Location: Bowdoin / Art History / Courses / Spring 2014

Art History

Spring 2014

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ARTH 1100. Introduction to Art History.
Pamela Fletcher, Susan Wegner, and Peggy Wang.

An introduction to the study of art history. Provides a chronological overview of art primarily from Western and East Asian traditions. Considers the historical context of art and its production, the role of the arts in society, problems of stylistic tradition and innovation, and points of contact and exchange between artistic traditions. Equivalent of Art History 101 as a major or minor requirement. Not open to students who have credit for Art History 101.

ARTH 2170. Art of the Medieval Spains.
April Morris.

Examines the various artistic and architectural traditions of the diverse medieval cultures of the area now known as Spain, from the fall of Roman Hispania to the conquest of Granada by Ferdinand and Isabella in 1492. The Muslims of Al-Andalus, the Christians of the northern kingdoms, and the Sephardic Jews each made their cultural and artistic marks on this complex, interwoven society. The problematic term 'convivencia' is often applied to this hybrid society whose mixed nature led to conflicts, exchanges, and adaptations that altered and enriched the visual culture of all three. We will explore these instances of cultural coexistence and rivalry through such key themes as the role of art in expressions of religious and political identity, the appropriation and reuse of art objects, architectural monuments and visual traditions, and how cross-cultural influences (including those from outside of Spain) were negotiated within this unique historical landscape.

ARTH 2230. The Arts of Venice.
Susan Wegner.

Venice is distinctive among Italian cities for its political structures, its geographical location, and its artistic production. This overview of Venetian art and architecture considers Venice’s relationships to Byzantium and the Turkish east; Venetian colorism in dialogue with Tuscan-Roman disegno; and the role of women as artists, as patrons, and as subjects of art. Includes art by the Bellini family, Giorgione, Titian, Veronese, Tintoretto, Tiepolo, Canaletto, and Rosalba Carriera, and the architecture of Palladio.

ARTH 2710. Power and Politics in Pre-modern Chinese Art.
Peggy Wang.

Introduces students to Chinese art from the First Emperor’s terracotta warriors in the third century BCE to the waning of the country’s dynastic history in the nineteenth century CE. Following a chronological sequence, explores key mortuary spaces, religious objects, court art, and landscape painting with emphasis on themes of power and politics. Emphasis is placed on understanding changing art formats and functions in relation to socio-cultural contexts, such as shifts in belief systems, foreign imperial patronage, and the rise of literati expression. Readings include primary sources such as ancestral rites, Buddhist doctrines, imperial proclamations, and Chinese painting treatises.

ARTH 3550. Modernism and the Nude.
Pamela Fletcher.

An examination of the central role that images of the female nude played in the development of modernist art between 1860 and the 1920s. Topics include the tradition of the female nude in art; the gendered dynamics of modernism; and the social, cultural, and artistic meaning of nudity. Artists considered include Manet, Degas, Cézanne, Picasso, and Valadon.

ARTH 3600. Race and Visual Representation in American Art.
Dana Byrd.

Explores the visual construction of race in American art and culture from the colonial period to the late twentieth century. Focuses on two racial "categories"--blackness and whiteness--and how they have shaped American culture. Using college and local museum collections, examines paintings, sculptures, prints, photographs, film, and the spaces in which they have been displayed and viewed. Approach to this material is grounded in art history, but also draws from other disciplines. Artists under study include those who are well-known such as Homer and Walker as well as those who are unknown or have been forgotten.