Art History (ARTH)

ARTH 101     Understand Art-Ancient to 1400     4 Credit Hours

Full Course Title: Understanding Western Art from Ancient to Medieval- This course asks the question-what does art tell us about the cultures that make it? The course investigates how culture, religion, and social structures manifest themselves in artworks created in the ancient world, for instance in Egypt or Greece, through the dawn of the Renaissance. Students are introduced to the key terms, concepts, and analytical skills that allow us to think critically about the importance of art during this period of time. (F, W).

ARTH 102     Understanding Art 1400 to Now     4 Credit Hours

Full Course Title: Understanding Western Art from the Renaissance to Now- This course traces the development of European and American art from the revival of classical humanism in the Italian Renaissance toward the rise of consumer culture during the twentieth century. Students explore key works of Western art from Michelangelo to Andy Warhol. Students are introduced to the key terms, concepts, and analytical skills that allow us to think critically about the cultural importance of art from 1400 to the present. (F, W).

ARTH 103     Arts of Asia     4 Credit Hours

This course is an introduction to the visual arts of three Asian civilizations: India, China, and Japan. Since this is a survey, the focus will be placed on major monuments that are characteristic of these artistic traditions. To better understand the works of art, the cultural milieu including religion, philosophy, and parallel arts will be considered. (F, W).

ARTH 104     Arts of the Middle East     4 Credit Hours

From the eighth century, a new religious community with no developed artistic heritage spread rapidly over the ancient empires of the near and middle east and as far west as Spain and Hungary. Appropriating established forms and traditions, Muslim cultures created a brilliant system of religious and secular art that reveals national diversity and an underlying unity of purpose. This course provides an introduction to the visual traditions of Muslim cultures. (OC).

ARTH 106     Architecture & Society in Western Civilization     4 Credit Hours

Full Course Title: Architecture & Society in Western Civilization- This course examines how architecture and the built environment both reflect and shape the societies that constructed them. Through a survey of major works of architecture from Antiquity to the present, students will learn about the technical, functional, and aesthetic considerations that determine why buildings look the way they do. Special attention is given to the uses of architecture, engineering innovations, and design choices. (F, W).

ARTH 221     Ancient Monuments then and Now     4 Credit Hours

This course examines the "biographies" of three iconic ancient architectural monuments: the Great Pyramids of Egypt, the Parthenon in Athens, and the Colosseum in Rome. We will explore the design, engineering, and original functions of these buildings. We will also investigate how people's preceptions of and interactions with these monuments changed over time, up to and including modern tourism. (F,YR)

ARTH 241     Encountering the Renaissance     4 Credit Hours

Full Course Title: Encountering the Renaissance: Art, Global Exploration, and Social Reform. This class examines the Renaissance through the study of globalization, science and technology, religious reform, and their impact on the visual arts. Students will learn about such topics as the exploration of Africa, Asia, and the Americas, the invention of the printing press, and the revival Classical Art and humanistic learning. (OC).

ARTH 261     Art and Film     4 Credit Hours

Throughout the twentieth-century, painters and sculptors have turned towards the medium of film to make art. This course examines the close relationship between film and visual art when art influences cinema and cinema influences art. Students analyze a movie by a selected filmmaker every week. In addition, concise texts by filmmakers, film historians, and art historians provide context for the development of experimental montage techniques, the relevance of visual art strategies to the art of film, and the discussion of intellectual and societal issues. (OC)

ARTH 303     Exploring Art in the Community     4 Credit Hours

You will explore area libraries, museums, and galleries (their physical holdings and virtual resources) to develop skills in researching and writing about art, documents, and material artifacts for diverse audiences. Ways of researching, interpreting, and presenting art or material artifacts to diverse audiences in various formats whether for display, publication, or virtual presentation are the focus of class assignments that result in a portfolio. (AY).

ARTH 305     The Arts & Culture of Detroit     4 Credit Hours

This interdisciplinary course explores the modern and contemporary cultural history of Detroit, examining the ways in which various population groups have been creative from the nineteenth century to the present. The course highlights the work of architects, designers, photographers, visual artists, poets, and musicians, and situates them in the broader cultural context of American art and history. As part of being a PBL Fundamental Level 1 course, this course allows students to address past and contemporary cultural problems from multiple perspectives, allowing to recognize, understand, and respect socio-cultural diversity. (OC).

ARTH 311     Art of China     4 Credit Hours

An introduction to the civilization of traditional China through the historical presentation of its art forms, literary achievements, and philosophical structures. The course will survey the Buddhist, Daoist, and Confucian content of Chinese art and culture from the Shang to the Qing dynasties. (OC).

ARTH 312     Art of Japan     4 Credit Hours

An introduction to representative works of art produced in Japan from the Neolithic era down to modern times. The artifact's cultural context will be examined including religious practice (Shinto and Buddhism), influence from abroad, and other artistic developments in literature, music, and theatre. (OC).

ARTH 313     Chinese Painting     4 Credit Hours

This course is a survey of the painting of China from the earliest examples found in tombs through works influenced by the West during the modern period. The course focuses on selected artists who serve as representatives of major traditions of China's cultural and artistic heritage. Students will be introduced to Chinese philosophy and relevant literary genres that provide a context for the development of Chinese painting. (AY).

ARTH 315     Early Chinese Art and Culture     4 Credit Hours

This course covers the art and material culture of China from the Neolithic through the Han dynasty. Topics include the visual arts used in palaces and tombs, religious art, and the rise of new technologies. It incorporates archaeological discoveries that have fundamentally transformed our understanding of Chinese history and culture, including evidence of people who lived at the center and also those at the periphery. Students will analyze literary and philosophical texts in translation to enhance understanding of the cultural context. (OC).

ARTH 321     Greek Art     4 Credit Hours

This course explores the art and architecture of the ancient Greek world, from the Bronze Age through the Hellenistic period. During the roughly two thousand years covered by this course, the Greeks came into contact with many peoples and societies, and experienced profound changes in politics and religion. These will be part of our examination of Greek art, architecture, and archaeology, to reach an understanding the importance of visual media in Greek society and appreciate the interrelationships between art, politics, religion, and culture. (AY).

ARTH 322     Roman Art     4 Credit Hours

This course explores Roman sculpture, painting, and architecture from around the entire Mediterranean world and investigates how the Romans emulated the arts of other cultures, while expressing its own values and priorities. It will examine the close connections between art, politics, and personal identity, and investigate how Romans used their understanding of engineering to create new ways of experiencing space. Finally, as the pagan era closes on the Roman Empire, the course will also look at how classical cultural traditions are transformed into the roots of Christian art. (AY).

ARTH 327     Gods, Myth and Worship     4 Credit Hours

Full Course Titile: Gods, Myth and Worship in Classical Art- This course examines the way that gods, goddesses, heroes, and myths are depicted in Greek and Roman art, and how they were central to the religious and cultural life of these civilizations. We study the art, architecture, literature, and archaeology of ancient Greece and Rome as we explore how religious priorities, social needs, and political ideologies shaped the artistic choices behind the reprensentations of deities and legendary figures and stories. (OC)

ARTH 332     Early Medieval Art and Architecture     4 Credit Hours

This course is designed as a survey of the major developments in the visual arts of the Early Christian period, the Byzantine Empire, and the early Middle Ages in Western Europe. In addition to examining the art and architecture of this formative period in Western Europe, we will also consider the spread of Christianity, the consolidation of the church, monasticism, the rise of the cult of saints, relics and pilgrimage, medieval warfare, and the interactions between Christianity and Islam. (AY).

Prerequisite(s): ARTH 101 or ARTH 102 or ARTH 103 or ARTH 104 or ARTH 106

ARTH 333     Gothic Art and Architecture     4 Credit Hours

The purpose of this course is to introduce students to the major artistic monuments of Western Europe from approximately 1130 to 1400, known widely as the Gothic era. Through assigned readings, class lectures, and discussions, students will learn about Gothic architectural design principles, engineering, and church symbolism. Students will also learn about the significant developments in painting and sculpture that laid the groundwork for the Renaissance. We will also consider the function of art in wider society, the growth of private devotional imagery, and trends in monastic spirituality. (AY).

ARTH 335     Women in Medieval Art     4 Credit Hours

Women have often been regarded as the second sex of the middle ages due to the misogynistic attitudes of that era. Recent scholarship, however, has unearthed a significantly more complex picture. Through a study of visual representations of women in medieval art, this course will examine women's roles in the creation and patronage of art and literature, economic and family issues, and women's participation in new and innovative forms of religious piety. (OC).

ARTH 341     Italian Renaissance Art and Architecture     4 Credit Hours

This course surveys the major developments of the Italian Renaissance in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries. Students will learn about the return to the Classical ideal in painting, sculpture, and architecture through the study of artists like Donatello, Botticelli, Leonardo da Vinci, and Michelangelo. We will also consider how religious, political, and economic forces shaped and changed the art over the centuries. (OC).

ARTH 343     Renaissance & Reformation Art     4 Credit Hours

This course surveys the religious and political forces that shaped art produced north of the Alps during the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries. Through the study of artworks by such masters as Van Eyck, Dürer, and Bruegel, students examine the connections between art and devotional practices, the rise of secular imagery and humanism, and the impact of the art of Italy. Special attention is also given to the role that art played during the Protestant Reformation and to the development of printmaking. (AY).

ARTH 352     Baroque Art and Architecture     4 Credit Hours

This course offers a survey of the major developments in the visual arts and architecture in Europe during the seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries. In addition to examining the works of major artists, such as Caravaggio, Rembrandt, and Velazquez, we will also discuss how religious debates, globalization, and political and economic forces shaped the arts. There will also be a class visit to the Baroque galleries at the Detroit Institute of Arts. (OC).

ARTH 360     Art of Glass     4 Credit Hours

This course focuses on glass as a medium and an art form. From Roman times to the present day, the unique qualities of glass have excited artists and craftsmen to make vessels, sculptures, and architectural ornamentation. The course traces the form and function of glassworks, focusing particularly on the historical trajectory of glass from ancient vessels and medieval stained glass, to the development of "art glass" in the nineteenth century, to contemporary objects. The course is based on lectures, discussion, and readings. Students are required to attend several field trips for "hands-on" work with objects. (OC).

ARTH 361     American Art     4 Credit Hours

A study of American painting, sculpture, and architecture from the colonial period to the present. In this survey of an arts tradition that has greatly depended upon developments in Europe, efforts will be made to identify what is American about American art. (OC).

ARTH 362     Impressionism and Post-Impressionism     4 Credit Hours

An examination of the origins of modern painting and sculpture in the art of the major Impressionists (Manet, Monet, Degas, Renoir) and Post-Impressionists (Cezanne, Seurat, Gauguin, Van Gogh). (OC).

ARTH 363     Arts of the Twentieth Century     4 Credit Hours

Did you know that you can make art by buying a snow shovel, hanging it, and signing it? This course looks at the ways in which modern artists such as Pablo Picasso, Marcel Duchamp, or Andy Warhol have reinvented what we consider as art. In addition to painting, sculpture, and architecture, this class studies the role of new media (photography, film, video) and highlights the importance of performance and sound in the visual arts of the twentieth century. (OC).

ARTH 365     Modern Architecture     4 Credit Hours

A survey of European and American architecture from the Chicago School to Post-Modernism. The course will trace the stylistic history of modern architecture while considering parallel issues of theory, social context, and building technology. Major architects studied will be Sullivan, Wright, Mies van der Rohe, Le Corbusier, and Johnson. (OC).

ARTH 367     Contemporary Art     4 Credit Hours

The purpose of the course is to provide an overview of the history of contemporary art. This course will analyze developments in the visual and performing arts and art theory from the 1950s to the current moment. Western (American, European) art will be considered alongside that of other international regions of the world. Special emphasis will be placed on the relationship between contemporary art and the social and political contexts and changes that mark this period. As part of this course, students will become familiar with the contemporary arts scene in Detroit. (OC).

ARTH 368     Global History of Photography     4 Credit Hours

This course studies photography from its inception in the nineteenth century to now. Course readings, lectures, and discussions address photography’s global histories as commercial practice, social text, artistic medium, journalistic style, and technological foray into the digital age. Students acquire the basic vocabulary of photography criticism and become familiar with a wide range of photographic genres and styles. (OC).

ARTH 375     Urban Design Perspectives     4 Credit Hours

This course explores the ways in which urban design both creates and reflects past and present urban conditions, cultures, and spatial relationships. The course will look at the built environment architecturally, aesthetically, and anthropologically in order to highlight the ever changing complexities of urban spheres. The placement and design of buildings and public spaces, and the resulting human interactions in those spaces, will be explored in comparative contexts. A special focus in this course is on the urban and suburban development of metro-Detroit. (OC).

ARTH 390     Topics in Art History     3 Credit Hours

Examination of problems and issues in selected areas of art history. Title as listed in the Schedule of Classes will change according to content. Course may be repeated for credit when topics differ. (OC).

ARTH 390C     Topics in Art History The Art of Everyday Objects in Ancient Greece and Rome     4 Credit Hours

Topic Title: The Art of Everyday Objects in Ancient Greece and Rome- This course explores the art and archaeology of ancient Greek and Roman everyday life in the form of objects that people such as those in Pompei or Athens might have encountered and handled on a daily basis, including vases, coins, lamps, and other furnishings. While, at first glance, these items that still resonate with modern lifestyles may not resonate as "art," the course examines how forms, motifs, and iconographies were shared between these humble items and large scale, expensive, and public artworks. In addition, we explore how the objects of daily life reflect major historical, social, and cultural trends and movements. Throughout the semester, we also question how ancient artifacts are understood and valued so as to suit the tastes and purposes of society. (OC).

ARTH 399     Independent Studies     1 to 3 Credit Hours

Readings and research assignments in history of art selected in accordance with the special needs and interests of art history concentrators. May be repeated for a maximum of 6 credit hours. (F,W).

ARTH 402     Museums and Art in the Community     4 Credit Hours

This course introduces you to museums as sites of public interaction and exploration. You will study the history and missions of diverse museums, and their role in shaping public discourse on art, history and society. You will discuss critical issues for museums like repatriation of cultural property, roles and responsibilities of museum professionals, and the importance of diversity and inclusion in collecting and exhibiting. This course also surveys career opportunities through field trips and discussions with museum professionals (curators, collection managers; educators, conservators, etc.). This class culminates in the creating of an exhibition. (AY).

Prerequisite(s): ARTH 305 or ARTH 311 or ARTH 312 or ARTH 313 or ARTH 315 or ARTH 319 or ARTH 321 or ARTH 322 or ARTH 327 or ARTH 331 or ARTH 332 or ARTH 333 or ARTH 334 or ARTH 335 or ARTH 341 or ARTH 342 or ARTH 343 or ARTH 344 or ARTH 351 or ARTH 352 or ARTH 360 or ARTH 361 or ARTH 362 or ARTH 363 or ARTH 364 or ARTH 365 or ARTH 366 or ARTH 367 or ARTH 368 or ARTH 375 or ARTH 384 or ARTH 385 or ARTH 392 or ARTH 400 or ARTH 416 or ARTH 425 or ARTH 426 or ARTH 427 or ARTH 428 or ARTH 434 or ARTH 454 or ARTH 469

ARTH 416     Earl Mod Jpn Paint&Wood Prnts     4 Credit Hours

Paintings and woodblock prints of the Edo/Tokugawa (1600-1868) and Meiji (1868-1912) periods are considered in light of competing developments that on the one hand looked to Japan's classical tradition and on the other to the influence of art and artists from China and the West. Special attention is given to female artists and images of women. Students cannot receive credit for both ARTH/WGST 416 and ARTH/WGST 516. (OC).

Cannot enroll if Class is Graduate

ARTH 426     Ancient Urbanism     4 Credit Hours

This course will explore the history and development of ancient Greek and Roman architecture and urbanism. Construction techniques in Greek and Roman engineering and design traditions, religious sanctuaries, domestic spaces, urban layouts, and the social and cultural contexts of urban building types and civic life will be explored from across the Mediterranean to the transition of the Roman empire from polytheism to state-sanctioned Christianity. This course will also trace the exportation of Rome’s unique urban culture to other parts of its empire to understand the city not only as a symbol of Roman cultural and imperial power. (OC).

ARTH 428     Art, Memory, and Cognition in the Roman World     4 Credit Hours

This course examines Roman art associated with personal commemoration and cultural memory, including portraiture, funerary monuments, imperial monuments, and public architecture. We explore these objects’ relationship to Roman literary culture’s theories of mnemotechnics and in the social context of the Roman obsession with memory perpetuation. Additionally, we explore how art, architecture, and behavior acted as cognitive partners as Romans learned and retained information about their communities and notable citizens. We examine how art historians apply modern theories of collective and social memory and cognition in their scholarship on Roman art, creating new ways of understanding Roman sculpture, painting, and architecture. Students cannot earn credit for both ARTH 428 and LIBS 528. (OC).

Can enroll if Level is Undergraduate

ARTH 469     Collage, Montage, Assemblage     4 Credit Hours

Different conceptions of collage, montage, and assemblage have vitally shaped artistic practice in the twentieth century, perhaps even more so than the advent of modernist abstraction. The modern phenomenon of collecting, mixing, and sampling that permeates the last century up to and including the contemporary moment will be traced in the class across the thresholds of painting, sculpture, architecture, photography, and film. We will discuss a wide range of movements, genres, and styles (Cubism, Futurism, Surrealism, Dada, Weimar and Russian photomontage, Soviet film, found footage film, French decollage, postwar assemblage) and their relation to the ever-changing mass media, the urban, and the modernized - in short, the everyday. The last segment of the class addressed more recent interpretations of the collage paradigm, including installation art and digital applications. Student cannot receive credit for both ARTH 469 and ARTH 569. (OC).

*An asterisk denotes that a course may be taken concurrently.

Frequency of Offering

The following abbreviations are used to denote the frequency of offering: (F) fall term; (W) winter term; (S) summer term; (F, W) fall and winter terms; (YR) once a year; (AY) alternating years; (OC) offered occasionally