ARTH 100. Introduction to Art History (4E)
An introduction to both art history and its methodologies that will prepare students to analyze and understand art and architecture from diverse regions and time periods. Critical examination of artworks considers both their process of creation and their meaning in cultural context. Using case studies from prehistory to contemporary times, the course is subdivided to explore some of the general themes that often provide meaning to artistic expression, including space/place, the body, institutional and private patronage and self-expression. Special emphasis is given to developing skills of visual, iconographic and contextual analysis, comparative study and the interpretation of primary documents and secondary sources. This course satisfies the Core Curriculum requirement in Humanities.
ARTH 199/299/399/499. Independent Study (1-4E)
This course consists of an independent reading or research project designed by the student and supervised by an art history faculty member. The nature of the project, the schedule for accomplishment, and the means of evaluation must be formalized in a learning contract prior to registration. (See “Independent Study” under “Academic Policies” section.)
ARTH 220. Rock, Paper, Sword: The Media of the Ancient and Medieval World (4A)
An introduction to the art of the ancient and medieval world. This course examines how different Western, Asian, and Islamic cultures approached art in these media. Exploring rock involves both architecture and sculptural representation; examining paper engages issues of two-dimensional media and the sweeping changes caused by the introduction of paper; and considering the sword includes both the production of metalwork and the artistic scope of ancient and medieval empires. The course will emphasize cultural interaction between empires, nations, and geographic regions through economic, artistic, and political exchange. Geographic areas of focus include Northern Europe and the Ancient Mediterranean, West and Central Asia, India, and the dominant powers of East Asia: China, Korea, and Japan. This course satisfies the Core Curriculum requirement in Humanities.
ARTH 223. Introduction to Latin American Art (4AF)
An introduction to the art and architecture of Latin American from the pre-Columbian period to the present day. Topics include the culture and creative production of the Maya, Inca, and Aztec people; the role of art and material culture as a tool of colonization and religious conversion, as well as a form of colonial resistance; the rise of national independence movements and an art academy; the role of art and visual culture in the evolving construction of native and national histories in the twentieth century; and the relationship between contemporary art and Latinx identity in the present day. The course will especially emphasize the interaction between indigenous traditions and memory, and imported styles and ideas. Geographic areas of focus will include Spanish-speaking North, Central, and South America, including present-day Argentina, Cuba, Mexico, Peru, the US-Mexico border, and Venezuela. This course satisfies the Core Exploration Cultural Literacy requirement.
ARTH 250. Topics in Western Art History (4)
Various topics in art history, each representing an introduction to an aspect of the discipline with a primary focus on visual culture from Europe and/or the United States. May be repeated for credit if the topic is not repetitive. For a description of each course, see the current online Schedule of Classes. This course satisfies the Core Curriculum requirement in Humanities.
ARTH 255. Topics in Global Art History (4)
Various topics in art history, each representing an introduction to an aspect of the discipline with a primary focus on visual culture from Africa, Asia, the Americas and/or the Islamic World. May be repeated for credit if the topic is not repetitive. For a description of each course, see the current online Schedule of Classes. This course satisfies the Core Exploration Cultural Literacy requirement.
ARTH 306. Art of the United States (4AS)
This course explores the art and visual culture of the United States from the American Revolution to the present day, considering the central role that artistic production and consumption played in constructing American social identities and culture. Of particular concern are the contributions of minority and marginalized groups as active agents in the development of a national culture. The course also considers issues of art and nationalism, the influence of European traditions, ideas of modernity and the modern artist in American culture, and relationships between art and material culture in American life. Prerequisite is one of the following: ARTH 100, one 200-level ARTH course, or consent of instructor.
ARTH 307. Classroom Assistantship in Art History (1-4E)
Supervised experience in the understanding and explanation of art history disciplinary concepts and reasoning. Meeting regularly with the instructor, classroom assistants help an instructor in duties that may include convening meetings with students outside of regular class time, reading drafts of students’ papers, correcting (but not grading) short homework assignments and drafting examination questions. This course will follow the general college guidelines. Students eligible for classroom assistantships must have a minimum GPA of 2.5, be of junior or senior standing or must have completed two courses of 300-level or above work in art history. May be repeated for a total of eight credits but a maximum of four credit hours of such work may be applied toward fulfillment of the student’s major requirements.
ARTH 310. European Art and Global Colonialism, 1500-1850 (4AS)
This course explores the intertwined histories of artistic production and global colonialism in the early modern era. In the early modern era, European developments in the practice of art coincided with an increasing interest in understanding and controlling the world. The class considers how the work of artists in this period responded to European concerns about national and imperial power, global trade, slavery, and colonialism. The course also addresses how art fueled curiosity about the natural world, developments in science and astronomy, and the relation between religious belief and civic life. In this study of European painting, architecture, and sculpture, students attend to issues of race and artistic theory, images of the colonial world, and the ways in which material culture facilitated intercultural contact between white Europeans, enslaved Africans, and indigenous colonized communities. Prerequisite is one of the following: ARTH 100; one 200-level ARTH course; or permission of instructor.
ARTH 314. Race and Representation (4AF)
This class explores the artistic production of the African diaspora in the United States and abroad from the early modern era to the present day. Major issues of concern are colonialism and the early modern invention of race; the construction of whiteness; the visual and material culture of the transatlantic slave trade and American slavery; the role of art in both building and resisting systems of oppression; the creative production and agency of individual artists of color, including enslaved artists and artisans in the colonial and antebellum period as well as modern and contemporary artists; the concept of the Black Atlantic and the contribution of a diverse African diaspora to a global history of art and ideas; and African American art history. Depending on the instructor, the focus of the course will either be Early Modern and Colonial or Modern and Contemporary art. This course may be repeated once for credit if the topic is not repetitive. Prerequisite is one of the following: ARTH 100, one 200-level ARTH course, or consent of instructor.
ARTH 316. Modern Art, 1850-1970 (4AS)
A study of important developments in painting, sculpture and architecture during the modern period. The emergence of avant-garde practices and radical formal invention, the development of abstract art, relations between art and mass culture and the transformed function of the artist in modern society will be examined. Slide presentations, lectures, discussion. Prerequisite is one of the following: ARTH 100, one 200-level ARTH course or consent of instructor.
ARTH 317. Contemporary Art, 1970 to Present (4AF)
This course explores the conceptual foundations and creative practices of contemporary art, with particular focus on postmodern theory and practice; the emergence of alternative or non-traditional media; the influence of the women’s movement and the gay/lesbian liberation movement on contemporary art; as well as globalization, community-based or collaborative processes and other aspects of creativity in the expanded contemporary field. Slide presentations, lecture, and discussion. Formerly ARTH 410. Not open to students who received credit for ARTH 410. Prerequisite is one of the following: ARTH 100, one 200-level ARTH course or consent of instructor.
ARTH 333. Colonial Art Across the Americas (4AF)
This course explores the intertwined histories of American colonialism through the lens of art and material culture, from Christopher Columbus’s arrival in the Caribbean in 1492 to Haitian independence in 1804. Crossing the cultural and political borders that traditionally divide studies of art in North and South America, this class considers how objects were a site for cultural negotiation between the many peoples and empires crossing the continent. Of particular concern are the agency and contributions of Native American and African colonial actors. Examining a wide range of works including paintings, maps, architecture and the decorative arts, the course considers how artists blended European and indigenous styles, material, and techniques to create hybrid objects of the New World. The course will also focus on a recent history of exhibiting and interpreting colonial art in the museum setting. In emphasizing the movement of objects across time and space, students discover the entangled and multicultural history that distinguishes the early Americas. Prerequisite is one of the following: ARTH 100, one 200-level ARTH course, or consent of instructor.
ARTH 350. Advanced Topics in Western Art History (4)
Various topics in art history, each representing study of an aspect of the discipline at an advanced level with a primary focus on Europe and/or the United States. ARTH 350 may be repeated for credit if the topic is not repetitive. For a description of each course and its prerequisites, see the current online Schedule of Classes. Prerequisite is one of the following: ARTH 100, one 200-level ARTH course, or consent of instructor.
ARTH 355. Advanced Topics in Global Art History ()
Various topics in art history, each representing study of an aspect of the discipline at an advanced level with a primary focus on Africa, Asia, the Americas and/or the Islamic World. ARTH 3xx may be repeated for credit if the topic is not repetitive. For a description of each course and its prerequisites, see the current online Schedule of Classes. Prerequisite is one of the following: ARTH 100, one 200-level ARTH course, or consent of instructor.
ARTH 382. Sexuality and Modernity (4A)
This course explores 20th century and contemporary art through changing conceptions of sexual identity. The course focuses on the visual arts as a primary means through which gender and sexuality were elaborated, negotiated, and enforced during the last 100 years, from the turn-of-the-century emergence of the “gay and lesbian individual” to ongoing shifts in conceptions of sex and gender roles. The course will consider style, content, and production contexts in diverse media, including painting, sculpture, photography, and performance. Seminar format, readings, and discussion. Prerequisite is one of the following: ARTH 100, one 200-level ARTH course, one course in Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies, or consent of instructor.
ARTH 398/498. Off-Campus Internship (4-16E)
Off-campus experiential learning opportunity. A variety of internships can be arranged through the Career Development Center subject to the approval of the art history faculty. The off-campus internship is an individually-designed experience that allows the student to explore the relationship between learning and everyday work situations. Prerequisites: admission to the Internship Program and approval of the department chair. (See “Internships” under “Academic Policies” section.) Credit/no credit grading.
ARTH 440. Advanced Topics in Practice-Based Art History (4)
Selected topics in art history studied at an advanced level in an applied, experiential context. Individual course topics will vary with the instructor, but will generally focus on curatorial issues, object-based research and writing, museum/visual education, arts administration or collections management. Seminar format, readings, discussion and fieldwork. This course may be repeated for credit where the topic is not repetitive. For a description of each course and its prerequisites, consult the current online “Schedule of Classes.”
ARTH 450. Advanced Seminar in Art History (4)
Selected topics studied at an advanced level in the context of the work of an artist, art movement, or a special problem. Seminar format, readings, and discussion. This course may be repeated for credit if the topic is not repetitive. For a description of each course and its prerequisites, see the current online “Schedule of Classes.”
ARTH 470. Critical Approaches to the Analysis of Art (4S)
This course explores the production and analysis of art and has two interrelated goals. The first is to develop students’ critical engagement with art, architecture, and visual culture. The second goal is to explore the historiography and methodologies that shape art historical inquiry. Organized around several major topics that have informed the ways in which art is created and interpreted, the class also provides an opportunity for specific applications of various methodological approaches through visual analyses of individual artworks. This course offers a foundation from which students can discuss and critically analyze art and visual culture as well as broader cultural movements and historical debates. Seminar format, readings, and discussion. Prerequisite is one of the following: ARTH 100, and one additional ARTH course, or consent of instructor
ARTH 490. Senior Experience in Art History (4E)
Advanced work in art history designed to synthesize materials from different course work within the major. Students join a 300 or 400-level art history course as the context for their senior experience. The synthesizing goal is achieved through a research paper or curatorial project that addresses the content of both the ARTH course and another selected upper-level course. Selection of the two courses must be made in consultation with and approved by the art history faculty. Prerequisite: approval of art history faculty adviser.
ARTH 493/494. St. Mary’s Project in Art History (1-8E)
The St. Mary’s Project in art history is an extensive independent study that focuses on art objects, theories, or issues. The project may take many forms, such as a research paper, an exhibition of selected objects presented with a catalog, or a video documenting and analyzing an architectural site or a display of public art. The work may be undertaken in conjunction with study abroad or a museum internship; or it may be focused on objects in museums in Washington, D.C., Baltimore or the St. Mary’s College Fine Art Collection. In consultation with a faculty mentor, the student identifies a topic that is supported by that student’s previous academic work. A formal proposal includes a statement of the substance of the project, the methodologies that will be employed, and the contribution that the project will make to the discipline of art history. The project will be presented to the College community through a means appropriate to the form of the project, such as an exhibition or a report of research findings. The work is supervised by a faculty mentor. Prerequisite: approval of the faculty mentor and the chair of the Art and Art History Department. Project guidelines are provided by the faculty mentor.