Location: Bowdoin / Art History / Courses / Spring 2012

Art History

Spring 2012

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
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.

214. The Gothic World
Stephen Perkinson T 10:00 - 11:25, TH 10:00 - 11:25
Introduces students to art produced in Europe and the Mediterranean from the twelfth though the early fifteenth centuries. Following a general chronological sequence, investigates the key artistic monuments of this period in a variety of media, including architecture, painting, manuscript illumination, stained glass, sculpture, and the decorative arts. Explores a particular theme in each class meeting through the close analysis of a single monument or closely related set of monuments addressed in class, as well as those that they may encounter in their future studies.

222. The Art of Renaissance Italy
Susan Wegner M 10:30 - 11:25, W 10:30 - 11:25, F 10:30 - 11:25
A survey of the painting, sculpture, and architecture of Italy in the fourteenth, fifteenth, and sixteenth centuries, with emphasis on major masters: Giotto, Masaccio, Donatello, Brunelleschi, Alberti, Botticelli, Leonardo da Vinci, Raphael, Titian, and Michaelangelo.

252. Modern Art
Pamela M. Fletcher T 11:30 - 12:55, TH 11:30 - 12:55
A study of the modernist movement in visual art in Europe and the Americas, beginning with post-impressionism and examining, in succession: expressionism fauvis, cubism, futurism, constructivism, Dada, surrealism, the American affinities of these movements, and the Mexican muralists. Modernism is analyzed in terms of the problems presented by its social situation; its relation to other elements of culture; its place in the historical tradition of Western art; and its invocation of archaic, primitive, and Asian cultures.

262. American Art I: Colonial Period to the Civil War
Linda Docherty T 8:30 - 9:55, TH 8:30 - 9:55
A survey of American architecture, sculpture, painting, and decorative arts from their colonial origins through their development into a distinctive national tradition. Emphasis is placed on understanding American art in its historical context. Methods of art historical interpretation analyzed and discussed using primary and secondary source readings. Studies original objects in the Bowdoin College Museum of Art and buildings on the Bowdoin campus and its environs.

319. Making Art in the Pre-Modern Era
Stephen Perkinson T 1:00 - 2:25, TH 1:00 - 2:25
The invention of the concept of the artist -- the creative individual who serves as “author” of an artwork-- is often seen as one of the great achievements of the Renaissance, and one of the characteristics that distinguishes modernity from the Middle Ages. Prior to the fifteenth century, the makers of artworks are often anonymous; from c. 1400 on, artists begin to sign their own work, make self-portraits, and develop “signature styles.” This seminar explores that development, investigating the role of the artist/image-maker from the 12th century through the 16th century. We will read standard art historical accounts of “the rise of the artist;” theoretical work that challenges the role of the artist in assigning meaning to an artwork; scholarship on concepts central to our understanding of artistic agency (such as the distinction between”copying” and “originality”); and studies of individual artists (including Gislebertus, Giotto, van Eyck, Dürer, and Raphael).

352. The Pre-Raphaelites
Pamela Fletcher T 2:30 - 3:55, TH 2:30 - 3:55
Examines the work of the Pre-Raphaelites, with a focus on their influence on modern art. Begins with the formation of the Brotherhood in 1848, considering the question of the group’s avant-garde status, its influence on developments in religious painting, modern-life subjects, and landscape, and its literary connections. Also considers the many intersections between the Pre-Raphaelites and other artists and media, including photography and illustration; women artists; and the market for and popular afterlife of Pre-Raphaelite styles.

364. Americans Abroad
Linda Docherty T 11:30 - 12:55, TH 11:30 - 12:55
A study of the impact of foreign experience on American artists and the resulting contributions they made to the larger world of art. Considers practices of going abroad for training, working together in colonies, traveling in search of history and/or scenery, and expatriating from one’s native land. Focuses on American artists in England, France, Italy, and the Middle East from the mid-eighteenth to mid-twentieth centuries. Issues addressed include the desire for international recognition, the limits and freedoms of being an outsider, the perceived threat to national identity, and the quest for alternative modes of living and making art.