George Mason University 1997-98 Catalog Catalog Index
Course Descriptions

Search the 1997-1998 Catalog:


Art History Courses (ARTH)


Art History

Students taking ARTH courses should expect to participate in field trips or assignments outside the classroom at area museums.

101 Introduction to the Visual Arts (3:3:0). Introduction to the content and principles of the visual arts. Approach varies with instructor.

102 Symbols and Stories in Art (3:3:0). Themes and imagery in art from early Greece to the modern era.

200, 201 Survey of Western Art (3:3:0). The major periods, monuments, and themes of Western art and architecture. Provides an introduction to the Washington, D.C., museum collections and a historical framework for further study in art history. Designed as a two-course sequence, but each part may be taken independently without prerequisite. ARTH 200 covers prehistory, the ancient world, and the Middle Ages; ARTH 201 covers the art of the Renaissance, Baroque, and modern Europe and the Americas.Each 300-level course is generally offered once every two years.

311 Design of Cities (3:3:0). Prerequisite: 24 hours. Problems in urban design in a particular geographical region or historical period. Approach varies with instructor and may involve archaeological or theoretical approaches appropriate to the specific context.

315 Modern Architecture (3:3:0). Prerequisite: 24 hours. Modernism in architecture from the Beaux Arts movement to the present; an investigation of stylistic, structural, and/or theoretical innovations.

319 Art and Archaeology of the Ancient Near East (3:3:0). Prerequisite: 24 hours. Aspects of the art, archaeology, and culture of ancient Near East and Bronze-Age Mediterranean. Approach varies; emphasis may be on Mesopotamia, Iran, Egypt, Anatolia, the Levant, or the Aegean.

320 Art of the Islamic World (3:3:0). Prerequisite: 24 hours. Introduction to Islamic art, from the time of Muhammad to the present day. Cultural and regional approach.

321 Greek Art and Archaeology (3:3:0). Prerequisite: 24 hours. History of ancient Greek architecture, sculpture, and painting.

322 Roman Art and Archaeology (3:3:0). Prerequisite: 24 hours. History of Roman architecture, sculpture, and painting.

333 Early Christian and Byzantine Art (3:3:0). Prerequisite: 24 hours. Art and culture of the medieval Mediterranean, concentrating on Late Antiquity and the Byzantine Empire. Designed to take advantage of unique local museum resources.

334 Western Medieval Art (3:3:0). Prerequisite: 24 hours. Aspects of art and architecture in Medieval Europe, from the fall of the Roman Empire through the Gothic Period. Specific focus may vary with the instructor.

340 Early Renaissance Art in Italy, 1300-1500 (3:3:0). Prerequisite: 24 hours. Studies in architecture, sculpture, and painting in the age of Giotto, Ghiberti, Masaccio, and Botticelli.

341 Northern Renaissance Art (3:3:0). Prerequisite: 24 hours. Studies in the art of France, Germany, and the Netherlands in the age of Van Eyck and Durer.

342 High Renaissance Art in Italy, 1480-1570 (3:3:0). Prerequisite: 24 hours. Studies in architecture, sculpture, and painting in the age of Leonardo, Michelangelo, Raphael, and Titian.

344 Baroque Art in Italy, France, and Spain, 1600-1750 (3:3:0). Prerequisite: 24 hours. Studies in architecture, sculpture, and painting in the age of Caravaggio, Bernini, Velazquez, and Poussin.

345 Northern Baroque Art, 1600-1750 (3:3:0). Prerequisite: 24 hours. Studies in architecture, sculpture, and painting in the age of Rubens, Van Dyck, Rembrandt, and Vermeer.

350 History of Photography (3:3:0). Prerequisite: 24 hours. Development of photography from origins in France in the 19th century to the present.

360 Nineteenth-Century European Art (3:3:0). Prerequisite: 24 hours. Movements from Neoclassicism to Symbolism will be discussed in relation to social, cultural, political, and technological changes in Europe.

362 Twentieth-Century European Art (3:3:0). Prerequisite: 24 hours. Study of major movements (fauvism, cubism, futurism, constructivism, surrealism, and neoexpressionism) and important artists in 20th-century painting and sculpture. Discussion will focus on art, art theory, and the relation of both to European history.

371 American Architecture and Material Culture (3:3:0). Prerequisite: 24 hours. Studies in the history and development of American architecture or decorative arts in cultural context. Topics range from 17th century through the 20th century, depending on instructor.

372 Nineteenth-Century American Art (3:3:0). Prerequisite: 24 hours. Artistic developments and the changing status of the artist in an historical context; the rise of American landscape and westward expansion; genre painting and Jacksonian America; art in the Gilded Age.

373 American Art, 1900-1945 (3:3:0). Prerequisite: 24 hours. Major developments in painting and sculpture from the turn of the century to World War II. Selected topics include the emergence of an American avant-garde, the development of new subject matter with urbanization, regionalism, and art and politics in the 1930s.

374 American Art Since World War II (3:3:0). Prerequisite: 24 hours. Topics including abstract expressionism, pop art, minimalism, conceptual art, feminist art, environmental art, the new figuration, and photorealism are discussed in a historical and critical context.

380 African Art (3:3:0). Prerequisite: 24 hours. The art of sub-Saharan Africa is examined in terms of styles and aesthetics, materials and techniques, and contexts (geographical, social, cultural, and religious).

381 Asian Art (3:3:0). Prerequisite: 24 hours. Aspects of the art of South and East Asia, taking advantage of local museum collections. Focus may be on specific regions (India, China, Japan, Korea, Southeast Asia, or Indonesia) or themes, depending on instructor.

393 Art History Internships (3-6:0:0). Prerequisite: Art history major or minor and permission of instructor. Internship with a professional arts institution, organizations, or individual in the Washington, D.C., area. Project to be arranged by student, in consultation with faculty instructor and field supervisor. Strongly recommended for advanced art history students seeking exposure to professional work in the visual arts. May be taken for three to six hours or repeated for up to six hours of credit.

394 The Museum (3:3:0). Prerequisite: 24 hours. Examination of the history, theory, practice, ethics, and current problems of collecting and displaying art and artifacts to the public. Emphasis on issues central to the Washington, D.C., museums or museums in other locations; focus varies with instructor.

399 Special Topics in the History of Art (3:3:0). Topics vary. At least one 400- or 500-level course is offered each semester; each topic area generally offered every two years.

400 Historiography and Methods of Research in Art History (3:3:0). Prerequisite: Six hours in art history at the 300 level or permission of instructor. Historical investigation of theories, methods, and critiques involved in the discipline of art history. Approach or focus may vary with instructor.

420 Advanced Studies in Ancient Art (3:3:0). Prerequisite: 300-level course in ancient art or permission of instructor. Study in a particular area of ancient art of the Mediterranean, the Near East, or the Middle East. Topics may be an art form or medium, a geographical area, a theme, a function, or a context. May be repeated for credit.

430 Advanced Studies in Medieval Art (3:3:0). Prerequisite: 300-level course in medieval art or permission of instructor. Study of a single topic in medieval art. May focus on a particular period, region, or medium; or may explore cultural interconnections within the medieval world. May be repeated for credit.

440 Advanced Studies in Renaissance and Baroque Art (3:3:0). Prerequisite: 300-level course in Renaissance or Baroque art or permission of instructor. Study in a particular aspect of Renaissance or Baroque art. Topics may be monographic, thematic, or concentrated on the art of a smaller time period or a particular area. May be repeated for credit.

460 Advanced Studies in European Art/19th and 20th Centuries (3:3:0). Prerequisite: 300-level course in modern art history. Study in a particular area of modern European art. Topic may focus on a movement or group of artists (i.e., realism, impressionism, or fauvism) or on a theme that includes several time periods. May be repeated for credit.

471 Advanced Studies in American Art (3:3:0). Prerequisite: 300-level course in American art. Study in a particular area of American art, focusing on a form (landscape or genre painting), a theme (nationalism, regionalism, the iconography of the family), or a movement (American modernism). May be repeated for credit.

490, 491 Independent Study in Art History (3:0:0), (3:0:0). Prerequisites: 60 hours, permission of instructor and permission of chair, plus 9 hours in art history beyond ARTH 200, 201. Intensive study of a particular artist, period, or theoretical problem to be conducted by an individual student in consultation with instructor. Study proposal submitted prior to registration.

593 Art History Internships (3-6:0:0). Prerequisite: Baccalaureate degree or equivalent, or permission of instructor. Internship with a professional arts institution, organization, or individual in the Washington, D.C., area. Project to be arranged by the student, in consultation with faculty instructor and field supervisor. Recommended for advanced art history students seeking exposure to professional work in the visual arts. May be taken for three to six hours or repeated for up to six hours of credit.

594 The Museum (3:3:0). Prerequisite: Baccalaureate degree or equivalent, or permission of instructor. Examination of the history, theory, practice, ethics, and current problems of collecting and displaying art and artifacts to the public. Emphasis on issues central to the Washington, D.C., museums or museums in other locations; specific focus may vary with instructor.

596 Independent Study (3:3:0). Prerequisite: Baccalaureate degree or equivalent, or permission of instructor. Independent reading and research on a specific project under the direction of a department member. A written report is required. May be repeated for credit.

599 Special Topics in the History of Art (3:3:0). Prerequisite: Baccalaureate degree or equivalent, or permission of instructor. Topics vary.

800 Studies for the Ph.D. in Education (variable credit). Prerequisite: Ph.D. Student admission to study in art. Program of studies designed by student's discipline director and approved by student's doctoral committee. Course work allows the student to participate in the research activity of the discipline director and results in a paper reporting the original contributions of the student. The paper is presented in a subsequent Ph.D. Summer seminar. Enrollment may be repeated.


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