Department of Art History and Art

Department of Art History and Art Spring 2011 Courses

Spring 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 102
M W F 10:30-11:20 - GERTSMAN

This course takes a broad view of the history of art created between the 15th and the 21st centuries. In this class we will discuss painting, sculpture, architecture, metalwork, ceramic, textiles and graphic arts. These works of art will be studied in their social and historical contexts, with consideration of issues of style, subject matter, meaning, technique, and aesthetics. The main objective of this course is to teach students to identify, analyze, and understand works of art in their historical context. Most of the discussion sections will be held in the galleries of the Cleveland Museum of Art. Required textbook: Marilyn Stokstad's Art History (4th edition), volume 2. Requirements: Two exams, two papers.

ARTH 241
M W 12:30-1:45 - GERTSMAN

This course will introduce students to the pivotal works of art created between approximately 250 and 1500. We will discuss painting, sculpture, architecture, manuscript illumination, and graphic arts. Medieval visual and material culture will be considered within the framework of socio-political developments, rapid urban growth, the flowering of monastic culture, the rise of universities, and changes in devotional practices. While the course will primarily focus on western part of the medieval Christendom, we will also discuss Jewish, Byzantine, and Islamic art. Visits to the CMA will form an integral part of the course. Required readings: Textbook: Medieval Art, eds. D. Verkerk and H. Luttikhuizen (2nd edition, 2006). Primary sources: Reading the Middle Ages, ed. B. Rosenwein (2006), abbreviated as RMA. Scholarly articles: available through JSTOR or EBSCO and listed in the relevant parts of the schedule.

ARTH 293
W 5:45-8:15 CARRIER

Traditionally European (and American) art historians focused on the art tradition of their own culture. But recently there has been interest in a world art history. And so the challenge is to write a narrative including art from everywhere. This project is important politically. Our world has many dangerous conflicts, and so sympathetic study of art from other cultures can be an important way to promote international understanding. But we need to understand exotic art, unfamiliar painting and sculpture, without merely imposing our ways of understanding upon it. In the first part of the class we look at the history of European art history. We discuss Vasari's great pioneering history, and the development of his concerns by Hegel; and, in the mid-twentieth century by Ernst Gombrich and Clement Greenberg. This tradition of art writing focuses on the history of European art. In the second part we consider the art of three great cultures outside Europe: China, India (just briefly), Islam. We read about their art history, focusing on the ways in which it is very different from the history of European art. We present many examples. The aim is not to do a systematic analysis, but to introduce some suggestive themes. We discuss the role of the medium in Chinese scroll painting and Islamic concepts of decoration. And we look at the representations of carpets within European paintings, for they are an important example of what happens when diverse cultures connect. In the third part, finally, ask how it is possible to synthesize the history of art in China, Europe, India and Islam. James Elkins has argued recently that it is not possible to have a world art history. We read and criticize his claim. And then we will offer a tentative structure for a world art history. Thanks to Western imperialism, all cultures now are connected. And so the art historian can create a multicultural art history. Doing that allows us to do justice to the art from all cultures, and, also, to understand our own tradition in new ways. Richard Wollheim's Art and Its Objects presents a European aesthetic. We show our multicultural art history changes and how we understand aesthetics. And if time permits, we discuss the relationship of our analysis to the art museum.

ARTH 302/402
M W 12:30-1:45 - GIUFFRIDA

This course explores the visual culture of Buddhism in Asia from its origins in India to its transmission and transformation in China, Korea, Japan, the Himalayas, and Southeast Asia. Our historically and culturally structured examination will trace major developments in Buddhist art and their relationship with belief, practice, and ritual. We will consider the ways that artistic traditions have adapted and evolved both within individual cultures and cross-culturally. The study of sculpture, architecture, and painting in their religious contexts will be our primary focus, but we will also consider the movement of Buddhist art from temples to sites of secular display in museums around the world and the religious and cultural issues that arise from these moves. Topics include: representations of the life of the historical Buddha; visual programs of temples; artistic representations of paradises and hells; sacred sites and architecture; imperial patronage of Buddhist art; the role of art in pilgrimage and ritual; and visual imagery associated with schools of Buddhism such as Pure Land, Chan, and Zen. Requirements: three exams (including the final), three quizzes, two short papers, participation in class discussions. Graduate students are required to do additional readings and attend additional sessions.

ARTH 307/407
M 2:00-4:30 - GIUFFRIDA

A survey of the major developments in Chinese art from the Neolithic period to the present, including archaeological discoveries, bronzes, calligraphy, painting, sculpture, ceramics, architecture, performance art, and installations. Among topics covered are: ancient funerary art and tombs; painting and sculpture of early Buddhist grottoes; landscape painting; art commissioned and collected by the imperial court; literati painting and calligraphy; public and private art associated with Daoist, Buddhist, and Confucian religious practices and sites; art produced during periods of non-Chinese rule under the Tanguts, Mongols, and Manchus; foreign influences on Chinese artists; and the role of Chinese artists in the contemporary international art market. The course explores factors behind the creation and reception of works of art, including social, political and religious meanings, while examining the historical contexts for and artistic traditions of the visual culture of China. Requirements: three exams (including the final), three quizzes, three short papers, participation in class discussions. Graduate students may be required to do additional readings and attend additional sessions.

ARTH 374/474
T TH 11:30-12:45 - LEMONEDES

Impressionism is one of the most thoroughly researched movements in the history of art. Many of its images have become ubiquitous, perhaps suggesting that there is little room left for revelation. And yet great deal of new scholarship on the subject has emerged over the past forty years. This course will examine different scholarly approaches to Impressionism, including social readings concerned with artists' relationships to society in late nineteenth-century France; gender based interpretations addressing questions of the place of women in Impressionism, the role of the spectator and notions of difference; close reading of contemporary criticism; and object-based investigations focusing on technique. The course is organized chronologically; a study of Realism will provide the basis for our examination of Impressionism and its eventual evolution into Symbolism. Artists of primary concern will be Gustave Courbet, Edouard Manet, Berthe Morisot, Claude Monet, August Renoir, Camille Pissarro, Edgar Degas, Mary Cassatt, Paul Cezanne, Paul Gauguin, and Vincent van Gogh. Assignments will include both museum-based practice (such as label writing) and academic exercises (essay exams and a research paper); some classes will take place in the Cleveland Museum of Art galleries looking at paintings and sculpture and in the study room looking at prints and drawings. Course texts: Belinda Thomson, Impressionism: Origins, Practice, Reception (2000); Belinda Thomson, Post-Impressionism (1998); May Tomkins Lewis, ed., Critical Readings in Impressionism and Post-Impressionism (2007).

ARTH 379/479
M W F 11:30-12:20 - ADAMS

Japanese sources, in forms as varied as Japanese prints and Zen calligraphy, played an extremely important role in the development of modern art, from the French Impressionists through Jackson Pollock and the Beat poets. This class will look at a variety of ways in which Japanese objects and ideas-from Japanese prints to Zen Buddhism--have influenced modern art. It will propose that much of modern art stemmed from this collision of east and west; and it will ask whether this collection of influences can be shaped into a coherent "history."

ARTH 385/485
M W F 3:00-3:50 - ADAMS

This class will look at the origins of modern art in America, in the early years of the 20th century--and at competing notions of what it should be, as presented by such figures as Robert Henri, Alfred Stieglitz, the Wright brothers, Marcel Duchamp, and Alfred Barr.

ARTH 390
T TH 10:00-11:15 - WITCHEY

From Ancient Greece to the Renaissance, from the Renaissance until the present day, humans have always been collectors. We are surrounded and surround ourselves with objects of material culture. But what makes an object an art object? How and why do things come to be put in museums and what happens to them when they get there? In this course students will explore practical and theoretical aspects of objects, art objects, collectors, collections, and museums.

ARTH 392/492
M W 12:30-1:45 - GOESER

This course will investigate the Harlem Renaissance movement of the 1920s and 30s, with in-depth examination of the visual production of this rich period. A variety of themes will be considered, including African American modernism, racial representation, African heritage, "primitivism," minstrelsy, religion, vernacular culture, gender, racial, and sexual hybridity, while also investigating the geographical hybridity of the New Negro movement. A wide range of cultural production will be examined, including the work of illustrators, photographers, painters, sculptors, writers, actors/entertainers, and filmmakers. Course requirements include regular attendance and class participation (30% of grade), position paper (20%), final research paper with oral presentation (50%). Required texts include Earle, ed., Aaron Douglas: African American Modernist (2007); Fire!! A quarterly devoted to younger Negro artists (reprint of 1926 ed.); Locke, ed., The New Negro (reprint of 1925 ed.); and Bailey and Powell, Rhapsodies in Black: Art of the Harlem Renaissance (1997).

ARTH 393/493
T 5:45-8:15 - CARRIER

Andy Warhol was the most influential artist of the second half of the twentieth century. After a successful career as a decorator, he because one of the founders of pop art. He became the only artist of his generation who, achieving general fame, became a culture hero. Apart from painting, Warhol also made films, was involved the Velvet Underground, and commissioned creative writing. And so, not surprisingly, his achievement has been hard to bring into focus. Traditional art historians have described his stylistic development, interpreting his paintings. But many other approaches to his art are possible. Arthur Danto has described the philosophical significance of Warhol's achievement; cultural historians have discussed his role as a gay artist; and attention has been drawn to the importance of his lifelong interest in religion. Warhol has become a significant subject for scholarship in part because his body of art poses significant interpretative challenges. We screen a number of Warhol's films.

ARTH 395

This course is designated for 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 campus internship supervisor the semester before enrolling in the internship.

ARTH 396
W 2:00-5:00 - NEILS

This course qualifies as an Approved SAGES Capstone.
This course will analyze how elements of classical antiquity, especially the Olympian gods, are reprised in later art from the middle ages to Picasso and Post-Modernism. It will include architecture as well as sculpture and painting and the decorative arts. The course project will be the writing, editing and filming of an educational video dealing with the depiction of the twelve Greek gods on the Parthenon frieze. A Nord Grant has been awarded for this project.

ARTH 398

Individual research and reports on special topics. Consent of Professor.

ARTH 399

Consent of Department Chair. List name of supervising Professor.

W 2:00-5:00 - 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. As a result of this course, students should be familiar with the following topics: the historic development of the museum, from its origins in collecting practices to its modern incarnation as an institution; the development and care of a collection, including acquisition, cataloguing, and conservation; the display and housing of a collection, including internal and external museum architecture; the study and interpretation of the collection/exhibition, considering diverse publics; the governance of the institution, including project management, finance, and administration. Through the study of these topics, the student should be familiar with the following concepts: the museum as a place for learning, research and scholarship and the museum as steward of cultural property and the attendant issues of ethics and the law. ARTH490B concentrates on the museum as an institution, including physical aspects, management and governance, and as a site of learning. The inter-connections between these broad fields and individual departments will be demonstrated and reinforced throughout the semester. Students who successfully complete ARTH490A and ARTH490B may be considered for admission into ARTH 491A, a supervised internship in an art museum or gallery situation.

ARTH 489

Graduating Art History (ARH) Masters students only.

ARTH 491 A and B

Consent of supervising Professor. Prerequisite: ARTH 490A and B.

ARTH 512
T 1:15-4:15 - NEILS

Although the sculptural embellishment of the Parthenon may seem like well (or over) trod ground, the opening of the new Acropolis Museum in 2009 provides a unique opportunity to view it anew in the context for which it was conceived and executed. This seminar will investigate various modes of viewing the sculptural program of the Parthenon, and in particular examining to what extent the subjects are traditional and to what degree they are innovative within the conventions of temple decoration in ancient Greece. Sources and justifications for the program will be sought in the religious rituals, civic practices, and political ideology of fifth-century Athens.

ARTH 552
TH 1:15-4:15 - SCALLEN

In this seminar we will consider the history, historiography, and practice of connoisseurship of Old Master paintings (European 15-18th centuries) from 1500 to the present. Connoisseurship of Old Master paintings was a foundational methodology for the discipline of art history in the nineteenth century, and flourished until the mid-twentieth century. For several decades it was rejected as a valid methodology by many art historians as too subjective, too tied to the art market, and too committed to the valorization of "great masters." Nonetheless it continued to be practiced in museums and auction houses as a valid methodological approach. Recently it has also made a scholarly comeback as art historians begin to reconsider the practices and history of this methodology. We will have several session led by curators and conservators at the CMA to augment the viewpoints and case studies examined in the class. This will include sessions on objects other than paintings and outside the western tradition.

Requirements: Class meetings will include discussion of readings done in common; all are expected to participate in these discussions regularly as a seminar requirement. Discussions and note taking will be conducted by pairs of students on a weekly basis. Each student will work on an object from the CMA that presents dilemmas for connoisseurship; this project will culminate in an in-class presentation and a research paper. Course readings: Readings will be drawn from books, journals, and exhibition catalogues available at Ingalls Library. Whenever possible they will be scanned and posted to Blackboard.

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.