Art History Course Lists

   Summer 2017 Courses (PDF)

Fall 2017 Courses (PDF)


Spring 2017 Courses (PDF)

Complete List of Courses (PDF)

FALL 2017 Courses

AH105 Introductory Topics in Art History: Artist as Scientist.
This is a seminar-type course primarily to be offered as a FIG coordinating course. Topics will vary.
Open to Freshmen. 3 cr. (Brisman | TR 11:00 – 12:15 | L170 Elvehjem Building)

AH202 History of Western Art II: From Renaissance to Contemporary.  
Examines the arts and cultures of Europe and North America from the Renaissance through the present to introduce students to the field of art history. Open to Freshmen. 4 cr. (Marshall
| TR 9:30 – 10:45 | L160)

AH227 The Ends of Modernism.
This survey considers Modernist art as it gives way to contemporary art. By considering art that ranges from 1880-1950 as more heterogeneous than coherent, the class will also consider Modernism’s problematic “afterlives.” Open to Freshmen. 4 cr. Comm B optional.(McClure
| MW 2:30 – 3:45 | L160)

AH241 Introduction to African Art and Architecture.
Regional styles of African art with reference to cultural function and aesthetics. Emphasis on the art of West and Central Africa. Historical beginnings with the ancient art of Nigeria and continuing into the royal and popular categories. Open to Freshmen. 3 cr. Cross-listed with Afro American Studies. (Drewal
| MW 2:30 – 3:45 | L140)

Dimensions of Material Culture.

This course introduces students to the interdisciplinary field of material culture studies. Open to freshmen. 4 cr.
(Martin & Nelson | TR 1:00 – 2:15 | L150)

AH300 / Classics 300. Art and Archaeology of Ancient Greece.
Traditions from 1000 BC to 403 BC in architecture, painting, ceramics, sculpture and the minor arts. Requires Sophomore standing or consent of instr. Cross-listed with Classics. 3 cr.
(Cahill | MWF 8:50 – 9:50 | L160)

AH350 Love, War, and the Emergence of the Modern World: Nineteenth- Century Painting in Europe.
Explore the century that gave us our modern world: light-bulbs, steam engines, reproductive technologies, the mass media, phonographs, telegraphs, telephones, factories, the middle class, globalization, even computers! How did artists respond to and participate in an era of rapid change not unlike our own? A time of paradigm shifts in Western ways of understanding the world, it gave us the ideals of the French Revolution, the concept of childhood, Freudian psychoanalysis, Marxism, and Darwinian evolutionary theory, among other new ideas.

The nineteenth-century legacy also includes darker aspects of modernity related to its privileging of white middle-class men, such as colonialism and racial and sexual inequalities.

This survey course situates the important artists and artworks of the period in their cultural and historical contexts. Topics include French, British, and German art movements, including Romanticism Pre-Raphaelitism, Realism, Impressionism, Post-Impressionism, and photography, with a thematic focus on issues of gender, race, and important political and philosophical questions.

Requirements include readings, midterm, final, quizzes, two short papers, and attending class, which will involve both lecture and interactive discussions. The course will also emphasize broadly applicable skill sets relevant in today’s job market, such as visual analysis, critical thinking, and strong writing. 3 cr.

(Marshall | TR 4:15 – 5:30 pm | L150)

AH355 History of Photography.
European and American photography from its invention to the challenge of electronic media, emphasizing development of a critical approach to the medium. Requires Sophomore standing & Art Hist. 202 or consent of instr. 3 cr.
(Casid | TR 11:00 – 12:15 | L140)

AH 372 Arts of Japan.
This course introduces students to the history and aesthetics of art in a wide range of media produced on the Japanese archipelago from prehistoric times to today.

It explores the forms, materials, processes, functions, and meanings of selected works from a variety of contexts: prehistoric villages; early tombs with material links to the Korean Peninsula; the ancient imperial court, where distinctively “Japanese” forms of literature and allied arts emerged; Zen monasteries, where newer developments in Chinese culture were introduced to medieval Japan; tea ceremony circles, which subverted long- established aesthetic values; early modern cities, which were home to the floating world of visual and erotic pleasure; the emerging nation of Japan, in which diverse groups searched for an authentic modern identity; and the global spaces of contemporary art. Class participation is encouraged and rewarded. 3 cr. (Rubalcava | MWF 11:00 – 11:50 | L150)


o Knowledge about a fascinating culture and its art

o Sharpened ability to perceive and interpret visual information and difference

o Improved critical reading skills Greater sophistication in writing

AH405 Cities and Sanctuaries of Ancient Greece.
include urbanism in ancient Greece in theory and practice; the forms, technologies, patronage and use of buildings; the creation and conception of urban spacey and the organization of religious sites, dedications, and rituals. Requires Art Hist. 201, 300, 301, 302, Classics 300, or consent of instr. 3 cr. (Cahill | MWF 12:05 – 12:55 | L150)

AH415 Image and Text in Medieval Manuscripts.
One of the most significant technological innovations in late antiquity was the replacement of the papyrus rotulus by the parchment codex or manuscript as principal vehicle for the dissemination of the written word. This course offers an introduction to the art of medieval manuscript illumination from ca. 400 to 1500. We discuss such celebrated manuscripts as the Book of Kells (c. 800) and the Tres Riches Heures of Jean Duc de Berry (ca. 1400). Students will be introduced to essential tools for identifying and interpreting manuscript illuminations and their texts, drawing on original examples in the collection of the Chazen Museum of Art and UW Special Collections. Particular emphasis will be placed on the relationship between images and texts, and the ways in which the figural and ornamental decoration contribute to the meaning and function of the manuscript within specific theological, liturgical, devotional, institutional and ideological contexts. We will also create an exhibition of medieval scientific manuscripts (in facsimile) for the Kohler Art Library. Requires Junior standing & one Art History course at both the 200-level and 300- level, or consent of instr. 3 cr.
(Dale | MW 2:30 – 3:45 | L150)

AH440 Art and Power in the Arab World.
This course considers the use of art and architecture as an expression of power in the Arab world, from the seventh century to the present. Requires Sophomore standing or consent of instr. 3 cr.
(Pruitt | TR 1:00 – 2:15 | L140)

AH 506 Curatorial Studies Exhibition Practice.
This course will engage students in all aspects of the preparation of an exhibition for the Chazen Museum of Art or other exhibition spaces on campus. Students will help conceptualize the exhibition and its layout, research and interpret individual objects, prepare wall texts for the display and other materials published in print or online in conjunction with the exhibition. The specific topic will be different each time the course is taught. Requires Junior Standing and at least one previous course in Art History at 300-level or above. 3 cr.
(Drewal | Mon. 4:30 – 6:30 | L166)

AH515/815 Proseminar in Medieval Art: Islamic Spain

Requires Junior standing & consent of instr. 3 cr. (Pruitt | 4:30 – 6:30 | L170)

AH563/AH863 Learning From Things: The History of Object-Based Study from the Enlightenment to the Present.  3 cr. (Carter | Wed. 2:30 – 4:30 | L166)

AH601 Introduction to Museum Studies: Theory & Methods. 3 cr. (Martin | Thurs. 4:30 – 6:30 | L166)
This two- semester, curatorial practice class (to be taken with AH602 in Spring 2018) will examine historic ceramic vessels and their technologies, artistry, and meanings and create an exhibition at the Chazen Museum of Art in the spring of 2018. Specifically, it will highlight molded Victorian jugs, vessels that were some of the highest quality and most popular and ubiquitous forms of the mid-19th century. These objects cross several important areas of study, including Victorian art and design, ornament drawn from popular culture (heroic myth, literature, history, and botanica), and improving technologies of molding.  Their designs were praised and critiqued in art and design journals and, at their best, reached some of the pinnacles of decorative art.

These vessels may be placed among other art and decorative arts found in the collections of the Chazen Museum.  Jugs were one of man's earliest vessels, made in multiple media and found in diverse cultures and times.  Iconic in use and form (with a handle, body, and spout) its meaning is nonetheless unstable. They were painted in early modern genre scenes that preached morality and as markers of simplicity in early depictions of humble abodes.  Later, its iconic form worked as a fine subject for Cubist reinterpretation.  At the same time, the humble form can be a masterpiece of color and design in the hands of master craftsmen.

This is a two semester course that meets once a week. The first semester will focus on content--ceramic production, historical context and beginning reading on exhibition production. The second half will produce an exhibition, including themes and final label writing. The end of the course will focus on writing, evaluation. and longer writing.

AH701 Graduate Practicum in Art History: Bibliography, Historiography, Methods.
Intensive work in critical analysis, and research methods; introduction to the methods, and historiography of art history; orientation to source work in the Chazen collection and University libraries. Required methodology course for first-year graduate students in art history. Requires first year Art Hist. grad student status or consent of instr. 3 cr.
(Marshall | Tues. 1:00 – 3:00 | L170)

AH800 Seminar: Special Topics in Art History: Structures, Post-Structuralism, Art.
Requires Graduate standing and consent of instr. 3 cr.
(McClure | Mon. 4:15 – 6:15 | L170)

AH 801 Historiography, Theory, and Methods in Visual Cultures.
Prepares student for graduate work in the transdisciplinary study of Visual Cultures by building on the knowledge, theories, and methods that are fundamental to the discipline. It will develop skills in critical reading, research, analysis, writing, and oral presentation. Requires Graduate standing and consent of instr. 3 cr.
(Casid | Tues. 4:00 – 6:00 | L170)

AH835 Seminar in Northern European Art. Early Modern Media: Hurry up and Slow Down.
At the end of the fifteenth century, the world was speeding up. Prints were rapidly making available new kinds of visual experiences at a purchasable price: occasions for devotional encounters, markers of scientific data, portraits substituting for real presence, and templates for designs. In the midst of these new combinations of images and texts, another novelty in the history of communication appeared: the news. Never before had a technology been so successful at synchronizing the arrival of recent information with reception in various geographic locals. And yet, in the midst of the rapid and rampant production of reproducible visual data, another change to the art market emerged: drawings, once restricted in circulation to members of craft trade, now began to be collected as autonomous occasions for aesthetic delight.

Focusing our attention on works on paper (sketches, woodcuts, engravings, and printed books) produced in the period of 1470-1820 (from Martin Schongauer to Goya’s “Disasters of War”), this course will examine how the media revolution of print brought about social change, formulated new communities and publics, forged occasions for privacy and intimacy as never before, and mobilized changing conceptions of what constitutes a work of art.

3 cr. (Brisman | Thurs. 12:00 – 2:00 | L166)