Art History & Humanities
Associate Professors: L. A. Koch, L. S. Curtis, G. B. Guest (Chair)
The Department of Art History and Humanities offers courses devoted to the history and theory of art, a key component in any liberal arts education. Art history explores art as a record of human creativity in an intellectual context. The scholarly methods used increase perceptive ability, analytical skills, an understanding of various cultural traditions, and the facility to express oneself with clarity and precision—strengths essential to any major course of study and to any future career. Art history courses provide the basis for majors both in art history and humanities.
Students make use of the comprehensive collections of the Cleveland Museum of Art for their course work. Those enrolled in upper-division courses may have access to the extensive research facilities in the Ingalls Library, one of the largest art museum libraries in the country.
In addition, qualified majors have the opportunity to gain valuable experience by participating in internships at the Cleveland Museum of Art, where they may help prepare exhibits, do archival research on objects, assist with public lectures, conduct surveys, work with public relations, or work in visual resources. Internships are also available with area organizations such as the Museum of Contemporary Art, Sculpture Center, Cleveland Artists Foundation, and other art-related concerns.
|Major and Minor Requirements
Major in Art History: 33 credit hours, including the following courses: Greek and Roman (AH 317), Medieval (AH 318), Italian Renaissance (AH 303), 19th Century (AH 307), Modern (AH 309 or 310), Asian (AH 211, 312, 313, or 314); and one course in either Northern Renaissance (AH 301) or Baroque (AH 304). At least one course must be at the 400 level.
Language: A reading knowledge of French, German, or an approved substitute is required for the major. This knowledge will enable students to do advanced research in the field of art history and to pursue graduate study in the future if desired. Language proficiency may be demonstrated by: a) completion of the intermediate level of the language, or b) placement into the third year of the language by examination.
Minor in Art History: 18 credit hours. Students may choose courses that provide a general overview of the field or focus on an area of special interest. N.B.: Art History minors pursuing the departmental major in Humanities may count all Art History courses taken toward the Art History minor.
In order to broaden their experience, students are encouraged to take advantage of the numerous study-abroad opportunities available to them. Up to six credit hours may count toward the major during a study-abroad program if approved in advance of enrollment.
Introduction to Art History (AH 101) is a prerequisite for all courses offered by the department. After completing the introductory survey, students may take any of the upper-division (200-400) courses for which they feel prepared.
The department participates in the graduate program leading to the Master of Arts degree in humanities. Program requirements and course descriptions are published in The Graduate Studies Bulletin.
Art History Major
Art historians pursue careers in higher education, art museums, galleries, historical societies, publishing, conservation, art dealership and evaluation, and art criticism. The international character of the art history major also makes it highly recommended for those interested in foreign service and international business—areas of immense importance in today’s world.
Art History Minor
The art history minor will allow the student to apply to most graduate programs in art history. It can also be used to complement or augment a major in other areas of the humanities, the sciences, or business and professional studies. Selection of courses should be made in consultation with the chair or a designated advisor in the department.
Note: AH 101 is a prerequisite for all other AH courses.
101. INTRODUCTION TO ART HISTORY 3 cr. Introduction to world art. Major works of painting, sculpture, and architecture of the Ancient, Medieval, Renaissance, Baroque, and Modern periods, as well as Asian and African art, including discussion of historical and intellectual contexts. A prerequisite course for all others that provides a firm foundation for further study and familiarity with the methodology of art history.
110. INTRODUCTION TO 2-D DESIGN 3 cr. Prerequisite: AH 101. The basic studio foundation course which studies elements and principles of two-dimensional design and color theory. The fundamental principles of design (balance, unity, repetition, rhythm, variety, and emphasis) related to the organization and manipulation of the basic elements of line, shape, texture, value, color, and space. For elective credit only; not applicable to the Core or the major or minor in Art History or Humanities.
199. TOPICS IN ART HISTORY 3 cr. Various subjects related to the methods of art history, specific artists, styles, or themes not usually covered in the regular course offerings.
211. ART OF INDIA, CHINA, AND JAPAN 3 cr. Architecture, sculpture, painting, and ceramics of India, China, and Japan, studied in the context of politics and religions (Hinduism, Buddhism, Taoism, Confucianism, and Shintoism) from ancient times to the modern world. No previous knowledge of Asian Art or culture is assumed.
240. DRAWING I 3 cr. Prerequisite: AH 101. Introduction to various drawing media and techniques. Studio practice. For elective credit only; not applicable to the Core or the major or minor in Art History or Humanities.
242. PAINTING I 3 cr. Prerequisite: AH 101. Introduction to the materials, techniques, and styles of painting. Studio practice. For elective credit only; not applicable to the Core or the major or minor in Art History or Humanities.
248. INTRODUCTION TO GRAPHIC DESIGN 3 cr. Prerequisite: AH 101. Introduction to the field of graphic design. Emphasis on the principles of visual communication, the use of images and letterforms as design elements, and the history of graphic design. For elective credit only; not applicable to the Core or the major or minor in Art History or Humanities.
250. ART STUDIO 3 cr. Prerequisite: AH 101 or permission of department chair. Intermediate-level study of the materials, techniques, and styles of drawing or painting. Studio practice. For elective credit only; not applicable to the Core or the major or minor in Art History or Humanities.
251. ADVANCED ART STUDIO 3 cr. Prerequisite: AH 250 or permission of department chair. Continuation of the principles and practices begun in AH 250. Studio practice. For elective credit only; not applicable to the Core or the major or minor in Art History or Humanities.
299. PROBLEMS IN STUDIO ART 1-3 cr. Aspects of studio art, such as drawing, painting, and/or sculpture, which change from semester to semester. No prerequisite, although AH 101 is highly recommended.
301. NORTHERN RENAISSANCE ART 3 cr. Painting, sculpture, and prints of northern Europe in the 15th and 16th centuries, with special attention to artists such as Jan van Eyck, Hieronymus Bosch, Albrecht Dürer, and Pieter Bruegel.
303. ITALIAN RENAISSANCE ART 3 cr. Painting, sculpture, and architecture in Italy from the 14th through the 16th centuries, including masters such as Giotto, Masaccio, Donatello, Botticelli, Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo, Giovanni Bellini, and Titian. Influence of Humanism and of shifting political and religious ideas.
304. BAROQUE ART 3 cr. Painting, sculpture, prints and drawings, and architecture of 17th-century Europe from the Catholic Reformation through the reign of Louis XIV of France, including artists such as Caravaggio, Bernini, Rembrandt, Rubens, Velázquez, and Poussin.
307. NINETEENTH-CENTURY ART 3 cr. European and U.S. painting, sculpture, and architecture from Neo-Classicism, Romanticism and Realism through Impressionism, including artists such as Goya, David, Delacroix, Blake, Courbet, Manet, Monet, and Cassatt.
308. VISUAL ARTS IN THE UNITED STATES 3 cr. Survey of art in the U.S.—painting, sculpture, and architecture—from earlier colonial times to the contemporary. Emphasis on major contributors, including Copley, Cole, Homer, Eakins, Frank Lloyd Wright, The Eight, members of the Stieglitz and Arensberg circles, the Regionalists, Abstract Expressionists, and the Pop artists.
309. HISTORY OF MODERN ART 3 cr. Survey of the development of modernism in painting, sculpture, and architecture from 1880 to 1945, with a focus on major avant-garde movements such as Fauvism, Cubism, Expressionism, Dadaism, Surrealism, and the International Style.
310. CONTEMPORARY ART 3 cr. Study of contemporary painting, sculpture, and architecture since 1945, with a focus on movements such as Abstract Expressionism, Pop Art, Minimalism, and developments ranging from Performance Art to Electronic Media.
311. CINEMA OF THE AVANT-GARDE 3 cr. Survey of the cinema with special emphasis on visual elements and the relationship between the avant-garde in cinema and the other visual arts. Study of the development of motion pictures and their cultural contexts.
312. ART OF INDIA 3 cr. Survey of the art and architecture of India from the Indus Valley civilization through the Moghul era to the modern period. Works of art will be examined within their cultural and religious contexts, including the Buddhist, Hindu, and Islamic traditions. The art of Southeast Asia may also be examined as an outgrowth, as well as a redefinition, of Indian culture.
313. ART OF CHINA 3 cr. Survey of the art and architecture of China from the Neolithic period to the 20th century, with emphasis on the cultural, aesthetic, and religious contexts of works of art. Topics include Shang bronzes, Han concepts of the afterlife, the impact of Buddhism, patronage and painting, and the landscape tradition.
314. ART OF JAPAN 3 cr. Survey of the art, architecture, and decorative arts of Japan from the Neolithic period to the 20th century, with an emphasis on their cultural and religious contexts. Special emphasis on the stimulus of contacts with China and Korea in the evolution of the visual arts in Japan, including the impact of Buddhism.
315. AFRICAN AND OCEANIC ART 3 cr. Art and culture of Africa and the Pacific Islands. Gold work, pottery, ivory, and ritual costume. Emphasis on works from the Cleveland Museum of Art. No previous knowledge of the art or culture of these areas is assumed.
316. ART OF THE ANCIENT AMERICAS 3 cr. Art, architecture, and culture of Mexico, Central and South America, and Ancient Native America. Pyramids, palaces, jades, pottery, and gold work. Rites of kingship, warfare, and blood sacrifice. Emphasis on works from the Cleveland Museum of Art. No previous knowledge of the art or culture is assumed.
317. GREEK AND ROMAN ART 3 cr. Marble and bronze sculpture, temple architecture, and vase and fresco painting of ancient Greece and Rome. Focus on the art of Periclean Athens, Hellenistic Greece, the Roman Republic, and the Empire.
318. MEDIEVAL ART 3 cr. Art and architecture of Europe from the fall of the Roman Empire to the start of the Renaissance with emphasis on monumental church decoration, the secular art of the nobility, and the place of Jewish and Islamic art in medieval Europe.
319. GOTHIC ART 3 cr. Cathedrals, sculpture, and painting of the late medieval period from the mid-12th century to the refined grace of the courtly art of the late 14th century, including stained glass, manuscripts, metalwork, ivories, and enamels.
320. ART OF THE EARLY CHRISTIAN WORLD 3 cr. How artists and patrons developed a new visual language to communicate the beliefs of the emerging Christian religion within the context of the late Roman Empire.
322. ART AND WOMEN IN THE MIDDLE AGES 3 cr. A consideration of the importance of women, both real and imagined, for understanding the art of the Middle Ages. Topics include art commissioned by women, art intended for female viewers, and the iconography of women in the period. Special attention will be paid to the visual construction of gender.
399. TOPICS IN ART HISTORY 3 cr. Various subjects related to the methods of art history, specific artists, styles, or themes not usually covered in the regular course offerings.
425. IMPRESSIONISM 3 cr. Major artists of the Impressionist movement from the radical style of Manet and the colorful palette of Monet, Renoir, and Degas, to the experimental compositions and techniques of Seurat, Cézanne, Van Gogh, and Gauguin.
430. THE AGE OF MICHELANGELO 3 cr. Italian art and culture during a period dominated by the genius of Michelangelo (1490s-1560s). Topics to be studied in connection with Michelangelo and his influence include artists’ competition with antiquity, Mannerism, art theory, Medici patronage, the Florentine Academy, and artists’ biographies.
431. SIXTEENTH-CENTURY ART IN ROME: MANNERISM TO COUNTER-REFORMATION 3 cr. Prerequisite: AH 101. Developments in painting, sculpture, and architecture in Rome during the 16th century, focusing on the transition from Mannerism to the Counter-Reformation. Considers major artists and works from the late period of Michelangelo to the arrival of Caravaggio in Rome in 1592, examining them in a broader cultural context from the impact of the Council of Trent to the patronage of popes, cardinals, and princes.
432. RENAISSANCE ROME: POPES AND CARDINALS AS PATRONS OF ART 3 cr. Key monuments, ideas, and themes in papal and cardinalate patronage of art in Rome with emphasis on the 15th and 16th centuries. Topics include the Vatican and St. Peter’s, the projects of Michelangelo and Raphael, the ideology of Rome as Caput Mundi, and the popes as temporal and spiritual rulers.
434. THE SYMBOLIST MOVEMENT: ART AND CULTURE AT THE END OF THE NINETEENTH CENTURY 3 cr. Art of the Symbolist era, from Gustave Moreau and Odilon Redon to the Rosicrucians and the Nabis, in the context of late 19th-century culture. Relationships between the visual arts, literature, music, and other phenomena, such as the development of Freudian psychoanalysis and interests in occultism.
435. MATISSE, PICASSO, AND DUCHAMP 3 cr. Study of three 20th-century modernists who, through their unique contributions and associations with Fauvism, Cubism, Dada, and Surrealism, have continued to influence developments in contemporary art. Includes individual achievements and interactions with the cultural context of their times.
498. INDEPENDENT STUDY 1-3 cr. Prerequisites: consent of instructor and department chair. Special projects in art history. Projects must be approved prior to registration. Senior art history majors and graduate humanities students only.
499. TOPICS IN ART HISTORY 3 cr. Various subjects related to the methods of art history; specific artists, styles, or themes not usually covered in regular course offerings.