Undergraduate Course Descriptions
Explores the ways we make, perceive, and experience images and artifacts. Students will hone their skills in seeing, analyzing historical models, and critically engaging in discussions of visual art and material cultures in selected eras and civilizations around the world. RESTRICTIONS: Usually offered in Fall semester.
Monuments and Methods in the History of Art
Painting, sculpture, and architecture studied as artistic and cultural expressions of their times. Emphasis on selected major artists, monuments, and methods of analysis. RESTRICTIONS: Usually offered in Fall semester.
Myth, Religion, and Art
An introduction to the study of mythical and religious images, types, attributes, and symbols on a comparative basis from many ages throughout the world. Includes archetypal images, such as the Great Mother, the Great Father, the hero, images with supernatural powers, and satirical images. RESTRICTIONS: Usually offered in Spring semester.
Introduction to Art History I
Painting, sculpture, and architecture from Prehistoric times through ancient Egypt, Greece, Rome, and the Middle Ages studied in historical and cultural context. RESTRICTIONS: Usually offered in Fall semester.
Introduction to Art History II
Painting, sculpture, and architecture of Western Europe from the Renaissance to the present studied in historical and cultural context. RESTRICTIONS: Usually offered in Spring semester.
Rome: From Caesar to Fellini
Investigates Rome from antiquity to the twentieth century focusing on art and architecture, archaeology, film, literature, urban planning, law, social history, religion, and politics.
History of Architecture
Major buildings and architects from the ancient world to the present. Elements of architectural design and the influence of social, economic, political, religious, and technological factors on the art of building. Architecture as cultural expression.
Architecture in Global Contexts
Concepts of architecture, with case studies drawn from various world regions ranging from prehistoric times to the present. Understanding the role of architecture in human society and how it has shaped human history. Study of physical and cultural dimensions of architecture in different parts of the world and learn how to place their varieties in global contexts.
International Decorative Arts
This course will provide an introduction to the history of decorative arts in a wide range of world cultures, from ancient times to the present. Focusing on ornamental and functional arts in metalwork, glass, and ceramics, objects will be placed in their art, historical, cultural, material, and technological context. Case studies will highlight how material and fabrication choices are manipulated in different ways to meet specific aesthetic, functional, and symbolic goals in the decorative arts of Asia, Africa, the Islamic World, Europe, and the Americas.
Art, Power, and Architecture in Africa
Explores several African communities including Bamileke, Yoruba, Shona, Edo, Fon, Kuba, and Hasua-Fulani (located among others in Nigeria, Zimbabwe, Benin, Congo). Reveals the relationships, sometimes spatial, between art and architecture in their varied stances to, and as representations of, political, social, and spiritual power.
Science and the Detection of Art Forgeries
Concepts from many scientific disciplines are useful for interpreting works of art. Analytical techniques based on those concepts often reveal art forgeries. Case studies will use basic scientific principles to investigate a wide variety of known or alleged art forgeries. May be cross-listed with MSST205.
Art and Architecture in Africa
Explores all African selections from diverse art histories including modern Congo, contemporary Nigeria and South Africa, nineteenth-century Mande, seventeenth-century Ethiopia, fifteenth-century Edo, nineteenth-century Yoruba, Nubian Egypt and the pre-pharaonic Northeast. Lectures thematize art against a backdrop of politics, religions, sensuality, and architecture.
Art of Ancient Egypt and the Near East
Survey of the art and architecture of ancient Egypt and the Near East. Emphasis on the relationship of art to religion, politics, and ritual. Topics include Egyptian pyramids and the after-life, images of kings and the art of propaganda, and art in the service of religion.
Greek and Roman Art
Development of Greek art and architecture from the Geometric period through the Orientalizing, Archaic, Classical, and Hellenistic eras. Roman art and architecture from its Etruscan and Greek origins through the Republican period and the stages of the Empire until the time of Constantine the Great.
Early Medieval Art, 200-1000 A.D.
Painting, sculpture, and architecture in Europe and the Near East. Surveys the earliest Christian art as well as Byzantine, Early Islamic, Anglo-Saxon, and Carolingian art. RESTRICTIONS: Usually offered in Spring semester, every other year.
Later Medieval Art, 1000-1400 A.D.
Painting, sculpture, and architecture of the Christian world, treating later Byzantine, Romanesque, and Gothic artistic traditions in their historical and cultural contexts. Development of a distinctively European art and society. RESTRICTIONS: Usually offered in Spring semester, every other year.
Art of the Northern Renaissance
Covers late medieval devotional images to the art of the early modern cities (1400-1570), especially in the Netherlands and Germany. Special emphasis on Jan van Eyck, Rogier van der Weyden, Albrecht Dürer, and Pieter Bruegel.
Early Renaissance Art
Italian art of the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries. Special emphasis on the founders of the Renaissance tradition in central Italy such as Giotto, Donatello, Masaccio, Fra Angelico, Botticelli, Brunelleschi, and Alberti. RESTRICTIONS: Usually offered in Fall semester.
High Renaissance and Mannerist Art
Italian art in the sixteenth century. Emphasis on such artists as Leonardo da Vinci, Raphael, Michelangelo, Bramante, Titian, Tintoretto, and El Greco. Also treats the spread of Italian style to France and Spain. RESTRICTIONS: Usually offered in Spring semester.
Art of the Italian Renaissance
Surveys major artistic centers, personalities, and stylistic trends in Italy from the fourteenth to the sixteenth century. Special emphasis on Giotto, Donatello, Mantegna, Leonardo, Michelangelo, Raphael, and Titian. Painting and sculptures are discussed in relation to techniques, systems of production, patronage, and crucial historical events.
Italian Renaissance Architecture
Italian architecture and cities from the fourteenth to the sixteenth centuries. Emphasis on the socio-economic, intellectual, and cultural context of Renaissance architecture. Focuses on architects such as Brunelleschi, Alberti, Michelangelo, and Palladio and cities such as Florence, Rome, and Venice.
17th-century European painting, sculpture, and architecture in its social-historical context. Emphasis on such major artists as Caravaggio, Bernini, Rubens, Rembrandt, Vermeer, Poussin, and Velasquez. Discussion of the rise of genre, still-life, and landscape painting, as well as the role of patronage.
Examines major trends and artists in eighteenth-century European painting, sculpture, and architecture in the framework of the social, ideological, and cultural currents of the time. Artists such as Watteau, Hogarth, Blake, Chardin, Canova, David, and Goya. RESTRICTIONS: Usually offered in Spring semester.
Modern Art I
History and theory of art, 1789-1900, including the Neoclassical, Romantic, Realist, Impressionist, and Post-Impressionist movements.
Modern Art II
History and theory of art from 1900 to the present in its cultural, social, and political context, including painting, sculpture, photography, installation, performance, film, and video.
Explores recent art and artists from around the world, investigating socio-historical forces and effects of contemporary modes of production, distribution, and consumption within the art market. New artistic practices like installation, new media, and performance are studied along with traditional media.
American Art: 1607-1865
Architecture, painting, sculpture, and the decorative arts of the United States from the first Colonial settlements to the Civil War. American Art examined in the light of its political, social, economic, and religious background and in relationship to European art.
American Art: 1865-Present
Architecture, painting, sculpture, photography, and decorative arts in the United States from the Civil War on. American art in a political, social, economic, and cultural framework. The rise of the United States to a position of global power and emergence as an international artistic center. RESTRICTIONS: Usually offered in Spring semester.
Art of Latin America
Survey of art and architecture in Latin America from pre-Hispanic times to the twenty-first century. Emphasis on the interaction between native traditions and imported ideas, particularly in relationship to religion, politics, and daily life.
Art of China
Survey of the arts of China from neolithic times to the twentieth century. Discussions center on such phenomena as Confucian thought and political art, the importation of Buddhist beliefs and their Chinese expressions, and the search for harmony with the natural world.
Art of Japan
Survey of the art of Japan from neolithic times to the twentieth century. Emphasis on the interaction between imported ideas and native sensibilities, the development of Buddhist imagery, and the influence of literature, drama, and political change on the visual arts.
Art of India
Survey of the art of Indian Asia from the prehistoric culture of the Indus Valley through the development of Buddhist, Hindu, and Islamic religious structures and imagery. Emphasizes the interrelationships of philosophical, religious, and aesthetic concepts in shaping Indian art and the spread of Indian culture.
Arts of the Islamic World
Survey of architecture, painting, ceramics, and metalwork of Islam in Western and Southern Asia, Islamic Africa, and the Iberian peninsula. Also treats influences of Islamic design on the arts of Judeo-Christian Europe and the rich secular cultures that flourished in Moslem nations.
Art of Tibet
Survey of Tibetan art including sculpture, paintings, textiles, jewelry, ritual objects, architecture, and ephemeral art. Emphasis on relationship of art to religious and philosophical tenets of Buddhist and Bon-po traditions, development of regional styles in Tibet, and artistic connections to northern India, Nepal, and China.
Women as Image and Imagemaker
Analyzes the depiction of women in art from prehistory to the present in the light of recent feminist studies. Topics correspond with particular periods in history. Each class includes a brief discussion of women artists and their works. May be cross-listed with WOMS242.
American Decorative Arts, 1700-1900
An introduction to interior decoration and household arts during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, with an emphasis on furniture, metalwork, glass, ceramics, textiles, prints, and wallpaper. Field trips to Winterthur and the Delaware Art Museum are required. May be cross-listed with AMCS243
The American Home
Explores the history and design of the most intimate and public of objects--the house. Our residences are powerful statements about how we see ourselves and how we perceive others. Includes a variety of cultural experiences and investigates the significance of those experiences.
Rulers' Images from Augustus to George Washington
Thirteen rulers from the ancient, medieval, and early modern worlds as they were depicted in contemporary artistic and literary works. Rulers studied include Augustus, Justinian, Saint Louis, Napoleon, and Washington. Focuses on rulers' images in the modern world. RESTRICTIONS: Usually offered in Spring semester.
Research and Methodology in Art History
Methods and major approaches to advanced art historical study, together with the practical aspects of research and work in art historical professions, such as education, historic preservation, museums and galleries. Experience with original works of art. RESTRICTIONS: Offered in Fall semester.
Prints and Society
A social history of prints and printmaking techniques, focusing on such major printmakers as Dürer, Rembrandt, Piranesi, Goya, Daumier, and Picasso. Topics include the role of woodcuts in popular culture, political and satirical prints, posters and advertising, and the connoisseurship of original prints.
Art of the Spanish Renaissance
The art of Spain and its New World territories during the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries. Emphasis on the negotiation between different artistic and religious traditions in both the Iberian Peninsula (Christian, Muslim, and Jewish) and Spanish America (European and Native American).
Northern Baroque Art: The Age of Rubens, Rembrandt, and Vermeer
Painting, printmaking, and art theory in seventeenth-century Holland and Flanders in social and historical context. Examines the rise of landscape, genre, and portraiture, the nature of Dutch realism, the social role of the artist, art and theater, and the impact of religion on art.
Italian Baroque Art: Metaphor and Marvel
Painting, sculpture, and architecture from the time of Caravaggio and the Carracci to Bernini and Cortona. Examines topics such as the Counter-Reformation and its impact on the arts, the rise of naturalism and illusionism, the design process and the function of drawings, theatricality and rhetoric.
Monet to Picasso: Art and Visual Culture in France, 1860-1910
Topics include Impressionism, Symbolism, the avant-garde, women artists, public art, bohemianism, exhibitions, colonialism, primitivism, mass culture, photography, and early cinema. Artists include Manet, Monet, Cézanne, Morisot, Seurat, Van Gogh, Gauguin, Vuillard, Bonnard, Rodin, Matisse, and Picasso.
Modern Architecture I: 1750-1900
Aesthetic and technological developments in architecture, interior design, and the planned environment, beginning with the mid-18th-century break from Renaissance tradition to Art Nouveau and the end-of-19th-century rise of the skyscraper. Architects such as Ledoux, Soane, Richardson, Sullivan, Horta, and Gaudí.
The Role of the Artist in Society
Explores changing ideas of the artist from medieval craftsman and Renaissance courtier to Romantic genius and modern revolutionary. Topics include self-portraiture, notions of artistic temperament and genius, women artists, and artists' changing relations with their clients.
Renaissance Women, Society, and the Arts
Focuses on the role of women in Italian art and society from 1300 to 1650. Interdisciplinary and feminist readings emphasize a variety of approaches. Topics include gender and power; women as patrons; female eroticism and mysticism; the masculine vision of ideal beauty; women writers and their complaints; nuns, prostitutes, and saints. May be cross-listed with WOMS242.
History of Photography
History and aesthetics of photography from its beginnings to the present. Emphasis on photography as artistic expression, the importance of technology and photography in relation to the other arts and social history. Photographers such as Nègre, Emerson, Stieglitz, Cunningham, Weston, and Arbus.
Introduction to Historic Preservation
Examines a specific research issue within historic preservation, including hypothesis construction, design of research methodology, and evaluation of results.
Regional Arts and Architecture
Explores the historical development and cultural background of traditional material culture. Each seminar focuses on a particular theme such as the Pennsylvania Germans, Carolina Low Country, or New England Settlements. Topics include architecture, landscape, decorative arts, and material life.
Arts and Architecture of Pennsylvania Germans
The distinctive regional culture of the Pennsylvania Germans in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries will be examined through the study of their cultural landscapes, houses and other buildings, decorative arts, gravestones, and manuscript traditions. Explores themes of ethnic aesthetic expression, sectarian culture, community identity, and the functions of art in everyday life.
Mayan Art and Architecture
Introduction to the civilization of the Maya as evident in the Yucatan Peninsula. Incorporates visits to relevant archeological zones. Students learn about the geographical framework that shaped the development of Mayan culture, political and economic organizations, art, architecture, ideology, and history. RESTRICTIONS: Offered abroad only.
Art and Architecture of Europe
Primary focus on painting, sculpture, and architecture in Europe from the Romanesque to the Modern eras. Subject matter determined by country in which overseas program is conducted. RESTRICTIONS: Offered in a foreign language and only in conjunction with a foreign study program. May be repeated for credit when topics vary.
Art and Architecture in Context
Painting, sculpture, and architecture studied as artistic and cultural expressions of their times. RESTRICTIONS: Taught only in Study Abroad Program
Undergraduate Seminar in the History of Art
Topics change with each time of offering. Emphasis on art historical reading and research. Student oral reports. Course titles of ARTH402 for the past couple of years include The Age of Tutankhamen, Places of Delight: The Villa from Antiquity to the Present, The Art and Science of Leonardo da Vinci, and Caravaggio. RESTRICTIONS: For undergraduates only. May be repeated for credit when topics vary.
History, Philosophy, Functions, and Future of Museums
Introduction to philosophy, purposes, structure, historical development, and future of museums, and botanical and zoological gardens. Examines functions of collection, conservation, research, exhibition/interpretation, and social/cultural services; museum field growth. May be cross-listed with MSST403.
Seminar in Greek and Roman Art
The art and architecture of antiquity from the origins of Greek civilization to the fall of Rome. Topics change with each time of offering. Recent topics include Archaic Greek Vase Painting, Hellenistic Greek Sculpture, Late Roman Portraiture, and Roman Architecture. PREREQ: ARTH208. RESTRICTIONS: May be repeated for credit when topics vary.
Seminar in Medieval Art
The art of Europe from the fall of Rome to the late Gothic period. Topics change with each time of offering. Recent topics include The Court of Charlemagne, Early Irish and Anglo-Saxon Art, and Saint Denis and the Origins of Gothic Architecture. PREREQ: ARTH209 or ARTH210. RESTRICTIONS: May be repeated for credit when topics vary.
Seminar in Northern Renaissance Art
The arts in Northern Europe from 1300 to 1600. Topics may change with each time of offering. RESTRICTIONS: May be repeated for credit when topics vary.
Seminar in Italian Renaissance Art
Italian art from 1300 to 1600. Topics change with each time of offering. Recent topics include Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo, Titian, and Medici Patronage in the Golden Age. RESTRICTIONS: May be repeated for credit when topics vary.
Seminar in Italian Renaissance Architecture
Italian architecture from 1300 to 1600. Recent topics include Renaissance Villas and Gardens, Brunelleschi and Alberti, Roman Architecture in the Age of Michelangelo, and Palladio. PREREQ: ARTH220 RESTRICTIONS: May be repeated for credit when topics vary.
Seminar in Italian Baroque Art
Painting, sculpture, and architecture in Italy in the seventeenth century. Topics change with each time of offering. Recent topics include Bernini and Roman Baroque Sculpture, Seicento Poetics and Imagery, Caravaggio, and Origins of the Baroque: The Carracci and their Academy. RESTRICTIONS: May be repeated for credit when topics vary.
Seminar in Northern Baroque Art
Seventeenth-century art in northern Europe. Topics change with each time of offering. Recent topics include Rembrandt and Rubens, Vermeer and Dutch Genre Painting, Northern Baroque Portraiture, and Prints in the Age of Rembrandt. RESTRICTIONS: May be repeated for credit when topics vary.
Seminar in Spanish Art of the Golden Age
Art in Spain and its colonies from 1500 to 1700. Topics change with each time of offering. Seminars may focus on particular artists, or on broader historical and/or methodological issues dealing with artistic production, reception, and circulation within the Spanish empire.
Seminar in African Art
Studies recent scholarship on art and/or architecture in Africa, focusing on specific subjects such as Modern and Contemporary art, sculpture before 1500, global views and uses of African art, and art institutions in Africa. RESTRICTIONS: Not open to Freshmen.
Seminar in Nineteenth-Century Art
History and theory of art, 1789-1900. Topics vary with each time of offering. Recent topics include Paris in the age of Géricault, Delacroix, and Baudelaire; Art and Ideology; Flowers of Evil to Nosferatu: Modern Art and Literature; and Modern Portraiture. PREREQ: ARTH227 or permission of instructor. RESTRICTIONS: May be repeated for credit when topics vary.
Folk and Outsider Art
Focuses on the traditional and popular arts of the United States. Topics covered include colonial Pennsylvania German decorative arts, Victorian Welsh gravestones, African-American textile and basketry crafts, and contemporary Inuit graphic arts. Discussions and research will focus on the relationship of folk arts to questions of ethnicity, class, popular culture, and community aesthetics. PREREQ: ARTH227 or permission of instructor. RESTRICTIONS: May be repeated for credit when topics vary.
Seminar in Twentieth-Century Art
History and theory of art from 1900 to the present. Topics vary with each time of offering. PREREQ: ARTH227 or ARTH228 or permission of instructor. RESTRICTIONS: May be repeated for credit when topics vary.
Seminar in Nineteenth-Century Photography
Aspects of the history and aesthetics of nineteenth-century photography. Topics change with each time of offering. Recent topics include Photography and Art, Documentary Photography, and 'Art' Photography. PREREQ: ARTH227 or ARTH318. RESTRICTIONS: Usually offered in Fall semester, every other year.
Examination of the invention, emergence, and development of silent cinema in Europe, the former USSR, and the United States. Includes study of significant films and filmmakers; social, cultural and artistic contexts; and the critical literature.
Invention of Tradition in Nineteenth-Century European Architecture
Seminar in Twentieth-Century Photography
Aspects of the history and aesthetics of 20th-century photography. Topics change with each time of offering. Recent topics include Photography and Art, and Photography and Criticism. PREREQ: ARTH227 or ARTH228 or ARTH230 or ARTH311. RESTRICTIONS: Usually offered in the Fall semester, every other year.
Seminar in Modern Architecture
Architecture in Europe and/or America from 1750 to the present. Topics change with each time of offering. Recent topics include the Architecture of Neoclassicism; and Sullivan, Wright, and the Prairie School. RESTRICTIONS: May be repeated for credit when topics vary.
Seminar in American Architecture
American architecture from the Colonies to the present. Topics change with each time of offering. Recent topics include Architecture of the Colonial and Federal periods, Nineteenth-Century American Architecture, and Philadelphia Architecture. RESTRICTIONS: May be repeated for credit when topics vary.
Seminar in American Art
American art from the Colonies to the present. Topics change with each time of offering. Recent topics include Eakins and American Realism, Early American Modernism, and American Painting and Sculpture after World War II. RESTRICTIONS: May be repeated for credit when topics vary.
Seminar in Latin American Art
The arts of Latin America from pre-Hispanic times to the twenty-first century. Topics change with each time of offering. Recent topics include Art and Religion in Latin America, and Art and Conquest in the New World.
Seminar in East Asian Art and Architecture
Art, architecture, and archaeology of China, Japan, and/or Korea. Materials from nearby regions may also be included. Possible topics include Chinese Art and Collecting, Modern Architecture in East Asia, Meiji Art and Architecture, and East Asian Archaeology and Nationalism.
The study of traditional American folk architecture from the seventeenth century to the present. Examination of changes in construction, house types, and decoration in vernacular buildings, as well as issues of regional differences and individual craftsmanship. May be cross linked with HIST454.
Seminar in Contemporary Architecture
Contemporary architecture from around the world. Topics include Contemporary Architecture, Cross-cultural Dialogues, and Transnational Practices. Discover theories of postcolonialism and postmodernism to discuss aesthetic forms and concepts in the most recent architectural design projects.
Survey of African Art
Major African art styles, their interrelationships, the context of usage, and the meanings of African artworks. May be cross-listed with ANTH457.
Internship in Art History
Receive on-the-job experience and explore potential occupational areas at a museum or other art-related venue, under joint supervision of the Department of Art History and sponsoring organizations. Completion of journal of activities and/or final academic project or paper. RESTRICTIONS: Requires pre-approval of instructor and/or department's Director of Undergraduate Studies. Does not count as a 400-level seminar and does not fulfill an area requirement.
Studio in the Materials and Techniques of Drawing in the West
Lecture-studio presentation on materials and tools, supports, and techniques of wet and dry media drawing in the West from about the year 1400 to the present. Topics include the development and manufacture of paper, pens, brushes, inks, watercolor paint, charcoal, metal points, graphite pencils, natural and fabricated chalks, crayons, pastels, erasers, and fixatives. Studio reconstructions of masterworks, lectures, and library research. May be cross-listed with ART424, ARTC480, and MSST480.
Seminar in Materials and Techniques of the Contemporary Painter and Draftsman
Twentieth-century artists' materials. Topics: acrylic emulsion, acrylic solution, alkyd resin, and PVA paints; collage-assemblage; solvent-photo transfer; synthetic fiber canvas, paper, panels, oil pastels, paint ticks, felt-tip markers, colored ink pencils; airbrush spray gun; and non-art materials. Potential health hazards. Conservation topics: pH, lightfastness, adhesion, and storage environments. May be cross-listed with ART425 and/or ARTC481. RESTRICTIONS: Requires permission of instructor.
Studio Materials and Techniques of Painting I
Major materials including tools, supports, and techniques of architectural painting, manuscript illumination, and panel painting in encaustic, watercolor, and egg tempera from about 1500 BC to AD 1500. Major topics include true fresco and egg tempera painting. Studio reconstructions, lectures, and library research. May be cross-listed with ART427, ARTC488, and/or MSST488.
Studio Materials and Techniques of Painting II
Major masters and the materials, tools, and techniques of indirect and direct oil and tempera painting. Time frame: 1500 to the present. Major topics include the development of canvas, brushes, oil paint, mediums, varnishes, solvents, and the complex relationship between indirect and direct techniques. Includes studio reconstructions of masterworks, lectures, and library research. May be cross-listed with ART428, ARTC489, and/or MSST489.
Studio in the Materials and Techniques of Printmaking I
Major masters and the materials, tools, and techniques of relief, planographic, and intaglio printmaking. Time frame: ca. 1400-1920. Major topics include woodcut, copperplate engraving, etching, drypoint, aquatint, mezzotint, lithograph, and wood engraving. Studio reconstructions, lectures, and library research. May be cross-listed with ART429, ART490, and or MSST490.