Department of Art History and Art

Navigation + Search
Home / Art History Spring 2017 Course Offerings

Art History Spring 2017 Course Offerings

ARTH 102


MWF 10:35-11:25

Prof. Andrea Wolk Rager


This course takes a broad view of the history of art, tracing major developments from the 14th century to the present in Europe and the America, as well as examining key aspects of African and Asian art. In this class we will discuss significant artists, objects and movements, with special emphasis on painting, sculpture, architecture, the decorative arts, and print media. These works will be studied in their social and historical contexts, with consideration of issues of style, subject matter, meaning, technique, and aesthetics. We will also focus on various methodological approaches to the history of art, focusing on questions of gender, class, and globalization, questioning the formation of the canon as we trace the stories of art and its creation.  This class will take advantage of the rich collections of the Cleveland Museum of Art, with regular sessions in the galleries, allowing students to acquire the skills of visual analysis through firsthand engagement with actual art objects.

Required textbook: Marilyn Stokstad’s Art History (5th edition), volume 2 [ISBN-10: 0205877575

ISBN-13: 978-0205877577].

Course requirements: Two in-class exams, final exam, three short papers in response to objects in the collection of the Cleveland Museum of Art, and participation in weekly small group discussion.


ARTH 208


T TH 11:30-12:45

Prof. Noelle Giuffrida


This course explores a selection of major developments in Japanese visual and material culture from ancient times up until the present day. We consider works in multiple media including paintings, sculpture, calligraphy, ceramics, woodblock prints, architecture, performance art, and installations.  We look into the roles of art in society, the relationship of art to political authority, the place of art in religious practice and experience, connections between art and literature, and how art relates to the expression of personal, social, political, and cultural identity. We pay particular attention to tea ceramics, Edo and Meiji period woodblock prints, Chinese and Western influences on Japanese art, and works associated with Buddhist religious practices and ideas such as ink painting, portraiture, and statuary connected with Zen.  We also examine the role of museums in selecting, preserving, and presenting Japanese art in the twentieth and twenty-first century.  Visits to the Cleveland Museum of Art form an integral part of the course. We will engage significantly with the exhibition from Tokyo National Museum, Remaking Tradition: Modern Art in Japan at the CMA from February through May 2014. Required Text: Penelope Mason, revised by Donald Dinwiddie. History of Japanese Art, second edition. Pearson/Prentice Hall, 2005.  Requirements:  Three exams (including the final), weekly reading responses (one-two pages), 3-5 page paper on a piece on display in the Japanese galleries at the CMA, 5-7 page paper comparing two artworks in the Remaking Tradition exhibition, and active participation in class discussions.


ARTH 241


T TH 1:00-2:15

Prof. Elina 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. Assignments include two exams, a short research paper, and discussion sessions.




ARTH 307/407                                                                                                                                           

THE ARTS OF CHINA                                                                                                                                

T TH 2:30-3:45



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 355/455


T TH 10:00-11:15

Prof. Elina Gertsman
This course will examine medieval manuscript production, paying particular attention to the issues of patronage, gender, literacy, reception, and cultural biases. We will explore the imagery and texts of monastic and courtly manuscripts, Christian and Jewish devotional books, and Islamic secular manuscripts, all within the framework of the tightly interwoven theological and social discourses of the institutions that commissioned them. The thirteenth century will receive a special focus, as we will study contemporaneous manuscripts of illuminated Jewish Haggadahs, Arabic Maqamat, Spanish miracula, and French picture Bibles. Throughout the semester we will be spending time at the Ingalls Library, the Kulas Library, and Special Collections at the KSL to explore full facsimiles of several outstanding manuscripts, and the Cleveland Museum of Art to look at original codices. General assignments will include two exams, a presentation on a facsimile of choice, a research paper, and discussion/participation. Graduate students will be assigned additional readings and will turn in a longer research paper.


ARTH 379/479


M W 12:45-2:00

Prof. Andrea Rager


This course will examine the prehistory, invention, and proliferation of photography in its artistic and cultural contexts, from the naissance of the medium in the early nineteenth century to the eve of World War I.   Through the close study of significant photographers, photographic technologies, and individual photographs, we will consider issues of politics, gender, nationalism, imperialism, globalization, and class.  Focusing in particular on Britain, France, and the United States, but also touching upon Asia, the Middle East, and Africa, we will explore several pervasive themes throughout the early 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, collective, and national memory; the democratization of the photographic image, the development of amateur practice, and the potential to achieve agency through self-representation; the burden of visual surveillance and the consequences of photographic absence, omission, or appropriation; the commodification of photography and its function in mass popular entertainment; the intersection of photography with early film; the subsequent collecting, display, and reception of nineteenth-century photography in the museum; and, finally, the influence of early photography on twenty-first century artists in the digital age.  In addition to the consultation of primary source documents and the application of a range of theoretical strategies, from Benjamin to Barthes, Foucault to Sontag, this seminar will involve extensive use of the rich photographic collections of the Cleveland Museum of Art.  Class will meet in the study room several times throughout the semester and students will conduct in-depth research on individual photographs in the CMA collections.  We will also have the opportunity to explore the exhibition, Cheating Death: Portrait Photography’s First Half Century, curated by Barbara Tannenbaum and on view at the CMA through February 5, 2017.  Additionally, we will consult the photography collections of other University Circle institutions, including Western Reserve Historical Society and the Dittrick Medical History Center.

Course requirements: two oral presentations; two short object papers; exhibition review; mini-exhibition proposal; choice of final research paper or exhibition proposal



ARTH 395                                                                                                                               



Prof. Noelle Giuffrida                                                                                                                                                                      SCALLEN


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 398                                                                                                                                                                                          AS ARRANGED


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


ARTH 399                                                                                                                                                                                          AS ARRANGED

HONORS THESIS                                                                                                                                                                           STAFF

Consent of Department Chair.  List name of supervising Professor


ARTH 489                                                                                                                                                                                          AS ARRANGED

MA QUALIFYING PAPER                                                                                                                                                              STAFF

Graduating Art History (ARH) Masters students only.


ARTH 491B                                                                                                                                                                                    AS ARRANGED


Prof. Holly Witchey

Prerequisite:  ARTH 490A & B


ARTH 494 A-F


Independent Study

Consent of professor


ARTH 496


TH 1:15-3:45

Prof. Heather Galloway


This course will introduce students to the examination methods, terminology, ethics and goals of art conservation as it supports art historical research and practice.  We will explore the materials and construction of cultural artifacts looking for commonalities across media and cultures.  Assignments will focus on finding ways to describe and understand the physical object, the appearance of aging materials and the degree to which that alteration is or is not accepted.  As much as is possible, the class will be taught from the collections on display at the Cleveland Museum of Art (CMA) so that the students become familiar with reading the evidence of manufacture and condition in their direct study of art.   These observations will be augmented by in-class visits to conservation labs at the CMA to examine objects closely and to engage in discussions with conservators on how their treatment interventions affect what we see including their approaches to aesthetic compensation.

Readings:  Course readings will consist of articles and chapters of books that will be placed on reserve in the Ingalls Library at the CMA and/or posted on blackboard as PDFs.  Course Requirements:  Active participation in class discussions; one (1-2page) ungraded visual analysis of materials and structure and one longer technical research paper (12-15page) both based on objects in the CMA collection; consultation with CMA staff conservators with a knowledge base applicable to the research paper; and an in-class presentation based on that research.


ARTH 551


T 11:30-2:00

Prof. Erin Benay

This seminar will focus on the artistic production of Caravaggio and the seemingly endless production of art historical literature that has been generated since his death in 1610.  We will discuss key thematic ideas related to the interpretation of Caravaggio’s paintings such as homoeroticism in his early pictures, his use of models, or readings of violence in some of Caravaggio’s more gruesome canvases.  We will also consider the politics of 17th-21st century collecting, the display of Caravaggio’s work in recent exhibitions, and the ways in which technology and conservation practices have impacted attributions and the study of Caravaggio’s technique. By reading and writing extensively about one artist, students will become intimately familiar with the art historical problems associated with one of the great ‘masters’ of Western Art.  Home to one of very few Caravaggio paintings in the United States, visits to the Cleveland Museum of Art will further supplement our discussions, as will a series of guest lectures by Dean Yoder, chief paintings conservator at the CMA. Requirements include leading weekly discussions, 3 critical response papers, a final research paper (20-25 pages), and final presentations.


ARTH 552


W 10:15-12:45

Prof. Catherine Scallen


The subject of ARTH 552 in Spring 2017 will be The Print in Northern Europe, 1400-1800, and will have the extraordinary opportunity of holding  the class each week in the Object Study Room of the CMA.  In this seminar we will trace the development of the various kinds of prints made in Germany, The Netherlands and France in this era, beginning with woodcuts and engravings, and then encompassing the development of etching, mezzotint, color printmaking, etc.  Working closely with James Wehn, the Mellon Predoctoral Curatorial Fellow in Prints, we will examine prints in the original and emphasize cultural significance, technical innovation, and connoisseurship (learning how to look at various kinds of prints and understand their physical condition).  The oeuvres of several printmakers whose work is held in depth at the CMA, such as Albrecht Dürer and Rembrandt van Rijn, will be examined to highlight their innovations ins technique and subject matter. Developments in Italian in this period will also be introduced through comparative study.


Requirements:  The seminar meetings will focus on close looking at original prints and discussion of readings done in common each week.  Every seminar member is expected to participate in these discussions regularly as a seminar requirement. Two-person teams will also help to lead the discussion each week. Finally, each participant will deliver an abbreviated version of their semester research project in class and provide an annotated bibliography for the other participants at that time.  The research project will culminate in a research paper, 15-18 pages for MA students, 20-24 pages for doctoral students.  We will be reading articles, book chapters and exhibition catalogue essays weekly that will be scanned and posted to a shared Google Drive folder.


ARTH 601                                                                                                                                                                                          AS ARRANGED     

RESEARCH IN ART HISTORY                                                                                                                                            


List name of supervising Professor.





List name of supervising Professor


ARTH 701                                                                                                                                                                                          AS ARRANGED

DISSERTATION PH.D.                                                                                                      

List name of supervising Professor.









Page last modified: January 12, 2017