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Degree Courses - Art History Courses

AH151: Prehistory - 1900
Topics in Historical Art: Prehistory to 1900 is a course in which a number of themes in historical Western art are examined and addressed through east-west cultural connections and artistic exchanges. Key art objects in cultural periods from prehistoric times through the nineteenth century will be the focus of study. Through intensive reading, writing, and oral projects, students will learn to identify and discuss key works of art utilizing appropriate terminology by artistic, cultural, and critical criteria. In the course, students will engage in activities centering on inquiry, observation, description, analysis, and research of art objects.

AH151 is a topical study of art from prehistory through the nineteenth century, and will focus primarily on Western art, East- West cultural exchanges, and the influence of Non-Western art and ideas on the art in the west. Focus will center on art objects from different cultures and periods within this time frame and the historical contexts in which they were created. Because art and ideas are considered equally important, reading and analysis of primary and other texts, along with the study of images and original works are basic to AH151 coursework. The texts will help provide an aesthetic, social-cultural, and critical framework for studying these creators and their objects. As part of this course, students will have the opportunity to examine the lives of many significant creative figures, the influences of their personalities on the art of their time, and the artistic movements of which they were a part. In the course, students will utilize inquiry, observation, description, analysis, and research as key tools to engage specific works, historical periods, and cultural contexts.

Credits: 3.0
Prerequisite(s): None


AH212: History of Modernism - Fine Art
Primarily an object-driven course, History of Modern and Contemporary Art provides and in-depth study of modern and contemporary art makers and movements in the context of the critical, cultural and social issues surrounding them. Through intensive reading, writing, research, and oral assignments, students have the opportunity to study key figures, movements and theories. The course begins with a review of major trends in art since the end of the 19th century and follows with a closer examination of art from the 1960s through the present day.

In AH212 students will have the opportunity to examine the major aesthetic, philosophical, cultural and critical movements of the recent past and study closely the work of important figures in modern and contemporary art. The course begins with a review of later 19th century art and early 20th century European art and culture as an introduction to American art of the 1960s and 70s; the second half of the course centers on contemporary art from an international perspective. An important aspect of the course is the emerging importance of criticism and critical theory. Students will examine closely major critical and theoretical texts of this period.

Credits: 3.0
Prerequisite(s): AH151 or equivalent


AH213: History of Modernism-Design
The History of Modernism: Design outlines major styles and trends in communication design, illustration, industrial design, architecture and interior architecture & design, from the beginning of the industrial period to the present. Through intensive reading, writing, research and oral assignments, students have the opportunity to study the philosophical, social, cultural and commercial concerns of such primary movements as Arts and Crafts, Art Nouveau, Bauhaus, Art Deco and Post Modernism within Europe, the United States and Japan.

AH213 will provide students with an historical perspective of the designer’s world since the beginning of the 19th century. Students will gain an understanding of the major figures, movements and styles in design that have emerged since the beginning of the modern industrial period, and of the social and cultural forces that are the basis of the evolving craft of the designer. While significant emphasis will be placed on design of the recent past, students will be required to demonstrate understanding of the relationship between recent trends in design and the traditions from which they emerged. AH213 emphasizes the critical process and stresses writing as a primary means of demonstrating knowledge in these areas. Strong emphasis will be placed on all manifestations of modern and contemporary design as it concerns both two and three-dimensional forms.

Credits: 3.0
Prerequisite(s): WR120 and AH151 or equivalencies


AH217: Contemporary Issues in Time-Based Media



AH318: Art History Elective
AH318 provides students the opportunity to give in-depth focus to a wide range of elective topics in Art History. Experience in the disciplines is broadened through intensive reading, writing, research and oral assignments. Among the topics which students may choose to study are courses such as: 19th Century American Masters; Early Chinese Art; Women, Art, and Society; The Bauhaus; The History of Industrial Design; and others.

AH318 is an advanced-level elective course in Art History. In AH318 students will undertake an in-depth and systematic investigation of one area of study in Art History. This topic may focus on the art of a geographic area or culture, a particular movement in the history of art, or on the life and work of one artist or group of artists. In each case, the course of study will include an extensive analysis of individual works of art, the cultures from which these emerged, and the critical discourse that helps us understand this art more clearly.

As an advanced-level course, AH318 is designed with the understanding that the coursework will feature interpretation, analysis and critical method rather than the mere assimilation and recall of factual material. Students will be presented with readings and lecture material from a variety of sources - and from a range of historic and critical literature on the topic under consideration. Each student will be expected to engage actively with course materials and methods.

Credits: 3.0
Prerequisite(s): WR200 and AH212/213 or its equivalences


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