Location: Bowdoin / Art History / Courses / Sping 2010

Art History

Spring 2010

015. Art Works, Artists, and Audiences
Stephen Perkinson T  10:00 - 11:25
TH 10:00 - 11:25
VAC-Picture Study
Explores key issues in the interpretation of artworks from a variety of cultures and time periods. Begins with mastery of a descriptive vocabulary for analysis of paintings, prints, drawings, photographs, sculpture, and architecture. Investigates ways that artists are responsible for determining the “meaning” of the works they create, as they represent the visible world, abstract ideas, thoughts, or emotions. Explores ways that art acquires meaning, following artworks as they are received, interpreted, used, and even abused by various audiences (e.g., critics, curators, collectors, the public at large). Examines ways that artists have sought to influence public opinion by creating works that address the most pressing social and political issues of their times. Includes hands-on experience with artworks from the Bowdoin College Museum of Art.

215. Illuminated Manuscripts and Early Printed Books
Stephen Perkinson T  1:00 - 2:25
TH 1:00 - 2:25
VAC-Beam Classroom
Surveys the history of the decorated book from late antiquity through the Renaissance, beginning with an exploration of the earliest surviving illuminated manuscripts in light of the late antique culture that produced them. Examines uses of books in the early Middle Ages to convert viewers to Christianity or to establish political power. Traces the rise of book professionals (scribes, illuminators, binders, etc.), as manuscript production moved from monastic to urban centers, and concludes with an investigation of the impact of the invention of printing on art and society in the fifteenth century, and on the “afterlife” of manuscript culture into the sixteenth century. Themes include the effect of the gender of a book’s anticipated audience on its decoration; the respective roles of author, scribes, and illuminators in designing a manuscript’s decorative program; and the ways that images can shape a reader’s understanding of a text. Makes use of the Bowdoin Library’s collection of manuscripts and early printed books.

224. Mannerism
Susan Wegner M  9:30 - 10:25
W  9:30 - 10:25
F  9:30 - 10:25
VAC-Beam Classroom
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.

252. Modern Art
Pamela Fletcher T  11:30 - 12:55
TH 11:30 - 12:55
VAC-Beam Classroom
A study of the modernist movement in visual art in Europe and the Americas, beginning with post-impressionism and examining, in succession: expressionism, fauvism, 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.

264. American Art from the Civil War to 1945
Linda Docherty T  8:30 - 9:55
TH 8:30 - 9:55
VAC-Beam Classroom
American architecture, sculpture, and painting between the Civil War and World War II. Issues considered include the expatriation of American painters after the Civil War, the introduction of European modernism to the United States, the pioneering achievements of American architects and photographers, and the continuing tension between native and cosmopolitan forms of cultural expression. Field trips to the Bowdoin College Museum of Art.

271. The Arts of China
De-nin Lee M  2:30 - 3:55
W  2:30 - 3:55
VAC-Beam Classroom
A chronological survey of ritual objects, sculpture, architecture, painting, and decorative arts in China from the Neolithic to the modern period. Topics include ritual practices and mortuary art, technologies of art and the role of trade, the impact of Buddhism, courtly and scholarly modes of painting, and popular and avant-garde art. Formerly Art History 211.

321. The Cosmopolitan World of the Tang Dynasty
De-nin Lee M  11:30 - 12:55
W  11:30 - 12:55
VAC-Picture Study
Explores the extraordinary, cosmopolitan world of the Tang Dynasty (618-906).Examines the intersections of political power, economic wealth, religious beliefs, social practices, art and material culture. Topics include architecture and urban life, Buddhist cave temples, the Silk Road, ceramic art and industry, philosophical ideals in poetry and painting, and the images and roles of women. Students will undertake research into primary and secondary sources and be exposed to different methodologies in completing a seminar paper.

324. Art and Life of Michelangelo
Susan Wegner M  1:00 - 2:25
W  1:00 - 2:25
VAC-Picture Study
Examines painting, sculpture, drawings, and poetry of Michelangelo in light of fifteenth- and sixteenth-century Italian society. Topics include color, meaning, and recent restoration of the Sistine Chapel Ceiling and Last Judgment; the heroic male figure in sculpture and drawings; religion and politics in relation to patrons; artistic rivalries with Leonard, Raphael, and Titian. Readings include English translations of sixteenth-century biographies, art theory, and poetry.

357. The Commercial Art Gallery
Pamela Fletcher T  2:30 - 3:55
TH 2:30 - 3:55
VAC-Picture Study
Explores the commercial art gallery as a distinct institutional form, emphasizing its historical and functional differences from other exhibition venues. Draws upon theoretical and historical scholarship on museums and exhibition theory, but the primary focus is uncovering the history of the commercial gallery in Europe and the United States from the late eighteenth century to the present, and developing a theoretical paradigm within which to locate the form.

362. History and Memory
Linda Docherty T  11:30 - 12:55
TH 11:30 - 12:55
VAC-Picture Study
History is commonly distinguished from memory as an objective and methodologically disciplined interpretation of the past versus a subjective and emotionally laden recollection of experience. The study of historiography shows, however, that contemporary interests and ideologies shape the writing of history and that memory provides a means of going beyond the written record in the quest for more complete knowledge. Explores the visual relationship of history and memory in American art from the Revolutionary period to the present. Topics include public monuments and memorials, narrative history painting versus photojournalism, architectural preservation, and portraits as constructions of identity and souvenirs of loss. Students research sites of history and memory at Bowdoin College and collectively produce a thematic campus walking tour.