Department of Art and Art History
The Department of Art and Art History at UNC–Chapel Hill fosters exchange among creative endeavor, scholarly investigation, and bold expression, through faculty research, graduate student training, undergraduate programs, and public events. The department aims to be an integral part of the University community dedicated to free inquiry that is pursued through both the arts and sciences and expressed in objects, images and text.
Through an innovative and rigorous curriculum, students learn the critical skills of creative problem solving and self-expression. The undergraduate programs aim to help students articulate their individual perspectives on values and beliefs while discovering their places in a society that is increasingly shaped by visual communications, technology, and globalization. To do so, students develop their creative and scholarly vision and the technical skills to express that vision through their works of art and writing. The highly rated graduate programs in art history and studio art promote these ideals on an advanced level, and have proven their effectiveness through the post-graduate placement and national awards that students receive.
- Mission: Make | Frame | Reveal
- Vision: Thinking and Creating across Boundaries
- Values: The curiosity, empathy, and courage to engage diverse perspectives
As a department, we are committed to working closely with our students and to guiding them in developing an individual voice. We cultivate exchange between studio art and art history and offer maximum flexibility within our individual programs.
Majors and minors in art history become acquainted with the historical significance, cultural diversity, and intellectual richness of human artistic traditions, enabling students to investigate the complex roles played by the arts in a variety of social contexts.
The studio art program offers three different degree programs for majors as well as a minor, and each encourages experimentation, crossing boundaries, and hybrid processes as well as engaging the history and traditions of art. Through directed practice and creative research, faculty work closely with students to stimulate aesthetic and intellectual inquiry, impart portable skills, and motivate self-exploration to help students create outstanding works of art.
Students may choose from a range of studio coursework designed to develop both skills and a personal creative vision. Students develop two critical skills: the means of self-expression and techniques for creative thinking. While the undergraduate program focuses on the fine arts, the course of study nonetheless offers a sound foundation for students to move into art education, design fields, and other art-related careers as well as preparation for further study or careers in the fine arts.
Credit by Examination
Students who pass the Advanced Placement (AP) examination in art history and earn a score of 3 will receive credit for ARTH 152.
The Studio Art program awards placement only (PL) for work done in the Advanced Placement (AP) and International Baccalaureate (IB) programs. Students who pass the AP portfolio exam for 2-D Design, 3-D Design or Drawing with a score of 4 or 5 receive placement for ARTS 102, ARTS 103, or ARTS 104 respectively. Students earning a score of 6 or higher on the IB portfolio receive placement for ARTS 104. Placement effectively means that students can waive ARTS 102, 103 or 104 prerequisites.
Advanced Placement by Portfolio Review
Students who score a 3 on AP portfolios or 5 on the IB may petition for a portfolio review to determine if they can waive ARTS 102 or ARTS 104 requirements. In addition to these threshold scores, art majors who have broad experience in visual art may petition to waive some prerequisites by submitting a portfolio for review. If the review is successful, students receive placement only. Students then substitute any other ARTS coursework to satisfy the total credit hours required in the major. Portfolio requirements are modeled after the College Board Advanced Placement portfolios. These guidelines are available from the director of undergraduate studies in studio art, the student services specialist, or on the art majors’ Sakai site. Portfolios are reviewed annually in September only. Contact the director of undergraduate studies in studio art at the beginning of the fall semester to make arrangements for submitting a portfolio.
All majors and minors have two advisors; a primary academic advisor in the Academic Advising Program and departmental advisors for program-specific planning. Students are strongly encouraged to meet regularly with both advisors and review their Tar Heel Tracker each semester. The undergraduate advisors in art history and studio art work with current and prospective majors and minors by appointment. On request, art history majors may be assigned an individual faculty advisor. Departmental academic advising is particularly important for those majors who are considering honors thesis work or graduate school.
Information, Announcements, and Sessions
If in any semester curricular opportunities or changes are relevant to all majors and minors in either programmatic area of the department, students receive an advisory announcement with relevant details via the art and art history majors' listserv. When issues are larger than can be accommodated by electronic communication, general advising sessions are scheduled prior to registration. Students are strongly encouraged to attend such sessions since questions of collective relevance often arise. Basic details are also posted on the majors' Sakai site.
Additionally, special information sessions are held periodically to guide students on awards, study abroad, internships, and research opportunities (especially the Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowships). These sessions are announced via the majors' listserv and on the majors' Sakai site, as well as by posters in the Hanes Art Center and Art Lab.
Course Enrollment and Audit Policies
During the fall and spring semester registration periods, enrollment in studio art (ARTS) courses is temporarily restricted to students who have declared a major or minor in studio art to ensure that the students can graduate in a timely manner. Students who are not part of the studio art program will have the opportunity to enroll only when the restriction period has ended — no exceptions. Please refer to the “Notes” section in ConnectCarolina ARTS course listings to determine restriction dates established by the department. Major and minor enrollment restrictions do not apply to the following types of ARTS courses: Honors, Carolina Courses Online, or First-Year Seminars.
Unfortunately, ARTS courses cannot be audited by current students or members of the community. This is due to the participatory nature of studio courses and finite resources, which includes classroom space and potential safety hazards associated with overcrowding. Prospective auditors are encouraged to audit art history courses with instructor consent.
Classrooms and Studios
The department possesses outstanding facilities for the teaching of both art history and studio art in the Hanes Art Center. The building houses state-of-the-art facilities for image projection required in art history. Specialized classrooms for art practice include large studios for painting, drawing, and mixed media. A dedicated space is available for installation projects. The John C. Henry Printmaking Studio is a wonderfully spacious 3,325-square-foot laboratory providing ambient workspace for a variety of printmaking processes. Studios for photography include both darkroom (black and white) and digital photography and a dedicated shooting studio. The digital laboratories at UNC–Chapel Hill are Mac-based, with the most current software needed for work in photography (including large-scale output), video, and digital/electronic media. UNC also provides access to the entire Adobe Creative Suite for all students. Students enrolled in studio art classes have 24-hour access to these laboratories. In addition, the 17,686-square-foot Art Lab, located 1.8 miles north of the Hanes Art Center (108 Airport Drive), houses the department’s sculpture and ceramic facilities.
In addition to the departmental classroom spaces, the Hanes Art Center also houses one of the BeAM (Be A Maker) makerspaces at UNC. The BeAM space at Hanes is equipped with a variety of hand tools and some wonderful high-tech machines including a vinyl cutter, 3-D printers, a laser cutter, and a CNC router. All of this is provided at no charge to students.
Department of Art and Art History resources also include the Joseph C. Sloane Art Library with its collection of 100,000 volumes, which is supplemented by the University’s academic affairs libraries, with holdings of more than six million volumes. The department also has a Visual Resources Library, which oversees almost 300,000 slides and digital images for use in teaching and research.
The John and June Allcott Galleries in the Hanes Art Center are sites for numerous exhibitions throughout the year. The main gallery has an exhibition schedule of 12 to 15 shows each year, showing work by professional artists, faculty, and students. For a large portion of the spring semester, this gallery is dedicated to M.F.A. thesis exhibitions. The John and June Allcott Undergraduate Gallery is the exhibition space designed especially for work produced or chosen by undergraduate students. Both galleries are periodically used as an incubator space by the Curatorial Practices class where students explore concepts and logistics of curating exhibitions. The Hanes Art Center also houses the SAMple gallery. This space run by the Studio Art Majors Association (SAMA) to showcase work by SAMA members.
The Alumni Sculpture Garden occupies the grounds surrounding the Hanes Art Center. Temporary exhibitions of sculpture are commissioned by the department and are on display for a two-year period. Commissions are awarded annually to undergraduate and graduate students.
The Ackland Art Museum is located adjacent to the Hanes Art Center. The Ackland’s programming regularly augments the educational experience of the University community.
Christoph Brachmann, S. Elizabeth Grabowski, Sabine Gruffat, Jim Hirschfield, Carol Magee, Yun-Dong Nam, Victoria Rovine, Daniel J. Sherman, Hong-An Truong, Lien Truong.
John Bowles, Eduardo Douglas, Cary Levine, Mario Marzan, Roxana Pérez-Méndez, Tatiana String, Dorothy Verkerk, Lyneise Williams.
Maggie Cao, Kathryn Desplanque.
Teaching Associate Professor
Joy Drury Cox.
Teaching Assistant Professor
Jennifer J. Bauer.
Bernard Herman (American Studies).
Adjunct Associate Professors
Peter Nisbet (Ackland Art Museum).
Adjunct Assistant Professors
Carolyn Allmendinger (Ackland Art Museum), Ross Barrett (Boston University), Hérica Valladares (Classics).
Adjunct Professor of the Practice
Elizabeth Manekin (Ackland Art Museum).
Jaroslav T. Folda, Arthur Marks, Jerry Noe, Mary Pardo, Marvin Saltzman, Mary C. Sturgeon, Dennis Zaborowski.
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.
Advanced Undergraduate and Graduate-level Courses
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.
Registration for the studio art foundation courses (ARTS 102, ARTS 103, and ARTS 106) is limited to studio art majors and minors during the first part of the preregistration period. Remaining spaces are made available to nonmajors during the registration period for first-year students. Because the department gives this preference to studio art majors, nonmajors, undeclared students, or continuing study students often find it difficult to enroll in these courses. Individuals seriously considering a studio art major and experiencing such difficulty should see the undergraduate advisor for studio art. We reserve a small number of spaces for such students. Students may be asked to demonstrate a commitment to studio art with some examples of artwork. Students are also encouraged to contact instructors directly to secure a position on a waiting list.
In general, studio art courses are numbered to reflect media areas in the last digit. Painting courses end in 2, sculpture 3, drawing 4, photography 5, digital media 6, mixed media 7, and printmaking 8.
Class examines how to advance and sustain artistic production, focusing not only on being a successful artist, but also on the importance of creativity and hard work in any successful venture. Honors version available.
This class will study one of the lesser considered, but most intriguing, visual components: the element of time.
This seminar explores the experiences of women by integrating content and methodologies from psychology with perspectives on the depiction of women in the arts, namely digital media. Students will study gender socialization, body image, work/achievement, sex and romance, motherhood, aging, and mental health with attention given to diversity.
This class looks at the theory and practice of telling stories through photographs.
This course will investigate how photography is inextricably entwined in our lives and histories.
This class will investigate the idea of personal histories in visual art. As a studio class, the course will be organized around several art making projects. As a catalyst to our own art making, we will explore the idea of personal history and memory through readings, as well as looking at contemporary artists whose work functions in an autobiographical framework.
Content varies by semester.
Studio course investigates concepts and strategies of two-dimensional image making. Introduces design elements of visual language (line, shape, value, texture, color). Considers the cultural codes that accompany visual information and how they combine with organizational structures to determine a variety of effects, influence responses, and inform meaning. Foundation requirement for studio majors.
Studio course introduces concepts and strategies of working in three dimensions. Project-based coursework develops understanding of ideation process and creative problem solving. Ideas about sculpture are further expanded by considering works by contemporary artists. Students develop aesthetic sensibility, analytical capacity, and fundamental skills in sculptural media. Foundation requirement for studio majors.
Working out of an observational tradition, this course provides an introduction to the concepts and techniques of drawing. Paying attention to both representation and interpretation, the course is designed to develop fundamental skills, aesthetic sensibility, analytical capacity, and creative problem-solving in two-dimensional media.
Focusing on creative digital photography, this course provides an introduction to the concepts and techniques of digital imagery and lens-based media. Includes methods of interpretation, analysis of images, scanning, retouching, color correction, basic composition, and inkjet printing. Honors version available.
This foundation course introduces concepts and techniques of temporal art making. Through projects designed to develop an understanding of the creative language unique to digital media, students will learn various software programs and basic digital strategies to realize time-based works of art. Foundation requirement for studio majors.
Introduction to black and white photography in the darkroom through photograms, pinhole, and SLR cameras, processing film, and making gelatin silver prints. Concepts are developed through making, reading and writing, engaging with established and historical artists, and critiquing peers' work. B&W process and aesthetic is approached as tradition, genre, abstraction.
Basic computer skills required. This course investigates the emergence of Web, interactive, and mobile technologies as artistic tools, communication technologies, and cultural phenomena. Students will design and produce interactive Web sites. The course covers principles of Web-based programming and design via HTML and CSS.
Collage is both an artistic technique and a way of thinking. Even though its historical roots stem from the early 20th century, it is an image-construction strategy that is almost ubiquitous today. Using a variety of conceptual and media approaches, this course explores strategies of collage in contemporary studio practice.
Recommended preparation, ARTS 104. This course will introduce the fundamentals of painting and various painting techniques through studio lab activity, lectures, demonstrations, and discussions. The course intends to guide students through developing their technical, formal, conceptual, and creative sensibilities to the painting process.
Continuation of ARTS 105 with continued focus on advanced creative digital photography techniques.
In this intermediate-level class students expand on video production strategies and concepts such as lighting theory, location sound recording, montage, and sound design while developing individual and collaborative processes for moving image production.
Introduction to four basic approaches to printmaking: intaglio, relief, planographic, and stencil processes. Students will explore creative strategies unique to the printed process.
This class explores several techniques of 2D character animation, including storyboarding and conceptualizing, pencil testing and timing animation, animating simple sequences with Photoshop, experimenting with coloring and materials under a film camera, and compositing in After Effects.
Since the beginning of the twentieth century art, architecture, urbanism, and other related fields have investigated the production of images that shape the symbolic dimension of our experience of large cities. The main goal of this course is to critically explore representations of the contemporary city through different media (photography, video, drawing, painting, etc.).
An investigation of clay as a medium; developing technical skills, aesthetic awareness, and historical perspective.
Through the study of anatomy and observation of the human form, students develop the ability to create powerful, realistic figure drawings. Fundamental skills and concepts include expressive use of line, value, weight, and volume plus classical techniques in shading, gesture, sighting, and composition.
Continuation of ARTS 115 with advanced focus on conceptual topics and techniques of black and white analog photography. This course will provide students with proficiency in the operation of medium and large format cameras and advanced printing techniques. Concepts are developed through making, reading and writing, engaging with established and historical artists, and critiquing peers' work.
This course explores the intricacies of color theory with regard to perception, systems, and application in visual art. Further, the course considers color as subject and concept in contemporary art. Previously offered as ARTS 121.
This studio course will focus on immersing students in the culturally rich practice of narrative painting, and emphasize integrating BeAM space technology and equipment in the conceptual and creative process.
This class examines wood sculpture from both a technical and intuitive perspective. Students are taught woodworking skills and are then encouraged to use these skills to discover their creative potential.
Recommended preparation, ARTS 104 and/or ARTS 105. An intermediate studio course focused on creating stencil-based print images. Students explore a range of technical approaches and will investigate art making concepts specific to screen printing as well as the intersections of screen printing with other two-dimensional art forms.
This class examines metal sculpture from both a technical and intuitive perspective. Students are taught metalworking skills and are then encouraged to use these skills to discover their creative potential.
This course engages students in an artistic investigation of the landscapes along the Camino de Santiago pilgrimage route. Using the path as a metaphor, the class will explore journaling as a way to document, while traversing the diverse topographical terrain of this ancient path. The journey envelops many ancient and medieval histories and perceptions of the path, documenting our experiences and experimenting with various artistic strategies. Study abroad only.
Required preparation, any introductory studio art course or permission of the instructor. Selected topics in studio art .
This course aims to continue guiding painting students through developing sensibilities to paint handling, color, composition, and spatial design, with an emphasis on experimentation. Students will develop their work in context to themes that are significant in painting history, relevant to contemporary art, and their personal lens.
The primary goals of this class are to introduce students to three-dimensional computer modeling and animation in Maya. While the particular focus of the class is 3D character animation and most students will produce a short 3D animation as their final project, students may also explore a broad range of creative applications and avenues for development, including special effects, compositing with video, and motion graphics.
Continuation of ARTS 213.
Students will explore themes in the vast history of narrative paintings by researching and responding to these themes, and create narrative paintings through their own personal lens. We will explore topics of the genre, from historical works, to how contemporary artists are interpreting and creating narratives that mirror the diverse spectrum of identities, materials, and histories in our lifetime.
This class builds on predominantly perceptually based concepts of basic drawing and introduces abstraction, interpretive, and conceptual drawing strategies. Class assignments develop understanding of the language of drawing and provide a foundation that aims to support independent investigation and personal approaches to drawing's unique capabilities.
Suggested preparation, ARTS 103. This course examines the connecting trajectories of artistic and technological developments from early modernism to the contemporary. While addressing the interconnected nature of technology, technique, craft and art, students will work with our new technologies (Laser and Vinyl Cutter, 3D Printer, etc.) to create 3D work.
This studio course will explore the vast visual language of abstract painting. Students will examine abstraction through creating paintings within a historical, visual, and cultural framework, and acquire context about the emergence and persistence of painted abstraction.
This course will be organized around four art making/art building projects, culminating in a class presentation of a multimedia phantasmagoria. Students will research early light/shadow, pre-cinema techniques, hauntings/horror and artists whose work is influenced by these tropes. We will work with Maker's Spaces to produce components for this course. Previously offered as ARTS 253.
How does one tell a story in the form of a drawing? This class will investigate narrative composition as a genre using diverse and analytical methods in drawing. From life drawing sessions to exercises in diverse environments and public events.
This course examines the practical and theoretical issues of portraiture. Students will learn technical skills and conceptual strategies to engage with issues of representation and notions of identity. We will explore the history of the photographic portraiture as well as work of contemporary portrait artists working in a post-modern age.
This class explores the concepts and craft of letterpress printing. Technical skills include typesetting, linoleum carving, and digital interfaces for making image and text matrices. Projects explore the special relationship of image and word and are designed around specific text/image forms: broadside, poster, portfolio, and book.
Art at the Edge of Life: Art, Space, and Ecology is a course organized around 2-3 art making/art building projects, culminating in a class presentation of a final public art installation. Part seminar and part studio, students will research early ecology, sustainability, green movements and artists whose work is influenced by these tropes. We will work with BeAM and with experts in the field to find solutions for the issues that we face today.
Recommended preparation, ARTS 104. This seminar engages students in a territorial investigation of the North Carolina landscape. Meandering through the landscape we will explore different art mediums while simultaneously fostering an appreciation for the natural environment. Through hiking and backpacking students will foster a means for understanding their location and documenting their experience.
This course continues an investigation of print techniques and concepts. Projects develop an understanding of print strategies, focusing on the affordances of processes unique to printmaking. This approach positions traditional techniques as a point of departure for seeking an expanded definition of printmaking.
This course is a an introduction to the culture, history and contemporary context of pilgrimage and the Camino de Santiago through the lens of performance art and other embodied aesthetic experiences. Several performative projects form the core of the coursework with the Camino de Santiago-specifically, the Camino Francés, becomes the site and our studio for both cultural and artistic purposes.
Required preparation, any intermediate studio art course or permission of the instructor. Selected topics in studio art.
Required preparation, any Tier II ARTS course, any contemporary-focus ARTH course; permission of the instructor for students lacking the required preparation. How do curators assist the navigation of contemporary art? This course addresses this question and others concerning the history, trends, personalities, and sites involved in contemporary art exhibition. The class will mount actual exhibitions informed by readings and interaction with curators, artists, and stage performances.
Advanced Undergraduate and Graduate-level Courses
This course focuses on the historically rich practice of painting, and is designed to guide the advanced painting student through the research, conceptual, aesthetic, and technical components of a comprehensive studio practice, and developing and maintaining a studio work ethic.
Continuation of ARTS 303. May be repeated for credit.
Permission of the instructors. This class explores the intersection of two disciplines, art and science. Research skills intrinsic to both include curiosity, close observation, experimentation, and visual analysis. Organized around printmaking projects informed by specific topics in biology, students adapt theory and practical skills from both disciplines to create artworks using several printmaking techniques Honors version available.
This studio class explores public art from historical and critical perspective. Students will propose and create works of public art. Opportunities to implement projects will be explored through the Department of Art and other resources.
Continuation of ARTS 313. May be repeated for credit.
An advanced photography course for students interested in contemporary photographic practices, critical theory, art history, and experimental processes: theory and practice, formal and conceptual investigations, and historical and contemporary strategies will all be given equal attention.
An introduction to the creative and technical processes in producing video art. Students will shoot and edit their own independent video projects. Some class time will be devoted to viewing video art and other media-based work.
Cultural production and practice, theory, and criticism. Pursuit of individual visual projects, formally and conceptually, through theoretical, poetic, art historical, and autobiographical texts, critiques, collaboration, and discussion using all media.
This course is appropriate for students who have had a minimum of three semesters of prior printmaking experience. Students submit a proposal outlining technical and artistic goals for the semester.
This class explores art that encompasses its audience. Conceptual motivations as well as practical realities of dealing with a specific three-dimensional space will be considered.
Required preparation, one additional two-dimensional studio course (drawing, photography, or printmaking). Defining the book as a "multiple and sequential picture plane," this course considers a range of traditional approaches and conceptual departures of the book as a format for creative expression.
This course combines a technical approach (making printing matrices using photographic processes) with a conceptual framework (the photographic "voice" and its interpretation in printmaking). Artmaking projects explore salient ideas such as appropriation versus capture, documentation, truth-telling and fabrication, or narrative invention using specific technical processes such as photogravure and cyanotype.
Required preparation, any intermediate studio art course or permission of the instructor. Advanced consideration of selected topics in studio art.
Required preparation, 15 hours ARTS courses. Allows studio art majors to pursue unpaid practicums or internships for credit. Examples include working as a studio assistant or working in art-related fields, such as galleries, design firms, architectural firms, and nonprofit arts organizations. Work undertaken must comply with Federal criteria governing unpaid internships. Departmental approval required.
This research-intensive course is designed for B.F.A. students to define and execute a focused body of work or a single large project over the course of a semester. Work may be pursued individually or in collaborative teams. Required for B.F.A. studio art majors. B.A. studio art majors may seek permission from the instructor.
Restricted to senior studio art majors. This course is the capstone course for the studio art major. Topics covered include issues of professional development, curatorial practice, and presentation of works of art in exhibition. The culminating project is mounting the Senior Exhibition.
May be repeated for credit.
Permission of the instructor. For students wishing to pursue additional media or thematic study beyond the advanced level. Students register with section numbers designated for faculty. May be repeated for credit.
Students will explore "socially engaged art" practices that challenge the distinction between art and life, are fundamentally collaborative, value process over end product, and utilize action, dialogue, and participation as strategies as an intervention in public discourse.
This projects-based seminar will introduce students to the fundamental optical and technological principles of motion pictures. By using the Maker Space to design and fabricate pinhole cameras, zoetropes, and 16mm film strips, students will gain a deep understanding of the material and technological foundations of the cinema, and the operating principles that are behind not only the classic films of Hollywood's past, but the high-definition digital imaging technologies of the present.
Required preparation, any intermediate studio art course or permission of the instructor. Selected topics in studio art.
Permission of the department. ARTS 691H is designed to enable studio art majors to pursue serious and substantial work. In addition to working with the instructor of record for ARTS 499/691H, students work under the supervision of an individual thesis advisor and committee.
ARTS 692H is taught concurrently with and by the instructor for ARTS 500. In addition to the classroom component, students continue to work with an individual thesis advisor and committee. Successful completion of ARTS 692H allows students to graduate with honors or highest honors.
Department of Art and Art History
101 Hanes Art Center, CB# 3405
Director of Undergraduate Studies for Art History
Director of Undergraduate Studies for Studio Art
Student Services Specialist