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Special Topics Courses 2019 Fall

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Special Topics Courses Fall 2019

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Department of Art History: Special Topics Courses

Fall 2019


ARTH 001, First-Year Seminar: Dr. Craig Zabel

MWF 1:25-2:15pm, Borland Building 242

Fall Semester 2019 Art History 001 (GA), Section 1 1:25-2:15 MWF, 242 Borland Building Antoní Gaudí: Casa Milà (Barcelona, Spain), 1905-07. “First-Year Seminar on Modern Architecture” Dr. Craig Zabel This is an introductory First-Year Seminar open to all majors (no prerequisites). Limited to 20 students This seminar will explore the history and ideas of “modern” architecture and design, particularly during the late 19th century to the mid 20th century. The rise of industry, new structural materials (iron, steel, reinforced concrete), and the mass production of glass began to challenge the traditional assumptions of architecture in the 19th century. Rather than continuing the revival of past architectural forms, some architects began to explore the development of a “modern” architecture for the contemporary age. But if one jettisons historical precedents, what guiding principles will the new architecture be based upon? We will find that there is not one “modern” architecture, but many different agendas for creating an appropriate architecture for the modern world. As a group, we will explore such topics as the Eiffel Tower, William Morris’s Arts & Crafts Movement, the early skyscrapers of Louis Sullivan, the organic architecture of Frank Lloyd Wright, the client-based architecture of Julia Morgan, Antoní Gaudí’s Barcelona, Adolf Loos’s Vienna & ornamental crime, Italian Futurism, German Expressionism, Russian Constructivism, Le Corbusier’s Toward an Architecture, the German Bauhaus, Nazi architecture, New York’s Rockefeller Center, Alvar Aalto & Finland, Post-War Modernism from Levittown to Mies’s glass boxes, the Philadelphian Louis I. Kahn, Learning from Las Vegas with Robert Venturi and Denise Scott Brown. Each student will work on a research project focusing upon a selected architect from the 20th and/or 21st century.


ARTSA 403 Fundraising and Grant Writing, Dr. Elizabeth Mansfield

ARTSA 403 Fundraising and Grant Writing Dr. Elizabeth Mansfield, TuTH 4:35-5:50pm; 111 Borland  How do museums and other non-profit arts organizations raise money? How does someone become a fundraiser? What's the difference between grants for individuals and grants for institutions? How is philanthropy changing the arts? These are just a few of the questions this course will address. By studying the successes and difficulties faced by specific museums and arts centers and by creating -their own non-profit fund-raising plans, students will learn strategies for identifying and securing financial support for arts organizations and not-for-:profit institutions. Students will also design their own special events, long- and short-term campaigns, and write grant proposals.


ARTH 420 Russian Architecture

ARTH 420. Russian Architecture Craig Zabel, Associate Professor of Art History MWF 10:10 – 11:00 am; 110 Borland Why did Tsar Ivan the Terrible build the many domed St. Basil’s Cathedral on Red Square? How and why did Stalin purge the enormous burst of creativity of early Soviet Constructivism? This course will examine the architectural history of Russia from the conversion of Kiev to Orthodox Christianity at the end of the 10th century to post-Soviet Russia after the fall of communism in 1991. The course will begin with the development of early Russian culture and its architecture in the cities and regions of Kiev, Vladimir-Suzdal, Novgorod, and Pskov. The conquering and subjugation of the Slavic people of Russia by the Mongol Golden Horde from Asia will have major implications in Russian architecture beginning in the 13th century. With the rise of Muscovy, the way in which architecture served the Russian Tsar and Orthodox Church, from the cathedrals in the Moscow Kremlin to the monasteries and convents of Moscow’s “Golden Ring,” will be a particular concern. Attention will also be given to the seclusion of women in the terem of the traditional Russian home. Peter the Great and his new capital of St. Petersburg dramatically attempted to “Westernize” Russian architecture, at the expense of the traditional Slavic architecture of Muscovy and its Byzantine legacy. Late Baroque/Rococo and Neoclassical palaces, gardens, institutions, and urban spaces characterized the architecture of Russia during the 18th and early 19th centuries, one of the greatest eras of female patronage of architecture, with such Empresses as Elizabeth and Catherine the Great. By the late 18th century, Russia had become an empire that stretched across three continents: from eastern Europe, through Siberian Asia, to Alaska (and California) in North America. The architecture of conquest of native peoples as the Russians searched for furs and other natural resources will be examined. By the 19th century there was a reaction against Westernization in Russian culture resulting in the Slavophile movement, which had a strongly Romantic architectural component as seen in the Moscow Revival. In the architecture of the Soviet Union after the 1917 Revolution, one sees the utopian dreams of avant-garde architects in the 1920s, the architecture of totalitarian control with Stalin, and the ambitious schemes to define an architecture appropriate for a socialist and atheistic “union” of many diverse regions and peoples. Cold War architecture ranged from monuments to the USSR’s achievements in the Space Race to extravagant resorts for workers on the Black Sea. After the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, Russian architecture has seen the nostalgic reconstruction of a few lost monuments that were destroyed by Stalin, juxtaposed against a rampant commercialism.



ARTH 435: World’s Fairs (Studies in Modern Art)

ARTH 435. World’s Fairs (Studies in Modern Art) Ethan Robey, Associate Teaching Professor of Art History MWF 12:20 – 1:10 pm; 110 Borland This course examines the histories of the various European and American world’s fairs from the 1851 Crystal Palace Exhibition in London to the 1964/65 New York World’s Fair as a way of understanding both how these exhibitions serve as crystallizations of cultural aspirations and how they, in turn, echo through a culture. International exhibitions allowed nations to define themselves, both to their economic rivals and to their own citizens, by means of display. A structural insistence on spectacle transformed the displays into objects of desire or of sublime awe. The fine arts, decorative arts, industrial design, commercial design, technology, architecture, urban planning, landscape design, ethnography, and amusement all became agents of signification, coalescing into an ideology. Modern consumer culture is born in the exhibition halls, and the doctrine of imperialism is naturalized in the “native” villages set up on the fairgrounds. The course investigates the ideal of display of fine and decorative arts as a lesson in taste, and the fair’s role in the divergence of high and popular culture. We will look at the development of amusement areas as both subversion and reification of normative behavior. For fairs of the twentieth century, the lectures will investigate the fetishization of futurism and the exhibition’s roles in sublimating anxiety. Readings come from primary and secondary sources, and from a range of methodologies, including art and decorative arts history, architectural history, postcolonial theory, anthropology, social history, economics, and history of technology.


Art H 440: Monuments of Asia - Temple Architecture in South and Southeast Asia

 ARTH 440. Monuments of Asia Madhuri Desai, Associate Professor of Art History TuTh 1:35 – 2:50 pm; 110 Borland As religious, cultural and political institutions, temples in South and Southeast Asia have been the focus of patronage, contention, iconoclasm and revivalism. From early experiments in single cell and cave shrines, architects and patrons evolved unique regional architecture and complex political and religious systems. Temples were part of state-building exercises as well as pilgrimage and economic networks. Patrons and architects extended the concept of the temple and its cosmological interpretations across Southeast Asia. In South Asia, the temple was re-imagined in Indo-Islamic and colonial contexts, as the region experienced religious and cultural shifts. This course is an exploration of the temple as edifice and institution through a history of creation and reinvention, and will build on a foundation laid by survey courses in Art History, Architectural History and Asian Studies. Weekly readings will be assigned and discussed in class. The development of analytical and writing skills will be stressed, and grades will be based partly on short response papers and mid-term and final examinations. In addition, students will write a research paper, to be completed by the end of the semester.




 ARTH 447: Dr. William Dewey


ARTH 447. Topics in the Art of the African Diaspora William Dewey, Associate Professor of Art History MW 2:30 – 3:45 pm; 110 Borland This course surveys the arts of the African Diaspora by examining the aesthetic, philosophical and religious patterns of the African descendants of South American countries such as Brazil, Surinam and Ecuador; the Caribbean and the United States. Some African cultural practices and art forms will be examined for background information and to establish a comparative basis. The major emphasis will be on such topics as examining the modes of transmission of African artistry to the Americas and exploring the significance of the preservation and transformation of artistic forms from the period of slavery to the present. Emphasis will be placed on the full range of art forms, including the sculptural and performance traditions as well as architecture, textile, basketry and pottery art forms. Textbooks include the novel by Charles Johnson, Middle Passage; Robert Farris Thompson’s classic book, Flash of the Spirit: African and Afro-American Art and Philosophy; and Joseph Murphy’s Working the Spirit.

ARTH 450. History of Photography  Dr. Nancy Locke, Building

The invention of photography had long been a dream of artists and amateurs. Once it became a reality in 1839, it
changed the course of the history of art. It did not replace painting, as some had feared. But it did take over some of
painting’s tasks in portraiture and documentary work, and impart its own aspect to those forms. It also freed the other
two-dimensional arts to take new directions. Photography had a profound effect on how people saw themselves and
their society. By tracing the history of European and American photography from 1839 to the present, this course will
explore the medium’s early forms and the ways technical innovations sometimes guided aesthetic ones, and even made
possible the study of what one might call visual regimes. Travel photography, Pictorialism, social documentary, street
photography, surveillance, straight photography, Surrealist photography, and contemporary trends will all receive
significant treatment. In addition to writing a research paper, students will undertake and discuss historical and
theoretical readings by writers including Roland Barthes, Susan Sontag, Carol Armstrong, Abigail Solomon-Godeau,
Walter Benjamin, and John Tagg.

ARTH 497 Colored Stone (Marmi Colorati) Dr. Elizabeth Walters

ARTH 497. Colored Stone (Marmi Colorati) Elizabeth Walters, Associate Professor of Art History TuTh 3:05 – 4:20 pm; 110 Borland Opulence in colored stone in Rome in the late second and early first centuries BCE was targeted by conservatives as decadent and non-Roman. Actual stones are ours to handle and define. These exotic stones offered the addition of surprise or drama to costly display. The latter came from the quarries in Spain, north Africa (Mauretania, Numidia, Tripolitania), Greece, Turkey, Asia Minor, France (the Pyrenees) and richest of all, Egypt. Undeniably Egypt is the paramount resource and model. The various rulers followed Egypt in monumental display in stone as proof of supremacy. Art and architecture participate in the love of colored stone. Our exploration begins with your definition of one stone and source, and concludes with your choice of sculpture, special vases, cameos, or architecture to define cultural context and meaning to the original owner. Topics may start as early as 3200 BCE in Egypt or Iraq, 18th c BCE in Greece or Syria, and 1st c BCE in Rome when Crassus’s villa could be criticized as the Palatine Venus. Jealous complaints and long-lived value of items such as cameos reveal the success of the artists and the materiality of the monument


ARTH 551. Historiography of Art History Nancy Locke, Associate Professor of Art History Tuesday 2:30- 5:30 pm. Although writings on art date back to antiquity, the discipline of art history was founded in the eighteenth century. “All history is contemporary history,” wrote Benedetto Croce, and the same could be said for the history of art: its questions have been formulated and its methods framed in ways that remain inextricably linked to their times. This graduate seminar will examine a range of texts from Winckelmann to more contemporary thinkers. Topics to be covered include style, aesthetics, iconography, formalism, social history, gender studies, Marxism, psychoanalysis, semiotics, and deconstruction. As a group, we will practice the fundamentals of formal analysis and attribution. Participants will write brief papers each week (first eight weeks) to analyze the principal points of the methods and approaches under consideration. A final presentation and paper on a single major figure in the field will also be required.

ARTH 515. Race and Representation in American Art Adam Thomas, Curator of American Art and Affiliate Assistant Professor of Art History Wednesday 2:30 – 5:30 pm. This course focuses on theories and representations of race in the art and visual culture of the United States. Organized around a series of chronological case studies, the bulk of this discussion-based course is devoted to a range of media produced between about 1850 and 1950. We will read and analyze recent scholarship addressing examples of painting, sculpture, photography, prints, and ephemera. As we consider the centrality of race to the American experiment and its visual legacies, topics include, but are not limited to, slavery, power, assimilation, violence, and whiteness. When possible, we will scrutinize art objects firsthand to attempt to come to terms with how they shape, and are shaped by, racialized ideology; notably, in the permanent collection of the Palmer Museum of Art and in the temporary exhibition Augusta Savage: Renaissance Woman. In sum, this course aims to interrogate complex and often challenging ideas about race, ethnicity, identity, materiality, and visuality.