Areas of Inquiry

Social Change

Many of our courses analyze the relationship between art, politics, and activism, and explore the ways in which artists’ works are bound to urgent political and social questions. Courses that focus particularly on the question of political engagement and social change include:MTI3ODc3OTIyMjExMDExMDM4

ARTH 122: Introduction to Modern Art

ARTH 132: Introduction to Contemporary Art and Design

ARTH 142: Introduction to Photography

ARTH 212: African Art and Design

ARTH 240: Art of the Avant-Gardes, 1900-1945: France, Germany, Italy and Russia

ARTH 263: African-American Art

ARTH 312: Contemporary African Art

ARTH 330: Picturing New York

ARTH 350: Ruling Families of the Renaissance

ARTH 3–: Fields of Knowledge in the Early Modern Period

Gender and Sexuality

We are committed to exploring the role that gender and sexuality play in the production and interpretation of art and visual culture. This examination forms a significant part of all the courses we teach, and receives particularly sustained focus in this group of courses.

ANGLIG_10313766716ARTH 243: Early Modern Spaces

ARTH 250: Modernism and Mass Culture in France 1848-1914

ARTH 261: Anatomies 1400-1650: Forbidden, Sexual, and Monstrous

ARTH 370: Women at Work: Art History and Feminism

 

Design History and Theory

The central question these courses pose is how to understand societies through their built environment, including buildings, urban spaces, artifacts, ruins, and landscapes. We examine the works’ original contexts, makers, and users and consider the ways in which design shapes knowledge and experience.

Ludwig Mies Van der Rohe, Edith Farnsworth House, Plano, IL (1946-50)

ARTH 198: Introduction to American Art and Design

ARTH 121: Introduction to Modern Architecture and Design

ARTH 132: Introduction to Contemporary Art and Design

ARTH 243: Early Modern Spaces

ARTH 255: Art and Ritual of the Ancient Americas

ARTH 330: Picturing New York: Art and Design

 

Critical Theory and Methods

This group of courses is especially focused on the concepts, theories, and ideologies that serve as the intellectual foundations for interpreting visual expression. We explore questions surrounding the production of historical knowledge and critically assess the ways meanings are constructed. Given the interdisciplinary nature of art history, our course readings may also come from the related fields of philosophy, anthropology, literary theory, history of science, or semiotics.

ARTH 298: Photography as Knowledge in the 19th Century

ARTH 300: French Art and Its Others

ARTH 312: Contemporary African Arts

ARTH 370: Women at Work: Art History and Feminism

ARTH 398: Matisse and Methods

ARTH 3–: Fields of Knowledge in the Early Modern Period

Africa and the Diaspora

The courses offered in this group focus on works made in Africa or by artists of African descent. We examine how the visual culture of these makers is understood by local and international audiences, considering such issues as colonialism and identity.

ARTH 212: African Art and Design

ARTH 263: African-American Art and Design

ARTH 300: French Art and Its Others

ARTH 312: Contemporary African Arts

ARTH 334: Exhibiting Africa: Past & Present

 

Museum and Collections

In museum studies, we consider the intellectual assumptions and cultural values which inform the formation of collections and exhibitions. Through first-hand study of objects and curatorial experience, students learn practical approaches to design and interpretative strategies.

ARTH 230: Introduction to Museum Studies

ARTH 243: Early Modern Spaces

ARTH 261: Anatomies 1450-1600: Forbidden, Sexual, and Monstrous

ARTH 335: Exhibition Design

ARTH 3–: Museum Controversies

Professors Leah Niederstadt and Claudia Fieo talk to the group in the Weil Gallery