History of Art

Students may complete a major or minor in History of Art.

Faculty

David J. Cast, Professor
Martha Easton, Lecturer
Christiane Hertel, Professor and Major Adviser (A-L)
Homay King, Associate Professor (on leave semesters I and II)
Dale Kinney, Professor (on leave semester I and II)
Steven Z. Levine, Professor
Gridley McKim-Smith, Professor and Major Adviser (M-Z)
Lisa Saltzman, Professor and Chair
Stephanie Schwartz, Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Postdoctoral Fellow in the Humanities
Diala Touré, Lecturer

The curriculum in History of Art immerses students in the study of visual culture. Structured by a set of evolving disciplinary concerns, students learn to interpret the visual through methodologies dedicated to the historical, the material, the critical, and the theoretical. Majors are encouraged to supplement courses taken in the department with history of art courses offered at Swarthmore and the University of Pennsylvania. Majors are also encouraged to study abroad for a semester. Should they choose to do so, they should plan to undertake that work during the spring semester of their junior year.

Major Requirements

The major requires eleven units, approved by the major adviser. A usual sequence of courses would include at least one 100-level “critical approaches” seminar, four 200-level lecture courses, four 300-level seminars, and junior seminar in the fall semester of the junior year and senior conference in the spring semester of senior year. In the course of their departmental studies, students are strongly encouraged to take courses across media and areas, and in at least three of the following fields of study: Ancient and Medieval, Renaissance and Baroque, Modern and Contemporary, Film, and Non-Western.

With the approval of the major adviser, courses in fine arts or with significant curricular investment in visual studies may be counted toward the fulfillment of the distribution requirements. Similarly, courses in art history taken abroad or at another institution in the United States may be counted. Generally, no more than two such courses may be counted toward the major requirements.

A senior paper, based on independent research and using scholarly methods of historical and/or critical interpretation must be submitted at the end of the spring semester. Generally 25-40 pages in length, the senior paper represents the culmination of the departmental experience.

Honors

Seniors whose major average at the beginning of the spring semester is 3.7 or higher will be invited to write an honors thesis instead of the senior paper.

Minor Requirements

A minor in history of art requires six units: one or two 100-level courses and four or five others selected in consultation with the major adviser.

HART B100 The Stuff of Art

(Burgmayer, Division IIL; cross-listed as CHEM B100) Not offered in 2008-09.

HART B103 Critical Approaches to Visual Representation: Icons and Idols

What is an icon? What is an idol? How do they differ or are they the same? And what is the relation between icons, idols, and images? This course treats potent image-objects across cultures and across time, including religious icons (Madonnas), pop icons (Madonna), and comparable image-objects of other traditions, such as African minkisi and Native American totems. Readings range from Plato and the Old Testament to contemporary criticism. (Kinney, Division III) Not offered in 2008-09.

HART B104 Critical Approaches to Visual Representation: The Classical Tradition

An investigation of the historical and philosophical ideas of the classical, with particular attention to the Italian Renaissance and the continuance of its formulations throughout the Westernized world. (Cast, Division III)

HART B105 Critical Approaches to Visual Representation: Poetry and Politics in Landscape Art

An introduction to the representation and perception of nature in different visual media, with attention to such issues as nature and utopia; nature and violence; natural freedom; and the femininity of nature. (Hertel, Division III)

HART B107 Critical Approaches to Visual Representation: Self and Other in the Arts of France

A study of artists’ self-representations in the context of the philosophy and psychology of their time, with particular attention to issues of political patronage, gender and class, power and desire. (Levine, Division III)

HART B108 Critical Approaches to Visual Representation: Women, Feminism, and History of Art

An investigation of the history of art since the Renaissance organized around the practice of women artists, the representation of women in art, and the visual economy of the gaze. (Easton, Division III)

HART B110 Critical Approaches to Visual Representation: Identification in the Cinema

An introduction to the analysis of film through particular attention to the role of the spectator. (Gorfinkel, Division III)

HART B115 Classical Art

(Donohue, Division III; cross-listed as ARCH B115, CITY B115 and CSTS B115) Not offered in 2008-09.

HART B190 The Form of the City

(Hein, Division I or III; cross-listed as ANTH B190 and CITY B190)

HART B204 Greek Sculpture

(Webb, Division III; cross-listed as ARCH B205) Not offered in 2008-09.

HART B205 Introduction to Film

(Gorfinkel, Division III; cross-listed as ENGL B205) Not offered in 2008-09.

HART B206 Hellenistic and Roman Sculpture

(Donohue, Division III; cross-listed as ARCH B206)

HART B209 Topics in Chinese Cultural History

(Lin, Division III; cross-listed as EAST B210 and PHIL B250) Not offered in 2008-09.

HART B210 Medieval Art

An overview of artistic production in Europe antiquity to the 14th century. Special attention will be paid to problems of interpretation and recent developments in art-historical scholarship. (Easton, Division III)

HART B223 Topics in German Cultural Studies

(staff, Division III; cross-listed as COML B223 and GERM B223) Not offered in 2008-09.

HART B227 Topics in Modern Planning

(staff, Division I; cross-listed as CITY B227) Not offered in 2008-09.

HART B230 Renaissance Art

A survey of painting in Florence and Rome in the 15th and 16th centuries (Giotto, Masaccio, Botticelli, Leonardo, Michelangelo, Raphael), with particular attention to contemporary intellectual, social, and religious developments. (Cast, Division III)

HART B237 Northern Renaissance Art

An introduction to painting, graphic arts, and sculpture in Germany in the first half of the 16th century, with emphasis on the influence of the Protestant Reformation on the visual arts. Artists studied include Altdorfer, Cranach, Dürer, Grünewald, Holbein and Riemenschneider. (Hertel, Division III)

HART B238 The History of Cinema 1895 to 1945

Introduction to the international history of film as a narrative and aesthetic form, with consideration of cultural, social, political, technological, and economic determinants that allowed film across the world to evolve, thrive, and become the defining artistic medium of the 20th century. (Gorfinkel, Division III; cross-listed as ENGL B238)

HART B239 Women and Cinema: Social Agency and Cultural Representation

This course will examine the particular challenges that women filmmakers face, as well as the unique and innovative contributions they have made to film aesthetics and narrative form. The class will address central debates within feminism from the 1970s to the present, in particular, feminism’s influence on women’s independent film production and the question of female authorship. (Gorfinkel, Division III; cross-listed as ENGL B239)

HART B241 Art of the Spanish-speaking World

A study of painting and sculpture in Spain from 1492 to the early-19th century, with emphasis on such artists as El Greco, Velázquez, Zurbarán, Goya and the polychrome sculptors. As relevant, commentary is made on Latin America and the Spanish world’s complex heritage, with its contacts with Islam, Northern Europe, and pre-Columbian cultures. Continuities and disjunctions within these diverse traditions as they evolve both in Spain and the Americas are noted, and issues of canon formation and national identity are raised. (McKim-Smith, Division III)

HART B246 Interdisciplinary Approaches to German Literature and Culture

(Meyer, Division III; cross-listed as GERM B245) Not offered in 2008-09.

HART B250 Nineteenth-Century Art in France

Close attention is selectively given to the work of Cézanne, Courbet, David, Degas, Delacroix, Géricault, Ingres, Manet, and Monet. Extensive readings in art criticism are required. (Levine, Division III)

HART B253 Survey of Western Architecture

The major traditions in Western architecture are illustrated through detailed analysis of selected examples from classical antiquity to the present. The evolution of architectural design and building technology, and the larger intellectual, aesthetic, and social context in which this evolution occurred, are considered. (Cast, Hein, Division III; cross-listed as CITY B253 and HIST B253) Not offered in 2008-09.

HART B254 History of Modern Architecture

(Hein, Division III; cross-listed as CITY B254)

HART B255 Survey of American Architecture

(Steffensen, Cohen, Division III; cross-listed as CITY B255) Not offered in 2008-09.

HART B260 Modern and Contemporary Art

This course will involve an inquiry into the history of 20th-century visual culture, European and American, through an exploration of art practice, art history, art criticism and art theory. Against the dominant and paradigmatic theorization of modernism, the course will introduce and mobilize materials aimed at its critique. (Saltzman, Division III)

HART B266 Contemporary Art and Theory in the Global Present

America, Europe and beyond, from the 1950s to the present, in visual media and visual theory. (Saltzman, Division III) Not offered in 2008-09.

HART B268 Greek and Roman Architecture

(staff; cross-listed as ARCH B268 and CITY B268) Not offered in 2008-09.

HART B269 Japanese Art

A study of visual culture of Japan from prehistory to the present, through the lens of Japanese history, literature, and religion. Topics will include: the interaction of Buddhism and Japanese art and architecture; the illustration of the “Tale of Genji” and Heian court culture; scrolls, screens, and the mechanics of painting format; nature as literary and symbolic motif; class, gender, and ukiyo-e; and trends in contemporary Japanese art. Discusses the idea of cultural interaction and appropriation between Japan, China, and the West. (Easton, Division III) Not offered in 2008-09.

HART B270 Japanese Architecture and Planning

(Hein, Division III; cross-listed as CITY B270 and EAST B270) Not offered in 2008-09.

HART B271 History of Photography: The American Century

Examines the development of photography, from its invention to contemporary artistic practices. Beginning with an investigation of the scientific origins, traces the complex functions of the photographic image. Familiarizes students with key figures in European and American photography as well as key texts reflecting the unstable status of the photographic object between technology and aesthetics, mass culture and the avant-garde, art and document. (Schwartz, Division III; cross-listed as CITY B271)

HART B272 Topics in Early and Medieval China: Chinese Cities and City Culture

(Lin, Division III; cross-listed as CITY B273 and EAST B272)

HART B276 Video Art

If the origins of video art date to 1965, when Sony introduced its Portapac to the United States and Nam Jun Paik shot his first piece in New York; its theorization dates to 1976, when Rosalind Krauss published her field defining essay. This course functions as both an introduction and an immersion in the history and theory of video art. Prerequisite: HART 110, HART/ENGL 205, HART 266, HART 299 or permission of instructor. (Saltzman, Division III) Not offered in 2008-09.

HART B287 Media Culture and Movies

(staff, Division III; cross-listed as ENGL B287) Not offered in 2008-09.

HART B282 Arts of Sub-Saharan Africa

This course examines the significant artistic and architectural traditions of African cultures south of the Sahara in their religious, philosophical, political, and social aspects. (Touré)

HART B294 Art and Exploitation: Gender and Sexuality in 1960s Cinema

An introduction to the historical contexts and representational politics of screen sexuality in American cinema of the 1960’s and will chart the ways in which various genders and sexualities were deployed as commodity, spectacle and formal transgression during a turbulent cinematic decade. (Gorfinkel, Division III; cross-listed as ENGL B294) Not offered in 2008-09.

HART B299 History of Narrative Cinema

(King, Division III; cross-listed as ENGL B299) Not offered in 2008-09.

HART B305 Classical Bodies

(Donohue, Division III; cross-listed as ARCH B303) Not offered in 2008-09.

HART B306 Film Theory

(King, Division III; cross-listed as COML B306 and ENGL B306) Not offered in 2008-09.

HART B308 Topics in Photography: Photography and War

Examining photographic practices between the 1850’s and the 1970’s, this seminar seeks to move beyond the reflective analysis of the city in the image and as the subject of representation to the relationship between photography and urbanization. Taking up various theories and models it explores how making records and reorganization of space developed as related means of modernization. (Schwartz, Division III; cross-listed as CITY B308)

HART B311 Topics in Medieval Art: Illuminated Manuscripts

Topics include illuminated manuscripts and the role of gender in medieval art. (Easton, Division III; cross-listed as CITY B312)

HART B320 Topics in German Literature and Culture

(staff, Division III; cross-listed as COML B320, ENGL B320, GERM B320 and HEBR B320) Not offered in 2008-09.

HART B321 Late Gothic Painting in Northern Europe

A study of late medieval illuminated manuscripts and Early Netherlandish painting. (Easton) Not offered in 2008-09.

HART B323 Topics in Renaissance Art

Selected subjects in Italian art from painting, sculpture, and architecture between the years 1400 and 1600. (Cast, Division III; cross-listed as CITY B323) Not offered in 2008-09.

HART B331 Palladio and Neo-Palladianism

A seminar on the diffusion of Palladian architecture from the 16th century to the present. (Cast; cross-listed as CITY B331)

HART B334 Topics in Film Studies: Queer Cinema

(Nguyen, Division III; cross-listed as ENGL B334)

HART B337 Contemplating Art Cinema: Michael Haneke, Claire Denis, and the Dardenne Brothers

Considers the provocative films of international auteurs Michael Haneke, Claire Denis, and Jean Pierre and Luc Dardenne in the context of discourses of “art cinema” and film authorship, and in terms of historical and aesthetic traditions of realism and modernism in European cinema, past and present. Prerequisite: One course from ENGL/HART B205; HART B110; or HART/ENGL B299: or consent of the instructor. (Gorfinkel, Division III; cross-listed as ENGL B337) Not offered in 2008-09.

HART B340 Topics in Baroque Art: Velazquez

(McKim-Smith, Division III; cross-listed as COML B340)

HART B341 Cult Genres

Serving to theorize and historicize cult film and questions of the aesthetic and cultural value, this class will examine conceptual issues of taste, reception, and mass culture as they have accrued around cult film phenomena such as the midnight movie, the cult horror film, exploitation film, underground, and camp cinema. Prerequisite: One course from: ENGL/HART B205; HART B110; HART/ENGL B299; or consent of instructor. (Gorfinkel, Division III; cross-listed as ENGL B341)

HART B348 Advanced Topics in German Cultural Studies

(Hertel, Meyer, Division III; cross-listed as CITY B319, COML B321 and GERM B321) Not offered in 2008-09.

HART B349 Theories of Authorship in the Cinema

The study of the author-director remains one of the primary categories through which film is to be understood; various directors and critical approaches to this topic will be studied. (King; cross-listed as ENGL B349) Not offered in 2008-09.

HART B350 Topics in Modern Art

(Levine, Division III) Not offered in 2008-09.

HART B354 Topics in Art Criticism

Individual topics in art-historical methodology, such as art and psychoanalysis, feminism, post-structuralism, or semiotics are treated. (Levine, Division III; cross-listed as COML B354 and HEBR B354)

HART B355 Topics in the History of London

Selected topics of social, literary, and architectural concern in the history of London, emphasizing London since the 18th century. (Cast, Division I or III; cross-listed as CITY B355 and HIST B355) Not offered in 2008-09.

HART B358 Topics in Classical Art and Archaeology

(Donohue, Division III; cross-listed as ARCH B359 and CSTS B359) Not offered in 2008-09.

HART B359 Topics in Urban Culture and Society: Latin American Social Movements

(Arbona, Division I or III; cross-listed as ANTH B359 and CITY B360)

HART B362 The African Art Collection

This seminar will introduce students to the African art holdings that are part of the Art and Archaeology Collections. (Touré)

HART B377 Topics in Modern Architecture: War, Catastrophes, and Reconstruction

(Hein, Division III; cross-listed as CITY B377)

HART B380 Topics in Contemporary Art: Visual Culture and the Holocaust

Poems and novels, films and photographs, paintings and performances, monuments and memorials, even comics—in the aftermath of Art Spiegelman’s Maus—have been the cultural forms that engage us with the catastrophic and traumatic history of the Holocaust. Through these cultural forms we have come to know events considered by some to defy the very possibility of historical, let alone aesthetic, representation. Our task will be to examine such cultural objects, aided by the extensive body of the critical, historical, theoretical, and ethical writings through which such work has been variously critiqued and commended. (Saltzman, Division III; cross-listed as GERM B380 and HEBR B380)

HART B397 Junior Seminar

Designed to introduce majors to the canonical texts in the field of art history and to formalize their understanding of art history as a discipline. Beginning with such foundational figures as Plato and Pliny and ending with the leading art historical practioners of the poststructural and the performative, junior majors will read across the history of art history. Required of and limited to History of Art majors. (Levine, Division III)

HART B399 Senior Conference

A seminar for the discussion of senior research papers and such theoretical and historical concerns as may be appropriate to them. Interim oral reports. Required of all majors; culminates in the senior paper. (Cast, Easton, Division III)

HART B403 Supervised Work

Advanced students may do independent research under the supervision of a faculty member whose special competence coincides with the area of the proposed research. Consent of the supervising faculty member and of the major adviser is required. (staff)

HART B425 Praxis III

(staff)

Updated August 25, 2008 by Tracy Kellmer