Our course will be a combination of lectures, discussion, movies, guests and
visits to the exhibitions at the art Gallery. Our readings will be selections
from from the text, as outlined below. This will be spiced up with more-or-less
in-depth explorations of particular subjects, such as propaganda, theories of
creativity, the nude, and the idea of visual studies. The instructor reserves
the right to change, re-direct and otherwise rework this course shedule, with the
aim of refining our exploration of art.
Week One : January 18-21
- First Day: Introduction to the Course
We will go over the Course Web site and there will be some discussion of the
requirements. You will be asked to fill out a short survey.
- Explore: the publisher's Web site
- Reading for this week: Preble, the Preface, the CD-ROM Overview, and Chapter One, 2-14.
- Remainder of the Week: What is Art? Who Gets to Say What is Art?
- We will watch two "60 Minutes" videos: one on contemporary British artists, and one about
the American artist Thomas Kinkade. How are these very different artists presented? To what
extent are these the personal interpretations of the journalist and to what extent are they
documentaries (ie, done as objectively as possible?) Remember that these brief episodes
are constructed very carefully--presumably everything you see and hear is quite deliberately done.
- Something more about Damien Hirst
- The Art of Thomas Kinkade
Use the "Gallery Locator" site to find a store near you!
And Now to Our Text: What is Art? (the beginning of the question)
- Art Communicates Information:
The Tree of Jesse (the family tree of Christ), West facade, Chartres Cathedral, France, c. 1150-1170. The earliest
dated example of this very popular subject. Note the
interior of Notre Dame at Chartres.
A 10th century Persian painted
- Art for Personal and Cultural Expression: Rembrandt's
Self-Portrait from 1658;
Yong Soon Min's
"Dwelling", 1994; and
Rocket to the Moon, 1971.
- Art for Social and Political Purposes: Francisco Goya,
Bury Them and Say Nothing, engraving from 1818;
Pablo Picasso Guernica, 1937.
Leni Riefenstahl and her boss, 1930s
Felix González-Torres. Untitled (Death by
Gun) . Begun 1990. Photolithographs.
- Art for Visual Delight: Decorative tile from the Alhambra,
Granada, Spain. About 14th century.
Week Two : January 24-28
Pablo Picasso: "Nobody can ever learn to paint." And what does that mean?
Reading for this week: Preble, Chapter Two: Awareness, Creativity, and Communication, 15-38.
This chapter deals with a number of ideas, presented here perhaps rather more quickly than might have
been desired, and ideas we will be coming back to throughout the semester, such as:
- Perception, Awareness, Looking and Seeing: to what do these terms refer?
Edward Weston. Pepper #30, 1930.
- Aesthetics : or, what is art (again)?
- Who is an Artist? The examples are more wide-ranging than you might think :
- Children's Art--see the text for examples.
- Untrained (Naive) and Folk Artists : add to this grouping
William Blake (or does he really belong here?) and
Don't forget Grandma Moses,
the most famous of American naive painters.
- Persons who go to Art School. Check out : The Art Institute of Chicago
and The Fashion Institute of Technology.
What's happening at the University of California, Los Angeles: the performance artist
Chris Burden has resigned his teaching position over what he felt was the inadequate response of the
university to the actions of a student artist who brought a loaded gun into the classroom.
Here's the story.
- Art and Appearances : the absolute meaning of painting and the joke of trompe l'oeil.
- Abstract Art
- Two sets of lovers : Form and Content : Rodin vs. Brancusi.
- Form--and Composition
- Iconography--a language of art.
Outside of Class
- To listen to:
Can Art Be Taught? A radio program from the series Studio 360.
This is optional, but you'll find discussions relevant to our topic.
- The Web site for Bob Ross's
The Joy of Painting. Does art have to be hard to do?
- His Own Museum A
Maryland man builds his own museum.
- Another site of interest:
Cellblock Visions A Web site and a book documenting artist Phyllis
Kornfield's work teaching art in prisons.
Week Three : January 31-February 4
Beth Blake of East Carolina University, is visiting our Monday 3 p.m. class as part of her
participation in the current MSU exhibition, Town and Country: The Landscape in Contemporary Art.
When writing up your essay on this experience you may find it helpful to read over Chapter Six, Evaluation
and Criticism, 104-110.
Art for Spiritual Sustenance: Western Art
Much of the world's art was produced in response to religious inspiration and requirements. This week i
s devoted to looking at different such response from throughout art history and from around the world.
Topics are listed with page numbers in our text; one or two examples will be discuss in class and
supplemented here with links to related Web sites.
Reading: Preble, from Chapter One: Art for Spiritual Sustenance and Chapter 15:
Prehistoric to Early Civilizations, 254-274.
- Prehistoric Cave Painting, 20,000-10,000 B. C. E. (pp. 256-257).
- The Great Pyramids. Giza, Egypt. c. 2650-2500 B.C.E. (pp. 293-264)
- The Mask of King Tutankhamen from his mummy. c. 1340 B.C.E. (264-265).
- The Discovery of the Tomb of the Pharaoh Tutankhamen. Here are some
illustrations of the discovery of the tomb.
- The Ziggurat of Ur, in what is now Iraq. c. 2100 B.C.E. (pp. 261-262.)
- Stonehenge (p. 7)
- The Parthenon, Athens, Greece. 448-432 B.C.E. (pp. 268-269)
- The Pantheon, Rome. 118-125. (pp. 272-273).
- St. Peter's Basilica, Rome. c. 320-335. (pp 275-276).
- Hagia Sophia. Istanbul (formerly Constantinople), 532-535, and details. (pp 234-235).
- Chi-Rho from The Book of Kells. Late 8th century. (pp. 280-281).
- Byzantine School. Madonna and Child on a Curved Throne. 13th century. (p. 279).
Art for Spiritual Sustenance: Asian, African, and Pre-Columbian Art
- Dancing Krisna. From Tamil Nadu, South India, c. 1300. (p. 58)
- The Stupa at Suchi, India. 10 B.C.E.-15 C.E. (pp. 316-317)
- Standing Bodhisattva. Pakistan, Gandhara region. Late 2nd century.
- Descent of the Ganges, Mamallapuram, India. 7th century. (pp. 36-37)
- Kandariya Mahadeva Temple. Madhya Pradesh, India. 1025-1050. (p. 319)
- Angkor Wat, Cambodia. c. 1120-1150. (p. 323)
- Bodhisattva Guan Yin. (p. 327)
- On the
Ise and Izumo shrines (seen in class) of Japan. 685; rebuilt every twenty years. (p. 334)
- Also: The Ise Shrine in
Week Four : February 7-11
- There will be a Quiz in all sections on Monday or Tuesday. This will be a 20-point, fill-in-the
-blank questionnaire on the art shown the first two weeks of the course.
- After: continue with the discussion on Art for Spiritual Sustenance : finished here with
Week Five : February 14-18
- Artist Lecture: Artist and singer Spencer Bohren will visit our class on Monday at 3 p.m.
- Reading: Preble, Chapter Three: Visual Elements, 40-71.
- Reading: Preble, Chapter Four: Principles of Design, 72-90.
- Remember to review the List of Works of Art
Week Six February 21-25 :
- We will have our second lovely QUIZ on Monday for the MWF1 and MW classes and
Tuesday for the TTh class. Same idea as the first: fill in the blank, 20 points.
- Reading: Chapter 14 : Architecture and Environmental Design
Week Seven : February 28-March 4
- Reading: Preble, Chapters 16 and 17
Renaissance and Baroque Art
- Giotto. The Lamentation. From the fresco series devoted to the Lives of Mary and of Christ,
in the Scrovegni Chapel, Italy. c. 1305 (p. 287)
- Masaccio. The Holy Trinity. Fresco in the church of Santa Maria Novella, Florence. 1425. (p. 288)
- Masaccio. The Tribute
Money. 1425/1428. Brancacci Chapel, Church of Santa Maria del Carmine, Florence.
- Jan van Eyck. Madonna and Child with the Chancellor Rolin. 1433-1434. (p. 131)
- Sassetta. Meeting of St. Anthony and St. Paul. c. 1440. (p. 56)
- Leonardo da Vinci. The Last Supper. Fresco in the church of Santa Maria delle Grazie, Milan. c.
- Leonardo da Vinci. Mona Lisa (p. 291)
- Michelangelo. The Pieta St. Peter's Basilica, Rome. 1501. (p. 87)
- Michelangelo. The Sistine Chapel ceiling. 1508-1512. Vatican City. (pp. 296-297)
- Raphael. The School of Athens. 1508. (p. 53)
- Raphael. The Madonna of the Meadow. 1505. (p. 297)
- Raphael. Madonna of the Chair. c. 1514. (pp. 82-83)
- Tintoretto. The Last Supper, 1592-1594. (p. 301) Compare with that by Leonardo, above.
- Caravaggio. The Conversion of St. Paul. 1600-1601. (p. 302)
- Bernini. David. 1623. (p. 303)
- Bernini. The Ecstacy of St. Theresa. 1645-1652. (p. 303)
- Nicholas Poussin. The Holy Family on the Steps. 1648. (p. 78)
- Velazquez. Las Meninas. 1656. (p. 304)
- Rembrandt. Christ Preaching. c. 1652. Etching. (p. 145)
- Rembrandt. Self-Portrait. 1658. (p. 9)
- Rembrandt. Return of the Prodigal Son. 1668-1669. (p. 305)
Week Eight : March 7-11
- Midterm (Monday and Tuesday)
- Reading: Chapter 14 : Architecture
Week Nine : March 14-18
- Reading: Chapter 17 : Renaissance and Baroque
- Also: Women and Art. Reading: Preble, 310-311. Consider:
Week Ten : March 21-25
- Spring Break!! Go to Florida!!
Week Eleven : March 28-April 1
- Chapter 21: "Late Eighteenth and Nineteenth Centuries." Also look over the first part of
Chapter 10 on photography up to Henri Cartier-Bresson.
Asher Brown Durand. Kindred Spirits. 1849. (p. 54)
- Paul Gauguin. The Vision After the Sermon. 1888 (pp. 398-399)
- Vincent Van Gogh. Starry Night. 1889.
Week Twelve : April 4-8
Week Thirteen : April 11-15
- Highlights of Chapter 21, second part; and:
- Chapter 22: "Toward Abstraction."
Week Fourteen : April 18-22
- Quiz No. 6. This "Quiz" of April 18/19 is the due date for the artist
story writing assignment explained here.
- Chapter 23: "Between the World Wars."
Week Fifteen : April 25-29 29
- Reading: Preble, Chapter 24, "Accelerated Change: Modern Art after 1945."
Week Sixteen : May 2-6
- Preble, Chapter 25, "Recent Diversity, 473-494."
- May 4 or 5: Last Day of Class
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