ART HISTORY (ARTH)
The seminar explores Gothic church and secular art and architecture in France and Europe between c. 1130 and c.1450. It focuses not only on the formal and artistic progresses in architecture, sculpture, and stained glass windows during this period, but also on the social, political, and economic aspects of medieval society that affected these developments.
Who were the Celts, and more specifically, who were the Druids? Little is known about the ancient Druids, yet they have captured the imagination of Western Europeans and North Americans for centuries. They have defined ethnic identity for disparate cultures. So who were they, and who are they today? Honors version available.
This course will examine presentations and representations of the body in Western art and how such portrayals relate to their social, cultural, and political contexts.
Focusing on one or two works of art per week in a variety of media, this course explores the complex relationship between art, war, and conflict in the modern world. Honors version available.
This first-year seminar introduces students to some of the issues related to representations of western European men and women in the period 1400-1700. Portraits, mythological and biblical imagery, and even architecture will be studied for their attention to gender. Honors version available.
This first-year seminar focuses on the constructed images of the modern American city. We have selected six U.S. World's Fairs between 1893 and 1965 (1884 World Cotton Centennial, New Orleans; 1893 World's Colombian Exposition, Chicago; 1904 Louisiana Purchase Exposition, Saint Louis; 1939 New York World's Fair, New York City; 1962 Seattle World's Fair; 1964/1965 New York World's Fair). By examining them in detail, we can follow shifts in conceptions of cities (and the world).
This course explores the visual arts created by African Americans living and working in the Carolinas from the era of plantation slavery through the 20th century.
This seminar focuses on how the collecting and study of natural and aesthetic wonders shaped ideas about knowledge in the arts and sciences.
This seminar explores the complex relationship between art and economy in the age of capitalism, focusing on artworks that interpret market activities and address the subject of economic value.
This seminar will introduce students to practices of critical analysis that inform academic work in all the core humanistic disciplines: how do we ask analytical questions about texts, artwork, and other cultural artifacts that come down to us from the past or circulate in our own culture?
In the course of the semester, each student will learn to become an art historian. Students will undertake a series of viewing, research, and writing exercises, which will culminate in the production of an exhibition catalogue on world art titled "In the Eye of the Beholder." Honors version available.
Students will pay special attention to recent historical and theoretical studies of Impressionist and post-Impressionist painting, as well as selected French novels of the period.
This course examines the relationships between the history of technology and artistic practice. Our conception of "technology" is broad, extending beyond mere tools to include a host of apparatuses and their relationships to perception, experience, representation, and communication. This course will explore the impacts of technological innovation on society and culture, and vice versa, along with the ways in which artists have addressed, responded to, and critiqued technological progress and invention.
Content varies by semester. Honors version available.
The course covers medieval/early modern artifacts connected to the phenomenon of death as well as the diversity of donations for individual commemoration in Europe. It will explore the social, political, and economic aspects of the societies that affected these phenomena. Invited speakers will open up the perspective to other cultures and time periods.
This class views the relationship between humans and animals through works of art. Drawing examples from cultures across the world, we address animals as symbols of leadership, beauty, and extraordinary powers. Elephants, leopards, spiders, and dogs of all kinds, along with many other mammals, reptiles, birds, and insects will be studied.
Representations of sports tell us a lot about artistic, historic, and contemporary Latin America, the Caribbean, and the United States. This course focuses on depictions of sports in these regions and the varied meanings they communicate.
The visual world surrounds us in print and moving images, in virtual realities and in physical space. This course gives students the tools to analyze, research, and historicize images and objects. How does the visual domain inform our understanding of the world around us? How do they shape culture, knowledge, and identity? Each week, key concerns of the present from technology to climate change are explored through art and artifacts of the past. Honors version available.
This is the first semester of a two-semester survey that is designed to acquaint the beginning student with the historical development of art and with the offerings and instructors of the art history faculty. ARTH 151 covers ancient, medieval, and early Renaissance periods. Honors version available.
This is the second semester of the two-semester survey course including Western art and visual culture from the Renaissance to the modern period. ARTH 151 is not a prerequisite for ARTH 152. Honors version available.
An introductory survey of the visual arts of South Asia.
A selective survey of sub-Saharan African art (sculpture, painting, architecture, performance, personal decoration) in myriad social contexts (ceremony, politics, royalty, domestic arenas, cross-cultural exchanges, colonialism, postcolonialism, the international art world).
What is architecture? What does it do? This course is designed to encourage students to consider architecture less as something technical, existing in a separate sphere from everyday life, but as social space.
This course examines manifestations of visual culture such as festivals and their related objects, comics, and painting in Latin America according to themes like indigenismo, religion, race, modernism, and identity.
A critical and historical introduction to film from a visual arts perspective. The course surveys the history of film from its inception to the present, drawing upon both foreign and American traditions.
This course introduces the art, architecture, and cultures of Pre-Hispanic Mesoamerica, from the rise of Mesoamerica's first high civilization in the second millennium BCE to the defeat of the Aztec Empire in 1521 CE. Honors version available.
This course surveys American art, architecture, and material culture from early European exploration of the Americas to the 1960s. Previously offered as ARTH 261.
In the Roman Empire and in contemporary Africa, clothing reflects local symbolic systems and global trade networks. Rome is imagined as the source of Western culture, and Africa evokes distant exoticism; this course will complicate such conceptions. Through fashion we explore political, economic, and religious systems, as well as creativity.
This course explores the history and technology of materials from wood and glass to steel and plastic in art, culture, and science. Students will engage with materials both through hands-on fabrication at BeAM and through researching historical debates surrounding material invention and use by artists, scientists, and industries.
Focusing on Western news production from early modernity to the present, this class considers the news as a visual object, examining the different formats and media of news, the design of the page/pamphlet/screen, the way images are incorporated, and the relationship of all of this to written text.
A survey of the archaeological remains of ancient Egypt, from the earliest settlements of the Neolithic period until the end of the New Kingdom.
This course explores the archaeology of the Roman world between the eighth century BCE and the fifth century CE, focusing on issues of urbanization, trade and consumption, colonization, and the Roman army.
This course explores objects and meaning in the context of museums. How does one "read" an object? What do works of art communicate on their own, and how do a series of decisions - made by individuals and institutions - shape how we understand them? Through museum visits, object-based learning and research, readings, and discussion, this course will consider how objects, and their collection and display, shape our understanding of the world around us. Honors version available.
This course analyzes the role of women in Western art as art producers and consumers of art and looks at how women have been represented.
This course explores the art and culture of sub-Saharan Africa on the levels of both production and consumption both locally and globally.
Required preparation, any introductory art history course or permission of the instructor. A chronological study of the main development of Greek sculpture, architecture and painting from the fifth to the first centuries BCE.
The arts of Rome, particularly architecture, sculpture, and painting, proceeded by a survey of Etruscan and Hellenic art and their influence on Rome.
Survey of major developments in painting and sculpture in Europe during the Latin Middle Ages (300-1400 CE).
Required preparation, any introductory art history course or permission of the instructor. Understanding the meaning of medieval art by examining the iconography of selected important works. Honors version available.
This course focuses on the relationship between the national and international and art and politics within Latin American modernist movements from ca. 1900 to 1960.
Survey of the archaeology of the Hellenistic Mediterranean from the time of Alexander the Great until the Roman conquest (350-31 BCE), with emphasis on art and architecture of cities and sanctuaries.
This course covers the development of Gothic church and secular architecture in Europe between 1130 and 1500. It explores the formal and constructive progress in architecture (including its decoration: sculpture, stained glass windows) as well as the social, political, and economic aspects of medieval society that affected these developments.
Required preparation, any introductory art history course or permission of the instructor. The course develops a solid acquaintance with representative aspects of Italian art from about 1250 to 1450. In alternate semesters the emphasis may change from central (Florence, Rome) to northern (Venice) Italy.
Required preparation, any introductory art history course or permission of the instructor. The course is a survey of major Italian painting from about 1490 to 1575. From semester to semester the emphasis may alternate between central Italian and Venetian/northern Italian works.
Required preparation, any introductory art history course or permission of the instructor. Survey of painting and sculpture ca. 1400-1600 in the Netherlands--Belgium (Flanders) and Holland--as well as France and England.
Required preparation, any introductory art history course or permission of the instructor. This course examines 17th-century art and architecture in Europe.
An introductory survey of architecture, sculpture, and painting with emphasis on European developments in the fine and decorative arts from the late 17th century to the Napoleonic era.
This course surveys the art and architecture of Hispanophone and Lusophone America of the Viceregal period (1492-ca. 1810).
This course explores the visual culture of England during the reigns of the Tudors and Stuarts. This will include portraits of Henry VIII, Elizabeth I, and Charles I by artists such as Holbein, Van Dyck, and Rubens, royal palaces, printed books, tomb monuments, heraldry, spectacles, as well as portraits of the middle classes. Honors version available.
This course presents a select history of photography from its invention to its most recent manifestations. Global in its orientation, this course is designed thematically rather than chronologically to develop dialogues between places and ideas.
This course offers a transnational look at American visual culture. It considers the encounters, exchanges, and circulations of art, artists, and ideas across boundaries and oceans from the colonial eighteenth century to the Civil War.
The development of European art from 1850 to 1905, with an emphasis on French avant-garde movements including realism and impressionism, as well as international movements such as symbolism and art nouveau.
This class explores the cultural, political, and artistic circumstances in which images of Paris have been made and viewed, as well as various visual technologies that have disseminated and marketed.
Major figures, movements, and themes of modernism from cubism and the emergence of abstraction to the transfer of artistic energy and innovation to the United States after World War II.
This course will explore major trends in Western art since 1960. It focuses on key contemporary movements and their relations to social, cultural and political contexts. Honors version available.
An introduction to African American art and artists and their social contexts from early slavery.
This course surveys the broad spectrum of 19th-century artistic practice in the United States, focusing on academic and popular artworks that addressed the major conflicts and crises of the period.
This course surveys the wide field of early 20th-century American art, stressing the diverse and contested character of artistic modernism in the United States.
Required preparation, any introductory art history course or permission of the instructor. Selected topics in art history.
This course explores how power operates through objects in Africa, including royal regalia, objects used in healing and other ritual contexts, and African art as commodity in international markets.
Required preparation, any introductory art history course or permission of the instructor. This course surveys the ancient art and architecture of Egypt, the Near East, and the Aegean Bronze Age, from the Neolithic period to the end of the Neo-Assyrian empire.
Students complete an internship in an art history related field. Students will gain practical knowledge of the practice of art history. Studio majors may use this course to fulfill an art history requirement by pursuing faculty-approved, nonpaid internships working in nonprofit or commercial art sectors.
This course focuses on a wide range of regions, time periods, and genres in the visual arts in southern Africa, including archaeological materials, arts associated with longstanding indigenous cultures, art that reflects the often violent encounter with European cultures, and contemporary arts that are produced in the region today.
This class explores how dress reveals information about African aesthetics, culture, and history, including its roles in political systems, religious worship, fashion trends, and other aspects of social life.
This course addresses the roles of art in the lives of West Africans who make and use it, spanning centuries of African creativity from archaeological sites to 21st-century artists.
This course focuses on African art produced in the mid-twentieth century. It promotes comparative analysis around themes of modernity, nationalism, independence, identity, and the role of the artist in society.
This course will provide an in-depth study of early Irish art and architecture from the pre-Christian La Tène period (c. 100 CE) to the 12th century when the Norman invasion introduced English involvement in Ireland that continues to this day.
This course examines fashion and the political, social, and cultural discourses, conditions, and institutional formations used in the creation of varied social and personal identities.
Art elucidates French and African experiences of colonial rule, as a record of political transformations and a tool for resistance and the assertion of local cultures.
People everywhere use works of art to facilitate worship, to depict spirits, and to celebrate their beliefs. Islam, a major religion in Africa, is no exception. This course focuses on Islam in African visual arts.
The course focuses on art and architecture in the German-speaking countries (Germany, Switzerland, Austria and in regions formerly belonging to the historical Holy Roman Empire) from Charlemagne in the eighth century to the Bauhaus in the 1920s and beyond. It studies the artistic developments and exchanges with neighboring countries (such as France, Italy, etc.) over the centuries and discusses them in the relevant historical and political contexts.
Focusing on art, history, and ethnography museums in Europe and North America, this course considers the emergence and development of museums as powerful social and cultural institutions from the mid-18th century to the 21st century. A variety of perspectives on museums showcase their connections to larger political and cultural trends.
Undergraduate seminar on visual arts and cultural interchange between the Muslim, Christian, and Jewish communities of medieval Spain. Combines intensive reading and discussion with introduction to art historical research.
This course uses case studies to introduce students to the visual culture manifested in architecture, festivals, ritual spaces, clothing, and objects associated with religious practices of Latin America.
Examines the production, circulation, and consumption of masks in both African and non-African contexts. Expands, nuances, and sometimes undoes our notions of mask, masquerade, and masking.
Covers medieval and early modern artifacts and monuments connected with death as well as the diversity of donations for individual commemoration. Explores the social, political, and economic aspects of medieval/early modern society that affected these developments and phenomena.
This course will explore the modes in which saints and issues related to sainthood are visualized in medieval art.
The early Christian origins of art and architecture in domestic and public contexts of the 200-600 CE Christian communities; the 18th- and 20th-century adaptation of early Christian art.
This course explores the art of the late medieval period in Byzantium and the Latin West.
This course focuses on European portraits produced in the period c. 1400-1600. Through careful study of specific paintings, prints, and sculptures, by artists such as Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo, and Albrecht Dürer, we will explore different ways of interpreting portraiture in the Renaissance, addressing issues of identity, reception, and function.
Between 1400 and1600, major European artists (Hieronymus Bosch, Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo, Titian, Dürer) made radical contributions to the representation of the sexual body. This course will use Northern European and Italian art as a lens for investigating Early Modern approaches to the figuration of sexuality and gender.
This course focuses on the visual arts of Europe between 1750 and 1830, and addresses the political, social, cultural, and aesthetic issues pertinent to art in an age of revolution.
Required preparation, any introductory art history course or permission of the instructor. This course will examine the history of architecture from the late 19th century to the present.
This course will investigate what is commonly termed "pop art." We will examine the various issues at stake in the appropriation of mass media imagery and techniques, the diversity within the movement, the different arguments surrounding particular artists and artworks, and pop art's continuing legacy in work by contemporary artists.
Focus on the historical development of African American art from the Harlem Renaissance of early 20th century through the Black Arts Movement and Feminist Art Movement 1960s and early 1970s.
Required preparation, any intermediate art history course or permission of the instructor. Selected topics in art history.
This is the capstone course for art history majors. Required preparation, art history major and junior standing or permission of the instructor. The field and theme of the course change according to the instructor's area of expertise. The seminar introduces students to research in art history and involves an original research project culminating in a substantial research paper.
Permission of the instructor. Independent study under the direction of a faculty member.
The course focuses on a crucial period of German and Netherlandish art around 1500, referred to as the so-called Age of Dürer, which still shows influences of Gothic art but also of new Italian Renaissance. Often based on artifacts of the Ackland Art Museum, case studies explore the interaction of artists and patrons in important art centers of the time.
This course investigates mural painting and state patronage in post-Revolutionary Mexico, from 1921 to 1945, when artists engaged politics in monumental public works. Focuses on the murals of Diego Rivera, José Clemente Orozco, and David Alfaro Siqueiros, as well as on the relationship between art and politics.
A city or cities will be considered as cultural artifact(s), with emphasis given to plans and planning, architecture, public monuments and to various institutions, such as religion, government, the arts, and commerce that initiate or affect these urban developments and forms. Honors version available.
Discussion of topics related to the representation of women in Western art and/or women as producers of art.
This course covers the development of modernism in the visual arts in Brazil from 1917, the year in which a Brazilian artist first exhibited "modernist" artworks in Brazil, to 1960.
Examines the ways African art appears in United States popular culture (advertisements, magazines, toys, films, art) to generate meanings about Africa. Addresses intersecting issues of nationalism, multiculturalism, imperialism, nostalgia, race. Restricted to sophomores, juniors, and seniors. Honors version available.
Covers the development of Gothic church and secular architecture in Europe between 1130 and 1500. Explores formal and constructive progress in architecture (including sculpture and stained glass windows) and social, political, and economic aspects of medieval society that affected these developments.
The course covers the development of art and architecture from ca. 1300 to ca. 1600 in one of the most important medieval and early modern art centers in Europe: Nuremberg, the hometown of the famous German painter Albrecht Dürer (1471-1528).
Required preparation, any intermediate art history course or permission of the instructor. Study of prints and printmaking in Western art from ca. 1400 to the present focusing on selected topics.
Required preparation, any intermediate art history course or permission of the instructor. A survey of the development of Greek art from geometric to Hellenistic painting through a study of Greek vases, mosaics, and mural paintings.
Required preparation, any intermediate art history course or permission of the instructor. A focused study of sculpture during the Archaic period in Greece.
Permission of the instructor. A focused study of Greek sculpture during the classical period.
Required preparation, any intermediate art history course or permission of the instructor. A focused study of Greek sculpture in the Hellenistic period.
A survey of Greek architectural development from the Dark Ages through the fourth century BCE. Special topics include the beginnings of monumental architecture, the development of the orders, and interpretations of individual architects in terms of style and proportions.
The development of architecture in the Roman world from the ninth century BCE through the fourth century CE. The course focuses on the development of urbanism and the function, significance, and evolution of the main building types and their geographic distribution.
Chronological survey of major developments in book painting during the European Middle Ages from 300 to 1450 CE.
This course explores the art and culture from the Hallstat and La Tène periods (seventh century BCE) to the Celtic "renaissance" (ca. 400-1200 CE).
This course provides a comprehensive introduction to the art of the Aztec Empire, including architecture, monumental sculpture, small-scale sculpture, ceramics, painting, lapidary work, gold work, and feather work.
The course explores the range of contexts in which images in the medieval period were made to move; for instance, in rituals, processions, and miracles.
Required preparation, any intermediate art history course or permission of the instructor. Advanced study of painting and sculpture in France, England, and the Netherlands, 1300 to 1400.
Required preparation, any intermediate art history course or permission of the instructor. This course explores specialized themes and/or broad topics in Western European art of the early modern period. Honors version available.
Required preparation, any intermediate art history course or permission of the instructor. This course traces major historical developments in the decorative and applied arts, landscape design, and material culture of Western society from the Renaissance to the present.
Survey of Roman sculpture (200 BCE-300 CE), including portraiture, state reliefs, funerary monuments, and idealizing sculpture, with emphasis on style, iconography, and historical development of sculpture in its sociocultural, political, and religious contexts.
This course will examine theories and instances of image making and breaking from the classical world to the early modern world, covering late antiquity, iconoclasm in Byzantium, and the medieval West.
Surveys Roman painting from 200 BCE to 300 CE, with emphasis on style, iconography, historical development of painting in its sociocultural, political, and religious contexts. Treats current debates in scholarship.
This course will examine the history and material culture of the ancient state known as the Achaemenid Persian Empire through ancient texts and archaeological sources. Beginning in the sixth century BCE, this ancient superpower ruled a vast and culturally diverse empire that stretched from Northern Libya to central Asia. Through an examination of key sites, objects, and texts we will explore the history and diversity of this multicultural empire.
An examination of the interaction of artists, criticism, and the market with larger political and social developments in France, with an emphasis on primary sources.
Examines the Harlem Renaissance (1918-1942) as an instance of both transnational modernism and cultural nationalism through study of how artworks articulate interrelated conceptions of race, gender, sexuality, and social class.
Examines modern and contemporary African art (1940s to the present) for Africans on the continent and abroad. Examines tradition, cultural heritage, colonialism, postcolonialism, local versus global, nationalism, gender, identity, diaspora.
Required preparation, any intermediate art history course or permission of the instructor. Selected topics in art history.
Explores the role of monuments in the formation of cultural memory and identity, both nationally and globally. Topics include the construction of identities in and through public spaces, commemoration of both singular individuals and ordinary citizens, and the appearance of new types of post-traumatic monuments in the 20th century.
Introduces careers in museums and other cultural institutions. Readings and interactions with museum professionals expose participants to curation, collection management, conservation, exhibition design, administration, publication, educational programming, and fundraising.
Required preparation, any intermediate art history course or permission of the instructor. A study of the principal critics and historians who have contributed to the development of modern art history. Also application of the principles to specific works of art.
A study of how the human body has been represented in contemporary art and the relation of those representations to theories of the individual and society.
Required preparation, any intermediate art history course or permission of the instructor. This course examines representational othering of black, Asian, Latina/o, and Native American people in images in the Americas through postcolonial topics like racial stereotyping, Orientalism, primitivism, essentialism, and universalism.
The contemporary arts of Africa are framed by urbanization and global mobility. This course examines how artists examine, reflect on, and express visually experiences of these conditions.
An exploration of the wide field of American art and visual culture inspired by the spaces and social life of the modern city.
This course explores intersection of art and economics from the 18th century to the present through themes such as value, markets, counterfeiting, and circulation. It examines money as a visual artifact and artworks that engage with monetary questions in the context of art history and Western economic theory.
Required preparation, any intermediate art history course or permission of the instructor. A study of theoretical issues central to the understanding of trends in modern art (e.g., modernism, the avant-garde, formalism originality).
Permission of the instructor. This course will examine strategies of critique in contemporary art. Organized thematically, it focuses on the tactics employed by artists who address political, social, or cultural issues through their work.
Addresses select issues that have gained or re-gained prominence in today's art world, for example globalization, training, the market, and the nature of the "contemporary."
Permission of the instructor. Works in the Ackland Museum's collection will be studied directly as a means of training the eye and exploring the technical and aesthetic issues raised by art objects.
Required preparation, any intermediate art history course or permission of the instructor. Provides an historical overview of museums. Serves as an introduction to many of the theoretical issues museums face including: ethics, audiences, the role of museums in society, exhibiting dilemmas.
Required preparation, one 100-level art history course and one 200- to 399-level art history course. An experiential learning opportunity in independent and original research on a topic or in a field of the student's choosing under the close direction of a faculty supervisor.
Required preparation, any intermediate art history course or permission of the instructor. This course explores the history of early modern collecting, encompassing scholars' and merchants' "study rooms," aristocrats' menageries, humanists' "sculpture gardens," and princely cabinets of wonders.
Permission of the instructor. Independent research directed by a faculty member leading to an honors thesis.
Permission of the instructor. Independent research directed by a faculty member leading to an honors thesis.
Provides experience in some aspect of museum work: curatorial, educational, collections management, exhibition design, administration. Requires a minimum of 90 hours and will have an academic component.
Considers the role of visual representation in the construction of European empire and its associated knowledges from the Napoleonic expedition to Egypt to debates over primitivism in the 1980s.
Study of chief archaeological sites of Greece and of existing buildings and monuments. Attention to the problems of excavation and the role of the sites in Greek history.
This course introduces students to a variety of historical and contemporary methods for the interpretation of visual culture.
This course introduces students to current digital art history projects and practices as well as methods for approaching art historical research in new ways.
This course focuses attention on the variety of ways in which scholars in the arts disseminate their research and market themselves. Students will analyze and participate in various weekly writing and oral exercises, but will focus on one specific genre for their semester long project.
This seminar examines contemporary artistic production that engages, questions, and challenges the narratives of culture and art that privilege Europe and America as the models for understanding cultural production.
This seminar investigates topics in the history of colonial and modern Latin American Art.
This course involves close and critical examination of a select body of extant portraits from the Tudor and Jacobean periods in English history (1485-1625) in the collection of the North Carolina Museum of Art. Students taking this unit will play an active role in researching these relatively unstudied works of art.
Permission of the instructor. This course examines the visual culture of Mexico City between 1890 and 1950. It also considers works by artists outside of Mexico who were associated and inspired by cultural production here.
Addresses select topics and theoretical issues relevant to contemporary art.
This graduate seminar focuses on fashion (clothing, accessories, style, performance) as the central cultural component for examining power in society.
Advanced standing in art history or permission of the instructor. Explores current debates crucial to the study of African American art. Emphasis on the variety of theories and methods central to the field.
Devoted to structuring an argument, assessing primary and secondary sources, and conducting a sustained writing exercise. The goal of the Graduate Writing Seminar is to produce a prospectus of the thesis by the end of the third semester. For Art History graduate students only.