Art History Undergraduate Courses

Click on any course title below to read its description. Courses offered in the upcoming semester include a schedule, and are indicated by a label to the right of the title.

This course examines the history of western art from ancient times through the Gothic Period in Western Europe. Through classroom discussions, assigned readings, and, should time allow, museum visits, students will become familiar with the development of a variety of early forms of art. With each new style or period, we will attempt both to describe the works themselves, and investigate the cultural, social, religious, political and personal contexts that surround the object.   [ 4 cr. ]

Section Type Instructor Location Days Times
D1 IND Richardson CAS 214 R 6:00 pm – 8:45 pm

Continues MET AH 111, but can be taken separately. Chronological survey of European art from the Renaissance to the present. Emphasis on the relation of art to its historical and cultural context.   [ 4 cr. ]

Extensive practical application in basic aspects of photography. Negative exposure and processing coordinated with print production and evaluation. Students use their own 35mm camera. Single-lens reflex is recommended. Cost of materials: approximately $125.   [ 4 cr. ]

Extensive practical application in basic aspects of digital photography. This course covers camera operation, image processing in black and white and an introduction to shooting color and color management at the end of the semester and the basics of Photoshop. Students will use their own digital 35mm camera. Single-lens reflex is standard. Cost of materials is approximately $200. Students will use their own laptops to edit and produce photos for their assignments in this class. Photoshop and other software needed for the class will be made available to students for little or no fee. Laptops will be used in every class session.   [ 4 cr. ]

Section Type Instructor Location Days Times
B1 IND Haines STH 319 T 6:00 pm – 8:45 pm

Painting, sculpture, and architecture in Greece from early times to the end of the Hellenistic period. Interrelationships among art, mythology, religion, athletics, and history.   [ 4 cr. ]

This course will provide an overview of Roman architecture and art as it developed from the founding of the city to the time of the emperor Constantine. We will examine many of the most famous monuments in addition to those that are less well known as we attempt to open a window onto Roman culture and thought through an examination of its art. These works will include not only architectural achievements, such as the Colosseum and the Pantheon, but also a range of sculpted and painted works. Roman art, largely as a result of the Roman army?s many conquests, can be seen as a combination of the art forms of a variety of cultures in a manner not unlike the art of contemporary America. As part of our exploration, we will try to understand the manner in which the art represents this kind of cultural interaction. We will also observe how the art changes depending on its archaeological context in former homes, temples and other spaces.   [ 4 cr. ]

The goal of this course is to understand the history of photographic images, their meaning and impact on society. Photographic images are part of the landscape of our experience. We will examine the development of photography as an art form, a social document and a powerful tool for communication and exploration. Lectures, discussions and museum visits will focus on photographic movements, specific photographers, artists and the intersection of photography with other realms of human endeavor. Students will create images to assist them in understanding the simple and complex dimensions of creating photographs.  [ 4 cr. ]

This course represents an overview of Medieval Art and Architecture as it developed from late antiquity (ca. 400 A.D.) through the Early Renaissance (ca. 1200 A.D.). We will examine an array of famous Christian as well as secular monuments both in Western Europe and the Byzantine East, taking time as we go to consider each in terms not just of its esthetic features but also its essential political, religious, and geographical contexts.   [ 4 cr. ]

This course examines the origin and flowering of the Italian Renaissance, including major artistic figures such as Leonardo, Giotto, Michelangelo, and Donatello. We will explore the impact of early scientific inquiry, the fascination with classical antiquity, and the changing role of the artist in society through the visual arts and architecture of Italy.   [ 4 cr. ]

Section Type Instructor Location Days Times
A1 IND Alberts FLR 121 M 6:00 pm – 8:45 pm

The artistic masters of the High Renaissance and their patrons, from Leonardo da Vinci to El Greco, with an emphasis on social forces and artistic styles in the sixteenth century.   [ 4 cr. ]

Traces the development of Boston as an urban entity since the seventeenth century. Emphasis on Boston as a model for American architectural history from the colonial to the international styles. Surveys the city's history from English village to modern megalopolis.  [ 4 cr. ]

An examination of the new concepts of reality that grew out of the French Revolution, and how these concepts influenced the critical theories of Impressionist and Post-Impressionist art.  [ 4 cr. ]

Section Type Instructor Location Days Times
C1 IND Richardson STH B22 W 6:00 pm – 8:45 pm

Analysis of the work and thought of major masters of twentieth-century painting, sculpture, architecture, and photography, including the School of Paris and the New York School.   [ 4 cr. ]

Section Type Instructor Location Days Times
C1 IND Dowd FLR 134 W 6:00 pm – 8:45 pm

Program faculty selects seminar topics of current interest, usually with a singular focus, in the field.  [ 4 cr. ]

Detailed study of Impressionism from 1860s to circa 1900. Emphasis is on French artists, but Impressionists elsewhere in Europe and America are also considered. Discusses Impressionism's sources, Realist underpinnings, stylistic development, themes, and changes in the 1880s.   [ 4 cr. ]

Introductory survey of digital imaging in the visual arts. Lectures and slides illustrate historical perspective, and hands-on studio sessions allow students to create and manipulate digital images. Emphasis on expressing personal ideas through new imaging techniques.   [ 4 cr. ]

The intention of this course is to offer in a seminar format, a combination of lecture and video presentations, outside exhibition review assignments, independent research, field trips, and classroom discussions. The primary focus will be the fine arts and the related performing arts. Artists often take on the "hot button" themes and issues of contemporary culture. Accordingly there will be presented strong images related to gender, race, religion, social and historical issues of war and conflict. This is an important aspect of the basic approach of understanding, "cutting edge," challenging issues in contemporary art. This material will be presented in an educational context but students who would potentially be offended by this imagery and its related discussion must consider whether it is appropriate to take this course. A major area of study will be the manner in which contemporary art constantly evolves and changes in response to an ever-shifting world and how specific artists and movements have a particular and sustained influence.   [ 4 cr. ]

An examination of the arts institutions, issues, and forces that shape the contemporary art world. Topics include government cultural policy, National Endowment for the Arts, museums, symphonies, curators, critics, artists' rights, public art, corporate support, censorship, feminism and multiculturalism. See also Arts Administration. Stamped approval required.  [ 4 cr. ]

Offered between semesters, Arts of Cuba is a survey of the visual arts in Cuba from the early twentieth century to the present, with an emphasis on contemporary art and an examination of the role of the artist in Cuban society. Work is discussed in its historical, social, economic, and cultural context. Students visit artists' studios, talk with Cuban artists and art administrators, and visit Havana's important museums and arts organizations. Meets on campus and in Cuba.   [ 4 cr. ]

A survey of the visual arts in Cuba from the early twentieth century to the present, with an emphasis on contemporary art and an examination of the role of the artist in Cuban society. Work is discussed in its historical, social, economic, and cultural context. Students visit artists' studios, talk with Cuban artists and art administrators, and visit Havana's important museums and arts organizations.  [ 4 cr. ]