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Art History Fall 2016 Course Offerings

ARTH 101                                                                                                        POPKIN

PYRAMIDS TO PAGODAS                                                                              MWF 10:35-11:25



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. Recommended texts: Marilyn Stokstad, Art History, vol. 1; Sylvan Barnet,  A Short Guide to Writing about Art, 10/Pearson-Prentice Hall; 10th edition, 2010 (paperback).


ARTH 260                                                                                                        BENAY

ART IN EARLY MODERN EUROPE:                                                                 TTH 10:00-11:15


This course explores the art of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, an era of rising nationalism, political aggrandizement, religious expansion and extravagant art patronage.  Artists like Caravaggio, Bernini, Velazquez, and Rembrandt negotiated emerging tensions between naturalism and idealization, court and city, public and private, and church and secular patronage.  Grand commissions vied with the new culture of open-air markets, and collectors squirreled away magnificent paintings, sculptures, and prints alongside dried specimens of natural history in their cabinets of curiosity.  These changes in artistic style, systems of patronage, and cultures of connoisseurship will provide the themes of the course as we explore what characterized the arts of Austria, Belgium, England, France, Germany, Italy, The Netherlands, and Spain. Reading: Gauvin Bailey, Baroque and Rococo (Phaidon Press, 2012) ISBN-10: 0714857424; additional readings will be posted on Blackboard. Requirements: two 5-7 page papers, in-class mid-term examination, in-class final examination, and active participation in class discussions and group activities.


ARTH 302/402                                                                                                   GIUFFRIDA

BUDDHIST ARTS OF ASIA                                                                                TTH 10:00-11:15


This course explores the visual and material culture of Buddhism in Asia from its origins in India to its transmission and transformation in China, Korea, Japan, Tibet, Thailand, and Indonesia.  Our historically and culturally structured examination traces major developments in Buddhist art and their relationships with belief, practice, and ritual.  We consider the ways that artistic traditions have adapted and evolved both within individual cultures and cross-culturally. We primarily focus on studying the historical contexts for sculpture, architecture, and painting, but we also consider the movement of Buddhist works from temples to sites of secular display in museums around the world, and the religious, cultural, and ethical 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 Pure Land, Chan, and Zen. Visits to the Asian galleries at Cleveland Museum of Art form an integral part of the course.


ARTH 350/450                                                                                                   KOTOCH               

Issues in Medieval Art: The Medieval Church                                                   TTH 2:30-3:45


This course will trace the development of the medieval church through an art historical and architectural lens from roughly 500 until 1500.  Churches fulfilled both conceptual and functional needs for Christian worshipers throughout the Middle Ages.  These structures could vary significantly in form, style, and iconography based on geography, time period, and culture.

This class will focus on churches constructed in Europe in the Middle Ages, from the modest sites of worship in the early centuries of Christianity to the great Gothic cathedrals.  We will examine examples from various cultures and time periods to analyze their meanings and implications in light of their production at a time of great social, intellectual, religious, and political dynamism and upheaval.  In addition to architecture and exterior ornamentation, we will also consider the sculpture, painting, and liturgical items that furnished the interior. Trips to CMA galleries will be featured as well.

Text to purchase: Course readings will consist of articles, book chapters, and exhibition catalogues that will be placed on reserve in Ingalls Library at the CMA or scanned and posted to BlackBoard. Requirements for 350: Two examinations, a research paper, oral presentation on the research project, and participation in class discussions. Requirements for 450: Two examinations, a research paper, oral presentation on the research project, and participation in class discussions.  Graduate students will also have additional readings and lead select class discussions.


ARTH 360/460                                                                                                            SCALLEN

RENAISSANCE ART IN NORTHERN EUROPE                                                            TTH 11:30-12:45

Ca. 1380-1570


The visual arts of the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries participated in the widespread social and political changes in northern Europe in what is today Belgium, The Netherlands, Germany, and France.  In this course we will examine both the work of pioneering individual artists, such as Jan van Eyck, Hieronymus Bosch, Albrecht Dürer and Pieter Bruegel, and larger themes such as patronage and the rise of the art market, the invention and dissemination of prints, the development of new subjects in art (landscapes, scenes of daily life) and the use of art for political propaganda and religious devotion.

Requirements for 360:  Midterm and final examinations, two critiques of articles read for class discussion, a research paper of 8-12 pages, oral presentations on the research project, participation in class discussions.

Requirements for 460:  Sam as for 362, with a longer (ca. 15-20 page) research paper and three critiques of assigned readings. Graduate students will also lead one class discussion.

Text to purchase:  Jeffrey Chipps Smith, The Northern Renaissance, Phaidon, 2004, ISBN071483675.  The other course readings will consist of articles, book chapters, and exhibition catalogues that will be placed on reserve at the CMA and Kelvin Smith libraries.


ARTH 395                                                                                                        AS ARRANGED


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                                                                                                        AS ARRANGED

INDEPENDENT STUDY IN ART HISTORY                                                       

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



ARTH 399                                                                                                        AS ARRANGED

HONORS THESIS                                                                                            

 Consent of supervising Professor and a permit is required.


ARTH 491 A & B                                                                                             AS ARRANGED

VISUAL ARTS AND MUSEUMS: INTERNSHIP                                                  WITCHEY

Consent of supervising Professor.  Prerequisite:  ARTH 490


ARTH 494 (A-F)                                                                                               AS ARRANGED


Consent of supervising Professor and a permit is required for all Directed Readings BEFORE registering.


A: Non-Western Art                                                                              GIUFFRIDA

B:  Ancient Art                                                                                     POPKIN

C: Medieval Art                                                                                   GERTSMAN

D: Renaissance and Baroque Art                                                          SCALLEN

Baroque Art

E: American Art                                                                                  ADAMS

F: Modern Art                                                                                      STAFF


ARTH 495                                                                                                        BENAY

METHODOLOGIES OF ART HISTORY                                                             W 10:35-1:05

This course is a writing- and discussion-intensive methodology course, open only to first-year graduate students in the department.  The course will serve as an introduction to critical theory and to various art historical methodologies and historiography.  Students will hone their abilities to look and read critically, to do research effectively; to write and edit research papers; to understand and use the many tools of art historical analysis; to use sophisticated art historical vocabulary; and to construct successful oral presentations. The larger goal of this course is to engage students with new ways of thinking and writing about art and its history, and to help them realize their own voices as writers within our field’s larger discourse. Requirements: weekly critical response papers, class participation and leading of class discussion, presentations, and final paper.


ARTH 512 SEMINAR IN ANCIENT ART                                                          POPKIN

PORTRAITURE IN THE ROMAN WORLD                                                       W 1:30-4:00

This graduate seminar investigates portraiture in ancient Rome. How did Romans define a portrait?  What made some images of human figures portraits and others not? Who commissioned portraits in the Roman world, and who created them? In what contexts were portraits displayed, and to what ends? We will consider methodological problems of studying Roman portraiture, including questions of definition, production, typology, viewer reception, and historical interpretation. Readings will include primary texts in translation as well as secondary scholarship. The class will take advantage of the Greek and Roman holdings in the Cleveland Museum of Art, especially the Museum’s excellent collection of Roman portraits.


ARTH 518 SEMINAR IN ASIAN ART                                                               GIUFFRIDA

CONVENING CELESTIAL AND INFERNAL COURTS                                       TH 1:00-3:30


The CMA’s fifty-leaf album featuring dozens of figures from the Daoist celestial pantheon as well as scenes set in Buddhist infernal courts of the ten kings has been renowned among Chinese art historians, Buddhologists, and specialists in Daoist history and visual culture for almost a century. However, the album spent most of its time behind closed doors in private collections during the twentieth century. And it has yet to be significantly studied or exhibited since its acquisition by the museum in 2004. Prompted by two groups of leaves in the album, the seminar explores developments in the visual culture, history, and practices of Daoist and Buddhist religious traditions in China from the eleventh to the seventeenth centuries. Topics include: iconography and roles of members of the Daoist and Buddhist pantheons, with particular concentration on celestial and thunder deities and the bureaucracy of hell; sacred scriptures and liturgies; modes of ritual and meditative practice; and the visual culture of Buddhist and Daoist assemblies.


The ultimate outcome of the course is a focus exhibition for the CMA with leaves from the album as the show’s centerpiece. Additional objects and paintings are drawn from the CMA and other North American institutional collections. As part of the course, students participate in workshops and viewing sessions with visiting scholars and curators. During the seminar, students will research exhibition objects, write catalogue entries and gallery labels, and collaborate to create an online catalogue for the show, thereby providing students with the opportunity to gain curatorial experience.

This course is part of the series of Mellon Foundation collection graduate seminars.


ARTH 601                                                                                                        AS ARRANGED

RESEARCH IN ART HISTORY                                                                         

List name of supervising Professor.


ARTH 610A                                                                                                     AS ARRANGED


List name of supervising Professor


ARTH 701                                                                                                        AS ARRANGED


List name of supervising Professor.






Page last modified: October 11, 2016