Spring 2019

Undergraduate Courses

Graduate Courses

Undergraduate Courses

Undergraduate Catalog

ARTH200 Art and Society in Ancient and Medieval Europe to the Mediterranean (Professor Gensheimer) 
MW 11-11:50 + section (ASY 2203)
ARTH 200 is designed to introduce you to some of the principal works of ancient and medieval Western art and architecture.  Throughout the semester, we will examine art created in two and three dimensions, including sculpture, architecture, and painting.  This course adopts a chronological approach to the study of, and intersections between, art and society in ancient and medieval Europe and the Mediterranean.  We begin with the art of ancient Egypt and end with developments in the Middle Ages.  We emphasize the historical, religious, political, social, and cultural contexts of the works studied; the relationship of the works of art to the society that created them; and the interrelationships of these societies as seen through their material and visual culture.

 ARTH201 Art and Society in the West from the Renaissance to the Present (Professor Mansbach) 
MW 9-9:50 + section (ASY 2203)
This course examines the visual arts of Europe (and to a lesser extent the United States) from roughly the year 1300 to the present.  Although the course is predicated chronologically on ARTH 200, there is no pre-requisite and a student will find ARTH 201 self-sufficient as it introduces and analyzes major artistic monuments that continue to shape our vision and define our world.

ARTH255 Art and society in the Modern American World (Professor Saggese)
MW 10-10:50 + section (ASY 2203)
This course is a multicultural history of art of the United States from the colonial period to the near present. We will expand the field of “American art” to include works created by artists of Euro-American descent as well as by Native American, Asian American, African American, and Latinx artists and artisans.  In this class, you will be asked to study a history of objects and images alongside the material conditions of their production. More specifically,  we will study visual production from this geographic region and period as both a reflection of the personal and cultural values of the maker, and as evidence of an engagement in larger social and political debates around issues of labor, identity, modernism, and nationalism. Over the semester, we will pay particular attention to the role that artistic production and consumption have played in constructing American social identities and culture. In addition to attending lecture, participating in discussions, and completing two writing assignments, students will visit area museums to view original artworks.

ARTH300 Egyptian Art and Archaeology (Professor Egan)
TuTh 9:30-10:45 (ASY 3215)
This course introduces students to the art and archaeology of ancient Egypt from the pre-dynastic to Roman periods, ca. 6000 BCE-100 CE. Focus is placed on both objects and architecture and considers issues of artistic production,  iconography, and the manipulation of images and spaces as a way to achieve changing goals under changing rulership. The course asks students to think critically about ancient works through the lens of modern scholarship, and teaches skills in digital archaeological documentation and analysis using primary materials.


ARTH301 Aegean Art and Archaeology (Professor Egan)
TuTh 12:30-1:45 (ASY 3215)
This course introduces students to the art and archaeology of Bronze Age Greece from roughly 3100-1050 BCE. The cultures of Minoan Crete, the Aegean islands, and the Mycenaean mainland are explored with an eye to understanding the purpose of artistic choices made in the context of varying socio-political environments. The course asks students to think critically about ancient art and architecture and to consider the challenges inherent in the modern interpretation of societies without written history.


ARTH320 Fourteenth and Fifteenth-Century Northern European Art (Professor Martinez)
TuTh 12:30-1:45 (ASY 3211)
In the wealthy cities of late-medieval northern Europe artists vied to serve nobles, merchants, and clergymen.   Painters such as Jan van Eyck dazzled their clients with works in the new medium of oil paint while others,  Martin  Schongauer, for example, expanded the capabilities of the equally new print medium.  In this course you will become acquainted with objects of great beauty, made with ingenuity and skill.
In addition to paintings and prints, you will study a wide range of other works: sculptures, manuscripts, goldworks, textiles, even armor.  By examining these works from a variety of perspectives you will be able to understand their significance to people of the time.   Just as important, you will develop valuable visual skills of observation and analysis.  



ARTH335 Seventeenth-Century Art in the Netherlands (Professor Georgievska-Shine)
TuTh 11-12:15 (ASY 3211)
This upper-division course addresses the visual culture of Southern and Northern Netherlands (present day Belgium and Holland). In the course of the seventeenth century, these two geographic and cultural areas became the sites of some of the most exciting artistic developments in all of Europe. In addition to learning about different artistic genres and their main exponents, students will gain a more in-depth understanding of the works of several key Dutch and Flemish artists: Peter Paul Rubens, Anthony Van Dyck, Rembrandt van Rijn, and Johannes Vermeer.


ARTH386 Experiential Learning
Prerequisite: Permission of ARHU-Art History & Archaeology department.
Junior standing or higher.
Contact department for information to register for this course.

ARTH389A Special Topics in Art History and Archaeology: The Art of Drawing: A Left and Right Brain Experience (Professor Bland)
W 2-4:30 (ASY 3215)
This course examines Old and Modern Master Drawings, theories of drawing and drawing practice. Lectures will discuss Dr. Betty Edward's theory of a verbal, analytical Left Brain and a visual, perceptual Right Brain. As practice, students will learn to make the mental shift from left, analytical brain to right, visual brain. Class exercises are based on Betty Edward's text, Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain. No prior drawing experience is necessary.


ARTH389B Special Topics in Art History and Archaeology; The Art of Color: A Left and Right Brain Experience (Professor Bland)
F 10-12:30pm (ASY 2318)
This course is about understanding color and experiencing color. The course is composed of two parts, a lecture and color practice. The lectures examine a wide range of old and modern master paintings from Antiquity to the Twentieth Century. The lectures also examine how artists use color in a variety of media to distinctively record their surroundings, express their emotions and explore the aesthetics of color applications. The practice portion of this course is composed of color/painting assignments that challenge students beyond color theory. Students will complete a series of exercises based on Dr. Betty Edward's text, Color, A Course in Mastering the Art of Mixing Color. No prior drawing or painting experience is necessary. However, students should be willing to extend a concerted amount of time and effort on each studio assignment.

ARTH389K Special Topics in Art History and Archaeology; Curating Change: Latin American Art at the Inter-American Development Bank (Professor McEwen)
Th 2-4:30 (ASY 3219)
In collaboration with the IDB Cultural Center within the Unit of Creativity and Culture Unit of the Inter-American Development Bank, this course considers the relationship between art and development—social and economic—through the IDB’s Art Collection.  Our focus falls on the historical development of modern Latin American art through the twentieth century, from Mexican Muralism and indigenismo to Surrealism and Neo-figuration.  We will visit the IDB and learn about the ways in which its cultural programming supports and enhances its hemispheric mission, encompassing such issues as gender equality and diversity, climate change, and social inclusion.  Students will be introduced to digital art history and, as their main project, curate an online exhibition for the IDB through the Google Art Project.

ARTH389Q Special Topics in Art History and Archaeology; Classic Foreign Films (Professor Kuo)
M 1-3:30 (HBK 0302J)
Students will explore classic foreign films from India, Japan, China, France, Italy, Germany, Denmark, Sweden, Russia, and other countries. This course is designed to enable students to examine historically and artistically significant films made since 1945 by some of the most important directors in world cinema.




ARTH389T Special Topics in Art History and Archaeology: Renaissance Venice (Professor Georgievska-Shine)
TuTh 2-3:15 (ASY 3215)
Renaissance Venice was a maritime power whose territories stretched throughout the Mediterranean. Its identity was shaped by complex cultural exchanges with political entities ranging from Byzantium and the Ottoman Empire, to major centers of trade in Northern Europe. This openness to diverse influences also resulted in a tremendously rich visual culture. In this course, students will be introduced to some of the greatest of Venetian painters of the Renaissance, from Bellini and Giorgione, to Titian and Tintoretto. In addition to class discussions, they will be able to study their works at the National Gallery of Art, both through the permanent collection and three special exhibitions dedicated to the art of this city in 2019.

ARTH389W Special Topics in Art History and Archaeology; Professional Writing in Art History: Museum Communications (Professor Paganussi)
TuTh 9:30-10:45 (ASY 4304)
Who plans a museum exhibition? How do museum and gallery employees decide which artworks to include? How do exhibition teams create labels, texts, and programs for different audiences? In this course, we will practice the types of writing used in careers in museums, galleries, and other arts organizations. Through weekly colloquia and workshops, you will hone your skills in professional writing, with particular attention paid to clarity and effectiveness in articulating an argument or point of view. You will learn from museum and heritage professionals about crafting grant proposals, press releases, social media and marketing plans, and exhibition wall texts and labels. The course culminates with the delivery of a museum exhibition portfolio and a conference paper. Although this course is designed specifically for students interested in careers in museums, galleries, and heritage sites, you will obtain the same skills necessary for careers in other sectors of the cultural, heritage, and nonprofit industries.

ARTH488J Colloquium in Art History; Japanese Art in the 20th Century: Empire, War & Occupation (Professor Volk)
TuTh 11-12:15 (ASY 3217)
Learn how art played a role in building the Japanese empire, supporting the war effort, and rebuilding the nation after defeat. Discover the relation between art, power and politics. See how contemporary Japanese artists incorporate modern history into their art. Handle archival materials and artworks with your own hands.




ARTH488N Colloquium in Art History; Dead or Alive? Still-Life Painting, 1870 - Today (Professor Lazevnick)
W 2-4:30 (ASY 3217)
In the late-19th and 20th centuries, modern artists brought an old genre back to life—literally. Still-life painting had emerged in sixteenth-century Europe when vernacular objects were first portrayed apart from portraiture and narrative scenes, and it was exactly the genre’s unsuspecting qualities that made it an arena for formal innovation in the work of Paul Cézanne, Pablo Picasso, Man Ray, Georgia O’Keeffe, Stuart Davis, Giorgio Morandi, Jasper Johns, or Claes Oldenburg. This course proposes that the obsessive concentration on the object-world, found in these and other diverse examples from the twentieth century, parallels theories of vitalism and anticipates interest in post-humanism. As the Cartesian distinction between subject and object was being rigorously challenged, still life offered a place for philosophical speculation. What would the world look like without us? Does it exist if we are not watching? Is it possible to imagine a universe only of inanimate things? We will begin asking these questions by pairing still life with historical writings (by Henri Bergson, William James, and Alfred North Whitehead) as well as current debates in new materialism and ecocriticism. More boldly than previous interpretations offered by phenomenology or psychoanalysis, such methods invite us to treat a picture as a realm entirely beyond artistic control. At the same time, we will not enter that world uncritically, as we will also probe the limitations of object-oriented thinking, especially in cases where removing distinctions between object and subject threatens to elide issues of human inequality—be it economic or racial or gendered—that still life has routinely disclosed. Over the course of the semester, we will make several trips to The Phillips Collection in Washington, D.C.

ARTH488G Colloquium in Art History: Art and the Environment (Professor Shannon)
Not open to those who have already taken ARTH465 (fall 17, spring 15, spring 12)
F 1-3:30
Class meets at The Phillips Collections University of Maryland Center for Art and Knowledge Center Studio 1600 21st Street, NW Washington, DC 20009
What is nature? What is civilization? How can the two co-exist? Art has been proposing a series of answers to these questions since long before the crisis of climate change. This course, focusing on Europe and North America since the advent of industrialization, studies art as an important means by which human beings produce and understand such fundamental concepts as nature, wilderness, the human being, civilization, cities, and the world. Looking especially at paintings, photographs, sculptures, films, and songs that represent the landscape, the course will consider the history of these key concepts as they pertain to the sustainability of life on earth. How has art ended up enabling environmental degradation and hastened climate change? How might it model a more sustainable set of relationships between the human and the non-human? Our work will include in-person study of, as well as research essays about, art in the Phillips Collection. The course includes five units: What Does Art Have to Do with the Environment?; Modernity, Modernism, and Nature; Deserts and Desertification; Cities and Suburbs; and Sustainability Now.

This class is a supporting course for the Sustainability Minor and for the College Park Scholars program in Environment, Technology, Economy.

ARTH489J Special Topics in Art History; Death in the Biblical World (Professor Suriano)
Tu 4-6 (SQH 1123)
Death, burial and concepts of the afterlife in the ancient Mediterranean cultures with a particular focus on ancient Israel and early Judiasm. Source material, both texts and artifacts, will be examined within the contexts of the ancient Near East (Egypt and Mesopotamia) and the Classical World (Greece and Rome).

ARTH489Q Special Topics in Art History; Global Art Cinemas (Professor Kuo)
TuTh 12:30-1:45 (HBK 0302J)
Global art cinemas often challenge their audiences and demand more active engagement because of their unconventional modes of story-telling and their emphases on the directors’ personal expressions. Students will critically examine some of the most talked-about and engaging art films, with special attention to the influence of art history on the films of Kurosawa, Ozu. Greenaway, Zhang Yimou, Tarkovsky, del Toro, Varda, Tarantino, Scorsese.




ARTH498 (PermReq) Directed Studies in Art History I. Individual Instruction Course

ARTH499 (PermReq) Honors Thesis. Individual Instruction Course 

Graduate Courses

ARTH 738D: Seminar in Seventeenth-Century Southern European Art; Proportion and Visual Experience in Art - Early Modernity to Neoclassicism
Professor Anthony Colantuno
Thursday 12:00-2:30 p.m.
ASY 4304

Proportion is a structuring concept not only of Western art but also of Western culture from antiquity through the Enlightenment and beyond.  As represented in the history of Western art, the academic study of painting, sculpture and architecture from the Renaissance through the 19th century addressed proportion as both antiquarian and mathematical science, to be studied alongside perspective, color theory, life drawing and anatomy in quest of perfect beauty.  Yet on closer inspection the notion of visually perfect or ‘ideal’ proportion also entailed moral implications, inextricably bound up with the genetic/phenotypic, social and behavioral norms or expectations of a European and Euro-American society.  In the pan-European humanistic culture of early modernity, antique canons of figural proportion were often linked with the notion of courtly virtues (especially those of temperance and prudence) or proper measure, so that proportional aberrations sometimes came to signify deviations from moral rectitude, on a practically physiognomic plane.  Likewise, artists could deliberately distort proportional ratios in order to rectify unwanted perspectival effects, or for expressive purposes, even while Baroque naturalism introduced the novel idea of an unmediated imitation of ‘natural’ proportions.  In architecture, proportional manipulation permitted ever-changing forms of spatial psychology.  How did artists achieve these proportional effects?  How did they understand the beholder’s optical and cognitive reception of proportional artifice? And how did the theory and practice of proportion change and develop across Europe from the 15th century through the 18th-century advent of Kantian aesthetics?

The seminar will undertake original research on proportional experiment and innovation in such artists and architects as Dürer, Michelangelo, Parmigianino, Caravaggio, Boselli, Bernini, Poussin, Gérard Audran, Le Brun, Canova, and the Tadolini. In addition to primary courses, readings will include secondary works by Estelle Lingo, Steven Ostrow, Jennifer Montagu, Georg Kauffmann, Brendan Dooley, Aline Magnien and others.


ARTH 759: Seminar in Twentieth-Century Art: Photography since Conceptual Art
Professor Joshua Shannon
Wednesday 3:00-5:30 p.m.
ASY 4304

This course offers a scholarly overview of the many artistic uses of photography since the late 1960s. Students will read criticism, theory, and history and will closely study individual works of art. Students will be encouraged to write essays on artworks they can visit in person.






ARTH 759K: Seminar in Twentieth-Century Art: Avant-Gardes in "East" and "West"
Professor Steven Mansbach
Monday 12:00-2:30 p.m.
ASY 4304

From the turn of the twentieth century onward, the character and objectives of modern art and aesthetics were being creatively redrawn or imaginatively invented in the vast territories extending from the Baltic north to the Adriatic south, as well as in Western Europe, in addition to the lands well beyond the European continent. Often far from the centers of Paris and Berlin, painters, sculptors, architects, and designers were redefining the nature of modern visual expression and its social meanings. From roughly the 1890s through the 1930s, and sometimes well beyond (even if differently from the “classical phase” of modernism), leading artistic figures in these diverse geographical and cultural regions were forging a new aesthetics, preparing for new societies, and ultimately educating a new citizenry. This spring’s seminar will investigate a number of these “reformative” enterprises, while endeavoring to assess the utility of various methods or approaches conventionally practiced. Individual topics may range from various Latin American to Asian avant-gardes, while others might creatively treat the avant-gardes in western or eastern Europe.

(Perm Req)
Directed Graduate Studies in Art History
Contact department for information to register for this course.

(Perm Req)
Master's Thesis Research
Contact department for information to register for this course.

(Perm Req)
Pre-Candidacy Research
Contact department for information to register for this course.

(Perm Req)
Doctoral Dissertation Research
Contact department for information to register for this course.