Department of Art History and Art

Fall 2011 - Art History Courses

The following courses in Art History will be offered by the faculty of the Case Western Reserve University/Cleveland Museum of Art Joint Program in Art History. Courses at the 100, 200 and 300 levels are open to undergraduate students. Further information may be obtained in the art history department Office, Mather House, Room 108 (x4118), via e-mail (

ARTH 101
M W F 10:30-11:20 - SCALLEN

Cave paintings, Egyptian pyramids, the Colosseum, Byzantine mosaics, Chinese scroll paintings, Hindu temples, Mayan sculptures, Chartres Cathedral. ARTH 101 is a broad-ranging course - geographically and chronologically - which highlights the major artistic monuments created throughout the world from the Paleolithic era up to the start of the fifteenth century. Students will learn how to look at, discuss, and write about works of art, considering such issues as how historical and cultural contexts shaper the meaning, appearance, and function of art, and how artistic concepts and styles develop and change over time and in different world regions. In addition to two weekly lectures once a week discussion sessions will provide time to look at and discuss art works in the Cleveland Museum of Art and to review concepts and prepare for examinations and paper writing. Requirements: Two short papers, two in-class tests, a final examination and participation in discussions and assignments in the small group sessions.
Required text: Marilyn Stokstad, Art History, vol. 1
Recommended text: Sylvan Barnet, A Short Guide to Writing about Art, Pearson-Prentice Hall; 10th edition, 2010 Paperback: ISBN-10: 0205708250 ISBN-13: 9780205708253

ARTH 270
M W 12:30-1:45 - ADAMS

The class will survey the first 30 centuries of American art, from the masterful examples of stone-craft created by Native Americans 3000 years ago, to the creations of the early 20th century. The heart of the class will examine the dramatic changes that have taken place in American art since the 17th century, as European settlement expanded from the Eastern seaboard to embrace an entire continent, as living patterns changed from small villages to cities of a million or more people, and as economic production shifted from agriculture to heavy industry. The emphasis of the class will be on painting, by figures such as John Singleton Copley, Thomas Cole, Winslow Homer, Thomas Eakins, and Mary Cassatt. But the class will also include architecture, decorative arts, literature, music and film. Requirements: There will be several short writing assignments and a final paper.

ARTH 284
T TH 11:30-12:45 RAGER

This course will examine the prehistory, invention, and proliferation of photography in its artistic and cultural contexts, from the advent of the daguerreotype to the ubiquity of the digital image. Through the close study of significant photographers, photographic technologies and individual photographs, we will consider issues of politics, gender, nationalism, imperialism, globalization, and class intrinsic to the medium. We will also explore several pervasive themes throughout the history of photography, including: the tension between indexical knowledge and artistic expression in defining the nature, interpretation and role of photography; the struggle for photography to gain legitimacy as an artistic medium; the artifice inherent in the photograph as self-evident document; the rise of photography in the construction of personal and collective memory; the democratization of the photographic image and the development of amateur practice, as well as the burden of representation and visual surveillance; the commodification of photography and its function in mass popular entertainment; the radical potential to achieve agency and power through photographic representation; and, finally, the consequences of photographic absence, omission, or appropriation.

Given the difficulties of narrating a traditional trajectory of this diverse and unique medium, this course will place particular emphasis on the nascency and development of photography in Europe and America, followed by a case-study driven approach to more recent episodes in its history. In addition to the course text book, this class will also employ various primary source documents and a range of theoretical texts in order to explore approaches to the medium from its inception to the present. Class sessions will be a mixture of lecture and in-class discussion of readings and images. Moreover, several classes throughout the semester will take place in the study room of the Cleveland Museum of Art, where we will be introduced to a selection of their rich holdings of photographic works, while gaining the tools of first-hand visual analysis. A class viewing of the exhibition Brian Ulrich at the CMA will also be incorporated into the course.

To become familiar with key photographs, photographers and photographic movements from the origins of the medium to the present
To identify the core critical issues and methodological approaches to photography
To attain the skills of formal visual analysis and to apply those skills to the interpretation of the photographic medium within its cultural context through both in-class discussion and written responses
To gain an understanding of the technical aspects of the photographic medium and to begin to recognize photographic techniques and media through first-hand introduction to works in the collection of the Cleveland Museum of Art

Requirements: active class participation; one in-class presentation; two short papers; in-class mid-term examination; take-home final examination.

Required Texts: Mary Warner Marien, Photography: A Cultural History 3rd ed. (Prentice Hall, 2010) ISBN-10: 9780205708000 [paperback]; additional required readings will be posted online.

ARTH 334/434
M W 9:00-10:15 - NEILS

This course explores the development of Greek art and architecture over three millennia from abstract Cycladic marble figurines to replicas of fresco painting buried in the eruption of Mt. Vesuvius. It will address the latest archaeological discoveries and examine major sites such as Athens, Olympia and Delphi.
Texts: Hurwit, Jeffrey, The Acropolis in the Age of Pericles (Cambridge 2004); Neils, Jenifer, British Museum Concise Introduction to Ancient Greece (London 2008); Pedley, John, Greek Art and Archaeology. 5th ed. (Prentice-Hall 2011). There will be a midterm, final, and paper, presented both orally and in written form.

ARTH 339/439
T TH 2:45-4:00 - GIUFFRIDA

The political and cultural histories of China and Japan in the late nineteenth through mid-twentieth centuries are inexorably entangled. Forces of modernization, Westernization, nationalism, reform, war, and revolution impacted the traffic in artists and practices between the two countries. Debates about the ways and means to preserve, reform, or reject traditional methods, styles, and subjects in the face of Western modernism dominated cultural discourse. Artistic movements, schools, and individuals navigated between tradition and modernity and their efforts are reflected in manifestos of artistic societies, theoretical writings, exhibitions, and paintings of the time. Both Japanese and Chinese painters traveled to Europe to study, returning to East Asia with new ideas and techniques. Waves of Chinese artists trained in Japan experiencing Western modernism directly through exhibitions and concurrently through Japanese filters.
Some East Asian painters focused on revitalizing their own native ink painting traditions, others embraced Western oil painting, still others strove to achieve a distinctively Japanese or Chinese synthesis - all sought to express new modern national, cultural, and individual identities. The course covers Yôga (Western style painting) and Nihonga (Japanese style painting) in Japan, and Guohua (National painting) in China as represented by a range of artists including Fu Baoshi, Zhang Daqian, Huang Binhong, Xu Beihong, Gao Jianfu, Kuroda Seiki, Yorozu Tetsugoro, Kishida Ryusei, Yokoyama Taikan, Shimomura Kanzan, and Tomioka Tessai.
This course intersects with the Fall 2011 exhibition Chinese Art in an Age of Revolution: Fu Baoshi (1904-1965) held at the Cleveland Museum of Art. Gallery visits as well as attendance at guest lectures and films form an integral part of the course.
There are no textbooks for the course. Readings will be available at KSL, Ingalls, and on BlackBoard.

ARTH 359/459
T TH 10:00-11:15 - GERTSMAN

This course will consider the roles of women as patrons, subjects, producers, and consumers of visual culture in the Romanesque and Gothic periods. We will focus particularly on the different ways medieval men and women perceived, read, figured, and interacted with female body, which was frequently seen as a fraught site of desire and repulsion, fear and fascination. Students will be asked to read primary sources as well as critical materials that address contradictory constructions of gender and sex in medieval images and texts. The course, therefore, will not simply focus on artistic production, but will include readings and discussions of social and political history, theology, and literature of the Middle Ages. Additionally, for graduate students, the readings will provide grounding in a variety of current art historical methodologies, including gender and queer studies, performance theory, and viewer-response criticism.

ARTH 380/480
T TH 1:15-4:15 - LANDAU

This course will be taught as a pro-seminar. Focus will be placed on the parallels and interrelationships between avant-garde artists, writers, poets and musicians in New York, Los Angeles, and San Francisco in the late 1950s and early 1960s. Interconnections between literary figures such as Jack Kerouac, Allen Ginsberg and Frank O'Hara; artists like Jackson Pollock, Robert Rauschenberg, Claes Oldenburg, and Jasper Johns; and creative talents in other fields (ranging from composer John Cage to performers Little Richard, James Dean and Marlon Brando) will be explored. Emphasis will be placed on the vitality of the "assemblage" aesthetic during this period.
Classroom activity will combine lectures, films, critical readings, discussions and critique as well as the sharing of individual research. All students (undergrad and grad) will be required to prepare an article for classroom discussion, to provide a comparative reading of two works of art (one done in New York/one in California), and to present the results of a theme paper dealing in an original way with issues raised in the classroom setting.

ARTH 394
M 3:00-5:30 ADAMS

The class will examine the changing role of women over the last few centuries as it is reflected in American art. It will consider such topics as the way women have been portrayed in American painting and what that reveals about female roles; the emergence of major woman artist (such as Mary Cassatt or Georgia O'Keeffe); the ways in which concepts of male and female have played a role in the work of major painters, such as Winslow Homer, Thomas Eakins, and James McNeill Whistler; and the important of American women in art forms that are not usually treated in survey books, such as the dance. It will also examine the emergence of the feminist movement in the 1960s and 1970s and the way in which that has transformed the practice of art history.

ARTH 395

This course is designated for undergraduate students seeking professional experience in art history. It focuses on the museum experience (registration, exhibition, interpretation, and administration) although students may also elect to conduct internships in museum-related environments such as art conservation. Students are encouraged to have gained significant experience in art history coursework before embarking on an internship. Students must identify an internship and supervisor as well as a faculty supervisor the semester before enrolling in the internship.

ARTH 398

Individual research reports on special topics. Consent of supervising Professor and permit is required.

ARTH 399

Consent of supervising Professor and a permit is required.

TH 10:00-12:45 - WITCHEY

This course examines the idea of the art museum in both its historical and contemporary manifestations, focusing on the context of Western Europe and the United States. This sequence of courses (ARTH 490A and ARTH 490B) is mainly concerned with institutions that collect and exhibit works of art but students will be introduced to other types of collecting institutions during the sequence. Through discussions with museum professionals in the area as well as selected readings, students will develop an understanding of the different jobs that contribute to the function of a museum; gain practical knowledge that can be applied and developed through internships and future employment; and explore ethical issues facing museum professionals. Course will include reading and discussion sessions, three papers, and a portfolio of assignments resulting in an exhibition concept. Texts required for this course are: David Bomford, Conservation of Paintings (New Haven, Ct.: Yale University Press, 2009). Stephen Conn, Museums and American Intellectual Life, 1876-1926 (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1998), Laurence Levine, Highbrow, Lowbrow: The Emergence of A Culture Hierarchy in America. (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1988), and Andrew McClellan, The Art Museum from Boulée to Bilbao (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2008).

ARTH 491 A & B

Consent of supervising Professor. Prerequisite: ARTH 490

ARTH 494 (A-F)

Consent of supervising Professor and a permit is required for all Directed Readings:
A: Non-Western Art - GIUFFRIDA
B: Ancient Art - NEILS
C: Medieval Art - GERTSMAN
D: Renaissance and Baroque Art - SCALLEN
E: American Art - ADAMS
F: Modern Art - LANDAU

ARTH 495
W 2:00-5:00 - LANDAU

An introduction to art historical research and writing highlighting methods of interpretation ranging from ekphrasis to deconstruction. Course requirements include a series of shorter analyses of an object in the collection of the Cleveland Museum of Art from numerous points of view, such as provenance, connoisseurship, style, iconography, iconology and semiotics. A final paper will be presented orally. This is a reading and writing-intensive seminar which provides a basis for all subsequent graduate work in art history. Required texts include David Carrier, Principles of Art History Writing and a variety of essays by authors from Vasari and Panofsky to Roland Barthes and T.J. Clark.

T 1:15-4:15 - GERTSMAN

The fourteenth and fifteenth centuries in Europe were marked by the appearance of the macabre, both in literary and visual production. This seminar will explore late medieval death imagery (death represented, personified, absent), paying particular attention to the closely intertwined images and texts of the Dance of Death, The Encounter of the Three Dead and Three Living, Ars moriendi treatises, memento mori objects and transi tombs. While considering these different expressions of the macabre within the framework of medieval attitudes towards death, the continuing rise of vernacular culture, and the varying expressions of medieval literacy, we will focus especially on the role of the beholder in the viewing and reading processes.

ARTH 570
M 2:00-5:00 RAGER

In recent years, a wealth of new scholarship has emerged not only contextualizing Pre-Raphaelitism and the closely interconnected movement of Aestheticism within the rich visual culture of Victorian Britain, but also arguing for a reconsideration of these movements as occupying a leading role in the nineteenth-century artistic avant-garde. Employing both primary source texts and subsequent critical scholarship, notably that of Elizabeth Prettejohn, this course will survey the work of the original Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood of 1848 (including Dante Gabriel Rossetti, William Holman Hunt, John Everett Millais, and Ford Madox Brown) from their brief years of artistic cohesion through their subsequently diverging careers. We will explore their work in relationship to contemporary technological developments (especially photography), scientific discoveries, the social conditions of modern life, art historical revivalism, religious and political reforms, the British imperialist project, and the particular role of female artists and models within the group. We will then explore the intersection between Pre-Raphaelitism and the late-Victorian movement of Aestheticism under the rubric of “art for art’s sake,” focusing on the work of Edward Burne-Jones, William Morris, Walter Crane, James McNeill Whistler, and G. F. Watts.

Throughout the course we will trace the significant impact of collecting and exhibiting practices on the formation and reception of Pre-Raphaelitism and Aestheticism, including: the annual Royal Academy exhibitions; the Crystal Palace exhibition of 1851; the foundation of the South Kensington Museum (now the Victoria and Albert); the expansion of the National Gallery collections and the impact of the new canon on contemporary art; the opening of the Grosvenor Gallery as an avant-garde exhibition space; and the Arts and Crafts Exhibition Society as a challenge to traditional artistic hierarchies and industrial production. Finally, we will discuss recent exhibitions devoted to Pre-Raphaelitism and Aestheticism in Europe and America, such as: The Cult of Beauty (Victoria and Albert, 2011); The Pre-Raphaelite Lens (National Gallery, Washington DC, 2010-11); Holman Hunt and the Pre-Raphaelite Vision (Manchester, 2008); Millais (Tate, 2007-8); and Dante Gabriel Rossetti (Walker Art Gallery, Liverpool, 2003). Whenever possible, class sessions will incorporate the collections of the Cleveland Museum of Art. This course is open to graduate students and advanced undergraduates (juniors and seniors) with permission of the instructor.

To gain a thorough understanding of Pre-Raphaelitism and Aestheticism within their cultural and artistic context in Victorian Britain and as part of a wider artistic response to modernity in nineteenth-century Europe.
To investigate the impact of contemporary exhibition and collecting practices on the art of this period, as well as the post-history of the reception and display of these artists and their work today.
To complete an independent research project on Pre-Raphaelitism and/or Aestheticism, demonstrating original and thoughtful engagement with the material and reflecting careful visual analysis of individual works (preferably from the collection of the Cleveland Museum of Art).

Requirements: All students will be expected to have carefully prepared the weekly required reading assignments and to actively participate in class discussions. Students will also give two in-class presentations over the course of the semester and an oral presentation of their final project. There will be a short written response to an object in the collection of the Cleveland Museum of Art (3-4 pages) and a final project chosen between either a research paper (15-18 pages) or an exhibition proposal.

Required Texts: Elizabeth Prettejohn, Art of the Pre-Raphaelites (London: Tate, 2007) ISBN-10: 9781854377265 [paperback], ISBN-13: 978-1854377265 [hardcover]; extensive weekly readings will also be assigned and will be available on reserve or posted online.

ARTH 601

List name of supervising Professor.

ARTH 610

Open to doctoral candidates in the Museum Studies Program only.

ARTH 701

List name of supervising Professor.