ARTH 101


MWF 10:35-11:25


This introductory survey course explores the history of world architecture and visual arts from prehistory through the late Medieval period (ca. 1400 C.E.). This course offers a broad overview of major works and emphasizes the historical and cultural contexts in which art and architecture were produced. Students will explore the functions, styles, and historical interrelationships of individual works of art and architecture. Study of a diverse range of objects will also help students understand aspects of the various cultures that produced them, as well as the relevance of these works of art and the cultures that produced them to our own culture. Students also learn the basic vocabulary and methods of art history as a discipline in preparation for more advanced art history courses. Students will learn skills including visual analysis and historical interpretation of works of art and architecture.



ARTH 203


T/TH 11:30-12:45


This course will survey a selection of major developments in the arts of Asia from the bronze age to the early modern period. The course will explore works from India, China, Japan, and Korea with a focus on a wide range of media, including sculpture, painting, ceramics, architecture, bronzes, calligraphy, and prints. The course will not only analyze milestones in artistic style, subject matter, and material, but also examine the social, political, religious and personal factors behind the making of these works of art. Art’s relationship to the ideas and practices of Buddhism, Hinduism, and Daoism will be especially highlighted. Overall, the course will provide a forum in which to discuss artistic, cultural, and ideological exchanges and investigate the differences in the art of different Asian countries. Visits to the Cleveland Museum of Art form an integral part of the course. Counts for CAS Global & Cultural Diversity Requirement

Nataraja, Shiva as the Lord of Dance, 1000s, South India, CMA

ARTH 250


T/TH 11:30-12:45


Renaissance Europe was a place ripe for artistic and cultural revolution: in Italy the return of the papacy to Rome, the Venetian conquest of Constantinople, the revival of Plato and Aristotle, and the beginning of empirical science redefined the social and political landscape.  In Northern Europe religious rebellion, foreign trade, and the discovery of the Americas fostered unprecedented technical innovations in the making and dissemination of art.  How did anatomical dissection affect artists’ rendering of the human body?  In what ways did the printing press impact the art market?  And perhaps more importantly, how did such discoveries and depictions change our understanding of what it means to be human in the first place?  In this course we will discuss the impact of these factors on the painting, sculpture, and architecture produced between the 14th and 16th centuries, focusing on the achievements of major artists across Europe (including Brunelleschi, Masaccio, Leonardo, Michelangelo, Raphael, van Eyck, Bosch, Dürer and Bruegel). 



ARTH 260


T/TH 1-2:15


The seventeenth and eighteenth centuries in western and central Europe were a time of great artistic innovation and creativity; they also represent a period of significant change and upheaval in European societies. As we look at the major monuments of architecture, painting, and sculpture in Italy, France, Spain, Belgium, The Netherlands, Germany, Austria, and England, we will consider such issues as: how did the arts serve nation building and political symbolism? How were religious reforms reflected in works of art? What role did the rising middle class play as patrons of art? Where did open art markets develop and why? Where did commissioned art works still dominate? Among the artists studied will be: Caravaggio, Bernini, Rubens, Rembrandt, Vermeer, Poussin, Watteau, Velazquez, Zurbaran, Hogarth. We will also look at major building projects in Rome, London, Paris, and Versailles.  Course goals include greater understanding of the societies and cultures of this period in Europe, enhanced ability to read and assess scholarly literature in art history, sharpened writing and speaking skills. Format: course lectures, in-class discussion of readings, and gallery visits to the CMA collections.

Requirements: three 2-3-page papers, one class presentation, take-home final examination, and active participation in class discussions.  No textbook; all assigned readings will be uploaded to Canvas.

Diego Velazques, Las Meninas, 1656, Museo Nacinoal del Prado

ARTH 336/436


M/W 12:45-2:00


Few societies in history have been as militaristic as ancient Rome—or as proud of their warrior culture. This course examines the many ways that Romans constructed and contested their conceptions of war from the founding of the Roman Republic in 509 B.C.E. to the reign of Constantine (306-337 C.E.). Why did Romans choose to represent war in certain ways, and how did these artistic representations shape Romans’ military values? What can the visual record tell us about how different groups (soldiers, women, slaves) experienced war in the Roman world? We will explore major public monuments in the city of Rome (including triumphal arches and the Colosseum) and private objects (such as silver drinking vessels) to observe how Roman militarism pervaded different walks of life. We will also examine monuments on the edges of Rome’s empire, such as the towering trophies in modern France and Romania, to explore how works of art and architecture mediated the relationship between Romans and the peoples they conquered. Students will be encouraged to think about how art and architecture contributed to the construction of militarism as a chief Roman value, but also about how visual representations provided an important means to debate the value of Rome’s military efforts, to subvert Rome’s rigidly hierarchical social order, and to grapple with what it meant to “be Roman” as wars transformed Rome from a small city in Italy to a massive, pan-Mediterranean empire. After exploring Romans’ conceptions of war and victory, students may also ask whether the common comparison between the Roman Empire and modern America is appropriate. 



ART 356/456


T/TH 1-2:15


This course will explore there distinct but interrelated topics in medieval visual culture, which haunt the modern world as well. We will first study the concepts of the monsters and the monstrous in medieval Europe, as they were manifested in visual, literary, and cryptozoological production. From monster theory to monster culture, we will look at the anxieties that the monsters—those from the edges, those from within—have written on the body of medieval art. These same anxieties, rooted in the fear of difference, manifest themselves in the macabre art: the art of living death that predicated material universe of the late Middle Ages. We will explore the ghosts and the revenants, the living corpses and the nimble skeletons that populate medieval murals, manuscripts, and sculpture. All this is wrapped into the notion of the miraculous, both wondrous and dangerous at once; here, the focus will be on female bodies. Students should be prepared to discuss these topics both within the context of medieval Europe and within our own historical moment.

ARTH 367/467


T/TH 10-11:15


Louis XIV, the “Sun King,” and his palace complex at Versailles; the changing function of art works with the rise of consumer culture; the rise of Rococo decorative arts; the important women patrons and painters. This was a time of tremendous social and political change, reflected in the arts. These are some of the topics we will consider as we survey the arts of painting and printmaking, sculpture, decorative arts and architecture in France from 1600 to the eve of revolution in 1789. Lectures and discussions will focus on the social and political uses of art and architecture, stylistic developments, patronage, the art market and collecting. Format: lectures, class discussions, and gallery visits to the CMA collections. Requirements for 367: midterm and take-home final examination, two short critiques of articles, one research project and one class presentation. Requirements for 467: same basic requirements as 367; graduate students will also write additional critiques, lead a class discussion, and write a longer research paper.Texts: all readings will be taken from exhibition catalogues, books and scholarly journals and uploaded to Canvas.

Jean-Antoine Watteau, The Signboard of Gersaint, 1720, Charlottenburg Palace, Berlin

ARTH 368/468


T/TH 2:30-3:45


A child’s room is often stocked with marvels: bird nests, shells, shiny stones, books, and drawings.  The great art collections of the Renaissance began in much the same way as these playful assemblages.  From cabinets of curiosities containing treasures from foreign lands, to paintings of nude women by Titian and Raphael, these early collections marked the beginning of the modern art museum.  What do the hoarding tendencies of the Jesuit Athanasius Kircher (1601-1680), founder of the ‘Kircherianum’—a museum filled with taxidermy animals and mechanical inventions—have in common with Ronald Lauder’s recent and widely publicized purchase of a Gustav Klimt painting for $135 million?  Famous American art collectors of the 19th & 20th centuries like Henry Clay Frick, Isabella Stewart Gardner, and Peggy Guggenheim opened these formerly private realms of display to the public, revealing the complex motives and politics inherent to the practice of art collection.  This course will focus first on the conceptual issues that informed early modern collecting in the western world, and subsequently the way that these ideas and modalities later inflected and shaped the history of modern collecting—particularly in the private sector in Europe and America. 



ARTH 397/497


T/TH 4:00-5:15


This course will explore modern and contemporary art and visual culture in East Asia produced since the mid-twentieth century with a focus on major artistic movements and artists active in China, Japan, and Korea. Encountering complicated geopolitical and socioeconomic conditions in the post-war era, a series of experimental and radical artistic, cultural, political movements have emerged in East Asia. The course will map the critical topographies of Asian art from 1945 to the 1980s through the exploration of the following: post-war art and experimental art in Japan and Korea, Chinese art during the Cultural Revolution, material culture in Japanese Mono-ha and Korean Dansaekhwa, and art of resistance in China and Korea in the 1980s. The course will also investigate contemporary Asian art and visual culture focusing on its global turn from the late 1980s. Fueled by international geopolitical change, economic boom, and the impact of globalization, art in Asia or by Asian artists has gained a high level of international visibility and taken a central position in contemporary art exhibitions and art criticism. This visual, social, and theoretical development in the recent art in Asia will be examined through key issues and themes: art’s revisiting of tradition and history, its exploration of body and identity, the impact of consumerism and popular culture, and its engagement with public space and the urban environment. Counts for CAS Global & Cultural Diversity Requirement.

Cai Guo-Qiang, Pine Forest and Wolf, 2005, CMA.

ARTH 395


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


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

ARTH 399


Consent of supervising Professor and a permit is required.


ARTH 490


FRIDAY 10-12:30


This course examines the idea of the art museum in both its historical and contemporary manifestations. The art museum is a rich topic; this course focuses primarily on collecting and exhibiting practice in Western Europe and the United States. As a result of this course, students should be familiar with the following topics:

  • The historical 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, cataloging, 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:

o The museum as a place for learning, research and scholarship.

o The museum as steward of cultural property & issues of ethics and the law.

As a result of studying with the course topics and concepts outlined above, students should be prepared to undertake a professional level internship.  In addition, through course assignments, students will gain proficiency in written and verbal expression and deepen skills in critical thinking, analysis, and problem-solving. While the acquisition of foreign language skills lies outside the scope of this course, students are nonetheless encouraged to develop their skills in this arena in order to read and interpret foreign language materials often associated with objects and museum projects.


ARTH 491



Consent of supervising Professor.  Prerequisite: ARTH 490

ARTH 494 (A-F)


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

A: Non-Western Art

B:  Ancient Art

C: Medieval Art

D: Renaissance and Baroque Art

Baroque Art

E: American Art

F: Modern Art

ARTH 495


TUESDAY 10-12:30


This is a writing- and discussion-intensive methodology course, open only to first-year graduate students in the department. Besides offering a synoptic view of critical theory and something of a smorgasbord of various art historical methodologies, the course will focus on sharpening your 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 (as opposed to jargon); and to construct successful oral presentations. The larger goal of this course is to engage you with new ways of thinking and writing about art and its history. I hope that over the course of this semester, you will realize your own voice as a writer within our field’s larger discourse. Requirements: several short papers, two types of oral presentations, research paper, participation. 



ARTH 565


WEDNESDAY 2:15-4:45


In 1825 Thomas Cole exhibited three landscapes in New York that shifted the direction of American painting away from portraiture to landscape—which dominated American painting for the next fifty years.  When Cole first exhibited, wilderness was widely viewed as something to be destroyed to make way for civilization. Fifty years later, the city and industrial landscape had become a savage wilderness, and the natural landscape had come to be viewed as a refuge.  In this period, Frederick Law Olmsted, the creator of Central Park, brought wilderness into the center of America’s most crowded city, New York, and Gifford Pinchot campaigned to set aside millions of acres of pristine wilderness as National Parks. This class will explore how landscape painting helped change our national consciousness, and led to new attitudes towards wilderness and nature.  

Albert Bierstadt, Yosemite Valley, 1868, Birmingham Museum of Art.


ARTH 570


WEDNESDAY 10:35-1:05


This seminar 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.  Additionally, we will consult the photography collections of other University Circle institutions, including Western Reserve Historical Society and the Dittrick Medical History Center.  Requirements: two object papers, final research paper, discussion leader presentation, informal presentations

William Henry Fox Talbot, Winter Trees Reflected in a Pond, 1841-42, Salted paper print from calotype negative, Image: 16.4 x 19.1 cm (6 7/16 x 7 1/2 in.); CMA 2006.4


ARTH 601


List name of supervising Professor.



List name of supervising Professor

ARTH 701


List name of supervising Professor.