taboo subject matter. (This is also the era that saw the rise of the limited-edition print.) Many nineteenth-century paintings and monumental sculptures, made available to individual collectors in the form of smaller-scale replicas, found their way into private homes. Focusing on France, this course considers “public” and “private” alongside other, related dichotomies that have powerfully influenced the historiography of nineteenth-century art. These include many of the warhorse “isms”: Classicism and Romanticism; Romanticism and Realism; Naturalism/Impressionism and Symbolism/Idealism. To what extent have these oppositions been overstated? Can it be that in the so-called arts of privacy we find just those messy interpenetrations of influence that more public, ideologically invested art could not acknowledge? This course is offered in conjunction with The Darker Side of Light: The Arts of Privacy, 1850-1900 – an exhibition organized by the National Gallery of Art which will be on view at the Smart Museum. The course will combine the close study of objects (both in the temporary exhibition and the Smart Museum’s permanent collection) with analysis of critical and theoretical readings. It will also lead to the development of a small, collection-based exhibition to open at the Smart Museum in the fall. As part of the class requirements, students will be expected to draft label texts for exhibition objects, which they will help select. Basic knowledge of French nineteenth-century art history required; reading knowledge of French highly desirable. A. Leonard. Spring.
26806/35806. Visual Culture of Rome and her Empire. (=CLAS 27909/CLCV 37909) This general survey of Roman material culture will use the archaeological evidence complementary to literary sources in order to delineate the development of Roman society from the Early Republic down to the first sacking of Rome in 410 CE. Urban planning, public monuments, political imagery, and the visual world of Roman cities, houses and tombs will be discussed in relationship to the political and social processes that shaped their formal development. E. Mayer, Spring.
26810/36810. Roman Visual Culture in the NW Provinces. (=CLAS 26209/36209) E. Mayer. Spring.
27400/37400. Photography/Modernism/Esthetics. PQ: Prior course in art history or consent of instructor. 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.
27503/37503. Modern/Postmodern. This course examines seminal formations in the historical conceptualization and representation of modernity and postmodernity. Texts, discussions, and student research will consider the implications of artistic and curatorial practice in addition to art theory and philosophical writings. Students are encouraged to conduct research on both historical and conceptual problems. Enrollment strictly limited to 15. Instructor consent required. D. English. Spring.
27610/37610. Drawing After 1953. What is the purpose of drawing? This question does not allow an unequivocal answer. Although Western art theory has occasionally tried to bring drawing under a single concept, it has always been a heterogeneous practice, including such different procedures as sketching, life studies and copies, transfer drawings, diagrams, and doodles. In Western art beginning in the 1950s, these various procedures and functions became a dominant theme of drawing itself, as in Rauschenberg’s erasure of a de Kooning drawing. One way of reading this famous gesture would be to understand it as the transformation of drawing as an art of originary creation into an art of undoing; it could also be considered a kind of deferred action or a commentary on art making in general. In exploring these ideas, the course will also ask how the status of drawing as a preparatory work changed during a period of incessant questioning of esthetic categories of closure and accomplishment. In considering salient examples from European and American art from the 1950s to the present, we will further discuss how drawing relates to new artistic modes of expression such as performance, video, or installation art and how its own mediality has been transformed in this process. Last but not least, we will study new theoretical approaches responding to this emergence of drawing as a heterogeneous practice. Artists to be discussed include Louise Bourgeois, Joseph Beuys, Eva Hesse, Jasper Johns, Robert Morris, Gabriel Orozco, Raymond Pettibon, Dorothea Rockburne, and Joëlle Tuerlinckx. M. Naef, Winter.
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. 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. Autumn, Winter, Spring.
39800. Approaches to Art History. Open to MAPH students concentrating in Art History. Others by instructor consent. K. Kirtland. Winter.
39900. Methods and Issues in Cinema Studies. (=CMST 40000, ENGL 48000). This course offers an introduction to ways of reading, writing on, and teaching film. The focus of discussion will range from methods of close analysis and basic concepts of film form, technique and style; through industrial/critical categories of genre and authorship (studios, stars, directors); through aspects of the cinema as a social institution, psycho-sexual apparatus and cultural practice; to the relationship between filmic texts and the historical horizon of production and reception. Films discussed will include works by Griffith, Lang, Hitchcock, Deren, Godard. J. Wild. Autumn.
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 Art History first year PhD students. Open to others by instructor permission. R. Neer. Autumn.
40610. Democratic Athens. This seminar will study the interaction of art and politics in Athens during the late Archaic and Classical periods, roughly 514-323 BCE. We will lay particular emphasis on close study of particular monuments – sculpture, architecture, painting – with eye to determining the relation between style and politics. Topics will include the Parthenon and its echoes in sculpture and pottery; the role of architectural sculpture at sanctuaries like Delphi and Delos; and the relation between the visual arts and Platonic philosophy. Knowledge of French, German or an ancient language will be very helpful but is not required. Enrollment by permission of instructor. R. Neer. Winter.
42010. Art and Neoplatonism, East and West. "Neoplatonism" is the name given to a fusion of the ideas of Plato with those of other Greek philosophers as welll as mystical theology (including Christian influences) that originated in late-antique Alexandria. This seminar studies the revivals of neoplatoism in the medieval and early modern periods in both the Islamic world and western Europe. In particular, we will address the implications of neoplatonism for the visual arts. We consider theories of mental and physical images, spiritual and cosmographic hierarchy, the purpose of art, magic, idols, and efficacy, mathematics and neophtyagoreanism, philosophical allegory. We examine debates around these issues in the Arabic and Latin traditions, considering authors such as Ibn Sina, Ibn Rushd, and Ficino. A historiographic component of the course examines how and why neoplatonism became a popular theme in twentieth-century art history. Rdg knowledge of any of the following useful but not necessary: Greek, Arabic, Latin, French, German, Italian. Prior to the first class, you should have read at least two Platonic dialogues (Timaeus, Symposium, the Republic, Phaedrus are recommended). From The Republic, you should have read the "Allegory of the Cave" segment. P. Berlekamp and R. Zorach. Spring.
42110. Art and Religion: Buddhist and Christian. J. Elsner, H. Wu. Spring.
42610. Imperial Collections of Chinese Painting and Calligraphy. This course looks at imperial art collections of painting and calligraphy and the institutions that administered them. We will survey approaches in secondary scholarship studying collections amassed for the court by members of the court: emperors, empresses, clansmen, eunuchs, scholars. Readings will focus on the great collections of Emperors Tang Taizong, Li Houzhu, Song Huizong, and Yuan Wenzong (Tugh Temür), but research topics can be chosen from later dynastic periods. Weekly reports, discussion, and final projects may investigate extant works by addressing issues such as: art catalogs as courtly enterprise; the relationship between art and library collections; emperor as private collector/public patron; expatriated collections and imperial identity under foreign rulers, and so on. Chinese and Japanese language required. P. Foong. Winter.
43410. Sem: The Poetry of Death. (=LATN 47909) Rome's vast burial grounds yield rich information for social and cultural history. The rich and the poor, foreigners and locals were buried in close proximity to each other. Their tombs represent a cross-section through much of Roman society. This seminar aims at brining together evidence that is usually studied in isolation: funerary epigrams, wall-painting, sarcophagi and the tombs themselves. Viewed as a whole, tombs open a window into the Roman mind that often deviates from the standard picture painted of Roman society. The use of Greek mythology in funerary art and epigrams is more idiosyncratic than in canonical elite literature and class boundaries appear more permeable. E. Mayer, Spring.
43500. Italian Renaissance Drawings: History, Theory, Practice. This course will have to deal with two central facts about the history of Renaissance draftsmanship. Drawings over the most of the Renaissance were made primarily in preparation for paintings and other works of art, and were not collected systematically until well into the mature Renaissance and their preservation is very spotty. The history of the study of Renaissance drawings has been tied primarily to museums, the market, and connoisseurship with systematic histories of the field only becoming available quite recently. This course will selectively study the history of Renaissance drawings, with special attention to the changes over time and the difference by region in how drawings functioned in the education of artists, were used in the business and techniques of workshop production and relations with patrons, and related to Renaissance theory of creation (disgno). In the process, some attention will be given to the practical matters of collecting, materials, techniques, and connoisseurship. Students will be asked to work with original drawings at the Art Institute as well as address a significant issue in the history of drawings in a seminar paper. Also open to undergraduate majors and minors with permission. C. Cohen. Autumn.
44909. Japanese Handscroll Paintings. Japanese handscrolls of the 14th through 17th centuries are noted for the range and creativity of their visual narrative devices. This course will examine narrative elements in handscrolls of court romances, humorous and didactic tales, wars, and miracles. The expression of social status, the divine, Buddhist principles, and built and natural environments will also be considered. Finally, we will explore the artist's workshop, the use of scrolls to record real-life events, and the diverse motives that led to a scroll’s creation. PQ: Intro level course in East Asian art or instructor permission. C. Foxwell. Autumn.
45010. Art, Death, and Immortality. (=EALC 45010) CANCELLED. H. Wu. Spring.
46210. Arabesque Narrative: A Hybrid Form of the Imaginary. This seminar takes as its object of study the arabesque narrative, a form located between verbal and pictorial modes of representation. Our task will be twofold: 1) to analyze a specific tract in the history of pictorial-literary relations that extends, roughly, from the seventeenth to the twentieth century; 2) to develop an analytical vocabulary for the analysis of verbal-pictorial relations that will support productive intellectual exchange between literary and art history. From Gotthold Lessing to Clement Greenberg, a predominant tendency in the theory of the relationship between the arts has been to emphasize their mutually exclusive character. One correlate of this oppositional mode of thought is an emphasis on “purity” in representation: that is, the proscription of modes of interference and interlacing between the artistic media. The tradition of “arabesque narrative” is an intriguing theme just because it represents a counter-trend to the purist tendency in, broadly speaking, ‘modern’ aesthetics. For this very reason, of course, arabesque narrative constitutes a privileged zone in which to explore the relations between art-historical and literary-historical inquiry. We will discuss texts by Sterne, Lichtenberg, E.T.A. Hoffmann, Baudelaire among others and the work of artists such as Hogarth, Runge, Menzel, and Klinger. R. Ubl and D. Wellbery. Winter.
46309. Secularization and Resacralization of the Work of Art. It is a defining feature of modern Western society that it reserves an autonomous realm for the visual arts, protected by various institutions such as the museum, cultural heritage, academies, etc. This process, often described as secularization because it entailed the negation of the cultic function of images, has been questioned by artistic and theoretical attempts to establish a cult of art, but also by claims that modern art and aesthetics depend upon theological implications. Particularly in recent theoretical literature on the power, economy, or ontology of images, the engagement with the rich tradition of theological reflection on images has played a prominent role. In the seminar we will discuss key texts ( Diderot, Goethe, Hegel, Bataille among others) and works (of David, Friedrich, Manet, Newman etc.) from this history of severing and suturing the ties between art making and the sacred. R. Ubl and D. Nirenberg. Autumn.
48810. Styles of Performance and Expression from Stage to Screen. (=CMST 48402, SLAV 48402). This seminar will focus on the history of acting styles in silent film (1895-1930) mapping "national" styles of acting that emerged during the 1910s (American, Danish, Italian, Russian) and various "acting schools" that proliferated during the 1920s ("Expressionist acting," "Kuleshov's workshop," etc). We will discuss film acting in the context of stage acting: its history from the 17th to 20th century, its theories and systems (Delsarte, Stanislavsky, Meyerhold) and in the context of fine arts. We will also look at various theories of impact (empathy, identification, etc) and at some influential texts in the history of performance (Diderot, Coquelin, Kleist). Y. Tsivian. Autumn.
48910. From the Rubble: Art, Architecture, and Design in the Era of European Reconstruction. (=GRMN 48910) This class examines the art, architecture, and design produced in Western Europe from the end of World War II and into the 1960s, with an eye to understanding the ways in which these forms of expression grappled with the horrors of World War II, the reconstruction of cities, the so-called “economic miracle,” and the continent’s emerging role in the Cold War. A central question will be the way in which art and design practices central to modernism such as essentialism, organicism, abstraction, self-expression, or the ready-made resonate with the reconstruction era in ways that go beyond its more obvious representations. Focusing on the art of France, Italy, the Benelux and German speaking countries, we will also consider the redefinitions of national identitied and the emergence of a continental, pan-European identity. Permission by instructor only. Limited to 14 students. Solid reading knowledge of German, French, or Italian required. Please send an e-mail to Prof. Mehring per instructions given in the first class meeting. C. Mehring. Winter.
49309. Race, Media, and Visual Culture. (= CDIN 51300, ENGL 51300, CMST 51300, ARTV 55500, CMLT 51500, CRPC 51300) This seminar will explore the question of race, racism, and racial identity across a variety of media and social practices, including photography and cinema, visual art and literature, and the iconology of everyday life. The seminar will provide a twin introduction to the fundamentals of visual cultural theory and media studies, on the one hand, and racial theory on the “other.” The study of racial theory will converge with issues of visuality, mediation, and iconology, particularly the question of stereotype and caricature, the role of fantasy and the imaginary in racist perception, and its reproduction and critique in various form of visual art and media. Sponsored by the Center for Disciplinary Innovation (CDI), the seminar will combine methodologies from art history, literary criticism, visual and media studies, as well as anthropology. D. English and W.J.T. Mitchell. Autumn.
49910. Writing Art History: From Antiquity to Modernity. The writing of art history is not a natural or self-evident activity; it has its own history, beginning in the ancient world and continuing through enormous transformations into our own day, deeply connected on the one hand with other forms of history and on the other with the practice and products of art. This seminar, developing its focus from the art histories produced in Greek and Roman antiquity to their receptions in modernity, considers some central topics in this history: the concept of art; the relation between the artist and the work of art; the concept of history; modes of narration; aesthetic judgment and description; the history of art as a stimulus or block for artistic production; the relation between the history of art and other modes of history; connoiseurship, patronage, and collection. Open to Art History PhD students only. J. Elsner. Spring.