ARTH 110 Course Information

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: African Sculpture

Unit 2: Ancient Greek and Roman Architecture

Unit 3: Italian Renaissance Art

Unit 4: Chinese Art


Unit 1: Art and Ecology

Unit 2: Native American Art

Unit 3: Fresco Painting and Restoration

Unit 4: Asmat Art


Unit 1: Landscape Painting and Land Art

Unit 2: The Iconography of Buddhism

Unit 3: Class Structure, Religious Strife, & European Baroque Painting

Unit 4: Contexts of West African Art


Unit 1:  The Ancient World

Unit 2:  Arts Of China, Korea & Japan

Unit 3:  Creating The 19th Century Landscape

Unit 4:  The Rise Of Modernism: Cubism, Primitivism & Expressionism

Unit 5:  After Modernism: Postmodernism, Multiculturalism, Feminism


Unit 1: Art Before History 

Unit 2: The City as Theatre from the Ancient World to the Renaissance

Unit 3: The Idea of the Garden in the Islamic World 

Unit 4: Portraits of/by Women 

Unit 5: Light and Meaning from Plato to Us  


Unit 1: European Renaissance and Baroque Era Art and Architecture

Unit 2: Mesoamerican Art and the Impact of the Spanish Conquest on Artistic Traditions

Unit 3: Colonial Latin American Art and Culture

Unit 4: Asian Artistic Traditions along the Silk Road and Beyond


Unit 1: Formal Analysis:  The Portrait: From Ancient Akkad to the Digital Selfie

Unit 2: Contextual Analysis: Patronage, Emotion, and Illusion in Baroque Art

Unit 3: Primary Research: Illuminated Manuscripts

Unit 4: Power, Design, and the Spiritual:  Highlights of Islamic Art and Architecture

Unit 5: Orientalist Art: Eugène Delacroix to Henri Matisse


Unit 1: Northwest Coast Native American Art

Unit 2: Ancient Egyptian Art

Unit 3: Dutch Art in the “Golden Age” (1600 – 1700)

Unit 4: Asmat and Pacific Art


Unit 1: Exhibitions & Power

Unit 2: Graffiti & Street Art

Unit 3: South African Art & Cultural Landscape

Unit 4: Monuments & Memorials


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: Arts of Africa


Unit 1: Power and Identity in Ancient Egypt

Unit 2: The Power of Images in the Near East

Unit 3: The Greco-Roman Inheritance: Society, Religion and Politics

Unit 4: The Politics of Plunder: Looting, the Antiquities Trade and the Destruction of Cultural Property


Unit 1: Politics, Portraiture, and Power

Unit 2: Art at Risk: War, Destruction, and Protection of Cultural Heritage

Unit 3: African Art and Social Justice

Unit 4: Art, Commodity, and Social Issues: Street Art


Unit 1: Museum Studies

Unit 2: Native American Art

Unit 3: American Civil War

Unit 4: Japanese Art


Unit 1: The Art of Memory and Identity: Memorials and Monuments

Unit 2: The Search for the Sacred

Unit 3: Cultural Explorations of the Home

Unit 4: Engineering Landscapes and the Built Environment