Location: Bowdoin / Art History / Courses / Spring 2011

Art History

Spring 2011

010. Art and the Street
Natasha Homann T 10:00 - 11:25, TH 10:00 - 11:25 VAC-Picture Study
From the early twentieth century to the present, the street has been an inspiration, stage, and medium for artists. Art on/of/about the street seeks to build, question, and negotiate a community's idea of itself. Addressing a wide variety of media--including painting, sculpture, photography, graphic design, and performance--explores artists working in North America, Central America, and Europe, including James VanDerZee (prominent in the Harlem Renaissance), David Alfaro Siqueiros (a significant Mexican muralist), Christo and Jeanne-Claude (artist-celebrities active on a global scale), and Banksy (a mysterious artist-prankster working today in England). Original works of art in the Bowdoin College Museum of Art will also be incorporated. Focuses on thematic topics such as race, gender, political activism, and beauty.

130. Introduction to the Arts of Ancient Mexico and Peru
Susan Wegner M 8:30 - 9:25, W 8:30 - 9:25, F 8:30 - 9:25 VAC-Beam Classroom
A chronological survey of the arts created by major cultures of ancient Mexico and Peru. Mesoamerican cultures studied include the Olmec, Teotihuacan, the Maya, and the Aztec up through the arrival of the Europeans. South American cultures such as Chavin, Naca, and Inca are examined. Painting, sculpture, and architecture are considered in the context of religion and society. Readings in translation include Mayan myth and chronicles of the conquest.

223. The Arts of Venice
Susan Wegner M 10:30 - 11:25, W 10:30 - 11:25, F 10:30 - 11:25 VAC-Beam Classroom
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.

226. Northern European Art of the Fifteenth and Sixteenth Centuries
Stephen Perkinson T 10:00 - 11:25, TH 10:00 - 11:25 VAC-Beam Classroom
Surveys the painting of the Netherlands, Germany, and France. Topics include the spread of the influential naturalistic style of Campin, van Eyck, and van der Weyden; the confrontation with the classical art of Italy in the work of Dürer and others; the continuance of a native tradition in the work of Bosch and Bruegel the Elder; the changing role of patronage; and the rise of specialties such as landscape and portrait painting.

242. Nineteenth-Century European Art
Linda Docherty T 8:30 - 9:55, TH 8:30 - 9:55 VAC-Beam Classroom
Painting and sculpture in Western Europe from 1750 to 1900 with emphasis on France, England, and Germany. Individual artists are studied in the context of movements that dominated the century: neoclassicism, romanticism, realism, impressionism, post-impressionism, and symbolism. The influence of art criticism, the relationship between art and society, and the emergence of the avant-garde in this period are also discussed.

254. Contemporary Art
Katherine Worthing T 1:00 - 2:25, TH 1:00 - 2:25 VAC-Beam Classroom
Art of Europe and the Americas since World War II, with emphasis on the New York school. Introductory overview of modernism. Detailed examination of abstract expressionism and minimalist developments; pop, conceptual, and environmental art; and European abstraction. Concludes with an examination of the international consequences of modernist and contemporary developments, the impact of new electronic and technological media, and the critical debate surrounding the subject of postmodernism.

273. African Art: Masks and Masquerades
Olubukola Gbadegesin M 1:00 - 2:25, W 1:00 - 2:25 Searles-315
Masquerades are a major element of West African visual culture. Masquerades combine dramatic costumes with improvised bodily performance to create dynamic and interactive events that are rooted in religious belief systems, rites of passage, ancestor veneration, politics, and other socio-cultural concerns. Surveys the masking traditions of several ethnic groups in West Africa, paying special attention to the forms and functions of the masquerades. Covers the processes through which these performances are executed by the maskers and experienced by audiences. Looks briefly at how these masquerades have been channeled in contemporary African music, theatrical plays, and films.

315. Art at the Late Medieval Courts
Stephen Perkinson T 1:00 - 2:25, TH 1:00 - 2:25 VAC-Picture Study
In the late Middle Ages, the aristocratic courts of northern Europe commissioned some of the most spectacular works of art ever created. Rulers built massive palaces with walls hung with tapestries, commissioned sculptures, and paintings to decorate their castles and chapels, displayed their wealth with fashions and jewelry, and purchased manuscripts with illuminations that projected a mythic vision of noble culture. Explores the connections between art and political power in this period, tracing objects as they moved from the studios of their creators and passed through the hands of the individuals who exchanged them as gifts or amassed them in collections. Also discusses how art defined social roles, dividing society into groups according to gender and class. In addition to reading a number of important art historical studies, students examine a handful of literary texts that help reconstruct the visual culture of the courts.

361. The World of Isabella Steward Gardner
Linda Docherty T 11:30 - 12:55, TH 11:30 - 12:55 VAC-Picture Study
A contextual study of Isabella Stewart Gardner (1840–1924) and the museum she created in Boston. Focuses on the cosmopolitan world that Gardner inhabited and the influence she exerted on American art and culture. Issues considered include the formation of her art collection, her relationship with advisor Bernard Berenson, her trans-Atlantic circle of artist- and writer-friends, her fascination with Asia, her abiding interests in Dante, Venice, gardening, and religion, and how she fashioned a public identity through her portraits, her collection, and her museum. Field trip to the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston.