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The College Catalogue

Art – Courses in the History of Art

First-Year Seminars

For a full description of first-year seminars, see the First-Year Seminar section.

1019 {19} c. Representing the Modern Artist in Word and Image. Fall 2013. Susan B. Bakewell.

1026 {26} c. Art and the Public Sphere. Fall 2013. Natasha Goldman.

Introductory, Intermediate, and Advanced Courses

1100 {100} c. Introduction to Art History. Spring 2014. Pamela Fletcher, Peggy Wang, and Susan Wegner.

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.

1300 {130} c - IP. Introduction to the Arts of Ancient Mexico and Peru. Spring 2014. Susan Wegner.

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 Chavín, Nasca, and Inca are examined. Painting, sculpture, and architecture considered in the context of religion and society. Readings in translation include Mayan myth and chronicles of the conquest. (Same as Latin American Studies 1330 {130}.)

2090 {209} c. Introduction to Greek Art and Archaeology. Fall 2013. James A. Higginbotham.

Introduces the techniques and methods of classical archaeology as revealed through an examination of Greek material culture. Emphasis upon the major monuments and artifacts of the Greek world from prehistory to the Hellenistic age. Architecture, sculpture, fresco painting, and other “minor arts” are examined at such sites as Knossos, Mycenae, Athens, Delphi, and Olympia. Considers the nature of this archaeological evidence and the relationship of classical archaeology to other disciplines such as art history, history, and classics. Assigned reading supplements illustrated presentations of the major archaeological finds of the Greek world. (Same as Archaeology 1101 {101}.)

2100 {210} c. Introduction to Roman Archaeology. Fall 2014. James A. Higginbotham.

Surveys the material culture of Roman society, from Italy’s prehistory and the origins of the Roman state through its development into a cosmopolitan empire, and concludes with the fundamental reorganization during the late third and early fourth centuries of our era. Lectures explore ancient sites such as Rome, Pompeii, Athens, Ephesus, and others around the Mediterranean. Emphasis upon the major monuments and artifacts of the Roman era: architecture, sculpture, fresco painting, and other “minor arts.” Considers the nature of this archaeological evidence and the relationship of classical archaeology to other disciplines such as art history, history, and classics. Assigned reading supplements illustrated presentations of the major archaeological finds of the Roman world. (Same as Archaeology 1102 {102}.)

2130 {213} c - VPA. Art of Three Faiths: Christian, Jewish, and Islamic Art and Architecture, from the Third to the Twelfth Century. Fall 2013. April Morris.

Examines ways images, objects, and buildings shaped the experiences and expressed the beliefs of members of three major religious traditions (Christianity, Judaism, and Islam) in Europe and the Mediterranean region. Deals with artworks spanning the third century through the twelfth century from Europe, the Middle East, North Africa, and the Byzantine Empire. Includes thematic sessions, dealing with issues that cut across geographic and chronological boundaries. Topics include the embrace or rejection of a classical artistic heritage; the sponsorship of religious art by powerful figures; the use of images and architecture to define community and to reject those defined as outsiders; forms of iconoclasm and criticism of the use of images among the three religions; theological justifications for the use of images; and the role of images in efforts to convert or conquer members of another faith.

Prerequisite: Art History 1100 {100}, placement above Art History 1100 {100}, or permission of the instructor.

[2150 {215} c. Illuminated Manuscripts and Early Printed Books.]

2230 {223} c - VPA. The Arts of Venice. Spring 2014. 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.

2240 {224} c - VPA. Mannerism. Fall 2013. Susan Wegner.

Mannerism in art and literature. Artists include Michelangelo, Pontormo, Rosso, Bronzino, El Greco. Themes include fantasy and imagination, ideal beauty (male and female), the erotic and grotesque, and the challenging of High Renaissance values. Readings include artists’ biographies, scientific writings on the senses, formulas for ideal beauty, and description of court life and manners. Uses the Bowdoin College Museum of Art’s collection of sixteenth-century drawings, prints, and medals.

[2260 {226} c - VPA. Northern European Art of the Fifteenth and Sixteenth Centuries.]

[2320 {232} c. Art in the Age of Velázquez, Rembrandt, and Caravaggio.]

[2430 {243} c - VPA. Modern Architecture: 1750 to 2000. (Same as Environmental Studies 2431 {243}.)]

[2440 {244} c. Shoot, Snap, Instagram: A History of Photography in America.]

[2510 {251} c. Victorian Art.]

[2540 {254} c. Contemporary Art.]

2620 {262} c. American Art I: Colonial Period to the Civil War. Fall 2013. Dana E. Byrd.

A survey of American architecture, sculpture, painting, and decorative arts from their colonial origins to the eve of the Civil War. Emphasis on understanding art in its historical and cultural context. Issues to be addressed include encounters between diverse cultures, the transition from colony to nation, the rise and ideological significance of landscape painting, and the creation of art for a democracy. This class will work with original objects in the Bowdoin College Museum of Art.

[2640 {264} c. American Art from the Civil War to 1945.]

2710 c. Power and Politics in Pre-Modern Chinese Art. Spring 2014. 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. (Same as Asian Studies 2020.)

[2720 {272} c - IP, VPA. The Arts of Japan. (Same as Asian Studies 2281 {209}.)]

2970–2973 {291–294} c. Intermediate Independent Study in Art History. Art History Faculty.

2999 {299} c. Intermediate Collaborative Study in Art History. Art History Faculty.

Seminars in Art History

The seminars are intended to utilize the scholarly interests of members of the department and provide an opportunity for advanced work for selected students who have successfully completed enough of the regular courses to possess a sufficient background. The department does not expect to give all, or in some cases any, seminars in each semester. As the seminars are varied, a given topic may be offered only once, or its form changed considerably from time to time.

3120 {312} c. The West and Its Easts: Forms and Fantasy from Pliny to Ingres. Fall 2013. April Morris.

From the time of the ancient Romans, the Mediterranean has been a place of interactions between Europe, defined as “the West,” and the rest of the world, understood broadly as “the East.” Investigates the range of ways in which the West envisioned, encountered, appropriated, and idealized the East from the era of the Roman Empire to the nineteenth century. Explores the cultural needs, fears, and concerns that shaped the depiction of the East in manuscripts, sculptural programs, trade objects, icons, relics, and in texts. Special attention is paid to Western definitions and depictions of the Islamic world, particularly from the age of the Crusades through the fantasy-enriched images of Ottoman courts in Orientalist works like Ingres’s Grande Odalisque.

Prerequisite: Art History 1100 {100}, placement above Art History 1100 {100}, or permission of the instructor.

[3200 {320} c. Historicizing Contemporary Chinese Art. (Same as Asian Studies
3070 {311}.)]

[3240 {324} c. Art and Life of Michelangelo.]

3320 {332} c. Painting and Society in Spain: El Greco to Goya. Fall 2013. Susan Wegner.

Focuses on painting in Spain from the fifteenth century to the early nineteenth century, with special emphasis on the works of El Greco, Velázquez, and Goya. Examines art in the light of Spanish society, particularly the institutions of the church and Spanish court. Considers Spanish mysticism, popular custom, and Enlightenment ideals as expressed in or critiqued by art. Readings in the Bible, Spanish folklore, artistic theory, and artists’ biographies.

Prerequisite: Art History 1100 {100}, placement above Art History 1100 {100}, or permission of the instructor.

[3840 {384} c. Bad Art: An Alternative History of Modern and Contemporary Art.]

4000–4003 {401–404} c. Advanced Independent Study in Art History. Art History Faculty.

4029 {405} c. Advanced Collaborative Study in Art History. Art History Faculty.

4050–4051 c. Honors Project in Art History. Art History Faculty.

Online Catalogue content is current as of August 1, 2013. For most current course information, use the online course finder. Also see Addenda.