Our core introductory art history course breaks from the tradition of the western survey course that emphasizes chronology, style, slide tests, and European art. Rather, this class focuses upon issues and problems in the arts, particularly how the arts express cultural, religious, and social ideas and issues.
Individual sections will examine a variety of broad themes such as the human body, archaeological investigation, and religious architecture. Each class will have five distinct learning units with associated assignments. Rather than emphasizing memorization and slide tests, these classes will focus upon papers and oral presentations and assignments that seek to solve problems involving the arts.
The content of individual sections will vary considerably according to the expertise of the instructor. Click on the instructor's name below to see a synopsis of the content for each of the five learning units in her or his sections.
All sections of 110 meet both the fine arts requirement and the human diversity requirement of the core curriculum.
Unit 1: Visual Mechanics: How Art Works
Unit 2: Four Great Cultures of Ancient Mesoamerica
Unit 3: Roman Architecture
Unit 4: Survivor: Asmat
Unit 5: Coventos and the Colonization of Mexico
Unit 1: Mayan Culture
Unit 2: The Sacred
Unit 3: The Secular – Art to Market
Unit 4: Women’s Art
Unit 5: Art and Identity in the Globalized World
Unit 1: Contemporary Land Art
Unit 2: Traditions of Landscape Painting in China and Europe
Unit 3: The Iconography of Buddhism
Unit 4: Class Structure, Religious Strife, & European Baroque Painting
Unit 5: Contexts of West African Art
Unit 1: Ancient Near East and Egypt; personal statuary in promotion of authority
Unit 2: Women artists from the Renaissance to the twentieth century; the resourceful navigation and influence of a male-dominated sphere
Unit 3: Reformation to the Counter-Reformation; Western European art in propagation of Christianity, with an eye to gender and politics
Unit 4: 16th to 18th-century China and Japan; hierarchy and gender delineated through architecture, calligraphy, screens and prints
Unit 5: African Art; architecture, masks and carvings in promotion of royal, ancestral and gender power
Unit 1: Buddhist Art: The Silk Road, India, China and Japan
Unit 2: Architecture of the Gods: Hindu Temples, Shinto Shrines, Imperial Palaces and Gentry Gardens
Unit 3: Images of the Mind: Chinese Landscape Painting
Unit 4: Empresses, Eunuchs, and Cigarette Girls: Gender and Art
Unit 5: East and West: Artistic Intersections
Unit 1: Native American Art
Unit 2: Arts of China
Unit 3: The American Environment in the 19th and Early 20th Century
Unit 4: Women Artists
Unit 5: African Art
Unit 1: Renaissance and Baroque Art
Unit 2: Victorian Art and Architecture in 19th-Century England and South Africa
Unit 3: Art and Power of Africa and its Diaspora
Unit 4: Post-Colonialism and Contemporary African Art
Unit 5: Contemporary Public Sculpture and Architecture
Unit 1: Art and Architecture of the Ancient Near East and Egypt
Unit 2: Mesoamerican Art and Architecture
Unit 3: The Art and Architecture of Ancient Greece and Ancient Rome
Unit 4: Renaissance and Baroque Art and Architecture
Unit 5: The Early Art of India, China, and Japan
Unit 1: Prehistory and the First Civilizations
Unit 2: The Middle Ages (400-1400): Jewish, Christian and Islamic Art and Architecture
Unit 3: The Human Body: in Art
Unit 4: The Human Body: as Art
Unit 5: Women Artists: An Historical Survey
Unit 1: Art and Political Portraiture
Unit 2: Art at Risk: War and Destruction
Unit 3: The Mexican Revolution
Unit 4: African Kingdoms
Unit 5: African American Art
Unit 1: Cultural Explorations of the Home
Unit 2: Sacred Architecture
Unit 3: Landscape as an Artistic and Architectural Element
Unit 4: Identity and Power in Art
Unit 5: Engineering the Built Environment
Unit 1: First Civilizations (Sumer, Assyria, and Egypt), exploring how architecture and art reflect the political, social, and religious power of the elite.
Unit 2: Arts of Africa, learning about African cultures as well as ethics in collecting and display of African art.
Unit 3: China, observing how religious and philosophical traditions shape aesthetics and art.
Unit 4: Ancient Greek and Mayan civilizations, examining how these cultures’ ceramics, sculptures, and architecture reflect intrinsic cultural values.
Unit 5: Modern Art, debating issues of style, materials, aesthetics, value, and display in consideration of how each individual defines “art.”