Courses

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Art History

If you like to read, research, and write about art, art history is the discipline for you. Our curriculum is designed to produce students with a strong breadth of understanding of the history of art from a global perspective. We support students as they develop their historical knowledge and research and writing skills, but also push students to become experts in visual and critical analysis.

A detailed list of program requirements for the BA in Art and Visual Culture with a concentration in Art History can be found on its Program of Study. The courses there are organized into the following categories:

Related Areas

These courses provide both academic and professional context for your studies in art history, including courses on contemporary exhibition practice and opportunities for internships.

Languages, Literatures and Cultures

Proficiency in a foreign language is always useful in our global world, but is especially significant if you choose to work in a museum or academic library, and/or pursue graduate studies.

Studio Courses

Taking studio art courses introduces you to a history of materials and art-making technologies.

Minor 

Choosing a minor that compliments your interests in art history adds additional depth and breadth to your knowledge of art-making and its connection with other forms of cultural expression.

Course Descriptions

This list of courses for the major is not a description of degree requirements. For a complete list of courses that fulfill this degree’s requirements, see the Program of Study.

Required Courses

ART 2030 Art from Prehistory to 1400

3 hours

GEN ED: Fine Arts Designation; Liberal Studies Experience

A global survey of art history focusing on the early visual artistic traditions of Europe, Asia, Africa and the Americas from the dawn of art to 1400. The course examines visual art and art making in religious, social, cultural, and political contexts.

ART 2130 Art from 1400 to the Present

3 hours

GEN ED: Fine Arts Designation; Liberal Studies Experience

A global survey of art history from 1400 to the present examining the later artistic traditions of Europe, Asia, Africa, Oceania and the Americas. The course focuses on visual art and art making in light of changing social, political, religious, and cultural circumstances.

ART 4030 Seminar in Art Criticism and Theory

3 hours

GEN ED: Capstone Experience

A seminar in the theory and criticism of art in which leading methods of analysis are examined through readings and discussion. Major emphasis is placed upon the student developing a critical sense of art.

Prerequisites: ART 2030 and ART 2130, or consent of the instructor.

ART 4040 Seminar in Art History

3 hours

GEN ED: Junior Writing in the Discipline (WID)

This advanced seminar in art history will focus on in-depth inquiry into a particular period, theme, place or genre in art history. Content will vary from semester to semester.

Prerequisites: ART 2030, ART 2130 and R C 2001 or its equivalent.

May be repeated barring duplication of content for a total credit of 12 semester hours.

Art History Electives

ART 2230 History of Graphic Design

3 hours

A historical survey of visual communication, this course highlights key graphic designers and meta-disciplinary creative thinkers who have shaped significant innovations in the field. Examining relevant artistic, cultural, and technological events provides a context for understanding contemporary graphic design practice.

ART 3400 Women Artists

3 hours

This course will provide a historical and contemporary survey of women visual artists.

ART 3600 History of Modern Art

3 hours

GEN ED: Junior Writing in the Discipline (WID)

A survey of leading movements in modern art from the 1870's to 1945.

Prerequisites: ART 2130 or consent of the instructor and R C 2001 or its equivalent.

ART 3610 Asian Art and Architecture

3 hours

GEN ED: Junior Writing in the Discipline (WID)

This course explores the art and architecture of Asia, beginning roughly in the third century BCE and concluding before the modern era, with a focus on painting, sculpture, and architecture. Special attention will be paid to the religious traditions of the region, particularly Buddhism, which functions as a link in analyzing the unique forms of culture that characterize the different countries of the Asian continent. Students will also learn to write and do research in art history at an advanced level.

Prerequisite: ART 2030 or ART 2130 or permission of the instructor, R C 2001 or its equivalent.

ART 3630 African Art

3 hours

GEN ED: Junior Writing in the Discipline (WID)

This course explores major themes in the study of the visual arts in Africa. Works of art from the ancient rock paintings of the Sahara, through the ancient artistic traditions of Ife and Benin, to the arts of the colonial and post colonial periods are presented. Diverse forms of art works are studied in their social, religious, and political contexts.

Prerequisites: sophomore standing or consent of the instructor and R C 2001 or its equivalent.

ART 3650 Art of Late Antiquity

3 hours

GEN ED: Junior Writing in the Discipline (WID)

A course in the Late Antique art, covering early Christian, Byzantine and early Islamic art. Focus on the social context of ancient art production and reception.

Prerequisites: ART 2030 or consent of the instructor and R C 2001 or its equivalent.

ART 3700 Oceanic Art

3 hours

GEN ED: Junior Writing in the Discipline (WID)

This course examines the visual arts of the Pacific Islands, Australia, New Zealand, and New Guinea, including tattooing and other body adornment practices, architecture, sculpture, and textiles. The course explores the ways oceanic arts since the 18th century embody resistance and survival through the continuity of traditional art forms as well as work in more contemporary media and styles.

Prerequisites: sophomore standing or consent of the instructor and R C 2001 or its equivalent.

ART 3705 Contemporary Art of Africa

3 hours

GEN ED: Junior Writing in the Discipline (WID)

This course examines themes in the study of the recent visual arts of Africa and the Caribbean during the colonial and post-colonial period. This course explores the ways that artistic production reflects its local background and circumstances as it enters into a dialog with a global art scene. The course will examine art as a sensitive barometer of social, cultural, religious, and political changes in modern Africa and the Caribbean.

Prerequisite: R C 2001 or its equivalent.

ART 3710 Ancient Egyptian Art

3 hours

GEN ED: Junior Writing in the Discipline (WID)

A course in the history of Egyptian art, from archaic through early Christian periods. Focus is on the social context of ancient art production and reception. The course includes critical reading, writing, and discussion.

Prerequisites: ART 2030 or permission of the instructor and R C 2001 or its equivalent.

ART 3730 Native Arts of the Americas

3 hours

This course explores the native arts and architecture of North America, Central America and South America. Diverse forms of artworks are studied in their social, religious, and political contexts. The focus of the course may be in any of the three major cultural regions, from prehistory to the present.

Prerequisites: sophomore standing or permission of the instructor.

ART 3750 History of Roman Art

3 hours

GEN ED: Junior Writing in the Discipline (WID)

A course in the history of Roman art, from archaic through early Christian periods. Focus on the social context of ancient art production and reception.

Prerequisites: ART 2030 or consent of the instructor and R C 2001 or its equivalent.

ART 3760 History of American Craft

3 hours

This course will consider the development of American studio craft from a historical perspective and continuing to the present day, considering craft objects as discreet entities and in relation to other creative output.

ART 3770 Islamic Art and Architecture

3 hours

GEN ED: Junior Writing in the Discipline (WID)

This course is an introduction to Islamic art and architecture beginning in the 7th century and concluding in the present.  The course will explore visual production in regions across the globe where Islam has had a lasting influence, including North Africa, Spain, Iran and Central Asia, and South Asia. The course will encourage students to appreciate the diversity of artistic traditions that can be described as Islamic. Students will also learn to write and perform research in art history at an advanced level.

Prerequisites: sophomore standing or consent of the instructor; and R C 2001 or its equivalent.

ART 3780 Visualizing the City

3 hours

GEN ED: Junior Writing in the Discipline (WID)

The course explores the myriad ways in which one can visualize and experience cities, focusing on such topics as architecture, urbanism, art, and visual culture. Adopting a global approach to the study of cities, students will explore the intersections between the visual experience of the city and its political, social, and cultural context. Students will also learn to write and perform research in art history at an advanced level. Students may repeat the course once, barring duplication of content.

Prerequisites: sophomore standing or consent of the instructor; and R C 2001 or its equivalent.

ART 3790 Contemporary Asian Visual Culture

3 hours

GEN ED: Junior Writing in the Discipline (WID)

Students will examine and engage with methodologies of visual culture studies, as well as the history and practices of contemporary visual culture in Asia. In analyzing contemporary Asia the course covers visual culture practices from the nineteenth century to the present.  We will study art, photography, architecture, urbanism, museums and festivals, literature, film, and television in order to examine the characteristics of the shared lexicon and imaginary that produce distinctive contemporary viewing practices that we may call "Asian." Students will also learn to write and perform research in art history at an advanced level.

Prerequisites: sophomore standing or consent of the instructor; and R C 2001  or its equivalent.

ART 3800 Art Since 1945

3 hours

GEN ED: Junior Writing in the Discipline (WID)

A survey of leading movements in contemporary art from 1945 to the present.

Prerequisites: ART 2130 or consent of the instructor and R C 2001 or its equivalent.

ART 3810 Photography and Culture

3 hours

GEN ED: Junior Writing in the Discipline (WID)

This course invites students to develop a critical understanding of the relationship between photography and culture. Readings, lectures, presentations and discussions on historical and contemporary photographers will be incorporated into the coursework.

Prerequisites: ART 2130 or permission of the instructor and RC 2001 or its equivalent.

ART 3820 History of Museums and Collecting

3 hours

GEN ED: Junior Writing in the Discipline (WID)

A seminar in the history of museums and collecting, focusing on the 19th century through today. Major emphasis is placed on critical reading, writing, and discussion.

Prerequisites: ART 2130 or permission of the instructor and R C 2001 or its equivalent.

ART 3500 Independent Study

(1-4) hours

Majors in art may broaden and intensify their program through individual research and involvement in a given area of art.

Prerequisite: permission of the departmental chair.

ART 3530 Selected Topics

1-4 hours

Related Areas

ART 2035 Seminar in Visual Culture

3 hours

Interdisciplinary in nature, this course is a wide ranging examination of visual culture from multiple disciplinary perspectives. By integrating theoretical inquiry with a variety of art making practices, this course will demonstrate that visual culture encompasses a broad range of ideas, materials and processes. Encompassing elements of the traditional fine arts, popular culture, emerging technologies and art world institutions such as museums, galleries and online media, this engagement with visual culture will include analysis of not only the production of images but also their circulation through and modification by various art world institutions.

And choose 7 hours from the following:

ART Any 2000 level or higher Studio Art Course

3 hours

ART 2022 Cultivating Creative Expression Through Visual Art

3 hours

GEN ED: Fine Arts Designation; Integrative Learning Experience (Theme: "Cultivating Creative Expression")

Students will create works of visual art in various media, reflecting on the creative process, the influence of culture, and the dynamic and reciprocal interactions among the artist, instructor, and student.

ART 3013 Introduction to New York/Washington Art Scene

1 hours

The ASU-NY Loft and/or the Appalachian House in Washington are bases from which visiting groups of students will experience the art museums and galleries in each city. Trips to these cities, organized by art faculty, allow students to gain one semester hour credit. Individual projects are assigned by the instructor leading each trip.

May be repeated for a total of three hours credit.

ART 3112 Art Exhibitions in Contemporary Culture

3 hours

This seminar surveys current practices of exhibiting art in a variety of contexts and cultural institutions including museums, galleries, online and other exhibition sites. Students conduct research on contemporary exhibition practices and take field trips to explore current exhibitions and museum installations.

Prerequisite: sophomore standing.

ART 3500 Independent Study

(1-4) hours

Majors in art may broaden and intensify their program through individual research and involvement in a given area of art.

Prerequisite: permission of the departmental chair.

ART 3522 Research Assistant

(1-3) hours

A supervised experience in which the student collaborates on a faculty member's project under the direction of the faculty member. A student may also undertake her/his own research if it is relevant to that of the faculty member.

Prerequisites: declared art major with junior or senior standing and permission of the instructor.

May be repeated for a total credit of six semester hours.

ART 3530 Selected Topics (when not an art history course)

3 hours

ART 3900 Internship

(1-6) hours

Supervised placement in a setting which provides an opportunity for students to observe and practice various art and design related skills. Supervision and evaluation by the site supervisor and the faculty member.

ART 4012 Exhibitions Practicum

3 hours

This practicum course introduces students to the fundamental principles and practical responsibilities of managing and maintaining art exhibitions. Students gain experience planning, promoting, designing, and installing exhibitions and events in the Catherine J. Smith Gallery.

Prerequisite: sophomore standing.

____ Other with written approval of your advisor

3 hours

Studio Courses

ART 1001 Foundations I

3 hours

Basic introduction to two-dimensional design emphasizing the structural elements of art, the principles of visual organization, and the psychological effects of visual decision making. Color theory, including schematic uses and historical and psychological aspects, will be explored along with the application of color mixing and color integration. There will be an introduction to the critical and analytical approaches to the visual arts.

ART 1002 Foundations II

3 hours

This course is the second half of an introduction to the structural elements of art. It examines the organizational principles of three dimensional design and the study of equipment and materials used in this area of art making. Emphasis is on three-dimensional vocabulary, understanding of sculptural space, the use of hand and power tools, materials manipulation, and processes related to three-dimensional art.

ART 1003 Foundations Drawing

3 hours

An introduction to drawing as a primary means of visual investigation. Major class topics include drawing from observation and visualization (drawing from imagination). Class exercises focus on rendering objects, spaces, and the human figure in basic wet and dry media (graphite, charcoal, and ink). Conceptual and process-centered approaches in contemporary drawing will be introduced.

ART 2016 Introduction to Studio Art and Design

3 hours

GEN ED: Fine Arts Designation; Liberal Studies Experience

An introductory exploration of contemporary studio art practice, with a specific thematic focus. Students will experiment with materials and techniques, complete research on visual/thematic topics, and document their developing ideas. Projects will introduce a variety of two dimensional, three dimensional, and time-based media. Sample themes include topics in culture, technology, history, sociology, and the environment.

Barring duplication of content, a student may repeat the course for a total credit of nine semester hours.

ART 2019 Art for Social Change

3 hours

GEN ED: Fine Arts Designation; Integrative Learning Experience (Theme: "Revolutions: Social and Political")

This course combines an introductory studio course with an examination of the way in which art can contribute to social change. Studio assignments will involve students in the investigation, understanding and application of artistic methods and the principles of design while thematically exploring contemporary social issues. Lectures, class discussions and project critiques are geared to develop students' awareness of how art can address social issues.