Art Course Descriptions

Art 161 - Visual Concepts

Full course for one semester. This course introduces the concepts and processes of studio art through drawing and other media. The work will involve traditional and non-traditional approaches to representation and abstraction, and investigate such problems as appropriation and the media, symbolism, narrative, temporality, and site specificity. The focus of the course may vary each semester, depending on the interests and areas of expertise of the faculty. Areas of focus may include painting, printmaking, photography, digital media, sculpture, or the artist’s book. This course serves as the prerequisite to 200-level studio courses. Studio.

Art 201 - Introduction to the History of Art

Full course for one semester. Basic art historical methods and examples of recent scholarship are examined in relationship to a chronologically, geographically, or thematically defined body of art. Credit may not be earned for this course if it is taken after passing a 300-level art history course. Lecture-conference.

Art 262 - The Figure

Full course for one semester. The tradition of Western academic figure drawing began in the Renaissance. The academies of the past, reflecting the official artistic cultures of their time, considered the figure to be central to their artistic training. Each academy represented a different ideal and featured its own style of presentation. The tradition of Western figure drawing centers on the body’s response to gravity, volume, and weight within a solid floor plane seen in perspective. The traditional methods of rendering the human body from the Renaissance to the eighteenth century will be introduced. Students will practice gesture drawing and proportion studies, and will focus on the anatomical structure. We will then investigate tonal rendering of the body with various materials, modern and postmodern composition, expressionistic representation, and abstraction. Students will sculpt the figure using fired clay to investigate the body in three dimensions and explore the concept of fragmentation and abstraction. Contemporary issues of body language and gender will be explored in a final project. Slides and readings will expose students to the range of traditional and contemporary figurative works. Prerequisite: Art 161. Studio. Not offered 2007-08.

Art 264 - Intaglio Printmaking

Full course for one semester. This explores the technical, formal and conceptual aspects of printmaking through such thematic assignments as organic/inorganic, interior/exterior spaces, self-representation, appropriation, relationships of images and words, and a final project involving narrative (representation of extended time and expanded space). Intaglio printmaking includes drypoint, etching, sugarlift, aquatint and multiple color processes. Additional work will include printing an edition of an image for exchange with class members, and studying master and contemporary prints in the Reed and other local collections. This course is offered in alternate years. Prerequisite: Art 161. Studio. Not offered 2007-08.

Art 265 - Relief Printmaking

Full course for one semester. We explore the technical, formal and conceptual aspects of printmaking through such thematic assignments as organic/inorganic, interior/exterior spaces, self-representation, appropriation, relationships of images and words, and a final project involving narrative (representation of extended time and expanded space). Relief printmaking includes woodcut, linocut, stencil, collagraph, multiple and subtractive block chiaroscuro and multiple color printing. Additional work will include printing an edition of an image for exchange with class members, and studying master and contemporary prints in the Reed and other local collections. Prerequisite: Art 161. Studio. This course is offered in alternate years. Not offered 2007-08.

Art 271 - Painting I

Full course for one semester. The first semester focuses on color interaction and illusions, abstraction and composition, and unusual image shape and mixed media. Assignments include creating a “shape alphabet” and several variations on it; a painting in which there is a close correspondence between image and support; a painting involving object vs. illusion, (an unusually shaped or surfaced support in tension with an illusion of transparency or luminosity); and an independent final project that builds upon previous work in the class. The projects in the second semester focus on forms of representation, involving close study of single natural and manmade forms; a series of magnifications into an object or image; study of optical mixture in a color comic image; a double narrative involving multiple figures and still life forms; windows, mirrors and pictures within pictures; self-portraiture. In both classes, traditional and experimental approaches are introduced in demonstrations and slide lectures, toward the development of one’s own visual and stylistic vocabulary. Although 271 and 272 are conceived as a year-long introduction to painting, with a progressive sequence of projects, it may, with consent of the instructor, be entered at midyear. Prerequisite: Art 161. Studio.

Art 272 - Painting II

Full course for one semester. The first semester focuses on color interaction and illusions, abstraction and composition, and unusual image shape and mixed media. Assignments include creating a “shape alphabet” and several variations on it; a painting in which there is a close correspondence between image and support; a painting involving object vs. illusion, (an unusually shaped or surfaced support in tension with an illusion of transparency or luminosity); and an independent final project that builds upon previous work in the class. The projects in the second semester focus on forms of representation, involving close study of single natural and manmade forms; a series of magnifications into an object or image; study of optical mixture in a color comic image; a double narrative involving multiple figures and still life forms; windows, mirrors and pictures within pictures; self-portraiture. In both classes, traditional and experimental approaches are introduced in demonstrations and slide lectures, toward the development of one’s own visual and stylistic vocabulary. Although 271 and 272 are conceived as a year-long introduction to painting, with a progressive sequence of projects, it may, with consent of the instructor, be entered at midyear. Prerequisite: Art 161. Studio.

Art 281 - Sculpture I: The Language of Structure and Scale

Full course for one semester. This introductory course introduces the structural principles and communicative possibilities of materials and their formal three-dimensional relationships. Development of the student’s ability to apply formal visual principles such as scale, weight, and mass is emphasized. Each project addresses one of the three scales of sculpture: the architectural, into which the body fits; the human, to which the body relates; and the intimate, which relates to the hand or head. We will study the fundamentals of wood fabrication including joinery and lamination, plaster molding, and metal fabrication. Throughout the course slide lectures and readings on the work of artists and architects will demonstrate how they have addressed these problems in the past. Prerequisite: sophomore standing. Studio.

Art 282 - Sculpture II: From the Figure to the Machine

Full course for one semester. Until the twentieth century, representations of the human figure were central to the history of sculpture. In modern and contemporary art, the scale of sculpture is in direct reference to our bodies. Current subjects of art are our bodily functions, aspects of our anatomy, and ideas about the temporal nature of our bodies. In this course students will begin with an investigation of the mechanics of the skeletal and musculature structure in a welded and riveted metal form. The second work focuses on transformation of functional objects made for our bodies; students will reorient the viewer’s understanding of an object, or invent the next generation of an object. Recycled products such as furnishings or home equipment may be used along with welded structures. The final work will focus on sculpture in the expanded field of landscape and architecture. Readings and discussions on figurative sculpture, Dada, Fluxus, contemporary architecture, and contemporary artists’ works will be covered. There will be focus on metal fabrication and welding, and sewing and fabric construction. Prerequisite: Art 281 or consent of the instructor. Studio.

Art 290 - Contemporary Art Photography I

Full course for one semester. This course introduces students to the fundamentals of black and white photographic processes and investigates the use of photography in the context of contemporary art. The class will cover camera operation, principles of exposure, basic understanding of light, film development, and darkroom printing. Technical, aesthetic, and conceptual possibilities of photography are explored through shooting assignments, readings, slide presentations, lab work, and critiques. Students will learn to respond to assignments with technical competence and critical clarity. Prerequisite: Art 161. Conference.

Art 291 - Contemporary Art Photography II

Full course for one semester. The course will introduce color, larger scale printing, fiber-based printing, and medium format materials. With elementary skills and historical context in place, the class will focus on manifestations of the photographic image as an art object, both physically and conceptually. Technical, aesthetic, and conceptual possibilities of photography are explored through shooting assignments, readings, slide presentations, lab work, and critiques. Class time will be spent in lecture, slide presentations, lab work, critique, and occasional field trips. Students will be expected to respond to assignments with technical competence and critical clarity. Prerequisite: Art 290 or consent of the instructor. Conference.

Art 295 - Digital Media I – Image/Process

Full course for one semester. This course introduces students to the fundamentals of digital media. Technical and conceptual units will be presented in both an historical context and in light of contemporary arts practice. We will explore the link between art, technology, and the computer through readings, slide presentations, and class discussions. Topics will include the nature of the digital document; the relationship of digital forms to traditional hand-based media; the machine/digital aesthetic; intersecting discourses of art, new media, and the sciences. Students will learn to acquire, manipulate, and print digital images. The class will also explore the use of the computer as an autonomous art tool through programming and examine the possibility of process-based art. Students will be expected to respond to assignments with technical competence and critical clarity. Prerequisite: Art 161 or consent of the instructor. Conference.

Art 296 - Digital Media II – Video/Interactive Art

Full course for one semester. With basic familiarity with the digital environment and possibilities for image creation and treatment, we will explore the use of the moving image and digital video as related to art. Students will be exposed to the concepts and techniques of non-linear video editing and interactivity. We will analyze the ways in which artists employ these technologies and tools into their works through theoretical readings, class discussions, and slide presentations. Assignments will simultaneously address technical and conceptual topics such as the relationship of the real to the virtual and the analog to the digital; scale and repetition; narrative and sequence; meaning and value in the mechanically produced image; the ontological implications of indexical representation; and the dematerialization of the visual object. Class time will be spent in lecture, slide presentations, lab work, critique, and occasional field trips. Students will be expected to respond to assignments with technical competence and critical clarity. Although the course is designed as an extension of Art 295, students with adequate computer literacy may enroll without Art 295. Prerequisite: Art 295 or Art 161 and consent of the instructor. Conference.

Art 301 - Recent Writing about Art

One-half course for one semester. This course is intended for, but not limited to, junior and senior majors in art and art history. This team-taught course will introduce students to innovative examples of recent art historical scholarship, spanning a broad geographical and chronological range of topics. Texts will be read with an eye to understanding the methods currently engaged within the discipline of art history and within other fields to interpret visual artifacts. The course also will offer a forum for participants to test the applicability of these interpretive strategies through presentations of their own work. Prerequisites: Art 201 and a least one 300-level class in art history or studio art. This class may be taken more than once for credit. Conference.

Art 310 - Art of the Italian Renaissance Courts

Full course for one semester. This course examines the art and architecture of the Italian Renaissance courts during the late medieval and early modern periods. Concentrating primarily on the dynastic centers of Milan, Mantua, Ferrara, and Urbino, the course explores the ways in which Renaissance art operated in the service of the court as a powerful tool of statecraft. We will consider the union of art and politics by examining the patronage of the secular princes, while also analyzing how the visual identity of the state intersected with representations of gender and religious difference in the Italian Renaissance city-states. The course will provide new insights into the famous masterworks by artists such as Leonardo da Vinci and Andrea Mantegna and place their work within a larger discourse that incorporates less well-known local art by painters including Cosimo Tura and Dosso Dossi. Prerequisite: Art 201 or consent of the instructor. Conference. Not offered 2007-08.

Art 312 - Art Historical Interpretation

Full course for one semester. A consideration of the ways in which individual works of art and art in general have been understood. This course will examine the historical interpretation of art from its beginnings (Vasari and Wincklemann) through the foundations of modern art history (Panofsky, Wölfflin, Riegl) to the present day (Baxandall, Fried, Bryson). Special attention will be paid to approaches outside of the mainstream of art history (Freudian psychoanalysis and Marxism) and to the methods of interpretation developed in art history's sister disciplines (literary criticism and history). Theoretical problems will be tested against important and controversial works of art such as the Arch of Constantine, Velazquez's Las Meninas, Poussin's Et in Arcadia Ego, the paintings of Gustave Courbet, and Manet's Olympia. Prerequisite: Art 201 or consent of the instructor. Conference. Not offered 2007-08.

Art 313 - Art and Life in Renaissance Florence

Full course for one semester. In Lives of the Artists Giorgio Vasari describes how “the arts were born anew” in Renaissance Florence.  The city’s streets and piazzas, palaces and churches, paintings and sculptures, all give visual form to the cultural and social changes which affected Florentine life.  In its study of artists such as Brunelleschi, Botticelli, Leonardo, and Michelangelo, this course concentrates on the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries as a period of innovation, both in terms of artistic theory and practice.  Through an examination of Florence’s public, ecclesiastical, and domestic spaces, we will consider how visual and material culture served as markers of civic identity and social distinction. Prerequisite: Art 201 or consent of the instructor. Lecture-conference.

Art 316 - Medieval Manuscript Illumination

Full course for one semester. This course examines of the manuscript book from its origins in late antiquity, tracing its development through the Middle Ages and into the Renaissance. The emphasis will be on illustrated manuscripts in their context: what they were, how they were made, and the ways in which they were used. Rather than providing a chronological survey, this course will consider some of the fundamental issues in the history of manuscripts, such as the origin and nature of the codex, the relationship of text and image, the problem of illusionism in manuscript illumination, and the interaction between manuscripts and printed books. Readings and lectures will be supplemented by the detailed study of medieval manuscripts in the Portland area. Prerequisite: Art 201 or consent of the instructor. Lecture-conference. Not offered 2007-08.

Art 319 - Late Antique, Early Christian and Byzantine Art and Architecture

Full course for one semester. An examination of works of art and architecture made in the Mediterranean world between c. 200 and c. 600. Major monuments considered include the Christian and Jewish buildings at Dura-Eupros, the catacombs, the monuments of Constantinian and post-Constantinian Rome, the churches of Ravenna, Hagia Sophia in Constantinople, and the icons and monastery of Mt. Sinai. Special attention is paid to placing works in their art historical, historical and religious contexts and in understanding how art, society and theology were not interrelated in this period. Conference. Prerequisite: Art 201 or consent of the instructor. Not offered 2007-08.

Art 320 - Iconoclasm

Full course for one semester. Iconoclasm, the purposeful destruction of images, and aniconism—the refusal to produce images—have been recurring phenomena throughout the history of Western art. Whether iconoclasm is an exclusively Western practice will be one of the subjects considered in this course. Prominent examples of iconoclasm and aniconism across time include the ancient practice of destroying the monuments of previous rulers; the prohibition on images in the Hebrew Bible; Christian iconoclasm in medieval Byzantium and in the wake of the Protestant Reformation; state-sponsored destruction of images during the French, Russian, and Nazi revolutions; vandalism; and contemporary attempts to censor the visual arts. Long neglected by art historians, the study of iconoclasm is now considered central to understanding the historical function of images. By examining theories of iconoclasm and selected case studies, this course will attempt to understand the phenomenon and its importance for the study of past art; over the course of the semester each student will conduct a detailed examination of an iconoclastic incident of his or her choice. Lecture-conference. Prerequisite: Art 201 or consent of the instructor. Lecture-conference.

Art 330 - The Nude in Early Modern Europe

Full course for one semester. This course addresses the nude in early modern Europe as a site for theological debate, Neoplatonic inquiry, scientific exploration, and erotic desire.  Gazing into the body with an early modern eye initiated a series of negotiations involving the soul, the body politic, and the gendered body.  We will contextualize our discussion around the exhibition, The Language of the Nude: Four Centuries of Drawing the Human Body, opening in fall 2008 at the Douglas F. Cooley Memorial Gallery at Reed College.  The exhibition consists of a collection of Old Master drawings by artists such as Albrecht Dürer, Peter Paul Rubens, and Charles Le Brun.  Working in conjunction with the curator of the Cooley Gallery, we will study visual display and the poetics of exhibiting the nude. Prerequisite: Art 201 or consent of the instructor. Lecture-conference.

Art 334 - Gaps: Visual Art in Cold War Culture 1945-1975

Full course for one semester.  Since Plato made his notoriously damning pronouncements concerning the duplicity of art and artists in his Republic, art’s relationship with deception and illusion has been considered to various degrees both inherent and insidious. It is within this tradition that our survey of artistic production in U.S. culture following World War II is situated. The objects we will examine were created during a period marked by numerous gaps manifested most famously in missiles, generations, technology and credibility itself. Moreover, during a moment of exponential growth in mass media and dematerialized, electronic forms of communication—an era filled with both hope and distrust for the regulating and economizing powers of technology and bureaucratization—the gap widened between seeing and believing. This course will explore the various ways in which the visual arts engaged within the discourse of gaps in culture between 1945 and 1975, paying special attention to how the gaps themselves become sites for signification within the historical network of objects, texts, and events in which they emerged. Prerequisite: Art 201 or consent of the instructor.  Lecture-conference.

Art 339 - Images of the Jew in European History

This course explores the representation of Jews in European visual and literary culture from the medieval period to the twentieth century. We will examine the evolution of an anti-Jewish iconography in Christian art and literature and the relationship of such representations to ecclesiastical exegesis and to the accusations of ritual murder, host desecration, image profanation, and usurious corruption that flourished throughout the continent primarily from the twelfth to the sixteenth century. We will also study the architecture of the Jewish ghetto, examining how Christians and Jews defined themselves and their faiths through the architectural designs, urban planning, and socio-economic structures of the city. Finally we will investigate the impact of assimilation, acculturation, and anti-Semitism on European visual culture from the eighteenth to the twentieth century—exploring, for example, the work of Degas and Toulouse Lautrec, as well as the art and cultural policy of Nazi Germany. Prerequisite: Art 201 or consent of the instructor. Conference. Not offered 2007-08.

Art 340 - History and Theory of the Avant-Garde

Full course for one semester. This course examines the history, ideology, and practice of artistic avant-gardism from the mid-nineteenth to the late twentieth century. To be explored on the basis of several case studies are the aesthetic practices characteristic of avant-gardism, the dynamics of avant-garde subcultures, and these groups’ relationships to the institutions of art, social elites, and radical politics. Theoretical problems to be addressed include realism and the definition of the art object, the relationship of the avant-garde to mass culture, gender and the avant-garde, the status of the author/artist, and the question of avant-gardist practice in a postmodern era. Prerequisite: Art 201 or consent of the instructor. Lecture-conference. Not offered 2007-08.

Art 345 - Modernism and Postmodernism

Full course for one semester. An examination of artistic practices, critical languages, and theoretical paradigms associated with these cultural and historical formations. The course establishes the visual qualities and conceptual framework of Modernism on the basis of post-1945 abstract art and essays by Greenberg, Fried, and Adorno, then turns to critiques of Modernism. Artists whose work is studied particularly closely are: Koons, Lawler, Levine, LeWitt, Morris, Rauschenberg, Richter, Sherman, Simpson, and Warhol. Central problems to be considered are: the “death” of the author, the “myth” of originality, the power of frames, the idea of the expanded field, the construction of identity, and the historical conditions of postmodernity. Prerequisite: Art 201 or consent of the instructor. Lecture-conference. Not offered 2007-08.

Art 355 - Representation and Democracy in American Art from the Colonial Period to 1900

Full course for one semester.  The concepts of representation and democracy have been fundamental to the political and cultural identity of the United State since the country’s inception. This course will explore the history of visual art in the United States, from its formation through the rise of the industrialized and modernized nation in the late nineteenth century, using these two terms as guiding principles and foundational themes. In particular, we will examine how the concept of democracy and the emergence of a middle-class culture required new models of visual representation, and how the expanding realm of political representation and economic opportunity was considered as much a force that needed to be controlled as a political ideal. This class will investigate how such national ideals and anxieties were negotiated and represented by artists, paying special attention to certain themes such as landscape, industry, race, gender, and social class. Prerequisite: Art 201 or consent of the instructor.  Lecture-conference.

Art 361 - Intermediate Photography and Digital Media I

Full course for one semester. This intermediate studio course provides a forum for more advanced and independent work for students who have completed the introductory sequence in photography or digital media. It will function as both a studio intensive and a junior seminar, with regular discussion of articles in contemporary media arts and theory as well as selected historical writings and works. Assignments will be open ended, providing thematic guidelines that build on skills and conceptual awareness from the introductory courses. Assignments will also respond directly to individual and group interests. Possibilities include electronic visualization, collaborative video or still production, documentary, large-format photography, mural printing (photographic and digital), and hybridization of traditional and electronic photography. Topics of reading and research will include the aesthetics and politics of visual truth, the collective imagination of popular culture, the science and psychology of optics and seeing, and the indexical as a mode of representation. Class time will be spent in lecture, slide presentations, lab work, critique, and occasional field trips. Students must be highly self-motivated and will be expected to respond to assignments with technical competence and critical clarity. Prerequisites: Art 291 or 296 or consent of the instructor. Lecture-conference.

Art 362 - Intermediate Photography and Digital Media II

Full course for one semester. This intermediate studio course provides a forum for more advanced and independent work for students who have completed the introductory sequence in photography or digital media. It will function as both a studio intensive and a junior seminar, with regular discussion of articles in contemporary media arts and theory, as well as selected historical writings and works. Assignments will be open ended, providing thematic guidelines, which build on skills and conceptual awareness from the introductory courses. Assignments will also respond directly to individual and group interests. Possibilities include electronic visualization, collaborative video or still production, documentary, large-format photography, mural printing (photographic and digital), and hybridization of traditional and electronic photography. Topics of reading and research will include the aesthetics and politics of visual truth, the collective imagination of popular culture, the science and psychology of optics and seeing, and the indexical as a mode of representation. Class time will be spent in lecture, slide presentations, lab work, critique, and occasional field trips. Students must be highly self-motivated and will be expected to respond to assignments with technical competence and critical clarity. Prerequisites: Art 291 or 296 or consent of the instructor. Lecture-conference. Not offered 2007-08.

Art 365 - Intersection: Architecture, Landscape Sculpture

Full course for one semester. This advanced studio course explores architectural and landscape-based sculpture. We will study artists and architects from the 1970s to the present who work within the realm of environmental art, land art and architecture. We will focus on new ecological materials and planning methods, which focus on the use of available resources and the invention of new materials such as the William McDunna, Rural Studio, Orta Studio and Simpark. Studio training will begin with an introduction to drafting using Auto Cad, model building, planning strategies, writing proposals and consideration of building materials. Students will create three scaled models of architectural works, draft a proposal and build an element of one work out of doors. Land and Environmental Art, edited by Brian Wallis, will provide background texts for the course. Two local professionals will visit the class, one working in the realm of architecture and one working with landscape. Prerequisite: Art 161 and 281, or permission of the instructor. Studio.

Art 368 - Image and Text: The Book as a Sculptural Object

Full course for one semester. This course explores the significant role artists’ books have played among the avant-garde of eastern and western Europe and the United States from the turn of the century to the present. The structural format book works take and their social and political functions will be viewed, discussed, and fabricated. The course will cover binding both codex and accordion books, reproducing images using palmer plates, and setting and printing type and images using a Reprex letterpress. Reed’s special collections will provide a spectrum of professional artists’ books, including magazine works, anthologies, diaries, manifestos, visual poetry, word works, documentation, reproductions of sketch books, albums, comic books, paper art, and mail art. We will read and discuss essays relating to each studio problem. Prerequisites: Art 161 and one 200-level studio course or consent of the instructor. Studio-conference. 

Art 371 - Intermediate Painting, Drawing, and Printmaking I

Full course for one semester. The first few weeks of each course (Art 371 and 372) involve exploratory drawing toward a project to be proposed and executed over the rest of the semester. This project might involve continued work in drawing, painting, printmaking, collage, or two-dimensional mixed media. The two courses serve as a junior seminar with weekly discussions of critical essays and articles, and short papers. Readings may focus on modernist art and theory from 1940 to 1970; postmodernism and critical issues in art since 1970; nineteenth- and twentieth-century aesthetics; and artist intentionality. Prerequisites: Art 264 and 265, or Art 271 and 272, or consent of the instructor. Studio-conference. 

Art 372 - Intermediate Painting, Drawing, and Printmaking II

Full course for one semester. The first few weeks of each course (Art 371 and 372) involve exploratory drawing toward a project to be proposed and executed over the rest of the semester. This project might involve continued work in drawing, painting, printmaking, collage, or two-dimensional mixed media. The two courses serve as a junior seminar with weekly discussions of critical essays and articles, and short papers. Readings may focus on modernist art and theory from 1940 to 1970; postmodernism and critical issues in art since 1970; nineteenth- and twentieth-century aesthetics; and artist intentionality. Prerequisites: Art 264 and 265, or Art 271 and 272, or consent of the instructor. Studio-conference. Not offered 2007-08.

Art 381 - Intermediate Sculpture and Multimedia

Full course for one semester. This studio and seminar course focuses on specific topics in contemporary art and criticism. The course integrates studio problems and critical readings. Technical instruction includes sculptural and architectural model building, wood and metal fabrication, wiring, projection of video works, cloth and alternative material fabrication methods, and wall and room construction. Topics covered change from year to year and include sculpture in the expanded field of landscape and architecture; illuminations, video, and photography in sculptural installations; collaboration and installation in a global art world; the material semiotics of feminism; the role of the artist in society: questioning authorship; and aesthetic criteria, modernism to minimalism. Prerequisite: Art 281 and 282, or 292 and 295, or consent of the instructor. Studio-conference. Not offered 2007-08.

Art 392 - The Forbidden City

Full course for one semester. From the fifteenth century through the early twentieth century, the imperial city walled within the Ming and Qing dynasty capital at Beijing was the center of a politically mandated and produced visual and material culture.  This seminar will explore the architecture, the city plan, and an array of objects produced at court, from carved walnuts in the shapes of boats to monumental dragons of white marble, from handscroll paintings to maps.  We will interpret the city in light of classical Chinese theories of city design, theoretical discussion of ethnicity and the arts, and issues of identity surrounding the patronage and personality of the Qing emperors.  The course will ask why and how the city, although forbidden, managed to become and remain the symbolic locus of power in late imperial China, and how it has been reinterpreted and re-presented by the Communist state.   At the end of the semester we will investigate some current attempts at visual deconstruction of the city by twenty-first-century artists. Lecture-conference.  Prerequisite:  Art 201 or consent of instructor.

Art 393 - Mapping the Urban Landscape: Views of the City in Late Imperial China

Full course for one semester. Since ancient times Chinese artists have depicted views of cities and their environs. During the Ming dynasty (1368–1644), images of the urban landscape occupied an unprecedented position in the pictorial arts. In the prosperous southeastern metropolises of Suzhou and Nanjing, we witness a flourishing production of images of famous city landmarks, garden residences, and nearby scenic spots. Pictures of courtesans, itinerant musicians, and other fixtures of urban life also become important pictorial themes from the early sixteenth century onwards. We examine this diverse body of images in an effort to illuminate aspects of urban experience in late imperial China. Readings will include recent studies on Ming social and economic history as well as primary texts available in translation. Prerequisite: Art 201 or consent of the instructor. Lecture-conference. Not offered 2007-08.

Art 432 - Sites of Visual Modernity in China

Full course for one semester. This course will trace the formation of modes of visual modernity in China from the Qing dynasty (1644–1911) through the Republican era (1911–1949). Our exploration will focus on visualities produced in architectural and public spaces such as museums, gardens, and the theatre, as well as on cultural and imaginary spaces of representation such as printed books, maps, paper currency, and handscrolls. Among the issues for discussion will be the problematic terms “modernity,” “modernization,” and “Westernization.”  We will consider structural conditions for the emergence of distinctly Chinese modes of modern visuality in comparison to European modes, including perceptions and discourses of change and newness, the prominence of an urban public visuality of reflexive sociability and spectacle, and the role of the state in promoting certain modern modes of seeing.  Further, we will take into account the development and understanding of new technologies of vision such as lithography and photography.  Conference. Prerequisite:  two previous art history classes or consent of instructor.

Art 470 - Thesis

Full course for one year.

Art 481 - Independent Projects or Independent Reading

One-half or full course for one semester. Independent courses are usually offered only to students already admitted to the division as art majors. Such courses cannot be used to satisfy the basic course requirements of the department. Prerequisite: approval of instructor and division.




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