The Art History program is designed to provide students a challenging environment to study great works of art and architecture primarily within the Western tradition. Students are also given the opportunity to incorporate courses on the art and architecture of Asia.
The foundation course is AH 103A Art of the Western World where emphasis is placed on broadly evaluating art in terms of style, purpose, subject matter, and historical context. Students develop a comprehensive understanding of the history of art, build their art historical vocabulary, and become proficient in the basic skills of formal analysis. With this base of knowledge, students then progress into any of the specialized studies of art and architecture. These advanced courses are especially designed to hone students' written and spoken analytical and comparative skills, and to engage them in thorough investigations of major movements and styles of art as well as the numerous historical, political, religious, social, economic, psychological, and/or environmental forces that shaped them.
Students may earn a minor in art history. The minor requires successful completion of Art of the Western World and five additional approved art history (AH) courses, only two of which may be at the 200 level. Coursework in art history taken overseas or at other institutions may also qualify but is subject to the approval of discipline faculty.
AH 103A: Art of the Western World
Introductory course covering the major periods of western art history from its inception to the present-day. Discussion of major works from each era provides information about the cultures and highlights achievements of outstanding artists.
AH 203A: Arts of the Silk Road
A survey of the arts and material culture of the golden age of the Silk Road caravan trade between China, India, and Persia. Emphasis is placed on Chinese arts, especially through Buddhist painting and sculpture.
AH 208A: History of Architecture
Introductory survey of architectural history from prehistory to today. Though emphasis is placed on the history of built forms from the West, comparisons will be made to architectural monuments from other areas of the globe.
AH 209A: Ancient Art
A global survey of ancient art including prehistoric art and the art of Mesopotamia, the Aegean, Greece, Etruria, Rome, Egypt, China, Japan, Southeast Asia, Korea, Islam, Africa, and the Americas.
AH 221A: Art of Japan
Major epochs of Japanese art history from its beginnings in the Jomon period to today. Discussion of major works from each era provides information about Japanese culture and highlights achievements of outstanding artists.
AH 317: American Art
This course is primarily an in-depth study of American painting from its genesis to the present though major monuments in sculpture and architecture are also highlighted. Prerequisite: AH 103A.
AH 319: Nineteenth-Century Art
Study of nineteenth-century painting and sculpture focusing primarily on France. Artistic achievements of countries such as England, Germany, Italy, and the United States are also examined. Prerequisite: AH 103A.
AH 320: Twentieth-Century Art
This course covers major developments in the visual arts from 1900 to the end of the twentieth century with a focus on modernism and postmodernism in the United States and Europe. Prerequisite: AH 103A.
AH 321: Topics in Contemporary Art
This course addresses recent global developments in art from 1980 to the present; focus on particular artists, works, and movements will vary. Prerequisite: AH 103A.
AH 322: History of Photography
This course is an overview of the history of photography from the nineteenth century up to today. Prerequisite: AH 103A or AR 229A.